Why “management” has a bad rep

This is a true story; so true it hurts when you’re a management coach like me.

I stopped at the post office to buy Christmas stamps this morning, asking for eleven of their books of 20 stamps. I bought two different designs, and watched as the woman helping me fanned them out to scan them into her register one by one. Beep…beep…beep… eleven times.

I said to her, “too bad your system won’t allow you to just put in the quantity and scan them once” to which she replied, “oh it will, but we do it this way now because management says we need to show that we spend more time with our customers. We don’t want our hours cut back during the holidays.”


She had an expression on her face of being so pleased with herself, not for a moment realizing she was freely admitting to me that her delay tactic was the best thing she could come up with. More service, actual service, was not her first choice, or apparently much of an option she’d thought about at all. Nor was she concerned with the line growing longer behind me. I was dumbfounded and didn’t know what to say.

No wonder the postage rates keep going up… and they are 41 cents; new image not in the budget either?

For a better way check out: Mea Ho‘okipa Live Their Aloha Every Day; a forum with the Ho‘ohana Community on hospitality and service.