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Post Info TOPIC: Co-manager and 2 cents


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Co-manager and 2 cents
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I have been a co-manager for just under a year at a very VERY busy store.

Are there any co-managers on this forum because I would like to ask some serious advice of a delicate nature.

Kroger is a political landmine in management. All you long term employees who are protected by unions and rules... frying chicken and making more than I do and bitch all day long.......... (opps that's another topic). Let's just say I agree with the new employees who are expected to do hard work while the older workers are allowed to be incompentent and lazy.......... trust me.. it pisses me off just as much as it does you. But as a co-manager, if you "write up" the wrong people.. they will find a way to GET YOU..........because as management, we can be fired on the spot.. It just takes a few long term union dept heads to decide they don't want to be held responsible and they will make up anything they have to, to get you fired or at least make it LOOK like you have done something wrong.


I need some major advice if there is another long term co-manager or manager who can privately communicate with me I would appreciate it.



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Anonymous

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Why don't you post your concerns on this forum as I would love to have a discussion on here with you.



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@notawhiner, I agree with anonymous, I'd love to have a discussion with you right here in the open. There are a lot of things wrong in this corporation, but here's one thing I've gotta say straight up, if you are worried about employees who are frying chicken and making more money than you then bitching about it, maybe you shouldn't have become a manager. Look you knew you were going to have to deal with a lot of things as a manager and bitching is quite common in this company. So if you're mad that an employee who has put in lots of time to get to where they are is making more money than you, get out of the management program. I'm not trying to be completely rude with you I know first hand that there are a lot of dept heads and/or backups who are lazy and will whine and get what they want. They've been here long enough to know what they can get away with and how to make others do all the work or even as you said make it look as though you've done something wrong.

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^in addition, sounds like you're having problems with senior employees thinking they can get away with things just because they are the favorites perhaps? sound about right? I'm just a regular old employee so I have no clue how to deal with this sort of thing, but I will agree that we see it all the time. For instance they will try to enforce a rule but there are certain people who are immune from it or exempt. It's not right, there's a lot in the company that isn't right

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Em


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You gotta pick your battles. Don't write people up for dumb stuff.

You will get this problem everywhere. It's not a Kroger thing. When the pay is ****ty, you get ****ty workers.

You should set an example for your employees. If you work, they will work. Help them be better. Work side by side. Ask them if they need help with stuff, learn their responsibilities, have them teach you something. Empower them to be better.



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well said Em. We had a co manager who slashed our hours and then ran our trucks for us, it wasn't right so we weren't happy, lots of grivences. Now our manager does all the tasks that we don't like such as running beer and wine, sometimes running bread, filling displays sometimes. It's ok because he's not cutting hours and the work is still needing to be done. like Em said, pick your battles. You get what you pay for so don't expect much

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notawhiner wrote:

I have been a co-manager for just under a year at a very VERY busy store.

Are there any co-managers on this forum because I would like to ask some serious advice of a delicate nature.

Kroger is a political landmine in management. All you long term employees who are protected by unions and rules... frying chicken and making more than I do and bitch all day long.......... (opps that's another topic). Let's just say I agree with the new employees who are expected to do hard work while the older workers are allowed to be incompentent and lazy.......... trust me.. it pisses me off just as much as it does you. But as a co-manager, if you "write up" the wrong people.. they will find a way to GET YOU..........because as management, we can be fired on the spot.. It just takes a few long term union dept heads to decide they don't want to be held responsible and they will make up anything they have to, to get you fired or at least make it LOOK like you have done something wrong.


I need some major advice if there is another long term co-manager or manager who can privately communicate with me I would appreciate it.



''''I have been a co-manager for just under a year at a very VERY busy store. """"
Congrags to you. You are living proof that legalized slavery still does exist.

"""Kroger is a political landmine in management. All you long term employees who are protected by unions and rules...Let's just say I agree with the new employees who are expected to do hard work while the older workers are allowed to be incompentent and lazy """

That is true but still if a co plays by the rules then there are proper ways to disaplin and terminate older workers if needed. Remember this is NOT Wal-mart but Kroger.

""""trust me.. it pisses me off just as much as it does you. But as a co-manager, if you "write up" the wrong people.. they will find a way to GET YOU..........""""

Now what Pisses me off is the Co`s not following up on bad help and wanting to be quick to write up department managers for the failure of night people that will not do the work and that a Co will not follow up on and do a proper write-up that will hold its merits.

""""because as management, we can be fired on the spot.. """"

But now consider that this was your choice to go into management . One only needs to look into the ability to manage multiple personalities and handle people correctly and in a positive manor to be successful.

