New Lower Price
It happened again
The loudspeaker crackled, "Frank, Emilio (not his real name) wants to see you on aisle nine." I freeze when I hear my name on the speaker at work. For background on this you'll want to read my earlier hub about my experiences at Home Depot. In that hub I mention an Assistant Store Manager who called me out on a mistake that cost the company some major bucks. I had also referred to a couple store associates giving them new names, Beth and Rick. Well, the article circulated around the store and we all got a good laugh. All, except this Assistant Store Manager. In mock offense (I think it was mock) he chided me. "How come you didn't give me a name? Next time you write you need to give me a name. Emilio will do." By the way, since that last hub, Emilio has been promoted to Store Manager. I understand its rare for an Assistant Store Manager to be promoted to manager in the same store. But Emilio's a special guy.
So now Emilio, the just promoted Store Manager, wants to see me on aisle nine! I lumbered over toward aisle nine wondering, "What'd I do this time?" Emilio motions me over to a couple of big poster board price signs I'd worked on a few days earlier. With typical good humor he exclaimed, "Can you believe we have associates who would stick a new lower price label on top of the original sign?" "Yea, I did that! I thought it looked pretty cool," I responded. Emilio shuddered, "We don't do that here. You replace the whole sign.
I said it rather meekly and offered to fix it. "You do that." There was never any hostility, no threat, just good humor. He moved on with a big smile on his face; and I, a bit smarter Home Depot associate.
Now I had my reason for doing what I did. I figured I'd save the company some waste by utilizing the original sign. I also thought that plastering the new lower price tag over the old one would draw the attention of customers to the really good deal we offered. I was also in a hurry and a little lazy (maybe).
He's the boss, I'm not
While I had my reasons, it never occurred to me to offer them to Emilio. It would have been defensive and uppity. Frankly, I didn't loose much sleep over the incident. After all, Emilio had been around a lot longer than I. Besides, he's the Store Manager, I'm not. I figured that thousands of dollars had been spent on marketing research that justified never pasting a new lower price tag over the old one, so that the old one could still be seen. Or maybe, Emilio just preferred it his way.
When the lines of authority and responsibility are clear and known it's possible to deal with issues and move on to the next thing without the least heartburn. That's an obvious principle that applies to all human institutions. Life and work moves on smoothly when we keep it in mind.
He's God, I'm not
So if it is so obvious at Home Depot and other human enterprises why do we have such a problem applying it to life in general? There's a God who created the world and superintends all that comes to pass. He has proven both his power and love by sending Jesus Christ to pay for our sins and draw us back into friendship with the Creator.
And yet we often question his wisdom and find fault with his actions. Whether it be an illness or the loss of a job or some other untoward event, the usual first response is "Why me?" Unless God humors us by giving us a satisfying reason we feel quite justified in distancing ourselves from him. After all my God wouldn't do that!
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