People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.
By Justin Power, SDA Assistant Secretary
Part of my role is to catch up with SDA Organisers regularly and see how they are travelling and to also discuss activities and goals within their areas. A few weeks ago after finishing one such meeting, I remained at the coffee shop to complete a report. While there, a woman sat nearby with her coffee and proceeded to talk to her friend on her mobile phone.
Her conversation was vivid and animated and before too long, my attention was drawn to her conversation.
During her conversation to her friend I learned that:
- She worked for five weeks for a small furniture retailer before resigning;
- A couple of weeks into the job she had her reservations about continuing with her employer because the staff were expected to unload the heavy and awkward furniture off the truck. (She was not alerted to this fact at the interview);
- The staff then had to grab a stanley knife, stand out the back of the shop in the Queensland heat, unwrap and ‘un box’ every item of furniture, then dispose of the rubbish;
- She added further that all the furniture had to be carried into the store and lifted into position. She described the weight and awkward shapes of dining tables, buffets, 7-drawer tall boy chest of drawers etc.
I learned that her friend was very sympathetic to her awful experiences but the caller had just started her conversation. Her current manager was threatened by her because of her 20 years retail experience. She apparently feared the caller would be after her job.
But wait there’s more…
The Operations Manager, employed by the owner of the company, was feared and disliked by staff because of her bullying attitude towards them. Many employees had resigned from the various stores and the Operations Manager informed the owner she had to dismiss them for spurious reasons.
I further learned the catalyst for the caller resigning was that the Operations Manager rang the store five minutes before closing on a Sunday and the woman answered the phone. She was spoken to in such a disgraceful and unacceptable manner that, after the shop closed, she left a message on the Operation Manager’s mobile telling her she wished to discuss the phone conversation further.
A fellow staff member commented that the caller had a lot of courage and was warned that the Operations Manager would ‘play dirty’.
A meeting eventuated and things deteriorated quickly. The Operations Manager ranted and raved and the caller, to her credit, did not back down to the bullying and intimidation.
Finally, the caller told the Operations manager that she could never work with a company and management that she had absolutely no respect for and did not return to the store.
She further commented that she had never been treated so poorly in her entire working life and shortly after, the conversation ended.
I let the caller catch her breath and after five minutes introduced myself and asked her if I could interrupt her peace. The woman obliged and I explained who I worked for.
During our conversation, I learned more about the company and their callous attitude towards their employees. I expressed sympathy towards her plight and was further informed she was going for a job interview with a large supermarket retailer the following week and I wished her well.
Her parting words were, “next time I’ll join the SDA”.