''''It just takes a few long term union dept heads to decide they don't want to be held responsible and they will make up anything they have to, to get you fired or at least make it LOOK like you have done something wrong.''''

I am one of those long term department heads and a shop steward too. Just have to learn to play within the rules that YOU have to use be consistant withing the company guidlines. Have a newer store manager, where I am and his only problem is learning the way the kroger company does things as opposed to the way Wal-Mart did things and learning the union contract and the way it is used. Once he started to listen to me and had almost every write-up dismissed, he learned the correct way to put things down and GET IT RIGHT.



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Em wrote:

You gotta pick your battles. Don't write people up for dumb stuff.

You will get this problem everywhere. It's not a Kroger thing. When the pay is ****ty, you get ****ty workers.

You should set an example for your employees. If you work, they will work. Help them be better. Work side by side. Ask them if they need help with stuff, learn their responsibilities, have them teach you something. Empower them to be better.



This is so true. Have had many a co managers over my years and will do anything to help them if they are willing to help me and my crew. That includes proper disapline at a proper time of any one in my department or local.



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Anonymous wrote:

Why don't you post your concerns on this forum as I would love to have a discussion on here with you.



I too would like to be part of this discussion here . Anything to help a good Co.



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Now I got two cos that I will do most anything for and they are fully aware of the contract. I have given the newer on a copy, and considering she was with Kroger for 10 years, she pretty well knew the procedures for discipline. We got a long term employee that needs to go and the proper write-up have been started. Only problem is that when you are short handed and can not afford to loose anyone, it makes if more difficult to get rid of them and not have to work people 70 or more hours a week. Now in the north Dallas area ( and in my opinion only) the laziest group of people to hire for the meat department is 18 to 21 year old white males.
My Co that is over the meat department is not as knowledgeable as the last and I and my assistant has and will do what we can to educate her on anything in the meat department that she is not aware of and the contract. Do the same with the manage who does not have a big meat background. Only ever had one Co that I set my mind on moving out and that was because he consistently tell us ( not ask) what he was going to do and what we was to do even wheb it went against the contract and policies of the company.


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Anonymous

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Thank you for all your advice, it is EXTREMELY helpful and much appreciated. I actually spend 95% of my time on the sales floor in all the departments, asking them what they need, how can I help them, actually just jumping back there and making 40 batches of cookies if I have to. I compliment them daily on ANYTHING I see that looks great and how much effort they put into it.

They have all, in fact, told me I am the ONLY co-manager they have ever had that compliments them on their work and their department.

One of the problems is that I am over the front -end and fuel. If I were over any of the other departments I could get alot more cooperation and teamwork going but other co-managers don't like you messing around in their departments so what I am capable of doing is limited. I'm really not a whiner, by any means, I treat people with respect, appreciate and comment on their work daily and jump in to help anyone who needs it. ON the other hand, if someone needs to be written up for down-right not doing their job I don't feel guilty, even if it's someone I like, because it's not fair to the other associates who have to pick up the slack. I mean, fair is fair, everyone can understand that.

I would still like to have a private conversation about other matters, but this open forum is good for everyone and the more advice I get from you guys, it really does help.

After all, I didn't become a manager to manage cans of peas, I'm supposed to manage people and I want to do the best job possible so that everyone can take pride in their departments and their store.



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^ @anonymous, you sound like you're doing a good job, but having to deal with some hard-headed employees. it's becoming very hard to find people in this company who actually look for ways to help instead of griping or punishing all the time. A simple compliment really goes a long way but it doesn't happen much anymore. Everyone has a different opinion on what makes a good manager, but I don't think it takes a lot to make a great manager. Having the ability to listen is important, they can't just come up with ideas and push them on people and not expect to be pushed back. Communication is a two-way road, not a one-way...we've seen so many managers come and go and the one's who are most liked are the one's who will take the time to try to understand our point of view on a subject and come to a mutual compromise rather than make a rule that punishes the workers.

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This is what I look for in a co or even a good store manager.
#1 That is one that is not afraid to get dirty and help wherever it is needed.
#2 Chooses their battles wisely and stays firm but fair and consistent on what they do and say.
#3 One that is willing to adapt to the many personalities of the store and take the time
to understandproblems before acting.
#4One that makes you want to work for them and help them out because you want to and not
because they make you feel you must or else.
#5 One that does communicate all information, with those below them with something besides
I am the boss and that is the way it is to be.
#6 One that is willing to cut the dead weight ( new employees under probation) before it is too
and take fair and appropriate action on dead weight employees that does need proper counseling.
#7 Some type of a defined personality.
If you have this in your management staff and things still are not done, then it is time to look hard at the quality of employees the store has and moving them if needed.


