Letter of Resignation

February 5, 2006 at 11:20 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

This is a letter I wrote to the vice president of the Domino’s Pizza Franchise I worked for, when I finally quit in 1998.  I am completely over it now, and in fact stopped by one where I know a lot of people, and they let me make some pizzas (for free).  But the theme of the blog being what it is, I have to include this.  Dominos had a rule that if you leave and go to Papa John’s, you couldnt come back to Dominos (because they were losing alot of people to Papa’s)–so I made a bee-line for Papa John’s.

 

Donnie,

   As you should
already know, I have quit Domino’s Pizza. 
But there may be aspects about this that you don’t know, so I wanted to
write to you.
  First, I want you
to understand my own personal position on this matter.  I have to look out for me above all
else.  I know that you have a policy of
removing people quickly once they decide to leave, so why should I put in two
weeks notice?  I cannot afford to be out
of work.  I’m sure you have heard from
Kevin and Gary, and have seen the numbers. 
I can mostly agree with the demotion.
  Except for
this:  How many managers have you had in
that store and various others that "didn’t work out" but would have
done an excellent job in any place other than North County?  You have to realize that it is different
there.
  Let’s go back
further.  I have heard it said that this
was my "third chance" and that I would not be given another.  I want to clarify the record, and change your
mindset.  I am not the bumbling fool you
think I am.  Let’s go store by store.

  I was made manager
of 1588.  That was in 1992.  We still had the 30 minute  guarantee, and when I was manager there,
Blackjack got the area expansion into Spanish Lake.  We already had one of the largest areas in
terms of square miles covered.  The same
week I became manager, we introduced breadsticks and salads.  During that time we also started subs.
  How did I do
there?  Sales increases, for one.  I also had a record week.  Did I profit?
  Only once.  But more
than most did.  The previous managers had
a ahbit of leaving p&L’s in the file drawer, so I saw them.  I saw how often Jeannie profited.  Never, that is. I consistently broke even, or
lost very little.  I also have the record
for being there the longest–one year. 
But it wasn’t good enough, and you felt you could do better, so you
traded me to Keith Linkemann for Todd Hopkins, of all people.

  He put me in as
manager of O’Fallon, IL. Which I’ll get to in a minute, but what happened to
Blackjack after I left?  I remember the
stories.  Sales dropped off, managers in
and out like it had a revolving door, managers stealing left and right.  It was immediately after I left that
Blackjack was the first store to lose the school lunch program.  Only two managers of worth did well there,
and that was Romona and Doug Pierce.  But
since Doug is no longer with the company, he doesn’t exist.  I guess I don’t either, anymore.
  But I went to
O’Fallon Illinois, delivering to Shiloh with
the thirty minute guarantee.  I fired
several people for stealing, including my MIT. 
Did Keith provide me with a replacement? 
No, I was on my own for that.  Not
so much as a thanks or good job for stopping the theft.  So I worked six or seven days a week for six
weeks, during which I had my Back to School, and got failing grade on it.  Did I get help from Keith?  No, I was pretty much on my own.  When he got rid of me he said it was “nothing
personal.”  I agree.  He’s kind of a heartless son of a bitch, so
nothing is personal.  By mutual agreement
I went back to Hazelwood as an MIT.

