You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Assholes!
A Cover Letter
Brought to you by: Cous’n Hemp’n Entertainment
Cous'n Hemp'n Entertainment: No! YO mama
Cous'n Hemp'n Entertainment: No! YO mama
I’ve included my resume at the end of this blog in case any ‘job creators’ out there are hiring at the moment. I’ve been on a lot of interviews since I left RadioShack in January and most employers want to know why you left your former job and explain any gaps in your work history. Typically I just lie and say I left because of this or that because YOU sound like an asshole when you mother-fuck your boss. Well this blog will tell you why I no longer work for RadioShack and why I currently have a ‘gap’ in my employment…so hire me.
I was recently on glassdoor.com which asked me to write the pros and cons of a company. My former employer, RadioShack, immediately came to mind. Before I left there, I wrote a letter to my Regional Manager in regards to my district manager. Now, I didn’t expect anything to come of this letter, mostly because the Regional Manager, Bill Mynett, was a Napoleonic little man who had been hired from Blockbuster. He, in turn, placed former Blockbuster employees in District Manager positions, who did the same with store manager positions. One such District Manager was my former…Reginald Weekly.
In October 2011, I was enjoying my third year in a row in the top position of my district and my seventh year overall with the company. My store on Archer and Central was in the top three ranking on the metric report for three years running (of 18), and the store was always in the top five of sales gross profit. I received bonuses every year and most months, and I generally enjoyed my job under the district management of Larissa O’Neil—who was an excellent district manager as she not only encouraged growth, but reinforced it through positive motivation. These have been trends I’ve been lucky to have seen exhibited by all of my former district managers at RadioShack, starting with Todd Chinn in 2004, and that constructive motivation is what I attribute my successes with the company to over my years of service.
It was also in October 2011 that I received a call from Reginald Weekly asking me if I would like to take over the Tinley Park store on 159th and Harlem, in his district. After doing some research, I found that the previous manager of that store, Lawrence, was fired for theft. Before him, Jim McLean, who was my manager when I worked as an associate at that same store several years earlier, was let go by Reggie after a confrontation in which Jim yelled at him. 14 months later, I understand that confrontation better.
But back then, I spoke with Larissa and asked her advice on how I should proceed. Always a fair and balanced district manager, Larissa told me that it would be an opportunity to grow as a store manager, because the Tinley Park store was potentially a higher volume location. As a result, I would be making more money in the long run. I say potentially because the Tinley Park RadioShack had suffered a fall from grace in recent years. Located in a strip mall, the store was once a flagship store in that district and held a multi-million dollar volume. However, since most of the businesses had closed in the strip mall, and wireless stores had sprung up in the surrounding area, it was not so much in favor anymore.
As much as she hated to see me leave her district, Larissa told me that I had grown as much as I possibly could in my current store. However, her advice came with a warning that several other people I spoke with also gave me: Reggie was not the easiest District Manager to get along with, to say the least. Despite the mixed feedback concerning Reggie, I’ve always looked for new opportunities to grow with the company, and the position in the Tinley Park store offered the promise of a new set of challenges and the chance to collaborate with a new team. I accepted Reggie’s offer and came to work in Tinley Park.
My first responsibility as the new store manager was to complete an incoming manager inventory. This was also my first inclination that something was not quite right in Reggie’s district. See, when a manager leaves a store, especially when he’s fired for stealing, an outgoing inventory is conducted immediately to assess the damages and prepare the store for its new manager. However, Lawrence was fired 2 months prior to my coming in and an inventory was NEVER conducted. This meant that I would be doing an outgoing AND incoming inventory in one sitting, which in the eyes of the company, made me responsible for the losses; of which there was 20, 0000 dollars in merchandise missing. Among the missing merchandise were televisions, iPads, cell phones, and various miscellany.
I wondered how Lawrence, the previous manager, could have been in charge of the store for as long he was what with the loss prevention manager’s office at that location, without being caught stealing. Needless to say, this was a significant amount of theft, and surely the district manager should have been aware of it long before the manager had been fired. I also noticed that there had been a noteworthy amount of fraudulent phone sales done at the Tinley Park store during Lawrence’s time in charge —fraudulent phone sales that I was now responsible for comping, as Reggie would inform me in the coming months.
