The last few weeks have been a rude awakening for me. When I came on as text manager here at my new store I was told to sit back and watch and learn. My general tendency when I come into a new store is to bulldoze the people and make changes that I see need to be made. I am pretty quick to realize where deficiencies are and I recognized a few in the system here at my new store.
However “baby steps” where the key words. I sat back and watched how the process worked and made changes as where I saw fit but still things were not done according to my standards. And then Rush arrived, and I found myself writing a whole lot of letters like the one below:
I wanted to follow up on our conversation from earlier and extend my apologies for not having the books in by the start of classes. I know that apologies will not get the books here faster, but we are rushing them all here to hopefully minimize the impact on your schedule and your students ability to learn. They should arrive tomorrow and at the latest on Friday. I will contact you when they do arrive. The desk copy you need must be ordered through your department since Oxford does not allow the bookstore to order a desk copy.
Unfortunately, when the order came in it was not entered into the system. Human error is to blame and I take full responsibility. I am looking to make some changes to prevent things like this from happening next semester. While the changes in the future don't excuse the mistakes of the past I wanted you to know that we are working to improve the process.
Once again my apologies. If you have any additional questions or concerns, or simply suggestions on ways to improve the process please let me know.
After about two weeks of falling on the sword I started to fall apart and get very stressed. Generally 90 hour work weeks can do that to you but when you are working 90 hours covering for your subordinates and taking the fall it gets to be exhausting.
Yes, I know mistakes were made… but not by me! The problem there is… this is my department! The one thing that I can guarantee is that next semester none of these mistakes will be made and we will run a clean Rush.
If only we could flash forward to September!