Dear Annie: I work in health and wellness for the world’s largest retailer. I love my job, but there is so much that I don’t understand.
Management is always on us to make money (as I understand it), but whatever we do, it is never enough. We live in a depressed area and we do very well where we live.
With all the pressure of management on sales and eliminating waste, our district manager demands that we work such unnecessary hours. We are in the office until 8 o’clock in the evening even though no one arrives so late. I am always looking for something to do. We work from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, and usually there are no clients – just people walking around asking, “Why are you working on a Sunday?” On Remembrance Day, July 4th, Labor Day and other holidays, we work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is not uncommon to have clients who are on vacation and want trial contact lenses because theirs are torn or lost. When we can’t give them what they want (we need a doctor’s permission to give contacts), they get furious. Sometimes it gets intense. That’s pretty much how the day goes – dealing with angry customers and not getting sales.
What can we do to let management know that there are better ways to treat their employees while saving money? They just won’t listen. It’s typical top-down management. Things are good for those at the top, but frustrating for those not that far off the ladder. – I love my job but I just don’t understand
Dear love my work, but do not understand: Today, many companies have realized the value of employee feedback and have started performing periodic reviews. If your employer does, take the opportunity to share your ideas. Focus on what the business has to gain by cutting back on low traffic hours. Your case will be more compelling if you can offer concrete examples – so the next time you work one of those shifts, take notes on sales, staffing, etc. Because it’s a huge retailer with stores across the country, there may be some coverage policies your managers need to follow even if they don’t make a lot of sense in your establishment. But at least it’s worth giving yourself your two cents.
If management is pulling you aside and things still aren’t changing, maybe it’s time to channel your frustration by filling out some applications – preferably with small businesses, where you may be able to play a bigger role.
Riddle of coupons
Dear Annie: While shopping at our local grocery store, I overheard an elderly woman complaining that the new digital coupons were preventing her from getting the discounted price. She doesn’t have a smartphone to collect the coupons, nor does she know how to use a computer. She said this was unfair to seniors (many of whom really need the reduced rates) who would like to be able to participate in this program. I wonder if some of the companies that have gone digital have considered this problem. – Discrimination in the digital age
Dear discrimination in the digital age: A smartphone isn’t always necessary, as many companies allow customers to download and print coupons from their websites – but this is still a frustrating hurdle for older people who are unfamiliar with it. use or do not have access to a computer. Rather than giving up, I would encourage anyone on this boat to call the Elderly Care Locator (800-677-1116) to find a class for people new to tech.
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