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Anonymous

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Well grumpy, I think I hold all the qualities you described, which is what is pissing off my manager. He/she doesn't want anyone doing well because then people will look at him/her and say "why couldn't YOU get that done?". That's a horrible type of person to work under to say the least.

In fact, we had a courtesy clerk that was hired and this person would not smile, engage, or communicate. She could not bag well or cashier no matter how much we coached her. She was a sweet girl, but quiet, shy and slow. I could not allow the other front associates to be stuck with her so after giving her a week to step it up, she did not and I literally had to to fire her. She cried and cried but I just had to tell her gently that perhaps being in front of the public was not something she would be successful at and that we have to have people up front her are fast, friendly and quick on their feet. It got around the store like LIGHTENING that I had fired someone, when I didn't think it was that big of a deal really. It wasn't personal.

I worked at a company once and hired my own daughter to work for me, when she started back-sliding and not doing what I thought she should be doing, I even fired HER. (and she still loves me.. hahah)

I think communication is the key, but it's very difficult as a co-manager when sometimes I won't see the head of the department for 3-4 days because of the way we're scheduled. Departments can't have meetings because noone is ever there at the same time.

When I worked at publix we had mandatory meetings a couple times a year for that very purpose and I think it would be a good practice here also... even if we have to pay for that person's time (which we should), I think it would be well worth it.

For example, 1 month before xmas, I think everyone in the Bakery and their co-manager should have a meeting in PERSON with all of the Bakery staff to get a game plan ready for who is going to do what, what is the goal, how are we going to make sure it gets done so that when everyone leaves the meeting, there is no room for error and noone can say "noone told me that"...

What do you guys think about that?

p.s. if anyone has a great bakery department and a task list that works to insure that all those darn tables are full by 10am regardless of if someone calls out or not, I would sure love to hear about it!! (smile)

Thanks again for all the great insight.




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Em


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Bakery tables full by 10 am? lol it's called OT. I will die the day I see a bakery department that isn't always behind.

Slow people are expected to be on the front end, that's what's great about Kroger. They hire all types of people, even slow ones, shy ones and special ones. We embrace their diversity, most of my favorite baggers have special needs. They are the ones who will be there when the football games are on, or school starts. They like routine. It might take them longer to get down the "smile, great, thank" but you gotta give them time.

I'm pretty sure we do have meetings before the holidays. I know for a fact dairy and frozen leads went to one last year. It's not really complicated though, sale as much as you can, without making a ton of shrink. How hard is it to sale a few pies? Stop over thinking the business. We are here to sale product that our customers want to buy.

We can only control ourselves. If it pisses off your boss so be it. Do what you gotta do and apologize later. We are there for the customers not for our bosses.

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Bakery tables by 10am? try having a meat counter set and first cut done by 9 am when you do not even come in until 7 am and you are the only one there until 11 am. Thank god we do not have full service meat and seafood counters.

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I will have to disagree about the meat department being set. We had a store walk a few weeks ago and 3 guys in meat had the whole thing done in 20 minutes.......... because they new the district manager was about to come around the corner.

Funny how departments can get everything ready when they NEED to...

They bragged about their accomplishment and all I could say was.. then why can't you do that everyday??

The response I got was.. "hey.. we're paid by the hour".

what?? what??? That says to me they CAN do it....but just drag their feet in order to make sure they get all their hours PLUS overtime.............

When I'm on my feet 9 hours on the sales floor.. I never get a lunch or even have time to eat..........am I annoyed... yes I am. Meat departments think they are so special because they know you can't just hire a meat cutter who knows what their doing. But for god's sake.......... you can't keep lunch meat filled???? A 12 year old could do a better job........I'm just getting tired of all the excuses why things can't be done.. when they filled the whole department in 20 minutes!!






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Someone needs to check your schedule and be there at 6am.. That's a no brainer

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Em


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Maybe they wanted the positive feedback from having the cases done? Maybe they wanted to make a good first impression?

Nothing pisses me off more then people pretending to work while we have company. It's like they all of sudden remembered they had work to do. It's very pathetic. I am the same everyday. Giving 110%.

Just tell them everyday you have a district manager coming by. "I just got a phone call from XXX down the road and guess who's coming?"

Offer them a bribe if they can have it done by XX time. Buy them lunch or coke. Tell them how awesome things look.

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Yes, that was my next idea. And I do regularly tell them when their department looks great (but it's usually AFTER 10 am ). But what sort of reward would sufficiently entice them. I don't think they would do it for a coke and a donut.. LOL

Any other reward ideas?


