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53 Responses

  1. from this corner says:

    location, location, location … i’m betting that they need to move the store and keep the manager … bean counters are only good at counting beans, not finding them


  2. Nonnie says:

    He sees the dignity, worth and respect you give to your customers and staff Michael…He knows, He cares. Praying for you my friend.

  3. brian says:

    “Still, all that matters are nickels and noses, the volume of customers and the cash extracted from them.”

    Absolutely and it is the only absolute truth that is really always an absolute.

    “Thank God we don’t judge success in the church that way…”

    Maybe the “we” here do not but it is the standard, as it should be, for most of the power brokers with in the corporation.
    I hope things turn around for you.

  4. catherine says:

    You are NEVER a failure in our eyes..and praying…

  5. Jtk says:

    I have a long list of “noses”…that aren’t around anymore. It hurts.

    And sadly, many are in much worse shape.

    I’m doing everything I can now to care, lovingly, patiently, “effectively” (?) so the noses I have are cared for….regardless of the numbers.

    This song goes out to “All the Noses I’ve Loved Before”……

  6. Praying for a miraculous turnaround in business. I don’t want to see you go through the unemployment ringer again.

    I’m a bad business man too. I don’t care about the things businesses have to care about to flourish, and businesses don’t care about my things. Unfortunately, I need businesses worse than they need me.

  7. And with that, I gotta quote Matt Redmond’s blog from the other day:

    “Only the poor in spirit can know the full value of hope. Only the hungry can know the value of a piece of plain bread. Whether it’s organic or not is wealth’s great worry. The poor in spirit don’t even look at the expiration date.”

    That’s the truth right there. That’s soul. The poor in spirit see a tiny spark in the middle of a giant black hole, and that’s the only thing we have to keep reaching for.

    That’s hope. And I’m hoping you can find comfort, like those in Redmond’s words, during this painful season.

  8. filbertz says:

    numbers, like words, don’t lie, but those who manipulate them do. Statistics are used to support foregone conclusions.

  9. Alex says:

    Sorry to hear that MIchael. If you were in my area, I’d hire you as a manager in a heart-beat. Sounds like you do things the right way for the long-term. Small business vs. Corporate contrast shows up in your example. Numbers are important, but they should never trump customer service and a good work environment, but, unfortunately, as you noted, the hard cold numbers are far-most important in a Corporate situation.

  10. ( |o )====::: says:

    Find the store that sells iPhones, go ther, the direct competition. 😉

    Or, reinvent yourself as the customer care Guru?

    Success is not just about nickels and noses, so perhaps those other businesses will consider you joining their companies?

  11. Chile says:

    About 20 years ago, we discovered that the numbers had been crunched at an electronics box store’s home office. They found that they made more money if they hired, used up, fired, and hired again. They also found that they didn’t have to worry too much about customer service because people will still come back.

    The “Revolving Door” approach to life can be very lucrative, not just in electronics stores.

  12. ( |o )====::: says:

    “Churn & burn”, the Corporate Way.

    Suggest you reinvent by exploring the non-profit sector where mission is valued more than mere bottom line. I did this, we’re more of a team, more inspired, all about serving our “customers”.

    Just a thought for ya

  13. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Yeah in the business world, it’s the bottom line that matters. I know that is true where I work as it is in most places as it should be because who runs a business to be in the Red. With that being said, I pray that they keep you and find real reasons as to why the numbers are not what they think they should be.

  14. Shaun Sells says:

    Michael said…make your own application…I chose to apply prayer.

  15. Alex says:

    G, that’s a great idea. I could see Michael doing great running a Thrift store for a charity, like DA. It’s very retail and it earns money to help folks connected to a charity. Not sure if there are opportunities, though, in Michael’s area.

  16. ( |o )====::: says:

    Thx Alex.
    I’m a lot happier at a non profit.
    Perhaps an advocacy org, or part of a social services facet of private or public sector.
    Just brainstorming, getting the abstract out into dialog and discussion.

    Michael, ya know we’re all cheering you on!

  17. from this corner says:

    a lot of fellas with nothing really to contribute but a gift of gab and a few buzz words made an awful lot of money giving sales seminars … Michael’s seminars would come from a voice of experience and they’d be worth the price of admission … “TGIMs” ? … or don’t they do that sort of thing anymore? … 😀

    just sayin

  18. Praying for you Michael.

  19. pardon ze interrupcion. says:

    Survival of the fittest. It seems that is what this world has come to, sometimes. I mean, it’s just evolution at work. God, give us Your grace.

