Earlier this year, online shoe retailer Zappos unveiled a new management system that banished managers and job titles. While some employees might embrace a culture without a boss, more than 200 Zappos staffers decided to take a severance deal rather than continue working under the new boss-free model. [More]
A 16-year-old took a job at a South Dakota Taco John’s, but didn’t sign on for verbal abuse from his manager. Finally, he says, the worst insult came earlier this week when his manager handed him a nametag with “♡GAYTARD♡” printed on it and forced him to wear it for his whole shift, including in front of customers. [More]
You might have seen the news a few weeks ago that President Obama issued an executive order that would expand how many workers who are eligible to receive overtime pay. Under current rules, salaried workers with administrative or supervisory duties, like retail managers, are exempt from federal overtime rules as long as they earn more than $455 per week. That includes an anonymous assistant manager at Walmart who spoke to Salon’s Josh Eidelson about what that really means in his life. [More]
Do you have questions about how the business of retail works from the other side of the register? Are you curious about store credit cards, loyalty cards, confusing signage, women’s clothing sizes, loss prevention, sales goals, the all-consuming power of Corporate, or other things that form the basis of most Consumerist complaints? The Consumerist’s Mystery Manager is here to answer your questions.
Carol Bartz was ousted as Yahoo’s CEO with more than a year left on her contract, replaced in the interim by CFO Tim Morse. The company has formed an executive council to search for a permanent replacement.
Steve and his wife were checking out at the supermarket when they noticed something odd about the cashier packing his bags. She was ramming all his groceries like she was trying to repair a levy in a flood.
Has RadioShack gone too far with its sales quotas? Allison wrote us to say that when she tried to upgrade her phone recently, the employee had to add accessories to the transaction before the system would approve it. She said he canceled some, and she ended up paying $2 for “two plastic covers for phones I don’t own.” But she says her mom had an even more bizarre experience at a RadioShack, where the assistant actually paid for the accessories herself.
After fifteen minutes of being ignored by Circuit City executives, Pliego decided to try to find the documents himself. Frustrated, Pliego ultimately tapped acting Chief Executive James A. Marcum on the shoulder and told him he couldn’t find the financial statements he was looking for.
Papa John’s wouldn’t let reader Adi redeem her coupon for a $9.99 extra-large pizza online, so she trekked over to the nearest store in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where she met the franchise owner from hell. The owner insisted that the coupon didn’t apply to online orders, so Adi asked to cancel her online order and re-order her pizza in person to get the discount. This prompted the owner to angrily throw the coupon at Adi, before throwing away her ready-made pizza. And was just the start of the fun…
When reader Steve went to Wal-Mart to buy Rock Star for his daughter, he reluctantly presented the cashier with a state issued ID containing just his picture, name and signature. Steve’s job is to consult with law enforcement about identity theft, so he’s more careful than the average bear.
Scott, a member of management for a retail chain, wants to share the other side of the checking-ID debate:
Your website continually runs stories about how merchants aren’t allowed to ask for ID during a credit transaction. I work on the management team at a nationwide retailer, and credit card fraud occasionally hits our location. Every so often, we are hit with something called a ‘retrieval request’ from one of the big 4 credit authorization companies (Discover, AMEX, MC, Visa). This means we have 48 hours to provide a legible signed receipt, and video evidence of my staff checking a photo ID to verify the cardholder.
A Steak ‘N Shake manager refused to serve Karen Putz, a deaf mother of three, after she asked to place her order at the drive-thru window as allowed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The manager claimed it was “policy” to force Karen to order like any other customer:
“You’ll have to drive around again so I can take your order through the speaker,” the guy said.
A CompUSA cashier summoned her manager and a security guard when Bud tried to pay for his purchases with cash. The promise of 40% discounts drew Bud to the Boisie, Idaho store, but he settled for a 10% discount on an iMac and several accessories.
I start counting out hundred dollar bills and the clerk goes nuts! “Sir, we don’t accept cash for this kind of purchase! You must use a credit card!” she says at the top of her lungs. (I see her also hit a button on the phone at the same time.)
Former American Airlines CEO Bob Crandall fired a guard dog at a Caribbean outpost to keep costs down. Just look at the self-satisfied gleam in Crandall’s eye. This is no mere cocktail party story, but a defining act of corporate leadership for his grandkids to cherish.
As part of USA Today’s series on retail management, the newspaper shadows a Toys R Us manager for an hour on a Saturday morning during the holiday season.
The retail industry needs more managers, reports USA Today—people entering the workforce don’t usually consider retail a viable career path: “Students find banking, technology and other fields more promising because there’s more ‘growth potential, a better work/life balance and a clear…
Alenaya traced her lost wallet to a recently visited Gap and pieced together a disturbing story:
Seemingly, walked away from register and wallet fell out of pocket. Kind customer behind me gives to cashier, who sticks it on the side of the register and does not log or tell manager my wallet fell.
USA Today has a quiz supplied by the National Retail Federation based on materials they use in their retail management and certification courses. [And if you’re one of those people obsessed with taking quizzes, stop reading here until you’ve taken it.] It’s an interesting but somewhat obvious set of questions, all centered on hammering home the concept that being a retail manager means focusing on display, loss prevention, and customer service—but not on “long-term planning” of the type of merchandise that will be sent to your store.