I spent a little time and a little money in the local Meijer store today. And by a little time I mean over 3 hours, and by a little money I mean over $600. But that's par for the course when you're shopping for a family of nine. As I started pushing my heaping cart towards the exit, I came up along-side one of the workers. I'd seen her there before. Older lady....probably mid-seventies....heading to her post at the far entrance. She greets hello, bids goodbye, and checks to make sure those gigantic boxes of diapers have been paid for and are on your receipt! She's a sweet lady, and does her job well. Not sure of her name, but let's call her Mary. As Mary and I walked alongside one another...her: off to man her post, and me: off to load up my car...another lady, whom we'll call Marge, and whom I can only assume was a manager of sorts, passed by us. Marge never made eye contact with Mary or me, but it was soon clear that she was speaking to Mary.
Mary! she barked. Is your shirt tucked in?
Mary looked down at her untucked-shirt.
Then Marge said, Mary! Is your shirt supposed to be tucked in?
This one-sided conversation happened while Mary and I walked one way and Marge walked the other. It was loud and attention getting and embarrassing.
Well she sure knows how to get her point across, huh? I said, as Mary started fussing with her shirt. Talking like that makes them feel important, Mary said. But my shirt is supposed to be tucked in. And then little Mary, in her sneakers and khakis, wearing her cream turtleneck under her red Meijer shirt, scurried off to the ladies room to fix her shirt.
Now...clearly...Meijer has a shirt-tucked-in-at-all-times policy. Good for them. I think it's important to present yourself in a well-groomed manner at work. But was it necessary for Marge to speak in such a disrespectful and condescending way, loudly and in front of customers, to her employee? Mary is at least 20 years older than Marge. She was probably busting her butt at another job or at home raising children when Marge was still peeing in her bed. I don't care if Marge is the manager, she owes Mary some respect. Some respect because she has put in a lot more years of life than Miss Marge, and some respect because she is another person working hard and trying to get by. Mary doesn't need a shirt-tucked-in pass. She needs her shirt tucked in like everybody else. But Marge could have very easily walked up next to Mary, gave her a wink, and whispered a quick, Tuck your shirt in, Sweetie, and been off to more important managing duties in a second. But instead, she was a loud mouth. She had to flex her authority so others could see it. And she had to tear someone down a little in the process. If I was in charge at the local Meijer, Miss Marge would get a talking to. And I might just tell her what I think about it myself the next time I'm in there.
Look out Marge @ Meijer. I'm a Mad Momma.