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notawhiner wrote:

Someone needs to check your schedule and be there at 6am.. That's a no brainer


Here is the problem with that where I am. We only have 3 full timers and thre part timers. Only three of us can cut and considering that prime time selling says there needs to be later coverage, You just can not afford to bring anyone in at 6 am. So one struggles to try to complete any tasks and get done on timewhen you are on your own from 7 am on truck days to 8 am on non truck days. We the meat department , produce and bakey departments does not write our own scheduals. Store director got tired of us complaining about not getting our ELMS hours that he desided to do all those departments on his own schedual of what he thinks we sould be doing.



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Now this is just my Grumpy old opinion and that of a 20 year veteran meat head. The meat department personal are generally ( again my opinion and what I have seen) are the most arrogant and hard headed people in the store that also has a tendency to get fat and lazy from time to time. We are different and most of the time take care of our own first. But then I will guess this. If three meat people come in , at the same time and has a department set up and going in 20 minutes, then you can bet that something is not quite right there. Unless God closed and gave them a perfect close, then they wasworking in a gray area as far as rules, regulations, policies and contracts. Again you are dealing with hard headed, stubborn and ****y people in the market that has a tendency to get Fat and lazy from time to time. Just try working with them instead of against them .


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Thanks for the great advice and I AM willing to work with them, but where does all this arrogance come from?

When we have lunchmeat with 20 holes, noone wants to take responsibility they just say "well if they'd give us more hours" etc. Seriously, my suggestion was... write down the holes, go get the product and fill those FIRST. Check the BOH's, some things are always empty, so why not put those on "fast movers" cart like they do in grocery?

But when they put lunchables on sale for 10/10 and the rack only holds 12, even if you have several facings, they just get blown several times a day.

As I said, my store is very high volume, we are consistently 20% up in sales from last year, but Elms doesn't give them more hours.

I'm starting to think Elms was written along time ago and noone really can prove to me that it does what they say it does... cus I just haven't seen it.

People aren't stupid, if you have 20% sales increase and your hours go down, how can elms possibly be working??

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notawhiner wrote:

Thanks for the great advice and I AM willing to work with them, but where does all this arrogance come from?

When we have lunchmeat with 20 holes, noone wants to take responsibility they just say "well if they'd give us more hours" etc. Seriously, my suggestion was... write down the holes, go get the product and fill those FIRST. Check the BOH's, some things are always empty, so why not put those on "fast movers" cart like they do in grocery?

But when they put lunchables on sale for 10/10 and the rack only holds 12, even if you have several facings, they just get blown several times a day.

As I said, my store is very high volume, we are consistently 20% up in sales from last year, but Elms doesn't give them more hours.

I'm starting to think Elms was written along time ago and noone really can prove to me that it does what they say it does... cus I just haven't seen it.

People aren't stupid, if you have 20% sales increase and your hours go down, how can elms possibly be working??


The arrogance comes from the idea of a separate union and the two contracts that states you can not cross departments and work the market and it being separate from the rest of the store. Grocery clerks and others have no choice but to do what is asked from management where the market can always say no" it violates our contract" and get away with it most of the time.
Now here is a novil idea and something we do at our store. Set down designed duties for each shift, in the market. that way you can start to define and hold accountable the individuals that handles Lunch meat and its rotation calender.
Now here is an interesting thing with key tetailing and elms.Key retailing requires us to have lunchmeat backstock on two carts and a third one just for specails and fast movers. Elms also does not give everyone the full hours needed to comkplete the tasks of most departments and that comes directly from our store manager and several others that I know in that same capacity. And here is the big problem. Store directors are limited on the amount of OT they can use and ELMS does not distinquish any differance between OT and regularhours. SO if there is a big increase in meatt and lunchmeat sales and it calls for more hours that a market can schedual without over time, then you get the arrogance of give me ot or let the lunchmeat case look like crap because you can not have others touch it.



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notawhiner wrote:

I have been a co-manager for just under a year at a very VERY busy store.

Are there any co-managers on this forum because I would like to ask some serious advice of a delicate nature.

Kroger is a political landmine in management. All you long term employees who are protected by unions and rules... frying chicken and making more than I do and bitch all day long.......... (opps that's another topic). Let's just say I agree with the new employees who are expected to do hard work while the older workers are allowed to be incompentent and lazy.......... trust me.. it pisses me off just as much as it does you. But as a co-manager, if you "write up" the wrong people.. they will find a way to GET YOU..........because as management, we can be fired on the spot.. It just takes a few long term union dept heads to decide they don't want to be held responsible and they will make up anything they have to, to get you fired or at least make it LOOK like you have done something wrong.


