Today is the official release date for the first part of my comedic ebook series, Grace in Retail. Enjoy a snippet of the book here:
“Today started like any other day. My usual routine of sitting in the parking lot of my job praying that God moves my feet to go inside. Another day another dollar, right? Well actually not today. Today is the day I find out if whether or not I will get the bonus check I so well deserve. And I say deserve because I was tricked into taking this damn job! I was told it was easy to move up in this company so I took a serious pay cut in hopes of moving to district level within six months. But once I got in, I saw it was store managers that had been with the company so damn long they were part dinosaur! I messed up… that’s all I can say, I messed up big time coming to Deal World.
It’s the end of 4th quarter, and I’ve survived another crazy, hectic holiday in retail. I outperformed my colleagues in overall sales, comp sales and conversion. I’ve been a store manager with this company for nine months so I’m the newbie coming in winning product prize incentives and scoring above company average on various store business audits. My performance definitely sent a message to everyone that even though I am new to this company, I am not new to retail. I’ve been in retail management for over eight years so I know what I’m doing here. The number rule to this retail game is building a strong team. A team that trusts you as their leader and is committed to perform as they see you demonstrate. That is exactly what I’ve been able to do in the short time I’ve been here. But if I don’t get that bonus they will see a different me today. I deserve this bonus. I need this bonus to add to the financial cushion I’ll need when I resign from this place. You know, have a little extra money in the savings to take my time with finding another job. I better get this bonus.
Out of the 15 other stores in the district, Hazel is the only store manager I really talk to. She has a similar sales volume as me and is a straight to the point kind of woman. I felt sorry for her when we were in the height of the sales season and both of her assistant managers proved to be horrible! She practically lived in the store doing everything! This didn’t allow her to perform her function as a store manager so her weekly sales typically didn’t exceed mine which they should’ve based on the traffic she gets at her location. She has better communication with Paul I believe because he has more to complain about and try to fix with her store. Now I’ve heard the saying, “If you don’t hear from me that’s a good thing”, but being the 3rd highest volume store in the district and only hearing from your boss once a month is absurd in my opinion. But hey what do I know? I’ve only been doing this for eight years.
I decided to call her cellphone to avoid pulling the associates away from assisting customers to answer the phone.
“Hey Hazel, it’s Grace how are you?”
“Hey Grace! I’m just hanging, how are you?”
“Same here. Really holding my breath trying to wait out this bonus information. Have you heard anything?”
“Actually Carl from the downtown store called me to say that Paul was personally calling stores.”
This news made my heart stop! The faxed paper would provide a line by line detail as to how the bonus was calculated. If he is calling stores, this must be to inform store managers that they simply aren’t getting a bonus.
“How does he know? He spoke to Paul?”
“Yes and he’s not getting a bonus. But he wasn’t surprised because even though he had a great quarter, he did not make overall year sales.”
My mind is at ease just a little with hearing this. Carl has the highest volume store in the district being that his location is downtown. He is also known for always having some type of crisis going on at his store. When I was still in training I remember hearing his store had the biggest internal theft bust in the company’s history. One of his assistants was working with the delivery driver to keep merchandise on the truck to sell on the streets later. This was only found out because our regional loss prevention team had to investigate his store once his inventory detailed a loss of over $125,000. Another first in the company’s history. When he was interviewed during the investigation he confessed the reason he didn’t know this was happening was because he was so engrossed in his relationship with the property manager of his building. Finally from what I heard, human resource investigated this relationship for conflict of interest and it was deemed appropriate.
“Well it makes sense he’s not getting a bonus because he didn’t have the merchandise in his store to sell in the first place. His assistant was at the flea market selling it.”
Laughing, “Yes, pretty much. Have you heard anything about you yet?”
“No, that’s why I was calling you. Everyone knows you are the DM’s pet and you always know what’s going on.”
“Well, I don’t have any information. But what are you worried about? You had sales in two weeks ago and your conversion is above company performance, right?”
“Yes but you never know. This company has done some shady things in the past to keep people trapped in their roles. Remember I told you I didn’t get the last bonus because they said I wasn’t in position long enough. This may be another tactic to keep us hanging on long enough to get the stores back in order after this clearance sale. But if I don’t get this bonus they can kiss my ass good bye!”
“You’ll get it,” Hazel confirmed. “Your fax should be one of the first to come through.”
“I hope so. For their sake you better be right or otherwise they’re going to need someone to come close this damn store tomorrow night!”
Hazel laughs not knowing the seriousness of my comment. “Girl, I will talk to you tomorrow. You’re going to bonus.”
“Alright, have a good day Hazel.”
Stay tuned for the next three parts to this series, enjoy 🙂