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Assertiveness Conflict Communication Criticism Customers Expectations Feedback Job Descriptions

Hello. I apologize in advance for the long story. I work in an animal supply store and get many questions from customers about how to care of a specific animal, and this can take close to 30 minutes in certain cases, often jumping from customer to customer to make sure everyone is taken care of. My position includes but is not limited to working the cash desk,pricing merchandise, stocking shelves, sometimes answering the phone, and all cleaning. There are a total of three women sales associates, one full time, one part-time, and one summer student. Sometimes the floor manager can help. This place gets very busy because we happen to be the only good store that is actually knowledgeable about what we are doing for a great distance.

I have received complaints from the floor manager, indirectly from my boss/the business owner, about how I am taking too long helping customers with their inquires and threatened with a writeup. I am literally being written up because I was doing my job while being away from the cash desk. WTF!? I'm sorry for language, but this is the first thing that comes to mind. Please help me figure out what to do. I don't know how to deal with bosses who conflict themselves.

Since managementís pet peeve is focused on the amount of time youíre spending with customers, you should meet with your manager to clarify the responsibilities, expectations, and standards associated with your various roles. Perhaps management believes that responses to customersí questions should be answered in less than ten minutes except in extreme situations. Perhaps management wants you to spend more time at the cash desk and less time with other chores. Either way, the key next step is to meet and discuss these matters.

Unless youíve been provided with such information already, it is not particularly appropriate for management to write you up for spending too much time with customers. If you believe that such customer support is the top priority for your job, but management has some unspoken parameters regarding this function, the answer is not a write-up.

Your comments to management should be based on your interest in doing what is best for the customer and the store. Let management know that you would like more clarification regarding the priorities and expectations associated with your job, and then let them know you will do your very best to meet them. As a side note, in todayís world, being overly customer oriented is more likely to be regarded as a virtue than a vice.

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