The missing merchandise notwithstanding, my new store looked like a tornado had torn through it. There was product in the wrong sections on the floor and base decks, there were no tags up in half the store, and the other half had sales tags posted that were outdated by months. The floor hadn’t been vacuumed, there was dust everywhere, and you could barely see through the windows from the grime covering them. I found it odd that this store could fall into such a state of disrepair when the district manager was supposed to be following up and doing Store Operational Reports monthly.
Since those first few days in Reggie’s district, I came to learn why I was warned against moving there: Reggie offered no support to me in any aspect of my job, in the year I was there. All he did was complain without offering viable solutions or encouragement. In the 26 years that I’ve been in retail, working for just three companies in all that time, I’ve never come across a less involved District Manager than Reginald Weekly.
How do I define “no support?” Over the 14 months that I worked for Reggie, he did nothing but complain about my staffing, yet he did nothing to help me resolve the issue. Reggie told me on numerous occasions that he must do all second interviews before I hire a candidate; I can’t tell you how frustrating that is, given the fact that my official title at RadioShack was ‘Hiring Manager’ and I had a proven track record of hiring good talent. Never the less, I had asked Reggie many times to step in and do the second interview, to which he would tell me that he would, he’d set a date, and then not show up leaving my candidate high and dry. As someone that understands the value of hiring qualified candidates, it was frustrating to have good candidates back out and get another job while they waited weeks sometimes for Reggie to finally interview them. When I did take the initiative to hire a candidate of my own volition to alleviate the staffing issues at my store, Reggie complained about their performance and told me I need to get rid of them without offering any solutions other than termination. Most times these terminable suggestions were offered during the new employees first week. My philosophy as manager has always been to avoid termination, encourage growth, and provide employees with a positive work environment to improve upon and learn new skills. Developing and encouraging talent should be the number one priority for any manager.
When I was at my previous store I had the same employees for three years; only one person quit because he was going to college. Martha Corral got promoted to manager, and Liz Thompson got promoted to assistant manager of the Riverside Mall RadioShack. One of my other employees, Maricela Luna was the highest performing associate in my REGION month after month. She could have easily been promoted to manager and was in fact offered the position by Larissa, but she turned it down as she was still going to college. I was proud of my turn-a-round rate and the fact that I was helping the company grow with my candidate choices. In the time I worked for Reggie, I’d lost six employees. All quit because they couldn’t take the constant haranguing from Reggie concerning cell phone sales. Reggie offered no time or room for employees to grow—it was either sell phones or get out.
Unfortunately, the Tinley Park RadioShack didn’t sell a lot of cell phones, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The employees and I consistently tried to get every phone sale we could out of our store, because we had a deep desire to succeed. None of us wanted to see our store in the bottom, but because we were surrounded by a Sam’s Club, a Verizon, an AT&T, two Sprint stores, a T-Mobile, 2 Best Buys, and a Wal-mart, we struggled at meeting our wireless goals. And I know some of you are saying “But RadioShack has a price guarantee for cell phones, right?” Not necessarily; we found out, after dragging customers away from other stores, that RadioShack does not price match corporate stores, Sam’s Club, or Wal-Mart…the only 3 places who consistently undercut their cell phone prices. These are not excuses, as Reggie would tell me, these are facts. We kept a positive attitude at my store and did the best we could do with what we were given, but each day was a struggle to reach our wireless goals. One of Reggie’s pieces of advice was to hire hotter employees. He even went so far as to mention my employees Chris and Irene by name, then he looked at me and said, “I mean c’mon,” clearly referencing their appearance.
During my time in his district, I witnessed several other shortcomings in Reggie’s management style:
1.) Reggie told three of our district’s managers that they needed to take a re-take inventory and gave them one day’s notice. When the manager of the Crestwood store told Reggie that he wouldn’t be able to get a staff together in that short of a time, Reggie made veiled threats about “not doing his job,” and “at will employment.” From what I understand, Reggie had a month to set up these re-take inventories, yet he waited until the day before to let anybody know. He made similar, last minute requests of me earlier last year, and he’d done it to several other managers.
2.) Reggie rarely updates his calendar. There is a DM calendar on the intra company website so managers know what events are taking place. Reggie often puts a manager meeting on it merely two days before the meeting takes place, once again forcing us to change our schedules and causing an upheaval with our staff. This was unprecedented as ALL district managers I’ve worked for updated their calendars up to a month ahead of time.
