Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Babysitter For Hire: $30/hour

What would you think if you saw a job listing that read:


What kind of babysitter can ask for and actually receive $30 an hour for babysitting? I don't know if anyone can, really -- that's a fictional listing I made up just to get a point across. The point, you ask? I am an overpaid babysitter!

I don't quite make $30 an hour in my role as a Retail Store Manager (I wish), but I am definitely overpaid for the one thing I seem to spend most of my time doing lately: babysitting the 20-somethings (and a few 30-somethings) that work for and around me.

I have an Assistant Manager working for me who lately can't seem to stop whining about not having enough labor help to complete assigned tasks. In retail, the more you sell the more hours you earn to spend. It doesn't work the other way. You first must achieve results with the resources provided before more resources are given. It has been that way throughout my entire tenure in retail, and some people just don't seem to grasp it.

In my company, the store is divided into two lines of business. Let's just call them Line A and Line B. I manage the A line, and I have a business partner who manages the B line. We're supposed to be equals, as the whole scheme of things goes, and that creates more havoc than harmony. For my purposes here, I'll call this business partner of mine Biff (hey, it's the most unusual, obviously made up name I could think of). Biff "supervises" a staff of eleven of the most morally bankrupt people I have ever encountered. They're loud, dirty, and disrespectful. Biff is the perfect leader of this band of outlaws as he is probably the only person I've ever met who is louder and more disrespectful.

What makes this so frustrating is that Biff, my supposed business partner, is also the biggest baby in the bunch. He can't seem to get along with my Sales Manager, my Assistant Manager (or his predecessor), or my Manager-in-Training. He is the most widely disliked Manager in the entire market. And the crying has become so intense lately that I've resorted to the same tactics that any other good babysitter would use: I ignore it. That's right, I let them cry and bicker and fight amongst themselves, and I ignore it. I've tried stepping in before, but then I just become another target of their mischief.

Retail can be stressful work if you try to make a career of it. But you know what, I'll take it over the babysitting any day. That is, of course, unless someone out there is willing to pay me $30 an hour to babysit. Then I'm your man.


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