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Monday, March 21, 2011

FIRING YOUR COMPANY

I recently left a job that I thought would be a good fit for my experience and their need. Unfortunately, I was WRONG again!

Here is my resignation.... would YOU have stayed????

fyi - this was a retail operation and it seems to apply to a LOT of companies sad to say....



Since I have a zero tolerance working with a supervisor who I don't respect or a company that doesn't care about it's employees, I am terminating Tire Kingdom for unsatisfactory performance.



When hired, I had a vision of how my career path could go, but in a few short weeks, all was re-written FOR me. The complete lack of training was a challenge to begin with, but when the start of my third week rolled around and I was thrown into a store and two weeks later was being blamed by my ADS for the lack of success, it seemed my future was cloudy at best.



Coupled to the training issue, the lack of a positive work environment took me by surprise. Decades ago it was discovered that using threats and intimidation was NOT the most affective form of managing people, and yet, this is the culture here at TK. I can't imagine how much MORE successful it could be if you had EVERYONE feeling a part of the success and a part of a very large family. Instead, most of the people I have spoken to have indicated a resentment and ambivalence of the company and it's lack of positive leadership. This reputation has spread to the industry at large (at least here in Maryland/Virginia) and it is getting more and more difficult to hire quality people to do this tough job. David Moyer's email addressed this to some degree in an October 4 message sent to all in management that claims the blindness created by the narrow focus of BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET is creating problems that, if not repaired, will make it more and more difficult to achieve profitability.



Budget is NOT the most important thing.



Budget is the RESULT of activity we have SOME control over. Our jobs SHOULD be emphasizing that activity and if done right, results will come. So much bad comes from prostituting ourselves to the "Budget by all means" philosophy that I wonder why people even consider doing it. And yet, it's done daily here. You wonder why people are sold flushes they don't need, struts they don't need, overcharged for labor, and in general, being raped by those in pursuit of a bonus. I agree there is a need for all those things, but when you get pressure from above that seems to indicate "you better sell it or else!", a person can make a case for doing the WRONG thing. Combine that with the attitude of PUSH - PUSH - PUSH and it flat out wears a good person out. Nothing is EVER good enough. Witness Bill Ihnken speaking to the group at a recent meeting saying the 10's of millions of dollars of profit given to corporate was nice, but more was left on the table. Push yourself away from the buffet table Bill and take a good look at your company. You and all those who take that stance are failing it.



Seems many of you in higher ranks like cliches. Here's a few to remember...



"keep whipping the dog and it will bite"

"good managers ENABLE success, bad managers DEMAND it"

"if all you ask for is more, eventually the answer is NO"

"you can't spell dictator without "dic"



What's my point? It's obvious that many of you have forgotten who REALLY matters in the company - those in the garage and front counter doing the work that enables the organization to EXIST! Without them, there's nothing to manage, nothing to threaten, nothing to profit from. Store managers, service managers, and everyone else takes a back seat to the GS who changes the oil, , to the tech that does the alignments (for $15???? Really?????) and the sales folks who are constantly being told to sell more fluids!. They have been rode hard and I wonder how much longer they will take it. They will probably stay until an easier rodeo comes along. Until then, do they CARE if the company does well or not? Of course not. The company doesn't care about them so why should they.



Obviously the company has had success and profit. Is it in spite of all the negatives or because of it? Ask those who know and they will tell you they don't do any extra after being bombarded with negativity. I wonder how much more money there was to be made with a fun, positive place to work. a place to be proud of. A place to call home.



I don't say any of this with malice. I say it with hope that maybe things will change for the better. Those I leave behind only hope you make it so. With that thought in mind, I have a few tips to jumpstart this radical shift in corporate mantra -



1. Stop immediately using terms like "will not be tolerated" "this will not fly" or my personal favorite - "unacceptable". You WILL tolerate it, it HAS already flown, and you HAVE to accept it. You manage results remember? Besides, no one is listening and it makes you look stupid.



2. Stop immediately using YOUR numbers and flashes. No one cares or gets paid using YOUR numbers but YOU. Makes you look self-centered and egotistical. And besides, no one is listening.



3. Stop immediately using phrases like "nothing is more important that driving sales". Good health, family, ethics, compassion, and about 1000 other things are way more important.



Compassion is defined as a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.



4. Stop immediately using the term "team" until there is a real coach in charge. Lombardi was and is beloved. Many of you in charge wouldn't get a quarter dropped in your cup by subordinates if you became homeless.



5. Stop immediately ending your messages with the ending of ".... or you will be terminated." If you truly have a TEAM, why are you always pushing worst-case scenarios?



"Think the best of someone and be a success. Think the worst and losing will be a constant companion"



6. Stop immediately the practice of no consecutive days off/weekends off/vacation limitation. The REAL world works Monday thru Friday. Allowing this will result in happier associates and a better focus on the tasks at hand because our batteries need a chance to recharge! There was a recent email sent out concerning taking days off around the Orlando National Meeting. It said in no uncertain terms that it would NOT be allowed. What kind of insanity is THAT? Your troops fight day and night and get very few "attaboys" and you reward them by this? What kind of leader does this? A BAD one of course... Lombardi would be ashamed of you.



7. Is "raises" a bad word? Can't we actually REWARD a job well done by someone NOT in a managers role? Sales folks, GS's and techs should be SHOWN how much they are appreciated. Not given lip service. They see how much money they make for YOU and the company. Time to give back....



Do I actually think any of these ideas will be implemented. Sadly, I do not. those of you who act like that will point to money made or numbers posted to support your argument that it works. Well, Bernie Madoff made a LOT of money.... Barry Bonds posted big numbers. How'd THAT work out?



"don't be the pinch-runner standing on third, thinking you just hit a triple"



Today is my last day.



I'm sad that those I leave behind have to put up with a lousy work environment MANY from the ADS position on up have created.



FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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