Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

The Ebb and Flow

on 15 May 2011

I remember last year like it was yesterday. The stress, the uncertainty. Finding out that my Starbucks manager was leaving the store, and wondering who was going to replace her. What would the new manager be like? How would she fit in? What would happen to our amazing, wonderful, top-of-the-district store?

I remember the next months that followed. I remember the stress, the frustration, and the tension that couldn’t hide underneath the surface. There was an adjustment period while she taught us how to work more efficiently, and we tried to teach her how to slow down. Unfortunately, things didn’t always go smoothly. I don’t know that we ever really learned how to talk to each other…I don’t know that we ever could. Too much was different. An uneasy peace finally settled on the store. We all worked hard, but the customers could tell the difference. Too many strangers behind the counter, new faces every week. Drink quality wasn’t as important as cleanliness, so standards slipped. Our customer satisfaction dropped over 30%. It was frustrating, to say the least.

Please don’t get me wrong. I loved the manager we got. She worked hard, and worked with our best interests in mind. But things just didn’t start out well, and there was no recovering.

A month ago, our manager stepped down.

Since then, we’ve been living in limbo. In a perverse way, things got a bit better. We work well as a team, and when there is no manager to mediate differences, then somehow we get along on our own. Tension disappears. We work hard to help each other.

Yet, things still aren’t completely well. We are still too fractured from the effects of the last year. The customer satisfaction keeps slipping. Every week brings a new borrowed partner from one store or another. Every time we think we have a grip on things, everything changes. Our interim manager has been good, but she knows her time is limited. She can’t make certain changes, though I know she’d like to.

Tomorrow, we find out for sure who are new manager will be. The store is holding its breath.

I know who it is…unless the rumours have all been wrong. I’m torn. In a way this will be good for our store: we will be well taken care of, well treated, and our adjustments will be minor. On the other hand, not everyone in the store likes this person. Things may be tense, will be tense. There will be drama.

All we can do is ride out the storm. There has to be peace sometime, there has to be a chance for us to get back on our feet. We are a good store, we can do it! Go team….


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