  20. Chile says:

    A “Revolving Door” philosophy reveals greed as a motivator.

    It can be greed for:


    The first clue is the underlying lack of genuine respect for people, regardless of what is claimed.

  21. filbertz says:

    just a heads up…education has largely opted for the same broken model…with test scores the new bottom line. Don’t get too attached to your kids’ favorite teachers…

  22. Reuben says:

    I have two Christian bosses. Under normal circumstances, that would not mean a thing, but for whatever reason, it means something at my job.

    We have hit hard times in the HVAC industry, state wide. Long stretches of 45-55 degree days in the dead of winter has resulted in a catastrophic drop in work. However, even in the midst of this dry spell, a mistake was made by a fellow employee at one of my Cisco buildings. A very costly error. I knew it was our companies fault. I explained to my boss what had happened, and I knew that even in this horrible period of time, he would do the right thing. I spent 24 hours working at that Cisco building, costing Cisco zero, my boss paying me per hour, to fix the mistake we had made.

    “We will do whatever it takes to make it right!” he said. “If it takes you a week to get it fixed, get it fixed.”

    I told Cisco that I would get the problem resolved, hell or high water. They asked me how much that was going to cost. I explained that the problem was our fault, and it would be covered by my company. The look of shock I saw that day still makes me beam with pride. I work for a company that takes pride in their work, and does it with honor.

    The church does not work that way at all.

    I made my own application.

  23. Linnea says:

    Oh, for the days of “It’s a Wonderful LIfe”…where caring for people counts. Today I noticed many of the places I frequent have trained their employees to up-sell, which I don’t begrudge the business, or the employee, but it’s becoming uncomfortable…no thank you is my standard response. Perhaps businesses will learn….

  24. “We Shall Build Good Ships Here; At A Profit If We Can, At A Loss If We Must, But Always Good Ships.” Collis Potter Huntington

    “When Huntington elected to build a shipyard in 1886 to serve the world’s greatest harbor, he determined that it should be known the world over for the quality of its products. In 1916 this business philosophy was distilled by then shipyard president Homer L. Ferguson for the so-called Shipyard Monument. This specified for his shipbuilders in no uncertain terms that there should be no scrimping on the product—profit or loss should be minor considerations as long as Good Ships were the result.”

  25. covered says:

    Sorry Reuben but I disagree. Not every church is out to hurt people and make a profit.

  26. DMW says:

    Well you are just going to be between engagements .. While God re-directs your life again. God must love you A lot. The potter knows when the clay he is working with doesn’t have what it take to be a master piece so He finishes His work and just makes a cup or bowl but when he has His hand on clay that He can make a Masterpiece out of He keeps picking out the little flaws and grit and smashes it down and starts over again.. You see it’s not a matter of God being fed up, this is a case where God loves you more than you want to be loved right now, as He takes you and smashes you down so He can achieve the beautiful thing that is in His mind for you, and like all artist we just have to wait and see what I’d in His thoughts for you, for artist when adoring on their masterpiece always say they can’t put it in words, we just need to watch and see.

  27. Amen to what DMW said.
    The last critic I want is my unfinished canvas complaining that the subject has a derby look on it’s face 😉

  28. “Derpy”, not “derby”!
    Damn autocorrect!

    How about you write a piece on how we’re the frikkin’ autocorrect while God is writing poetry?!?

  29. Something you mentioned earlier …. iPhone. Product line needs upgrade. I wish I had something encouraging to say but hey we are actually in the same place. Nickels and noses count bigtime in church and you knew it. I am sad and sorry to hear this.

  30. Michael says:

    Thank you all for the kind words and prayers.
    I’ve watched and worked in corporate America as it’s become a beast that devours it’s workers for the profit of a few.
    I see the church evolving along the same lines…and as much as I just want to rest, I can’t be silent about it.