  During that time,
we computerized most stores and dropped the guarantee.  Then Cross Keys opened up (for a manager).  You personally interviewed me for that, and I
remember that you said, and I quote, "Bubba, I think I may have been wrong
about you."  Probably the closest
thing I would ever get to an apology for being pulled through the wringer and
forgotten.
  So I took
1576.  Year to date, in September, it had
lost money.  Then I took over.  Right away we started to profit, and right
away sales went up.  From September
through December we did well enough that the store actually profited for the year.  I know now that individual stores can receive
recognition for being 10/10.  When I was
manager of Cross Keys, for the entire year, it was 10/10.  Average sales were 10024, and my sales
increase for the whole year was somewhere between 17 and 22 percent.  I was Gary’s
golden boy, profits were up, and he loved me. 
The next year sales were flat.  I
guess he expect us to surpass 1575, the highest grossing store in the entire
market?
  Whatever, he got
it in his head that he was going to replace me. 
This I will never forget:  I was
having a Mega-week, a big promotion, and it was going to be a record week.  Things were going well, we were giving good
service and running reasonable costs.  Gary comes in Friday
before my dinner rush and brings me into the office to talk.  Not a pep talk.  He actually chose that time to chastise me
for not deck-scrubbing the baseboards like he had asked, and said that if
things didn’t improve, "changes will be made."  It’s customary for the operations director to
come in and help during the big week.
  Well, I went ahead
and had a record week without his help. 
And he went ahead and replaced me a few months later with Kim, who was
given all the credit for my sales increase. 
But that’s okay, because all the progress she made at Bridgeton was hailed on
Gail as her work.
  Juliana told me
that I was getting moved to Blackjack. 
She basically told me two conflicting things, which lets me know it was
actually Gary
pulling the strings.  The gist of it was
this:  I’m not doing very well at Cross
Keys (translation: not performing miracles), and they need someone strong in
there who will.  At the same time, they
need someone strong in Blackjack–someone with a proven track record
there.  So, basically, I’m good enough
for a store that is, by all accounts, one of the most difficult to run, but I’m
not good enough for a store that is incredibly easy to run.
 
So I put in my
hard time at Blackjack, waiting that infernal three months for all my good
bonus checks.  By the way, you know there
has never been a reasonable explanation for the three-month waiting
period–these aren’t handguns.
  So I left and went
to Steak n Shake.  It was a demotion going
to Blackjack.  I lost over six thousand a
year in terms of bonuses based on a whim by Gary. 
And I know the stock answers to all this, how I have the potential to
profit there and make that money.  But by
now even you realize what is possible and what isn’t–just keep the loss to a
minimum.
  When I came back,
like a sucker, I was MIT for Kim, then for Romona.  And
I didn’t really want a store.  Romona did
not beg me, but when she became supervisor, I felt for her, and she did tell me
there was no one else.  So I took Berkeley.  You know, it wasn’t so bad.  I know you think I’m soft with people, but
every where I go I fire several people. 
Is that not good enough?  Do I
have to fire everyone?  Then I have to
leave the store to take deliveries.  Is
that what I’m supposed to do?
 
I think you need
to drive around in Berkeley
during the day sometime.  Don’t do it at
night; you’ll get killed.  Notice the
McDonald’s that is closed.  Notice all
the other businesses boarded up.  See the
drugs and crime in the streets.  These
are the customers.  They are also the
stock from which prospective employees come. 
Try to hire someone who will:

  A. show up for the
interview
  B. show up after
you hire them
  C. come reasonably
close to being in uniform
  D. have their own
car
  E. be able to
prove they have insurance

  and finally, I had
to lower my standards on this

  F. not steal from
you. . . much

  So I wasn’t
performing miracles there, either?  I
kept that fucking store open; I call that a miracle. (Note:  I managed Berkeley in 1998.  Two years later it is closed, opened up as a
liquor store or something.)  I never
really wanted to manage, especially there, and I guess it showed.
  So Gary and Kevin,
my new supervisor, demote me.  Again.   It was somewhat of a relieve, especially in
terms of dealing with Kevin.
  A word about
Kevin.  One night I call him and ask how
to do this in the computer.  The computer
in Berkeley was
a mess when I was there, and probably still is. 
Normally, when taking an order, if you know what buttons you need to
press, you can do it quickly and wait for the system to catch up.  But since it is messed up, you can’t.  If you try, it will throw all sorts of
bizarre letters and numbers up on the screen. 
Rachel took a carry-out order for a soda (lots of carry outs
there).  As she rung it up, without her
knowledge, the computer also added 29 diet sodas.  I happened to catch it before close, other
wise I would have been $35 short.  Kevin
told me to coupon it, then he says, "If we’re going to have problems like
that, maybe we should just get rid of her."
   I couldn’t
believe my ears.  It was the computer,
not her!
  It was at that point also,
that I had a premonition, or maybe just a fear, of losing my own job.  The moral of that little story, Donnie, is
that you need to watch Kevin, and he needs to work on his people skills.
 We are not disposable, like tampons.  I hold no illusion as to my own ability, but
he will rub too many people the wrong way and you may lose some good people
too.  Or maybe it’s already too
late.   I didn’t even want to talk to him about it,
because he has an imperial attitude, and since I quit he would just write it
off to bitterness on my part.  But North County
is different.  Ask Juliana, who
successfully supervised it.  Ask the
supervisor before her, who didn’t.  Ask a
manager in St. Charles if they want a North County
store.  What everyone feels intuitively
is the basic truth.  I am not making
excuses.  The area is just hard.   Do you
remember when you supervised Blackjack?
 
