Monthly Archives: April 2014

Optimist, pessimist or task master? ðŸ†ðŸ†

Some people look at the glass as half full, some look at it as half empty and some look at it as just another thing that needs to be cleaned. A task. Another thing to take care of! That’s mrs George!!! She gets all wrapped up in tasks and forgets why we are here. As sales managers our number one priority is …. Sales!! (It’s a novel concept I know) but mrs George doesn’t look at it that way. She’s constantly worried about the tasks… Cleaning the stockroom until it’s perfect… Dusting tables in her department that her associates should be doing. God love her but she just doesn’t get it! This became particularly evident on a day I will always refer to as the great stockroom debacle of 2012. It started out as a normal day… It was late summer, early fall… (Please keep in mind that mrs George has been the shoe manager for 6 years.. She’s done this many many seasons) .. I walked in to work to a quiet office (yay for me!!) and all of a sudden who should burst in the door but Mrs George!! ” Oh.. My.. god… “She exclaims…. “I have GOT to shift the stockroom and I have GOT to get it done today. It HAS to be done today!! Has to! I can’t get it all done! I can’t do it all!! And then at the three o clock meeting he’s gonna ask how much we have in and what we have to do today and I can’t answer that! I don’t know what I’m up against. I don’t know what the plan is and I don’t know how much I have in…. I have to switch my stockroom all around!!!! I MUST! “. Usually I only see this kind of sense of urgency from EMT’s and brain surgeons.

Now, thinking to myself… Mmmm I know WHY we shift the stockroom (fall styles up front.. Easier to sell…..) but I never knew we had to get it done all in one shot…

So I said.. “Mrs George.. Let me ask you a question… What would happen if we don’t get the stockroom shifted?”

Suddenly, mid sentence she stopped. Didn’t say a word. Silence. I could see the look on her face. I could see the wheels turning.. She knew where I was going with this.. She is a smart woman and she knew I was right. Instead.. She just continues (sometimes I think she should have been a lawyer.. She’s great at arguing a point until she’s beating a dead horse or until you WANT to beat a dead horse)

She says, “well, Penelope I can’t just leave it. It MUST be shifted today! I can’t take more than today! There’s too much to do! What if we get a visit?? What will they say if my stockroom is not shifted?? What will happen?? I know they (the UNIVERSAL they btw) it’s gotta be done.. I need to shift it and I have to. I just have to.” 🏆🏆

So I said the only thing I could… “Mrs George.. I don’t think they’ll much care about the stockroom if you have a sales increase! do you?” Her reply.. “No.. So that’s why it’s even MORE important I get this done! I can’t sit here and talk and talk to you! I’ve gotta get this done!!” And as she’s making her dramatic exit.. Here comes an associate wanting to talk… They literally ALMOST ran into each other. Mrs. George sees her and sighs as if the weight of the world is on her shoulders and says “WHAT do you want???” And associate says.. “I have a customer issue and I wanted to talk about my numbers for the week!!”
Mrs George says.. “SERIOUSLY??!! You wanna do this now??? NOW?? I can’t!! I’ve gotta flip the stockroom! I have no time for this!!” And she stomps out of the room completely flabbergasted and incredulous that someone would actually ask for her time!! 🏆🏆

Lesson of the day: do not (and I repeat do NOT) interrupt Mrs George during her task of the day!!

Serenity

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Amen

Decisions, decisions 🏆🏆🏆

I wish I had a dollar for every decision Mrs. George makes that results in her questioning me (and frankly everyone else in the office) to see if we agree. One of the components of this job as sales manager is that sometimes we have to make (what I like to call) “executive” decisions. Whether that means to “bend” a rule in order to keep a customer happy or to enforce a rule that the company has in place, I’ve found that it’s best to make the decision and stand by that decision. That may make you popular or it may make you unpopular!! But the bottom line is that as a sales manager you need to stick with your decision. Not mrs. George. She second guesses EVERY decision. At first it annoyed me but one particular instance I realized it’s actually amusing!!

