The Manager, A Poem
Many years ago, I was working in a grocery store in a management position. The work was hard and the customers often very difficult to deal with. I handled many of the customer complaints myself and did my best to avoid calling my manger since I felt that he had a lot on his plate as is and didn’t need to deal with the petty stuff. One day as I sat in the office taking care of some paperwork, my manger came in and sat down beside me. He placed his head in his hands and slowly shook it.
“I’m exhausted,” he said sadly, “the pettiness, the arguments, the bad attitudes, the childishness of these people, it is unreal. And that is the employees. The customers are worse. I sometimes hate to come in to work because I just know I will have to deal with those things all over again. It never stops!”
I smiled knowingly. “I know,” I said trying to cheer him up, “I can just imagine how you feel.”
“How?” he asked looking curiously up at me.
“Because,” I answered grinning, “as a mother, I deal with those very same issues every day.”
“It’s not the same,” he said sighing as he rose to answer a page.
When I went home that night, I wanted to try to give him something to smile about. I liked my manager and hated to see him so low. I wrote the following poem, typed it up on nice paper and brought it to work. When he came in, it was sitting on his desk waiting for him. He picked it up.
“What’s this?” he asked beginning to read.
He read it once and a smile crept onto his face. He looked at me, smiled again, and reread the poem. Then he turned to me with tears in his eyes. “That’s just how it is!” he shouted. “I mean right to the letter. How did you know?”
“I’m a mother,” I said grinning with pride, “and that says it all.”
The Poem--The Manager
The alarm goes off, I raise my head; I want to stay right here in bed.
I hate my job, that part of my life, with all the stress and all the strife.
The customers gripe, the employees grumble. Where do I go when my world crumbles?
It’s time to go, to face them all. My family says, “Hey, have a ball!”
I get inside, I say “Hello!” “Can I speak to you?” an employee asks real low.
Already it starts, right off the bat. I haven’t even hung my hat.
I’ll listen well, ‘cause that’s my job. But sometimes it is real hard.
Then all at once, from out of the blue, a customer smiles; an employee does too.
It’s worth the effort when I see my employees try real hard for me.
They do their job. They go all out. I don’t have to scream. I don’t have to shout.
So the next time someone says to me, “A manager, I’ll bet, is hard to be!”
I’ll smile real hard, knowing deep in my soul, that my employees care which was my goal!
© 2011 Cheryl Simonds
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