I need some major advice if there is another long term co-manager or manager who can privately communicate with me I would appreciate it.



I know working as a Co- Manager for Kroger isnt the best thing I have 4 people that are close frinds of mine that are co- managers. One thing I have to say dont put all the full time people with alot of senority in the same basket. Yes some dont care to do thier fair share or carry the load but there are some who do.I know the new hires complain about the older ones and about pay, look in everything you do "YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR DUES" I did and everyone before me did, however i see alot of them not and the get promoted with a year or less and fall flat on thier ass. I started at Kroger makeing 3.35 an hour so atleast have some respect for the ones who do work but get passed over cause thier not well liked do to the manager not taking the time to know the person or make a quick judgment.



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Well it is now 2013. After accomplishing every goal, statistic and task I was given, I was pretty much told I was going to be fired because I didn't sign a bathroom log. Really??

I will only communicate privately from now on because as far as I know there could be Kroger corporate people here. Message me privately to confirm you are NOT with Kroger corporate and I will let you know how I am fighting back this stupidity.

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I'm sorry to hear this it is sad unfortunately, but i've noticed something new this year with Kroger. It seems they've been rotating alot of co-managers out and bringing new co-managers in when they claim they'll prompt within the company. I see the post is from 2010... after 3 years there has been alot of changes. I hope you're able to find a better job at a competitor and be happy about it. I also want to say that employees aren't necessarily lazy even for the older ones. Its more of a lack of under staffing. We have experienced individuals, but we're getting the same hours when we were running $65,000 / week yet we're running $96,000 / week now yet the hours have changed despite nearly a 50% increase in sales...

ELMS is so flawed in a big volume store.... 5 / week in wrapping... seriously? No hours for breaking down trucks? No hours for customer service? Just a few other examples.



-- Edited by AnonymousCutter on Monday 22nd of April 2013 08:25:47 AM

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Anonymous

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Anonymous wrote:
For example, 1 month before xmas, I think everyone in the Bakery and their co-manager should have a meeting in PERSON with all of the Bakery staff to get a game plan ready for who is going to do what, what is the goal, how are we going to make sure it gets done so that when everyone leaves the meeting, there is no room for error and noone can say "noone told me that"...
 
What do you guys think about that?
 
p.s. if anyone has a great bakery department and a task list that works to insure that all those darn tables are full by 10am regardless of if someone calls out or not, I would sure love to hear about it!! (smile)
 
Thanks again for all the great insight.
 
 

 The key to having everything done in the bakery department is:

(1) Make sure there are enough competent people there every day.  Unfortunately, that rarely happens.  In order for our bakery department to run smoothly we need two people on bread, two people on cakes, one person to put out pre-made stuff, and one person to clean up.  That's six people, and they don't have to all be full time.  If we have two full time people on bread and one full time person on cakes, the other people can be part timers.  We're lucky if we have three people scheduled.  When I first started working in the bakery the list of employees in the bakery took up a whole page on the schedule.  Now, we have less than half that many.

(2) In order to keep the tables filled, you have to think one or two days ahead of time.  If it's something that's baked in the store, don't wait until the day it's going to be marked down before making more.  We have one employee who never checks the dates on things like pies and croissants when it's her turn to bake things like that.  They get marked down and the next day the table sits empty until late in the afternoon when someone is able to get to them.  Also, make sure the person packaging the stuff puts it out if it needs to go out.  We have one bread bagger who refuses to put out the bread when she bags it.  The tables can be half empty and she'll just put the bagged bread on a channel cart and leave it.  it makes it hard to know what to break out if the bread is just sitting there losing shelf life.

For pre-made items like Hawaiian rolls or Lofthouse cookies you have to think two days ahead.  If you're looking at a certain item deciding whether you need to order it or not, you have to remember if it's in the afternoon the order for that day has already been transmitted.  So you'll have to order it tomorrow and it won't come in until the next day.  That's two days.  The problem with that is most people tend to overestimate what they think is going to sell and you end up with too much backstock.  That's fine but I've noticed a lot of bakery managers tend to order things without checking their backstock or order invoices first.  That happens a lot at our store.  They'll order stuff without checking to see if it's already been ordered and we end up with a lot of duplicates.   I'll be putting up the frozen order and say, "Didn't we just get this in yesterday?'



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Make sure that you make them write down the reason that they are firing you... "Not signing a bathroom log". That does two things. It shows how petty that some of the corporate people can really be, and it also shows that you are not being fired for something "serious" (such as stealing, harassment, discrimination, or other misconduct) and therefore, are a good employee that is rehire-able.

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