I went in to work one day recently and found that, in my absence, a pack of district managers and their helpers had come in and rearranged the store. Badly.
They didn’t do badly by their standards; in fact, they conformed to their standards as closely as the equipment and architecture allowed. The corporate minions who wrote those standards, though, apparently had only a theoretical understanding of how convenience stores work. Some of the result is merely pointless, and overall it was counterproductive, or in other words, it made our jobs harder.
Some examples of their brilliance:
- The inside of every cabinet in the front end is labeled “Food Service Supplies.” This includes the trash cans.
- The clean dishes were rearranged so that they no longer fit over the sink and have taken over a shelf in the back room.
- Every other shelf in the back room has been labeled “Backroom Supplies,” in case you didn’t know you were in the back room, and every shelf in the storage shed is labeled “Store Supplies,” in case you didn’t know that those supplies were for the store.
- The cigarette stock has been split in two, the point of the second part apparently being to let employees know what the top ten brands are, and wasting a shelf in the already-cramped register area in the process.
- Those supplies that used to be stored in cardboard cases and Tupperware shoeboxes (which naturally rearrange themselves to put the most-used items on top and which could be individually moved for easy restocking) have been put into plastic drawers (which don’t and can’t).
- The kitchen fridges have been labeled with charts showing which ingredient is supposed to be on which shelf and which side. On one of the, the charts were put on backwards, and on another, there’s no space for what in fact takes up the top shelf entirely.
- The cashiers’ paperwork pouches have been replaced by a single binder the size of an unabridged dictionary. It’s both unwieldy and fragile – its individual folders’ labels keep falling off, and it’s already been replaced once because the cover started splitting off.
But some district managers and the like got to pretend that they make a meaningful contribution, and that’s what really matters, right?