3.) Reggie was extremely non-communicative. He took a vacation in December and didn’t have a conference call before he left to discuss expectations, and he didn’t leave anyone in charge. A lot of managers didn’t even know he was on vacation, because who gets a vacation in December in retail? Especially without clearly outlining expectations during the busy holiday shopping season.
4.) When the Matteson RadioShack was robbed at gunpoint, Reggie explained to us on our conference call that RadioShack won’t hire security guards because it would cost too much money. When I asked, “Aren’t we losing more money in thefts than it would cost to just hire some $8.00 an hour rent-a-cop?” Reggie exasperatingly said, in a heavy exhale like a king who was being bothered by a peasant, “"huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh, we're not losing ANY money Mike, we're insured. So we'd actually be LOSING money if we hired security" to which I replied "so what happens when someone gets shot?"...."Anyone ELSE have any questions?" IF you're keeping score at home, that's 2 armed robberies this month, 16 since Novemeber. And that's JUST of the 18 stores in my district. Employees are scared, nervous, and quitting all over the place. Where's Bill Curtis when you need him?"huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh, we're not losing ANY money Mike, we're insured. So we'd actually be LOSING money if we hired security" to which I replied "so what happens when someone gets shot?"...."Anyone ELSE have any questions?" IF you're keeping score at home, that's 2 armed robberies this month, 16 since Novemeber. And that's JUST of the 18 stores in my district. Employees are scared, nervous, and quitting all over the place. Where's Bill Curtis when you need him?Huuuuuuuh, no Mike, we’re not losing any money, because we’re insured. We’d be losing money if we hired security.” “So what happens when someone gets shot?” I asked Reggie, to which he replied “Anyone else have any questions?” Once again, I feel that Reggie’s lack of interest in a concern that everyone in my district shared, was highly unprofessional.
5.) For years I only worked until noon on Thursdays, as I have another obligation after that time. I still always worked 48 to 54 hours per week, and when I first started at the Tinley Park store I was working 60-80 hours a week. However, this year Reggie told me that I was no longer allowed to work those hours on Thursdays and that he expected me to work open to close every day until my wireless sales were where he wanted them to be. Whenever I did work open to close on Friday or Saturday, Reggie either wouldn’t acknowledge my dedication to my store, or he would say that I only worked open to close because I had bad employees.
6.) Every time I requested vacation time or time off in general, Reggie rejected it. Then I had to call him and explain why I was requesting the time off while he made me feel like an incompetent manager for taking time off that I’d earned or that I needed to take because of a doctor’s appointment. I don’t make doctor’s appointments around Reginald Weekly.
7.) In my time in Reggie’s district I tried to call off of work sick once when I had the stomach flu. I had coverage for my store, but when I called Reggie to let him know, he forced me to go into work anyway by telling me I couldn’t take the time off because my store was doing poorly in phone sales.
8.) I asked Reggie on MULTIPLE occasions, since I started at the Tinley Park store, to order several things for me. First, a new lock box at the counter. I sent Reggie emails, I asked him in person, and in 14 months I never received one. Since my store didn’t have a safe, I would have liked to have been able to put excess money in the lockbox especially during Christmas time and especially since all of our stores were getting robbed. A functional lockbox is a basic loss prevention tool. I also asked Reggie for a new lock for the backroom filing cabinet since October of 2011 and still hadn’t received one as of January ’13 (Another loss prevention must have), and I asked him for a new vacuum cleaner as the cord was broke on ours. I tried to order these things myself, but I was always told that only the District Manger could do it. When I sent Reggie an email every day for a week asking for the vacuum cleaner, just to remind him daily, and then asked him again at a managers meeting, he flippantly yelled at me to stop bothering him and that the order had gone through. That was in July, and as of January, I still didn’t have a vacuum cleaner. When he came into my store and the floor looked like shit, he wrote it up on his Store Operational Report as if it were my fault.
9.) RadioShack finally put its managers on a FIVE day work week in 2012, provided that they had a viable Assistant manager working in their store. For 7 years I’d worked 6 day work weeks. My store was the last store to get an Assistant Manager because once again, Reggie offered no support in helping me find a viable candidate. I asked him time and time again to help me recruit as he gets Assistant Manager Candidate applications through people-soft (Our hiring portal) that I can’t see. I was met with Reggie ignoring me and more flippant rejection. I was the only manager in Reggie’s district who wasn’t put on a five day work week for the entire year of 2012.