Try to take care
of your people.  I mean really take care
of them, not just say it.  What is this
Golden Rule that you want us all to practice? 
The reality is you and the rest of the upper management are not walking
the talk.  What Kevin did to me was not
the Golden Rule.
  I was demoted for
not being able to perform miracles in a difficult store.  Then I received further humiliation by being
offered less money than when I was an assistant before, when Gary told
me (but of course, not promised me, and I should have nailed him down to an
exact figure right then and there) that working 50 hours, with ten hours
overtime, I should make the same money I was making as a manager.  When Kevin told me 7.25 per hour, then he
told me "take it or leave it," it truly hard to believe that he never
intended for me to leave.
  When I see the
shape some of the other stores are in, I knew that the company could use a
solid strong, assistant.  What I felt I
deserved was 8.00 an hour.  What I would
have taken is 7.50 or 7.75.  Do the math:
7.25 x 40=290.  7.25×1.5=10.88x 10
hours=108.80.  Add it up and it’s less
than 400 per week.  Add that mythical MIT
bonus in, the one that is structured so no one ever gets it, and three months
later it is 425/week.  Not even close to
what I was making before.  So I was lied
to.  It was a lie.  Whether on Gary or Kevin’s part, I don’t
know, but I feel certain that they will back each other up and say that what I
was told never happened.
  In summary, this
is what I want you to remember:

    I am a much better
manager than you think,  you just have a
short memory.
    Kevin needs to
work on his people skills.
    I was lied to,
and therefore I was given no choice but to quit.

  In fairness to
Kevin, he did call me on Friday when he heard rumors that I was leaving, and he
did offer me more money.  7.50 per
hour.  On Tuesday, I would have taken it,
be- grudgingly, then asked for a transfer out of his area.  But by Friday, the damage was done.
  It was too little,
too late.  Other managers were shocked
that he was going to try to pay me that little. 
Me, sucker that I am, almost accepted it.  I have the eternal positive attitude, happy,
trusting, believing that people will do right by me.  I never complain, never pass blame, never
fail to be optimistic.  It has taken nine
years, but you have done it.  Not you
personally, but as a company, you beat down. 
You took my –my– I don’t even know the word for it.  Innocence, I guess.  I will never be the same.
  You have no idea
how hard this is for me.  I’ve been beaten,
kicked, lied to, humiliated, and yet I still have loyalty.  I would have stayed as an assistant manager forever,
and I mean forever, and the manager I worked for would have loved
me, paid my price, and counted themselves lucky to have me.  I didn’t burn this bridge.  I most decidedly did not.

It was forced on me.

  What have you
lost?  As I said, I hold no illusion as
to my own ability.  But someone who is
rock-solid dependable, can fill in for a manager without question, can handle
any situation, no matter what, with the many years experience I have–and still
doesn’t have a bad attitude
–may not be priceless, but is definitely worth
something.  I believe that my own
personal product is the best that Domino’s can produce.  I have trained the best in the company.  I PUT MY HEART AND SOUL INTO EVERY PIZZA I
MAKE.

  Now I will do it
for someone else.

  What have you
lost? 

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3 Comments »

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  1. gee, you weren\’t bitter, were you? lol, glad you\’re over it now.
     
    Berkely..? as in the \’burb of St Louis? I used to live there, over 20 years ago, and nobody was getting shot then. whew!
     
    ah well, things work out the way they\’re supposed to
     
    hugs
    Kim
     

  2. Damn man!!  What was their response? Anything?

  3. *Big Grin*
    You ARE Funny!  My favorite kind of funny!
    I\’ll be back tomorrow when I can pour over your entries…
    Definitely!
    *Blessings*


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