  31. Gary says:

    Mind if I join in?
    I work for a contractor who services Lowes stores. When I started here ten years ago I wondered how a mega chain dealt with quality control. They achieve it by only working with the “best” contractors. They make us jump through a lot of hoops. Lowes used to have a goal of 93% customer satisfaction for their contractors. That’s a very high standard if you ask me. They just upped the percentage to 95% and since my company only (yeah, right) gets 93% we’re being cut from half of their stores. God is still supplying me full time, or near full time work though,

  32. j2theperson says:

    Lowe’s wants a 95% satisfaction rating from customers? How do they expect to get that? They kind of suck. It’s hard to find associates to ask questions of, the checkout experience is lame, and their products aren’t really that good. The one positive thing I can say about them is they have a much better selection of sandpaper for orbital sanders than Home Depot or Menards. But, Home Depot and Menards have much better customer service.

  33. j2theperson says:

    I’m really sorry you’re facing this, Michael. I hope things work out, somehow, and you don’t end up unemployed again. That was stressful just reading about; I can’t imagine how bad it was actually going through it.

  34. brian says:

    “I’ve watched and worked in corporate America as it’s become a beast that devours it’s workers for the profit of a few.
    I see the church evolving along the same lines”

    I think that is a terrible thing to happen to people. It is a horrible way to treat souls and love ones neighbor. But at the same time I literally hate myself for being such a wimp, liberal, God hating failure for having such ungodly view points. From the cheap seats it really is a strange religion.

  35. Gary says:

    It’s always been like that. Greed comes in all sizes. But for a brief time in history there was a culture of real Christianity. It couldn’t last long as all nations rise and fall. There is only hope on the personal level. God laughs at nations but he loves individuals including self hating failures. If he could help me he can help you. Forget about religion. Ask Jesus to change you.

  36. Gary says:

    Here in the San Francisco bay area Lowes has a much better reputation than Home Depot. I used to work for HD so I know. I get compliments all the time about how Lowes customer service is so much better. 95% is rediculously high but times are tough and the competition is feirce. I got a complaint from a customer recently for not taking my shoes off while walking on their old carpet that I was measuring for new. Go figure. Sometimes customers complain that I give them too much information. I don’t get that. My boss bends over backwards to please the customer. I hope this isn’t too off-topic but it relates somehow.

  37. Corporate “greed” is a strange animal.
    I wonder how many here who have 401K’s invested in theses companies have written to any of the CEOs asking them to reduce their profits, and work more along the lines of a non profit as G and some others have suggested?

    If you have any of these investments, large or small… you are corporate America!!!

  38. Crap! I’m sorry, Michael.

    Those of us working in the gifted enrichment program in our school district are anticipating that the gurus and muckety-mucks are looking for a way to let us go. Same thing…bottom line. Since many of our students are already scoring well on standardized tests, we don’t have a lot of improvement to show. And that’s what the government is looking for, rising test scores.

  39. Shoot, I missed a perfectly good opportunity to use the word “wonks.”

  40. Gary says:

    Captain Kevin,
    Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrgg!! and
    The teacher’s union needs all the bodies it can hold on to for dues to keep their man in office to launder and perpetuate the ranks. Your job is secure.

  41. Gary says:

    Martin Luther’s disciple,
    I don’t have 401k but my 1992 Honda Civic does. My mechanic is continually amazed. By the way, there is something worse than corporate greed. It’s government greed cuz they have more power.

  42. DMW says:

    I shall not, I shall not be moved
    I shall not, I shall not be moved
    Just like a tree that’s planted by the water
    I shall not be moved

    I’m on my way to heaven, I shall not be moved
    I’m on my way to heaven, I shall not be moved
    Just like a tree that’s planted by the water
    I shall not be moved

    Oh preacher, I shall not be moved
    Oh preacher, I shall not be moved
    Just like a tree that’s planted by the water
    I shall not be moved

    I’m sanctified and holy, I shall not be moved
    Sanctified and holy, I shall not be moved
    Just like a tree that’s planted by the water
    I shall not be moved

    I used to listen to this guys music long before I got saved.. It has turned out to be my life song
    Not the world or the preacher can move the tree that is planted by the waters
    Those waters in Jer:17 is the man who’s hope IS The Lord. If we live wanting Jesus that is if we want the King And not how He cando for ud, if we want more of Jesus no matter what road he selects to take us down we will be that tree no surface condition can stop that tree frem putting forth fruit… But you must want Jeses more than any comfort, or fame or pain that must be endured That man shall not be moved

  43. brian says:

    You know Gary back in the day I would have wished, but after being in the industry for so many decades I have found needing is the sin that Jesus will not, no cannot forgive. I actually agree with that in a strange way, we should not need a savior even while preaching how we need a savior. You say ignore religion, I wish I could but religion is the only real Christian faith I can cling to, and also I should loath myself for needing to cling to. It is the carrot and the stick, if you need God you should be punished by God in the same stroke. I never got that aspect of the faith tradition but it is the bedrock of the modern american religion, like I said, it is a very strange religion it really is. Thanks for your kind response.

