Amy (cutedestruction) wrote,

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Yet another case of tl;dr

Dear Don,

I am currently 'manager' of Store #XXXXXX, in Harry's district. I apologize that this is the first you hear from me, but unfortunately that can't be helped.

I am writing to give you my two weeks notice.

Please, let me explain to you why I am doing that, when I've only been a manager here for a month. It is not because the work is too hard or too stressful- in fact, I really quite enjoy it. I enjoy the entertainment aspect, I enjoy scheduling and administering and coaching my employees, I even enjoy fixing all the things that have been wrong with the place. This career has been more of a fit with me and my lifestyle than I imagined possible.

However, I am finding more and more that I have been taken advantage of, and that I do not appreciate. I'm not sure if you are aware (or have been aware) of the situation, so I'm going to explain it.

I had been training under James (our training store director) for several months when, on February 26th, right after rental inventory, I was told that I would soon be 'getting' a store. I was very excited about this, obviously. During the next two weeks, I was given very little information, but did what I could to find out the situation in the store, and also find out what I would be making. Harry told me that I would be making $26,000. I was more than fine with that.

I took over a store that was termed by Henry, the manager of the XXXXX store, as a 'blown-up' store. There were things everywhere, one entire side of the cashwrap was unusable (and found to be holding over 100 rental games under one of the cupboards, for no apparent reason), there was candy strewn all over the floor in the candy room, the ladder in the storage room was inaccessible...well, you get the idea.

More importantly, the store was severely understaffed, and one of the shift leads was found to have been stealing games. I had to do some really fancy shifting around of the schedule in order to keep it running. Then I had to retrain everyone in the store, train the new hires...well, it had to be done. So I went about fixing things. I got the cashwrap to a usable state, I trained several people on fixing damaged disks, doing the PV pull, how to receive things, how to make a deposit...all the basic stuff that all shift leads should know. In between that, I set about fixing things in the store. Besides working on everything mentioned above, I have been getting facilities out to fix several things that should've been fixed months ago, as well as emergency problems, like when half the lights wouldn't come on. Since I've been there, I've gotten the A/C and heat fixed, the fire extinguishers checked, the vacuum replaced...again, I could go on and on. I have work orders currently out on getting our neon fixed and getting our TVs hooked up, and I have several more calls I COULD make to try to fix more things, but they are less important right now.

I am very aware that I've been blowing my labor dollars and that my numbers are not very good at the moment. But the store, as it was, was barely operational, and I've been working to make it not only operational, but a good example for the rest of the district. I'm aware that I'm very new to this, so I've been relying heavily on advice from James, and directions from Harry. And now, even if the numbers aren't reflecting it yet, customers no longer come into the store looking pinched and expecting a fight, and most of them leave happy and willing to return. I have competent people working (minus one employee, whose hours I'm cutting way back) who will uphold the excellent guest service that is supposed to be a trademark of this company.

What all that comes down to is the fact that I have done an awful lot since I got here. Now let me explain what I have encountered in that time.

There was always too much to do to make a point of putting my foot down over my current situation, and for that, I am in error. I have now gone through two pay periods that I've had to write up manual time sheets for, because either: A) I was set up in the system wrong, or B) They didn't know how I was supposed to be set up. I haven't been able to discern which one it is. We knew something was wrong when my check for the pay period of March 1st through the 15 did not include the days I worked at my store. So we worked through this and I was told I needed to 'clock in'. Unfortunately, the clock-in screen would only let me 'check in', which is something I communicated to several people, was told to talk to tech support about it on March 24th, and was (eventually) told by them that that was the way it was supposed to be. I also communicated this to Harry.

When I did receive my check for the missed days in the March 1st to 15th pay period, I noticed it was only for what I was making as a shift lead, seven dollars an hour. I figured this was because my pay rate change hadn't gone through yet, and I decided to be patient and not press the issue.

I didn’t receive any paycheck at all on April 5th. It wasn't until about April 6th that we figured out the problem. Apparently, since I was on probation, I was supposed to be put into the store's system as an assistant manager and I was not. I had this explained to me on April 6th, which was my day off and also which I spent nearly three hours trying to get this situated. It was at this time that it was explained to me that no, the probationary period was NOT three months (as was explained in the Benefits package I received), it was only thirty days. And at the end of the thirty days, the regional manager would come and take a look at the store and see if I'm approved to continue running it. This is ALL I was told about the probationary period.

Henry came to mine on April 7th to put me into the system as an assistant manager. He set me up as an assistant manager (telling me they can do all the same things, which I've found to be slightly untrue), and also was wanting to set me up on the payrate I "should" be getting as a store manager, just in case the salary didn't go through. Throughout this time, I was given the impression (and he was too) that my clocking-in and clocking-out was merely to make sure that I was there for the given number of work hours in a week. Harry, however, told him to leave it at what it was at, that it would work out.

When, next week, I still hadn't received my paycheck, I spent several hours on the phone with payroll until they worked it out. I finally received my check on April 14th, nearly a week and a half after the time I should have. And I found it was only for seven dollars an hour (although, admittedly, there is 26 hours of overtime on it).

I called Harry to try to get this fixed, because it was obviously wrong. He told me that no, that's what it should be. He then told me that the probationary period meant that I was going to continue getting paid seven dollars an hour until it was over, and after I had been approved by the regional manager, that I would be getting the extra salary as back pay from that period. He told me that he had made me aware of this earlier and that I needed to ‘do the work before I got paid for it.’

There are a few things wrong with this situation. First, I was not made aware of it, not by anyone. James and Henry both seemed to think that I'd be getting paid salary and Harry never told me otherwise. Secondly, because I was not paid for a week and a half after I was supposed to be (which, I've been told by several people, is actually illegal), I was not made aware of this situation until WAY after I should have. In this case, I have medical bills I need to pay, and instead of having time to shuffle money around in order to pay them, I may have to go into debt, something that I had been able to avoid during my entire run of college.

There are not a lot of people that would agree to these sorts of conditions in a probationary period. This company lucked out and found someone who would- that would be me. However, I was not told any of this beforehand. I was only told that I was going to be given a store and (after a lot of asking) that my salary would be $26,000. I got nothing in writing, which in retrospect was a very bad idea and is not a mistake I will make again.

I hope you can understand why I find it so disheartening that I am being paid less than my shift leads, especially since I only found out about this after a month of working as a manager. I've been told by a relative of mine (whom works for the labor offices in the Colorado state government) that it is also illegal that I haven't been getting paid for my job description. I have a verbal agreement that I would get back pay, but again, that's not something I want to rely on any longer.

Your company has had me for at least a month's training and for a month as a manager working at a pay rate that I have a hard time hiring people for. If I had known about this situation before I took over as manager, I would've gritted my teeth and agreed to it. But the way it was handled was either poorly done or done in such a way so that the company could have me for less money. I am a very patient person, but I do not handle being taken advantage of well.

So my last day will be May 1st. The only reason I am giving you two weeks notice is so that I don't leave the people I've gotten into my store in a worse situation than necessary.

In the future, if this company really wishes to eliminate the assistant manager position and promote competent shift leads to managerial status, I would highly encourage the company to be more open about what exactly they're getting into, and to treat their shift leads with more dignity.

Thank you.

Store Manager, XXXXXX

Note: Names are changed to try to keep from being totally obnoxious. Well, that and because it amused me.

...I think I'm going to go to Florida now. Er, well, mid-May or so.
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