10.) Reggie’s webmail was full of anger and bile, as he did nothing but tell the district how bad it was doing while offering no encouragement or suggestions as to how we could build our numbers. And that’s if we could read them. I find it grotesquely unprofessional that my boss wrote like a third grader with no punctuation, he misspelled simple words, while often using no prepositions or definite articles.
Reggie went to great lengths to tell me every week how poorly my store was performing; however he never said a word to me when our store was performing well. I don’t mind criticism, but if it’s going to be constant, I expect the same enthusiasm, with which it’s given, in my praise. Also, it seems that every time he came into my store to do a Store Operating Report, he wrote things on there as NOT having been done, which WERE done. Other than the above vacuum example, another would be that he would complain on his report that I had product in my back room, when it was product that we were TOLD to put in the backroom for either a street date or a recall. It was as if I couldn’t be seen to be doing TOO good of a job. My store was ALWAYS clean and priced, the windows were washed, the stock was out, my paperwork was immaculate, we received 100’s on mystery shop reports, but I NEVER heard a word of praise. And again, I was never looking for praise, my paycheck was all the praise I needed, but HE was the one who told me to always start my employee reviews with praise and then talk about the opportunities. Yet in the 14 months I was in his district I’d never once heard him say “good job” or “your store looks great”. Just veiled threats of “at will employment” which is a way of saying “I could fire you for whatever I want.”
After all the complaining Reggie did all year about my wireless performance, I was the number 1 store in the district, in December, in post paid gross profit and comp; Instead of him acknowledging this accomplishment Reggie called me to chastise me about my battery sales and the fact that I was under 27 hours for the week.
On Monday morning, December 31st 2012, I went to my store on my day off to do the deposit and leave instructions for my assistant manager. My assistant didn’t have a car, so I would often do the deposit on my day off for him. I found a letter sitting on the fax machine which was left there from the night before from my employee Shante. In the letter to Reggie, Shante claimed that I would stand over her shoulder when she gave African American people their change, and that I told African American customers that our computer was down when they wanted to buy cell phones.
The register in my store had been $310 short in December, on 3 occasions. Each time the register was short, Shante was working with either the assistant manager who’s worked there for over a year or Stephanie, who’d been there for six months. I never had money missing from the register when either of them worked, nor had I ever had money missing from my register in all the years I worked at RadioShack. I wrote Chris, Stephanie, AND Shante a verbal warning the first time we were short $170 and went over with them, at length, the procedures of handling cash. I did this at Reggie’s behest. I also told them all that nobody thinks they were stealing money, I just think one of them made a mistake. Part of my instruction to Shante involved her counting out the customers change in front of them for her safety and theirs. Over the next few weeks, I found Shante ignoring my instruction on several occasions, in which she would grab a wad of cash from the register and hand it back to the customer. Then we were $40 short on a Saturday evening after she worked.
After I told Reggie, he told me to give SHANTE a written warning. I spoke with her about the missing money, explaining to her once again that I didn’t think she was deliberately mishandling funds, but she needed to be more careful. So yes, I absolutely watched Shante carefully when she was handing out change to anybody, not just African Americans. I felt justified in doing this as we were again short by $100 after Shante worked. Each time she worked I found money in the wrong parts of the register; 20’s mixed in with 5’s, 10’s mixed in with 20’s and so on, which is why I felt she just wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing when it came to handling cash.
Next, as anyone in Reggie’s district will tell you, Reggie asked us to use common sense when turning away fraudulent cell phone customers. So, as Shante had only been with the company for a month she didn’t know why I told customers we didn’t have a phone when we did, or that our computers were down so we couldn’t process their sale. It was because there was no hologram on the customer’s driver’s license, or the customers didn’t know each other but claimed to be relatives, or some other thing that sparked suspicion. This is something that I trained my entire staff to look for in any customer, as all of the managers in the district did per Reggie’s instruction. There was nothing I wanted to do more than sell phones in my store because it was the only time that I didn’t feel like I was about to get fired. However, I wasn’t going to let fraud slip by on my watch just to make a sale.