  44. Gary says:

    Before this thread is closed… When you say industry are you talking about religious industry? I’m wondering which religion has poisoned you. I grew up in a religion that beat me up mentally and emotionally on a regular basis. I took everything to heart. I tried to be good but I couldn’t and I beat myself up too. I would get nasty stomach and intestinal pains. Sometimes I would cry out to God to help me. I wasn’t a smart kid. I wasn’t self aware but by the time I was ten I decided that there may or may not be a God but if there was he was nowhere around here. As bad as the religious system I grew up in was I see another one today that’s worse. The worst lie is the one with the most truth in it- the most believable.
    I am telling you now that I too am a self loathing failure.

  45. DMW -- john says:

    Me brian — but self one day I had to speak in front of people and God show me in my case my self loathing was all about SELF after all I went through ir was just pride turned inside out.. I was not a Jesus centered person but a Self centered mean after all.

  46. filbertz says:

    while in many urban areas and large states the teachers unions still wield unusual power, in most smaller states, rural areas, and mid-sized communities, teachers are losing their jobs at an amazing rate. Regardless of how you slice it, it is not a state vs. union battle. It is clouded by that traditional struggle, but the reality is that class sizes are soaring, offerings of classes and electives are shrinking, and your child’s education will look much different. My school’s staff is a fraction of what it used to be & we are asked to do far more than what our compensation package ever covers. To oversimplify the problem as a union tactic ignores grim realities both for teachers and students.

  47. Gary says:

    Sorry to hear that. Could this have anything to do with your benefits or retirement package?Somewhere there’s a balance.

  48. filbertz says:

    Do you begrudge a teacher health insurance and yearly contributions to a retirement package? What balance point are you speaking of? My district provides a limited amount for health insurance and the teachers have to pick up the balance. The only package an individual could afford without a sizable contribution is a major medical plan that kicks in after $5K in expenses per person ‘covered.’ Perhaps the balance point is the insurance industry…or health care providers…or public utilities…or book publishers…or those lazy custodians…there are lots of potential targets for ‘blame.’ Again, regardless of your angle, lots of teachers have lost their jobs and as a result, classroom sizes have ballooned and individualized attention has evaporated. Welcome to the factory model of education.

  49. Gary says:

    No, I don’t but someone has to pay for those benes.You have to be a member of a strong union to get those benes. I see no difference between the greed of corporate moguls who get paid when their companies go out of business and teacher’s union leaders and members where kids don’t get a good education. The balance comes from a free market of supply and demand. For example, if people in a school district paid taxes that go to education with local government there would be accountability to those taxpayers. Also, you’d have much less topheavy school districts that way.
    I believe good teachers should get paid more than average teachers and bad teachers should become lazy janitors.
    I used to be an independent carpet installer. I could run circles around union installers and my work was as good or better. No one around here can afford union installers. I believe in the concept of organized workers but not when they get so powerful they put their own company out of business. Is that what’s happening to teachers in your area? Think Bethlehem Steel, GM, and Hostess to name just a few.

  50. Gary, Filbertz speaks the truth from experience. I teach in Arizona, a right-to-work state. Teachers’ unions here are worthless.

  51. Gary says:

    Right to work just means you can’t be forced to join a union or be forced to pay union dues without knowing where your money goes. Why would we need right to work laws if unions or union leaders weren’t greedy? We were talking about greed, right?

  52. How about worker’s rights, humane working conditions, benefits, paid time off, vacations, continuing education… these benefits and enhancements were brought about by unions

  53. Gary says:

    This thread bagan by saying “The store is in last place in the district and sinking.” My question to you who are focused on unions is- what are any unions doing to improve the situation?
    Guitarzan says that unions brought about All those benes. I say Jesus Christ did that. I said above that I believe in the concept of unions but unions are the new bad guy. Greed comes in all shapes and sizes. Public unions are the most obvious example. Teachers and postal workers are a good example.
    By the way, Guitar guy, where does the money come from to pay for all the things you included?

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