Anyone who has read any of my posts lately knows I have had a lot going on lately. My stress level has been high and my energy level has been low. Today I snapped. I had a bad day a work.
As I was changing the fryer oil first thing this morning, something I’ve done tons of times at a lot of different stores, my bucket for the old oil sprung a leak. The bucket was almost full. The fryer oil got EVERYWHERE! I stayed positive and even joked about it with the crew and customers. Complaining wouldn’t make cleaning the mess any more fun.
About an hour later we could see the floor again but it still needed a lot of work to make it safe. One of our company representatives came in around that time. We were to have an unannounced evaluation on our store. Yay.
Number one priority for me has always been safety. The still slick floor was NOT safe. I had someone start early so that I could focus on making our workplace safe and our customers were still properly taken care of. BIG MISTAKE! This employee panics when anyone above store level is present.
Over lunch our rep sat in the customer seating area and observed. She watched us serve customers and operate the store during the peak period. We were timed on our service and observed for key customer service points (smiling, focus, keeping the dining room clean, etc). My panicking employee had a major (negative) impact on my service times. Oh well, that’s only part of the eval.
After a rough lunch trying to keep this employee on task (and she was still not operating at 100%), the evaluation moved from service times and customer perception to “behind the counter.” Policies, procedures, proper labeling, cleanliness, etc are all observed. Unfortunately things in the fridge were not properly labelled. The store was clean, things were in their places, policies and procedures were adhered to (within acceptable levels–I am not perfect, my employees are not perfect…if we were even close, we would be doing HER job), so, all in all, this wasn’t so bad.
The visit delayed some day-to-day activities though. Talking to our rep and my operations manager (who showed up about 45 minutes after the rep) took some chunks out of my “git ‘er done” time. One of my employees took her break later than usual and garbage was later than usual making it to the compactor, it actually didn’t even make it during my shift. My paperwork and necessary phone calls were also added to without the time left in my shift to do them (about 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave).
I am scheduled to leave by two o’clock every shift. T gets out of school at 2:15 and I need to be there to pick him up. This was stated at the time of my hiring and my store manager understands this, even works around it. My rep? Not so much.
At 2:30 I was done my paperwork but still on the phone. I called another store as we needed product. I happened to reach a “higher ranking” manager. I asked her if her store had any of what we needed. Apparently I wasn’t the only one having a bad day.
The response I got from her was full of attitude. “We only have x # of those. I suggest you go to such and such a store (which would take me anywhere from 20-40 minutes) and get it from them!” The tone she said this in cannot be conveyed through text, but let me assure you it was anything but polite. She proceeded to tell me that I would have to do this myself, nobody else could do it.
This is where I lost it. I threw her attitude right back at her. “It is after 2:30, I was supposed to be off at 2:00, and I have a seven year old standing in the schoolyard without proper adult supervision. I need to go pick him up. This store needs something and we have both been told that this store is to contact YOUR store when that happens.” I probably shouldn’t have done that, but, at the time, I had no choice.
Anyone who knows me really well knows that I rarely cry. It is EXTREMELY rare for me to cry simply because I am sad. If I am seen crying the most likely cause is rage. Total, full blown, get the f*** outta my way or I’ll make you, rage. By the time I hung up the phone today, the tears were streaming down my face. I was not sad or overwhelmed. I was ready to put my fist through the next thing that stood in my way.
I do have to say though, I have an awesome management team. The manager who came on shift after me said that she would take care of the paperwork that was added to the inbox while I was on the phone, the last phone call that had to be made, and the garbage run. She told me to go get my kids. I should’ve hugged her right there, but I was still seeing red and couldn’t even see that she was being so awesome. My immediate supervisor was also awesome. She sicced the necessary person onto the manager who managed to piss me off so bad. Teeheehee.
After work I spoke (on the phone) to my immediate supervisor. She had heard what happened before L even got out of school (2:45). I explained and she understood. We talked shop for a few minutes, then I had another phone call to make. I called the store. I apologized to the manager who was so kind when I snapped. I apologized for leaving her holding the bag. I apologized for not making sure everything was complete before leaving the store. And, most importantly, I apologized for the way I left. It was unprofessional and inconsiderate. That was not the way she should have had to start her workday. Oddly enough, those are my regrets from the way I handled that phone call. I’m not a bitch, but I can be if you piss me off enough. It’s also pretty hard to piss me off. Not today I guess.
After my phone calls, I decided that the boys would not need my bad mood. They both had bad days too. We were all cranky and mad at the world. We went for ice cream. It made us all feel a little better. I really didn’t want to cook either (have I mentioned I HATE cooking?) so I decided to order pizza. This changed all of our moods around.
Bad morning, bad day, good ending. At the end of the day, isn’t that better than the other way around? At least now we know it’s over.
By the way, T wasn’t in any danger by me not being at the school on time. There are always parents I trust on the playground after school and T knows who they are. I just don’t feel it is right for them to have to unexpectedly look after my child. That is MY responsibility.
No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!