(It should be noted here that in 2012, the Tinley Park RadioShack had the lowest fraudulent phone sales at 2 for the whole year, while the next lowest was 23. One store in Reggie’s district lost 112 THOUSAND dollars in fraudulent phone sales)
My point in telling you this though is that the way in which Reggie handled this employee issue is just another example of his unprofessionalism. Since the fax didn’t go through and I found it SITTING on the fax machine, I called Reggie, who was once again off of work through the first week of the New Year. I told him that I found a letter for him on the fax machine, and I proceeded to read it to him verbatim. In her letter Shante wrote, “Like I told you in the other letter,” and at the end she wrote “I hope this helps.” I asked Reggie if there was something he’d like to talk to me about because Shante said “in the other letter”, to which Reggie said he didn’t know what I was talking about and that he never got another letter from Shante. Then he told me he was off until Wednesday and hung up the phone. Being in retail for as long as I’ve been, it’s my understanding that if Shante felt she was being treated unfairly, she could absolutely go to Reggie if she didn’t feel comfortable coming to me. Then Reggie, as my superior would bring the issue to me, keeping Shante’s confidence, so that he could hear my side and we could come to a resolution. However, instead of confronting me, discussing the issue with me, or treating me or Shante’s complaint with a modicum of respect or decorum, Reggie simply lied. I got the distinct feeling that Reggie put Shante up to this letter as a means to fire me.
It was quite clear to me from his inclusionary management methods that Reggie was a racist. He just didn’t like white people and he treated me and the only other white manager in his district with the same disregard. During the course of 2012, we were the ONLY 2 managers never taken to lunch by Reggie. Reggie often told me that I needed to hire hot black women in my store while lambasting my white employee’s appearances. And when Reggie would interview potential employees at my store, there was never ONE white person in the groups. However, it was a friend of mine who used to work at Blockbuster for Reggie, who would confirm my suspicions. Reggie never knew I was friends with this individual, but he managed the Blockbuster near my old RadioShack location on Archer and Central. Reggie was his district manager at Blockbuster for a time and he told me how Reggie was fired from Blockbuster after HE and many other managers complained to Human Recourses that Reggie was a bigot. I got along with most of Reggie’s management choices, however it should be noted that 6, SIX of the individuals he hired to manage stores, including Lawrence before me at Tinley, were fired for either stealing or being paid by customers to make fraudulent phone sales. This is not a statement on African Americans, but on Reggie’s track record with hiring.
These are the stresses I had to deal with daily from Reginald Weekly. I was put in a constant fear of losing my job coupled with the daily disappointment of feeling left out and singled out. Instead of concentrating on customers; I felt that I always had to concentrate on being one step ahead of Reggie firing me. It’s unfathomable that anyone should have to work under these conditions. Reggie made working for RadioShack untenable, and if I wasn’t able to turn the Tinley Park store back into the million dollar store it was years ago, the fault lies at Reggie’s feet. These are not excuses; these are clear precise examples of the hostile work environment that Reginald Weekly created while I worked for him.
I’d been with RadioShack since 2004 and I’d never been written up until I came to Reggie’s district. My last write up was for wireless performance in which Reggie gave me two months to improve my wireless numbers, or once again he’d have to “reconsider my position with the company.” This wasn’t his idea, he explained, but our Human Recourses director Michelle. Reggie passed the buck on to Michelle saying that she’s the one who wants to fire me for non-performance. He told me that I would have to improve my numbers so he can show her that I’m trying. Once again, Lawrence’s fraudulent cell phone sales were thrown in my face as numbers that I was responsible for comping.
Reggie told me that I had to sell 54 phones in October and 84 phones in November. These are highly unattainable numbers for the Tinley Park store and are higher goals than even some of the high volume stores in my district. He told me how I was to give performance reviews to my employees and I followed his instructions to the letter week after week. However, EVERY week he’d still tell me I did them wrong. What perturbed me about this was the fact that I was chasing Reggie’s idea of a weekly review instead of just WRITING a weekly review and helping my employees to improve. I’ve been writing reviews as a retail manager since 1994, I know how to write them.
On January 15th, earlier this year, Reggie came into my store and fired me for not hitting my wireless targets in October, November, OR December; a goal of 104 post paid phones, which he ADDED to my write up without having ever given it to me. To put that in perspective, the Tinley Park RadioShack did 34 phones in December of 2012 (no longer up against Lawrence’s phone sales), to do 104 in December of 2012 would put us at 305.88% to comp…a business variable which should have made me CEO of RadioShack had I made it. However, as I said we DID beat last year’s numbers in December AND were the number one store in wireless profit while doing it. When I tried to explain this to Reggie, he told me that it didn’t matter, to which I said: “Isn’t profit the ONLY thing that matters? I don’t think you know a god damned thing about what you’re doing.” Then I threw my key at him and walked out.