On a pretty busy Saturday night I ran to the office to get money for a cup of coffee…. I was fading fast and needed a boost of caffeine. I walk into the office to mrs George talking to herself.. She’s all alone and I just KNEW this was gonna be a good one! So I said “mrs George sounds like you’ve got something on your mind?” To which she replied “oh yes I’m glad you are here.. (She was almost breathless and again the INTENSITY with which she stated it made me question what I had missed.. Was this something big?? Was there a big issue?? What’s happening??) “Penelope, I just refused a return from a woman who was WEARING the shoes she wanted to return… She had NO receipt.. No proof of purchase AND AGAIN SHE was WEARING THEM!! I told her no!!! “. Thinking her incredulous questioning was because this was WILD!! (Who WEARS the shoes they are trying to return?? It’s like wearing panties you want to return.. It’s just not done… And incidentally we don’t return panties or worn shoes) so I said “oh my God Mrs George that’s crazy! Who does that??” And she said “so, you think I made the right decision?? I mean I wasn’t sure and I didn’t know what I should do! She said they weren’t comfortable and they were worn I mean what do you think?? If you got that call what would YOU have done??”
🏆🏆
Incredulous, I said “mrs George of COURSE i would refuse to return them you are absolutely right!! Why would you even question that?” She says “I don’t know. You know I hate making decisions that’s all I’m just checking with you!” Alrighty then!!

So I go and get my cup of coffee to return to the office to find not one but TWO of her associates in there (two she recruited from Nordstrom) and she’s saying to them.. “So what do you think? What would you do? What would Nordstrom have done?? What would your manager at Nordstrom have done??” I wanted to scream and laugh!! 🏆. What does it MATTER what Nordstrom would have done???! What does it matter what the shoe manager there would have said?? NORDSTROM doesn’t pay your salary!!! OMG!! Are you kidding me????? Both associates sat there just staring at her and both said “oh oh no.. You did the right thing! Yes you did! It’s okay! The lady wasn’t upset! It’s okay mrs George!!! Can we go back to the floor now?”

She released them and said to me as she was walking out the door.. “Okay I feel better knowing they agree too!”

OH MY GOD!!! Seriously??!!

~P

The power of touch ðŸ†

I’m Italian and in my house growing up we hugged for everything! You’re sad? Let’s hug! You’re happy? Let’s hug! Bad day? Hug! Good day? Hug! Welcome to my house? Hug! Oh, you are leaving? Let’s hug goodbye! You name it we hugged! We touched.. A pat on the back… An arm rub.. A shoulder rub.. It’s how we express love, affection, understanding. It’s just how things worked in my household. It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I realized not everyone did that !!!
I was shocked!! Why wouldn’t or
shouldn’t we hug ?

Mrs George, however, (and not surprisingly) was the first person I met who is sooo incredibly VEHEMENTLY opposed to touching and hugging that it makes me curious.

On a particularly stressful day… Mrs George was having a challenging time figuring out a customer issue. Out of nowhere she enters the office flustered and frustrated!! The look on her face said it all. Plus she looked at me and said “I have an issue” (boy do you ever have issues was all I could think) so I replied “what’s up?”
She said “well, I have this customer issue and I’m trying to find the order and I can’t! And she’s gonna complain to corporate and she is a total bitch!! She’s not been nice to me at all and I don’t know how to help her. Could you stay and help me figure it out??
“Of course I can mrs George! Tell me
More about it”. 🏇🏇🏇

“Well, Penelope I can’t have another complaint about me or my area or I’m in big trouble! Mr. Duvall said that in gonna be in big trouble if I get another complaint and my people just don’t get it! They give horrible service and I really try!! I do!! I don’t know what more I can do about it!!!! I mean what’s the answer?? What can I do? Should I write them up?? Should I start that?? I don’t wanna start doing that I really don’t but if I have to do it… I’ll do it… I mean that may be the only answer” 🏆 . As she’s talking I can only think god help me I was talking about the customer issue!!! She was CLEARLY upset about everything and I was afraid she may break down!! So I did what comes naturally.. I got up from my chair, and went over to mrs George (she was still standing!!) and said oh come here!! You need a hug!!!! And I opened my arms and gave her the most one sided hug ever. She didn’t hug me back, she didn’t put her arms around me. All she said was “oh you don’t know. I don’t like hugs. I don’t like touching. At all. Please. Please don’t touch me”.
The look on her face was as if I just put four spiders all over her desk and told her they were her new pets!
Whoops!!!! OMG!!! All I could say was “oh mrs George I’m so sorry!” And in her signature deadpan dry delivery she replied “don’t ever let it happen again! Just don’t touch me!”

