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!!