I did not want to leave RadioShack--I liked my job. I liked the people I worked with; I liked the customers whom I helped daily. I liked making yearly bonuses at my previous store. I’m grateful to RadioShack for the time I was there and the management I’d worked for over the years. RadioShack was not just a job to me but a career path in which I would have liked to be a District Manager myself one day. But Reginald Weekly was an unprofessional racist bully who offered me no room to grow with the company and showed me little hope for its future. I would think that if RadioShack hired a district manager in that district who put a small degree of effort into growing their employees, instead of just lambasting and threatening them, it could probably double its growth in 2013. I hope this blog helps all of the managers who are afraid to come forward and speak the truth about Reginald Weekly, and I hope it helps RadioShack to see that sometimes you need a soft hand to build profits instead of a shaky fist.
Michael Allen Hempen,
Tinley Park RadioShack Store 01-6540
The End (of the Letter)
Like I said, nothing will come of this letter and I’m sure that Mr. Mynett probably didn’t even bother to read it, even though I faxed it to his personal fax line. However, I felt that what I said needed to be said.
In the past several months, I learned a few things. The first is that it is NOT easy to find a job; I’d heard that but, shit…it ain’t no lie. Second is that as nice as it is that we have an unemployment system in times of need…it should pay out an amount that’s equivalent to the difficulty of the job market. I understand that it probably pays less than half of what I WAS making (which was shit to begin with) to coax me into looking for a job, but shit…that’s all I’ve done for 3 months and my unemployment check barely pays the bills; the rest has made me a deadbeat in the eyes of my girlfriend and her friends, and rightfully so, as she’s been feeding me. But a motha fucka gotta eat. Thank god I quit smoking last year.
And the last thing I learned is how fucking LOW RadioShack pays its managers. And this part of the blog is aimed at all the RadioShack store managers who might be reading this; I made 34,000 last year at RadioShack. That was my 8th year with the company in a relatively high volume store. That’s at 48-56 hours, 6 days a week; MORE during the golden quarter. After I was fired, the FIRST interview I went on was for a management position at a Best Buy mobile store. JUST cell phones in a mall store mind you; nothing else. The starting, STARTING salary was 42,000. It went up to 54 depending on experience. Second interview was for a management position at a Sprint store. Starting pay was 45, 000 plus bonus. I couldn’t believe how low balled I was at the company I was so loyal to for years. And these are just retail job salaries.
More recently I was offered a Customer Service Rep position in a call center that starts at 28.00 an hour. It’s shift work with mandatory overtime, but you know what? Its LITERALLY 3 times what I was making as a manager for RadioShack BEFORE the overtime. Plus, I don’t have to open and close a store, I don’t have to be on conference calls, be in charge of anything, or feel like my I’m constantly straining to keep my head above water…all I have to do is show up for work on time. That’s it. I asked in the interview: “What can I do to exceed YOUR expectations on this job?” The interviewer looked me in the eye and said “Show up, and show up on time. That’s it.” I know a person who has worked for this company for 14 years and she told me today that she made 28,000 last year JUST in overtime. She nearly matched my REGULAR salary just in overtime.
Kids…if you work for RadioShack? Just get the fuck out. I don’t know why this company sells anything BUT cell phones because that is the only thing they care about. RadioShack is ALL about the profits. They don’t care about the employees and they don’t care about the customers. All customers are to them is potential cell phone sales. If you’re not buying a cell phone? Go fuck yourself…THAT’s the answer to your question.
What retail needs today, to protect both its employees AND its customers…is a union. Sure some retail jobs are just part time positions for kids in college, but a lot of times its people like me who have career aspirations. It’s not only hard to hold your head up high and proudly state that you run a retail store, but as I said in the letter earlier…it's difficult to live life when you wake up EVERYDAY with the threat of being fired looming over your head because it rained and no customers came in to buy phones, or because your boss just doesn’t like you. And fuck ‘AT WILL’ employment, that’s not for you that’s for them. You can quit any goddamned time you want for whatever reason you want, all ‘at will’ does is let THEM fire you for any reason without cause.
My friend Jim is a glazer in a union; you know what he does when his boss is an asshole? He tells him to fuck off and goes down to the union hall to get another job THAT day. And that’s the kind of benefit that retail workers should enjoy. Not only for peace of mind, but so we can concentrate on BUILDING PROFITS through customer relations because we know we’re providing for our families and we can go home PROUD of the work we did at the end of the day.
