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Management Lessons of a Failed Company

Christopher M. Tingley

This book is a look inside the day-to-day life of a retail manager as he witnessed from the front lines a company take the country by storm. Through a model of selling low priced clothing partnered with celebrity endorsements, the company’s rise was as big as their fall. After over a decade of teaching, the author, now a marketing and strategy professor, recalls his former life in retail. In a light-hearted and funny first-person narrative, the author takes you on a ride through his time with the now defunct clothing retailer Steve and Barry’s. He shares the lessons he learned from inside the store while watching mistakes made along the way. Through stories of being robbed at gunpoint, finding a dead body in the dumpster, and working to the point of exhaustion, the reader is given a firsthand account of the best and worst practices in store management. Designed to introduce students to business, management, entrepreneurship, and retail, it allows students to answer the question "Do I really want to be a manager?"

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13. Employee Relations

Extract

I hung up the phone with Beverly and grabbed my lunch out of the refrigerator. As much as I felt a hot lunch out was well deserved, I was the only manager on duty at the time. I couldn’t leave the store. Our policy was there always needed to be a manager in the store. If there weren’t any other managers or keyholders working at the time, it meant I’d have to take my lunch in the office. This often felt like more of a working lunch than an actual break, as I’d try to eat a sandwich while counting down a cash register or moving boxes in the backroom. Nothing made employees need my attention more than taking a bite. That day I got to sit alone, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and have a few minutes of solitude. Then I was told over the walkie-talkie that Beverly was on the phone and needed to talk to me.

“The regional manager just got off the phone with corporate and that woman who was in your store was right. Amanda Bynes is coming to your store next week for a signing and I have no idea who messed up but they forgot to tell me. I’m not sure what we are going to do but I’ll be calling back shortly.”←91 | 92→

I hung up the phone and just stared at the receiver for the next few minutes. I ran out to the front...

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