The Jonathan Jackson Column

Wednesday 06 March, 2002

Another Bad Day At The Office Dear?

We all have bad days at the office, but some are worse than others as Nicky Law is currently finding.

Imagine you are a Branch Manager for a retail chain, a bank or a building society in a small town, or perhaps a team leader in call centre. You do extremely well whip your team into producing sales results that are well above target.

As a result you get the chance you have yearned for, the promotion you really want to the "Big City" branch or mega store, or chance to take on the big hitting sales team.

Things start off reasonably well, your customer base is much bigger, marketing budget more expansive and potential walk in trade is beyond your wildest dreams.

But far too soon things start to go bad. The team you have inherited aren't pulling their weight, and from being potentially one of the big boys they are now being consistently out performed by the smaller teams that you thought you had left behind.

Add to this your new Regional Manager is a hard taskmaster and is not happy because his regions sales figures (and ultimately his potential bonus) is being affected by your under achievers.

Although your budgets are much higher than you have been used to, you can't add to your team due to a recruitment block caused by your salary budget for the year (and possibly next year) being fully utilised, and you can't get rid of the slackers in your team because strict employment regulations brought in by the EEC prevent you taking disciplinary measures for not hitting sales targets.

To make matters far worse, you sink to the level where the branch/ sales office/ shop who are currently turning in the company's worst ever record sales results, have just beaten you twice on the trot in your sales competition.

So you get to the point, three months or so into the job, that your home life is starting to be affected. Bad weeks at work lead to bad weekends at home. You go to bed filled with dread, toss and turn most of the night and wake up before your alarm in a cold sweat. You hate the job and begin to wonder what you have taken on.

One day you will wake up and think "Should I go in today or shall throw a sicky ?"

Now imagine you are Nicky Law, because this is exactly how he must be feeling today.

Only difference is he probably gets paid more in a month than you do in a year.


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