A retail union would not only benefit employees, but employers as well. One of the things I’ve learned in retail is that it costs the company money to hire and train an employee and that investment is lost when an employee leaves. If there were a union, we could have a system much like the trades; with a Temp program for part timers that could lead to full time, an apprenticeship program for full timers, leading to journey-man positions that start in assistant manager levels and go up from there. It might be YEARS before you reach the level of district manager, but you’d get promoted based on experience and merit WITHIN your union; you wouldn’t have to sit and watch as people with no skill or substance are hired into positions above you from outside your company because they know your boss. There would be mandatory raises every year on a tier system to be based on ATTAINABLE performance goals. All of this would make the retail industry a VIABLE career path in which only people who are serious about customer service would inquire.
But most of all, the benefit of a retail union would be to the customer. Happy, friendly, well paid employees with nothing but the customers best interests to motivate them throughout the day. In all the complaints I see on websites for different retail businesses about customer service nightmares, there is one common thread. The employee was not motivated to help the customer. You, as a customer have to consider that when you go on a website to complain; was the employee who was made to work for 8.25 an hour in shit conditions, on weekends and holidays, for a boss who’s not motivated by HIS boss who isn’t motivated, at fault? Or is the company itself responsible for the employees that it creates?
Now sure, if you’re in an HR position in retail and reading this, you’re not even gonna consider hiring me after my union diatribe. But that is ok because YOU are not the kind of asshole I want to work for. This cover letter is for the human resource manager, in OR out of retail, who thinks OUTSIDE of the box, who recognizes talent and humor, and who knows a faithful, loyal, customer service orientated employee when they see one. TO you I say; thank you for reading this and good luck in finding the employee who matches your criteria, even if that’s not me.
Oh, and fuck you Reginald Weekly, fuck you in your dirty rotten racist asshole.
Retail Store Manager Resume
Innovative personnel manager with over 26 years of management experience in multiple unit hiring and training environment, while identifying customer solutions, with a proven record of accomplishments in meeting goals. Successful team builder whose career with leading companies has been distinguished by accelerated advancement, awards, and goal-surpassing performance. Successful in both startup and turnaround management roles demonstrated by propelling multiple locations from bottom to top tier performers. Comprehensive background leading all aspects of company operations (e.g., P&L, merchandising, sales, inventory management and team building) reinforced by extensive management training.
Communicated daily with district and regional managers regarding store sales progress and upcoming directives for events and meetings through one on one interactions and presentations on company conference calls; responsible for recruiting and training new staff for personal location and others; excelled in employee and store goal setting while surpassing those goals to exceed monthly and yearend targets. Worked with other managers in inventory processes through-out the region and focused heavily on training employees in success through a strong profit and loss statement.
§ Promoted to manager 3 months after hire following superior-rated performance as full time employee in the #1 ranked district store
§ Developed 6 entry-level associates to management positions while maintaining the region’s lowest employee turnaround
§ Primary trainer of new store managers across my district of 18 stores
§ Exceeded sales and profit goals by up to 8% and 12%, respectively, from first year as manager and each ensuing year
Borders , Merchandising Manager, Orland Park, IL Feb 1999 to Aug 2004
Merchandised store with an eye for promoting new projects; worked with third party vendors to promote new books and music albums through in-store appearances and free give-aways; responsible for hiring merchandising staff and worked with other Borders departments in cross-promotional events
§ Established team building exercises that helped increase every department’s sales by 5%-25% monthly
§ Helped store increase public exposure by creating in-roads with celebrities through publishers and agents
Waldenbooks, Store Manager Feb 1994 to Feb 1999
Managed multiple mall locations with a strong emphasis on hiring, training, and employee retention. Provided strategic, operational, and fiscal leadership while maintaining national presentation and service standards at mall locations. Led inventory procedures and set up weekly district wide loss prevention training sessions.
§ Transformed the district’s lowest ranked store to #2 in sales, #1 in customer satisfaction, and the second lowest, regionally, in shrink
§ Earned multiple sales and customer service awards resulting in promotion to Borders Books and Music
§ 2001 – Comcast Cable, Certificate for Cable Production, Oak Lawn, IL
§ 1999 – Lewis University, B.S. – Aviation and Flight Management, Romeoville, IL (Two years complete)