Save Us From "Jobsworths"

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I'm all for following the "social distancing" rules where possible.

Some friends in their seventies have individual disabilities. She's nearly blind and he had an aortic aneuryism ten years ago, lost a leg and a kidney, but has an artificial leg and can get about with difficulty, on crutches. Yesterday they went by taxi to Sainsbury's to get some shopping, but the "jobsworth" at the door wouldn't let them both in. So the "jobsworth" manager was called over. He confirmed only one could come in.
Having explained the problem once, our friends explained again. "One of us is nearly blind so can't see the products and the other can't manager a trolley, which of us do you suggest does the shopping?" He was unmoved, so they went home.

As a former general manager of superstores, a couple of dacades ago now, mind, I'd have have found an assistant to take the list our friends had and got the shopping done for them. But then I was a "real manager," who could make a decision, those days seem long gone.
 
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Meadowlark

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I just don't agree that "those days seem long gone". Rather, my belief is that your friends just got a bad one.

On the contrary, the COVID pandemic has brought out the best in many businesses as they struggle to survive. People helping people is so much more common place these days than BC before COVID. It is a shame that a pandemic is required to bring those great qualities of people helping people out.

My hope is that these good behavior aspects remain long after COVID is gone.
 
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I just don't agree that "those days seem long gone". Rather, my belief is that your friends just got a bad one.

On the contrary, the COVID pandemic has brought out the best in many businesses as they struggle to survive. People helping people is so much more common place these days than BC before COVID. It is a shame that a pandemic is required to bring those great qualities of people helping people out.

My hope is that these good behavior aspects remain long after COVID is gone.


Sorry, my point was that many managers are no longer able to make a "decision," applying a bit of common sense. They do what they are told.
 

Meadowlark

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I teach college classes in management....and by and large the students I see who are our future managers are overwhelmingly able to make positive common sense decisions I am very optimistic about the future because of the college students I see today.

Just a different viewpoint.
 
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I teach college classes in management....and by and large the students I see who are our future managers are overwhelmingly able to make positive common sense decisions I am very optimistic about the future because of the college students I see today.

Just a different viewpoint.

Not really, I don't know about anywhere else, my point was that in modern retailing, they aren't allowed to make decisions, they are there to implement a universal policy.
 
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I agree with Sean Regan. Before I retired I was in management (middle) but I saw power being taken by the main office. The middle and upper management were just employees doing what they are told. When I first got into management we were encouraged to make decisions and do what we felt was best for our store. When I retired, it was rigid and you had to follow all the rules set by the main office, no exceptions or termination would follow.
 
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I agree with Sean Regan. Before I retired I was in management (middle) but I saw power being taken by the main office. The middle and upper management were just employees doing what they are told. When I first got into management we were encouraged to make decisions and do what we felt was best for our store. When I retired, it was rigid and you had to follow all the rules set by the main office, no exceptions or termination would follow.

Yes, retailing has changed. Thirty years ago M&S took out supervisors and middle store management.
Sometimes they have one manager looking after two of their smaller stores.

Checkout supervisors are a thing of the past.

As are "butchers" they are now just "box openers."

For a while Tesco's had what they called "checkout captains," if they'd called them "supervisors" they'd have had to pay the agreed USDAW rate for the job. I don't think they have them now. The checkout staff look after themselves.

"Empowerment" was the buzzword twenty years ago, where you got staff to take on more responsibility for no more pay. Staff got wise to that too.

"In my day" before I went into the office, in stores with 20 checkouts, we'd have two checkout supervisors. Each department, fruit and veg, butchery, deli, wines and spirits, bakery, deli, housewares, textiles, fashions, wallpaper and paint, etc., would all have at least a supervisor. All would do their own ordering. This was particularly effective on fresh foods, as they are kept historical records of what we sold when, as well as daily sell out times on things like bread. So if some hot weather was anticipated, they'd order up on what they thought we'd need, so we didn't run out of anything.
Package grocery was easy enough to order on daily delivery with a hand terminal wanding in the bar codes after the evening fill. My grocery manager would do that and on his day off I'd do it. I worked on the basis that on volume lines, say, Kelloggs 500g Cornflakes and Walkers 6 pack crisps,etc., you'd order more than the fixture needed to fill it, so you'd have some stock left over in the warehouse in the evening after the fill, to do a partial fill of these key lines which would sell down, in the following afternoon.

M&S have a different policy. "Open 'til 9.00pm, sold out by 3.00pm."

The staff fill the shelves first thing in the morning and that's it, those who don't go home go on the checkouts.

The ordering's done by the checkout computer, in most chains, for the next day's delivery.
But they are just machines, if through a cock up the computer thinks there's some stock of a line in store when in fact there's none, it'll never get ordered again, unless someone notices it. I know it happens regularly.
 

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