Message received!! Mrs George is not a touchy feely person!! This is a NO TOUCH ZONE!!! 😩😱😫 oh what fun!!!
There have been many times in the past two years I’ve “forgotten” about this!! I will get her to relax yet!!
~P

What makes mrs George happy?🏆

In the continuing Mean Girls/Life at the Big D saga, I find myself wondering what exactly makes Mrs. George happy. What motivates her?? What makes her get up every morning?? I STILL (even two years later) don’t have the answer to that. The best I can come up with is that Mrs. George is happy in a constant state of crisis. Nothing makes mrs George happier than being at work!! Hence, she RARELY takes a day off!! And when she does, I must question what is wrong!!

This particular PhEmmy story begins of course on a typical spring day. We could all feel the spring fever that’s in the air! The sun is shining! The birds are chirping!! It’s a wonderful time of year!!

I enter the office and find mrs George sitting at her desk, smiling from ear to ear! I think that maybe something good happened! Maybe I’ll have some insight as to what makes her happy!! This could be good!! In typical Mrs George fashion, she fore goes any form of salutation and says to me..
“Wait until you hear this!!! Janis Ian was supposed to be early today and she didn’t show up until 920!! That’s 20 minutes late Penelope!! Can you believe that?? Who does she think she is?? She’s constantly late and she walks around here like she owns the place! Well, mr Duvall was PISSED off and he YELLED AT HER! He asked her why she was late and she just said cuz she was running behind! He yelled at her and said that’s unacceptable!!! Sooooo a little while later he sent an email saying we have to call and check in every day right when we get here! So HA!! She can’t be late anymore! She can’t come and go as she pleases!! HA HA ON HER!!! She is T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!! (Yes she spelled it out!!!) can you believe that Penelope?!! HA!!! I
Love it!! It’s about time!!! I’ve been telling mr Duvall that she’s been late for weeks and he finally believed me!! It’s about time!!” 🏆

OMG SERIOUSLY!!!!!! Are you kidding me?? She’s taking pleasure in someone else “getting into trouble!” What??? Here’s the funny thing.., Janis’ time of arrival affect mrs George not at all!!! But again, we must pay more attention to every other manager than in paying attention to what we do!!! Lol!! That’s a TRUE PhEmmy award winning moment!!!

It’s also helpful to have Mrs. George around so I don’t have to read my email!!! Thank you Mrs. George!!!

~P

Conspiracy theory 🏆

Now please don’t misunderstand me. Mrs George is not ALL gloom and doom! (Even though this was Bailey Johnson’s first nickname for the Mrs and Regina George) 😁😁

There are times when she is a LITTLE fun! (And even THAT’S Stretching it a bit) lol!! It’s just that mrs George is always soooo incredibly INTENSE!! She’s intense even about the LITTLE things! She’s even Intense with America’s favorite addicting game.. candy crush!!!!

I personally held off as long as possible on downloading the app (due to my highly addictive nature… More on that later…. MAYBE 😘) but I finally downloaded the game!! OY VAY!! The nights I stayed up and played and the time spent on this game I’m SURE could have been spent doing something more creative. However, it’s addicting. I thought I was an addictive personality until the day I learned Mrs. George downloaded it.

It started out as a typical work day. I believe it was a Monday. Mondays in retail are normally filled with conference calls, weekly planning meetings, stress filled emails and frantic dashes to set the floor for the weeks sales. So, it wasn’t unusual for mrs George to be in a funk on a Monday. (Actually I don’t know why I’m differentiating Monday from any other day as she’s always in a funk about something but this Monday was different). I’m sitting at the computer in our office reading email and enter mrs George in her signature KRAMER way. As I looked at her disheveled hair and smeared lipstick (not to mention the bags under her eyes) I said .. “Rough night mrs George???” She took one look at me (a look that silently screamed shut the fuck up) and said “I have only two words for you Penelope and that is :candy crush!” With an audible gasp I said “OH NO MRS GEORGE!! You didn’t!!” And she said “oh yes I did! And dammit I was up all weekend playing that stupid shit game!!! I’m soooo over it but I can’t stop!” I silently pictured her pulling off to the side of the road to play candy crush on her way to work and had to stifle a giggle!!

Instead I said “why oh why??” And she said… “Well, the other night I was working with Jethro and he wasn’t answering any pages. Finally, I found him in the office playing candy crush and he said… I can’t answer any pages cuz I’m trying to get past this level in candy crush and I keep buying more lives but I can’t do it! Penelope I HAD TO SEE what all the fuss was about!! I had to know!” Now, seriously folks all I could think of was what the hell level must Jethro be on to be that addicted!! I had just passed level 44 (after weeks) and could only imagine the level to which he was playing. So naturally I said “what level is Jethro on??” Her reply? “He’s on 8 but he gave up at the end of the night. He said it’s too much for him” yes he quit at level 8. Hence Jethro.

