What is going on?

This headline is what first came to mind when I was told, on the phone no less and it was my day off!!, that I was being laid off due to restructuring. My first response was "what is going on?" feeling a bit skeptical about the initial reason. You see the store I was managing was having the best month of July ever, the customer retention was at an all time high and the store morale was as if we were a family.Let me give you a bit of background, I accepted the role of store manager as a courtesy to the owner of a small chain of pool and spa stores due to the fact that they had a store that was under-performing, had ridiculously low customer retention and horrible employee morale. I accepted due to the fact I am a sucker for a good challenge. It turned out that I would manage the store and be it's sole salesman for both pools and spas. "No problem", was my response, and to be honest it really turned out to be no problem. The employees joined the program right away and the customers were nothing short of amazing, all they needed and wanted was a crew that understood their needs and cared to actually solve issues for them with honesty and respect.During my tenure I was asked to help the other stores with chemistry problems that cropped up, equipment repairs and a host of other issues without complaint and, to be honest, I truly enjoyed every bit of it. As the season progressed my staff and I noticed a shift in behavior by the owners of the company. They seemed a bit off and I felt as if something was coming, evidently I was correct.Now maybe they are going to truly restructure the store, or the whole company, but at this point I see it as a cost savings to them by eliminating me and bringing in an under qualified manager that will re-create all the problems they started with. This seems to be a trend in business in these uncertain times, kill the quality for the cheaper route. Ask some of the big box retailers that have gone out of business how it has worked for them.It brings back the question of "WHAT IS GOING ON?"JustinP.S. please visit the pool careers group, I am now available and willing!!
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  • SADLY CAN EMPATHIS WITH UNDER-APPRECIATION YOU EXPERIENCED. ONCE LEFT A POSITION WHERE I WAS BEING GROOMED TO TAKE OVER A CREW TO MOVE TO ANOTHER POSITION TO HELP DEVELOP A START-UP POOL COMPANY FOR AN OLD FRIEND. WAS HIRED AS A SERVICE TECH.UPON ARRIVAL WAS CAST AS A SERVICE MANAGER BY THE OWNERS(?).
    WHEN THE COMPANY EXPERENCED SOME START UP CASH FLOW PROBLEMS THAT WERE NORMAL WITH SUCH A WORK IN PROGRESS I VOLUNTEERED TO ACCEPT A$3.00 HOURLY RATE CUT AND SPENT A LOT OF TIME TRYING TO PUT OUT FIRES THAT I HADN'T CREATED OFF THE CLOCK. I ALSO DEVELOPED A NAME RECONITION EFFORT FOR LEAK DETECTION IN A REGION WITH NO COMPETITION.
    WHEN MY BUDDY AND THE ENTIRE POOL INSTALLATION CREW WERE LAID OFF THE OWNERS THEN ANNOUNCED THAT I WAS GOING TO THEN FILL THE GAP. IMAGINE WHAT AN AKWARD POSITION THAT PUT ME IN.ABOUT A MONTH LATER THE OWNER IN PRIVATE ASKED IF THAT WAS ALRIGHT, GO FIGURE. WAS LATER FIRED AND SINCE THE OWNERS RE-HIRED PERSONEL GLEANED THRU CONNECTIONS PROVIDED BY ME AND MY BUD THAT WERE PERCIEVED AS MORE MANAGABLE.
    MY DISMIISSAL WAS JUSTIFIED BECAUSE IT BECAME AN UNTENDABLE MORALE ISSUE FOR ME AT SUCH SHORT SIGHTED EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT DEMONSTRATED BY THESE OWNERS.
    HAD A SIMILIAR EXPERIENCE WHEN I TRADED JOBS AGAIN TO BE EMPLOYED FOR THE DREADED NATIONAL "L" WORD COMPANY. AND ANOTHER FOR A SMALL LOCAL COMPANY WHO ALWAYS WHINED ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND GOOD HELP AND CONSIDERED EMPLOYEE TURN OVER AS ACCEPTABLE AND NORMAL WHILE LOW BALLING SALARIES AND BROW BEATING EMPLOYEES ABOUT "HURRY,HURRY" USING ABUSIVE VERBAGE AS THEY INCREASED THIER BANK ACCOUNTS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SWEAT AND BLOOD OF OTHERS(LITERALLY MY OWN)
    (CHUCKLE) NAMES AVAILABLE UPON PRIVATE REQUEST.
  • Monique,
    I thank you very much for your kind comments. You are a valuable asset to everyone in the network and I, and many I would guess, feel blessed to have you.
    Justin
  • Justin, I can do nothing but wish you the best of luck and pity the Owners who obviously didn't realize what a great resource they had in having you as their manager. I know that you will be showered with recommendations from people on the network who have benefited from your all great advice. I am sure that you will find a great fit, and I hope, that with your background and passion for "green" practices, that the industry as a whole will benefit from your change of venue. Take care, Monique
  • Rex, Bruce and James,
    Thank you all for the kind words. I agree that everything happens for a reason and this is no different. I am nothing if not a positive thinker. Unfortunately with a family of 8, myself, wife and 6 children (ages 2-15), I am not able to start a new full fledged business at this time due to my income needs. I just ask if anyone hears of a need for a person with my knowledge they send them my way.
    James, I will contact you separately to see if there is a fit.
    Thanks again
    Justin
  • Justin, I too appreciate you contributions and from all I know, the person you are.
    You are valuable and have my prayers.
  • Justin, first let me say, "been there" and like you it was a Job that I was very happy with and had accomplished a lot of positives. Personally, I've come to regard your opinions very highly. Maybe, as an old philosopher once said "nothing happens by happenstance". Yeah he really did say that. The point being that maybe this is the time to start your own gig.
    I did in 1998 and have never felt more fulfilled. You have a great base of support here. Best wishes man.
  • Justin,

    Business owners are scarred right now and making drastic cut backs. If the socialist health care reform becomes a reality you can expect even more major layoffs and closures as a result. But let me ask you do you have any experience in Heat Transfer or Geothermal Heat Pumps? and if so would you be willing to move to Minnesota?
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