Sunday, November 18, 2007

meet the manager

The corporate office e-mailed ahead of time to let them know we'd be painting their store. We called the day before and said we'd be there in the morning. Shannon stepped inside to let the store manager (assistant manager in this case) know we were there to paint the windows. Painting begins. Out comes the manager. We introduce ourselves, told him we let Mr. Assistant know we were here. This is his response. "He's #2. I'm #1!" Suddenly we are in the back-pedal, let's appease the management mode. What can we suggest to him that would make him happy without having to erase what we have already begun? Shannon is amazing. She can make people think that what we are doing is exactly what they wanted in the first place. That is exactly what happened. He went back in to the store a happy man. Way to go Shannon! Then he called us later in the day to say we didn't paint his deli windows. Now we're pretty good at assessing the window coverage. From the time we ease into the parking lot to the time we park in front of the store (about 14 seconds), we have assessed the size of the window, planned the design, and allotted the amount of time until we need to be back in the car. There were no deli windows in this situation. As it turns out, there is a deli WAY off to the far side of the store. The windows are not readily visible from the front, but apparently they were to be painted in all their grandeur. Mr. #1 made sure to let us know he wouldn't be happy until they were. We had even done some extra work on their day care room windows inside the store. (Did you know they have daycare at grocery stores? Who knew? Every store should offer this wonderful service - drug stores, hardware stores, department stores. How many times have I had to shop with a multitude of children at the grocery store? I would have driven clear out to Scottsdale to drop my kids off for 30 minutes while I picked up my groceries). Anyway, I digress. What was I talking about? Oh yeah . . . Crybaby #1. I guess we're going clear across town to paint deli windows tomorrow. Gotta keep #1 happy.
Now Shannon and I are fighting over who is #1 and who is #2 in our business.

Another store, another manager. He says "Can you paint a Nativity?" (What? Everybody says No Santa, No Christmas Tree, No Merry Christmas, Nothing that signifies a Christian holiday, Keep it Neutral, just some snow and a 'Seasons Greetings') . We actually thought he was kidding at first. We have no Baby Jesus references in our painting collection. I made Shannon go inside to find a Christmas card with a nativity on it. She comes out with a card that has a scene with the following items - stable, bright radiating star, Mary, Joseph holding a staff, Baby Jesus, straw, wooden manger and the entire illustration was the size of a postage stamp. The window was 8 feet by 12 feet. So from that postage stamp and out of our cottage cheese cartons full of children's craft paint, comes a larger than life holy Christian nativity scene. Go figure.

Our favorite manager ever - "Bud". He had money to burn and all of his salesmen were out of the office so he had us paint caricatures all over each of their office windows. We painted the 3 pigs, we painted turkeys and a little goldilocks girl holding a hatchet, and we painted Ratfink himself.

New day today . . . We went back to paint said deli window. Shannon stopped in to tell Mr. #1 sorry we overlooked it, we're here to make sure everything was taken care of.
#1: "I am too busy to deal with this,
just get it done!"
Shannon: "We're on it right now-"
#1 interrupts and gives Shannon the 'talk to the hand' gesture and repeats "Just get it done!"

I've got to say, Shannon is always very diplomatic and cordial in every circumstance . . . . publicly anyway, but once we get back into the car, she is wicked funny. Sadly, I can't repeat it.


Katie said...

By #1 did he mean 1 year old? Because he doesn't sound like a grown up to me.

Shando said...

Oh my gosh, just reading the beginning of the blog I found myself feeling all warm and fuzzy with joy and pride in our accomplishments. Then...when I remembered #1 putting his "talk to the hand" in my face I again felt my blood pressure rise. I found it funny that Calizona thought I would debate belief in God vs. non belief in God while holding a yogurt container of red paint and on a totally unrealistic time schedule.

When it comes right down to it, Bandanamom is right...its all about the cash. When it comes to debating beliefs or telling a jerk where to stick the container of paint I really choose to suck it up for the sake of the cash.

What does that make me?


Cynthia said...

"It's all about the Benjamins, baby!"

Heidi said...

Yeah for the pictures...and even one with you in it! It looks awesome. Can you paint the windows at my house!? Well...since I am renting I don't think that would go over to well with the property managers but I really do think you guys do an awesome job!

Suzanne Barker said...

I love your stories about the window painting. And the restraint with the idiot was amazing. I don't know how those kind of people ever get in management positions. He sounds like something you'ld see on tv because he is so outragous. Are you sure you weren't being "punked"?

Anonymous said...

2 questions:
Is a paint brush considered a weapon? You don't need a permit...
And - My air-brush "Ghost-Busters" idea is sounding better and better, isn't it?

Middle-management is truly rife with exaggerated self-concept. David used to travel 1500 miles a week to different Kmarts to audit their portrait dept. Upon arriving in a particularly nondescript super center of Chinese sweat shop merchandise in the illustrious metropolis of Bullhead City; the store manager introduced himself as "a Figure Head in the community".

That was almost 20 yrs ago and it still makes me laugh. What an idiot.

Then Dave was a nigt manager for a grocery store and observed the "#1" manager BITING their accounts woman ON THE ARM...uninvited, I might add. She was too mortified to even file the law-suit that would have netted her the entire chain, I should think! Some of those managers are big, creeper fish in a little muddy puddle, that's all.

Cynthia said...

Heidi. . . "can you come and paint my house?" Ha ha ha. I hear that clever comment all day long. (However, if you could just produce a "benjamin" or two . . . hmmmm)

And Shando - watch the blood pressure. We're only half way through. I haven't made nearly enough money to start my Christmas shopping yet!

Lauri said...

As I was reading this, I was comparing it to the frustrations of teaching 7th graders a subject they're not interested in learning. The only advantage your job has over mine is that it is finished in 3 weeks. You're a good sport!