Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My job update......

Since I have so many friends and family that want to know what the heck’s been going on with my job and I can’t get to everyone…I thought I would update you all through our blog! As you know this transfer has shown me many challenges including leaving my family, selling our home, getting the kids settled into a completely new world and then suddenly loosing my mom. Ultimately the most challenging part has been adapting to the way things are ran in a Las Vegas store! I jumped into the store with both feet forward and started breaking down each and every broken piece of the business. I quickly found out that the business was much more “broken” than I was lead to believe and that my two direct supervisors had very specific yet contradicting expectations on how to repair and rebuild the store. For the first 61/2 months I tried to fix/run/excel the business the way everyone else wanted me to do while including my own ideas whenever possible….ultimately making my job 3 times more difficult and only giving me average results. Now don’t get me wrong, average results are pretty darn good with the current economic conditions and the condition that this store was in! But….average doesn’t cut it in THIS store. After much thought and consideration I decided to go above my direct supervisors head and speak to her boss regarding my frustrations with the lack of and inconsistant direction/leadership being given to me. Basically I told her that I was hired to do a job and am being challenged and judged that the job isn’t being done to the fullest potent ional, but am not getting the support needed to achieve all goals. I also spoke to her about some concerns I had with the “quiet expectations” to work off the clock, which is a big “no, no”. By doing so I knew that I was either going to get the much needed support and direction or I was going to end my career!!!! I ended my career…..within 1 week the communication towards me went from “we want you and this store to succeed” to “we don’t think you are the right person for this store and if you transfer to another store you will avoid the probability of being remove involuntarily from the store and company”. When I didn’t jump at the chance to transfer and take a pay cut, the communication was elevated to include the Vice President of all stores telling him how much damage will be done if I’m allowed to stay in my store. Knowing I had nothing more to loose and clearly seeing I was being set up because I had stepped out of bounds with my “clear feedback” I once again opened my mouth! I decided to once again take responsibilities for my errors within this business but also point out the lack of leadership I’d received. The conversation ended with the understanding that all of us would come together the following week and create a plan that worked for me and the company. Last Tuesday, instead of creating that plan, I was asked to resign immediately! If I resigned that day, the company would graciously waive my relocation contract therefore ensuring I wouldn’t have to repay the money spend to move me to Vegas. Oh, and I had about one hour to make my decision or the “generous” offer would no longer be available! In that moment I found myself saying “what horrible thing did I do that would prompt this company to quickly turn on me”? My answer….I opened my mouth and followed my gut! So, I turned down the offer for resignation, called my dear friend Robyn (who’s husband just happens to be a lawyer), called and left a very direct message on the Vice Presidents voicemail, spoke to the head of our HR department telling her what was ‘really” going on and that I refused to enter into any further conversations without HR present…and so on! They now knew I wasn’t going to quit so Friday morning they complete the first step in firing me and delivered my annual performance review along with my first ever corrective action (with HR present) rating me a 1.87, which is the lowest job rating I’ve ever received. If I’d wasn't there myself I never would have believed what they said about me!!!! Here’s a sample for your enjoyment:

Christie has not created an environment where associates want to do there best. She has difficulty assessing her team and coaching each associate individually to get the best performance out of them. The lack of accountability has shown the overall store is not compliant in any area of operations, service or talent. The team has not been successful and so morale has been low and the team lacks the passion, drive and enthusiasm to drive results. Often times they don’t want to do their best because expectations aren’t communicated and Christie never follows up with training or involves herself in this area.

Yet, just a few weeks ago I helped a customer in my store and she emailed this to our company customer service department:

I would like to take a moment to say “well done” to Christie and the staff at the Las
Vegas Blvd store. I walk into this store just to look but Christie’s quick acknowledgment of me and her insightful questions and suggestions soon led me to a dressing room. I walked in with nothing in mind but walked out with several items that I love!!! She was not pushy and was extremely honest. I then walked over to J Crew to exchange but I was not ever approached or greeted and I ended up returning not exchanging. I wanted to try on but know one would help me. Christie was so up beat and alert…she managed and the customers and the staff with expertise. It was clear to me that she enjoys her job and that WHBM is fortunate to have her representing her product.

Thank you,
Camille/Richland, WA

Hmm….a little difference in opinion don’t ya think!

So today and everyday until July I’m going to go to work and do my job, the job I was hired to do and just breathe. Once my contract ends, I will be hanging up the “high heels” and retiring from the wonderful world of retail management. Jeff and I are still trying to figure out what our next steps will be, but we are both in agreement that I can no longer do this! I got into this business because I had the biggest love and passion for every part of the customer experience. I woke up each day feeling like I was making a difference for someone by ensuring that they could look in the mirror and love what they saw!!! In the last 8 months I have had every ounce of that love and passion sucked out of me along with the most hurtful personal attacks anyone should ever hear. I’m finally going to take some time to relax and find me again while being a mom/wife!!!!

I can’t say enough how thankful I am for all the love and support I’ve been given these past months. Their hasn’t been one day or even one hour go by without Jeff, my dad, one of my sisters, Jeff’s family or my friends and mentors reaching out to me to see what they can do to get me through the day! I love you all and know that my Heavenly Father is watching over me because he has surrounded me with people like you! I’ve added an email that my dear friend Cathy sent to me that I thought you might enjoy……

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a
well. The animal cried piteously for hours as
the farmer tried to figure out what to do.
Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the
well needed to be covered up anyway;
it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all
grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the
donkey realized what was happening and cried
horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he
quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally
looked down the well. He was astonished at what
he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his
back, the donkey was doing something amazing.
He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel
dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it
off and take a step up.. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped
up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds
of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well
is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of
our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells
just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step
up. Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
Live simply and appreciate what you have.
Give more.
Expect less.
NOW ............

Enough of that crap . . The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer
who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected and
the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.

When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.


The Flynn's said...

I'm sorry Chris! I think it's a blessing in disguise though. Something better will come along! Please let me know how else I can help!

Love, Kate

DIAZ BLOG said...

that very story was read in sacrament meeting last sunday. I really like it! I am sorry that WHBM is being so terrible but I know things will work out for you guys! I love you and miss you. Call me!

Heather Anderson-Lane said...

You are such an inpiration to me! I know good things will happen to you now cause your amazing!!!