So mrs George continues talking and I have to stop my own mental thought process to 👉focus👈 on her. She says to me.. “I was up all damn weekend Penelope. I stayed up late, I got up early. I didn’t cook or clean or do laundry or spend time with my family or even go outside. You are lucky I showered this morning. JESUS that damn game!! I am on level 35 and I’m telling you Penelope it’s looser in the middle of the night. I think the computer is tired and sleepy and I win better at night” 🏆. (Yes I swear she said that!!!). She said.. “It’s a conspiracy! These candy crush people want you to play during the day and then be so tired you don’t play at night. But the game is looser around 2am: I even woke up to play. I had to play under the covers so as not to wake my husband but I’m telling you it’s looser at night!”

“But mrs George.. It’s not a slot machine.. It’s a computer game”

Mrs George: I know that it’s a game but I’m telling you it’s looser at night. Anytime after 2 am it’s loose. You’ll advance.

Me: I don’t think so. It’s not like we are playing for money !!

Mrs George: I know so! I’m telling you Penelope it’s a conspiracy.

And she walked (limped) out of the room with her phone in her hand seeking her next high.

~P

Foot fetish 🏆

The blind hatred and annoyance Mrs. George felt for Janis Ian continued to revolve around her feet.

Not long after she earned (unbeknownst to her) the nickname ‘Ellie Mae’ I walk into my office only to find guess who?? Mrs George waiting for me. Anxious to express her latest displeasure. I still continue to walk in and greet her with the appropriate salutation. However, knowing how Mrs George is, I never expect a return greeting. True to form, today was no different. I walk in to find Mrs. George pacing the room as if she just received some disturbing news. I paused for a moment, mentally debating turning around and going into the handicapped stall in the bathroom to make that my new office. I knew it would take time to make happen and I knew I’d be dying to find out what’s got mrs George’s panties in a bunch. So I took a deep breath and thought okay.. Why not??

So I said.. “Well, what’s got your panties in a bunch today?” And she looks at me and says.. “My daughter hates the word panties. She yelled at me for using that word the last time I was there visiting” now, I wasn’t expecting this! I even stopped, looked behind me thinking did I miss something?? Should I go outside and walk back in again?? What’s happening? What the fuck am I missing? So I respond the only way I know how and that was to say, “well, whew! THANK the LORD she’s not here to hear me use such terminology!” Mrs. George doesn’t find me amusing.

A beat or two passed and she said.. “Well, have you SEEN the shoes SHE has on??” Again, what the fuck am I missing?? Whose shoes? Her daughters? I’m confused. Again, I said.. “Mrs George WHO the hell are you talking about?? The only shoes I’ve seen are mine and yours!!” Sighing, disgustingly frustrated with me she says.. “Ellie Mae!!! JESUS! Pay attention” (I must have missed all her mental cues.. WHY OH WHY CAN I NOT READ HER MIND??!). So I responded.. 🐻👈. “No I haven’t. Next time I come in I will seek her out for her shoes. And next time we talk about this can you text me a photo so I’m in the know prior to my arrival?”

Mrs George says.. “You are NOT funny!! You think you are but you aren’t. Listen, she’s wearing these black sequin shoes that are heels and she looks like she’s going to prom! It’s disgusting! Those are PROM shoes!! PROM! Plus they are so high!! Who does that Penelope?? WHO wears those to work!!?? It’s DISGUSTING!” 🏆

Now… My smart ass self has a few things to say and once again I cannot help but 🐻👈! So my reply was as follows.. “A. At least she’s wearing shoes today and 2. Those shoes sound HOT! They actually sound like porn or stripper shoes and I’m seriously in the market for those I’m gonna go see what they look like!”

Incredulously she stared at me. Again, I felt like something was hanging off my face that shouldn’t have been there or maybe I had spinach in my teeth or maybe the waist band of her panties is shot! Who knows? But she looked at me like I committed the worst social faux pas in history! And I’m not too proud to say that I adored making her look at me that way! It encouraged me to get her even more riled up!

FINALLY she says to me.. “Oh my GOD id almost rather have her wearing NO shoes than prancing around here in those! Is that the kind of impression we want to leave on our customers?? Ridiculous! ”

I’m seriously beginning to wonder.. Does Mrs George secretly have a foot fetish or is it only with Janis ???

~P