July 26, 2006
Dismissal leaves store clerk confused
Last year, when I graduated from Hartnell, I got a job
at a local clothing store. Customers were always thanking
me for the way I helped them. Then I was suddenly fired
over an incident that has left me hurt and confused.
A lady had come into the store looking for a particular
brand of cotton top. I knew a shop in the mall had what
she was looking for, and so I told her where she could
find what she wanted. I asked if I could help her in
any other way, but she said she was just interested in
the blouses, thanked me and left.
My manager came up to me and told me she wanted to see
me in the break room after my shift. To my shock, she
handed me my final check and told me I was being let
go, effective immediately. I will never forget her words
when I asked her why. She said, "You never, ever
refer a customer to a competitor."
Is it possible that general business practices put self-interest
before the best interest of the customer? Please tell me
this isn't so.
This should not have happened, yet it provides a lesson:
Simply being right is no guarantee that we will not have
some "bumps." As for your boss, everyone understands
that these are demanding times.
Generating revenue is tough. Likely, she was feeling
tremendous pressure to generate immediate cash flow
from customers, despite not having exactly what the
customer wanted or needed. Unless your former boss
had instructed you that you were never to refer a customer
to another supplier to fulfill their needs (a poor
policy, by the way), your boss was wrong to terminate
you for this.
From a customer's perspective, you made the right decision
and are living with the consequences.
When your own integrity is on the line, there is a piece
of wisdom that you might choose to read, over and over.
It appears on our Web site: "Integrity is
one of several paths; it distinguishes itself from the others because it is the
right path and the only one upon which you will never get lost." - M.H.
You have learned that one particular organization is not
a good match for you. But high-integrity employers do exist
- ones that will welcome you, promote you and regard you
as a true partner in their efforts to serve customers effectively.