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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Lee
    Real Life MMD: Should I speak to the boss?
    • #1
    • 26th May 11, 4:35 PM
    Real Life MMD: Should I speak to the boss? 26th May 11 at 4:35 PM
    Should I speak to the boss?


    I'm one of a few part-time workers at a small rural gift shop. We've been open two months and as I frequently close up at the end of the day I have an idea how much we take. Right now, the owner isn't managing to pay staff their wages. I think we underprice lots of our gifts, but others disagree. Do I speak to the boss about it, and risk one or more of us getting the sack to save money, or keep quiet, hope business picks up and risk us going bankrupt?

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    Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 31-05-2011 at 1:08 PM.
Page 1
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 14th Jun 11, 9:49 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    pennypinchUK
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 11, 9:49 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 11, 9:49 PM
    Seriously, what's the dilemma here? Of course you talk to your boss - give him/her your suggestions, preferably backed up by research from other stores, etc. That's just using your initiative, and it's how an employee gets noticed. Turn around business and your boss is likely to promote you/give you a better job, etc.

    If you don't do anything you'll all be out of a job. And then what have you achieved?
    • abjem21
    • By abjem21 14th Jun 11, 10:11 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 186 Thanks
    abjem21
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 11, 10:11 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 11, 10:11 PM
    Seriously, what's the dilemma here? Of course you talk to your boss - give him/her your suggestions, preferably backed up by research from other stores, etc. That's just using your initiative, and it's how an employee gets noticed. Turn around business and your boss is likely to promote you/give you a better job, etc.

    If you don't do anything you'll all be out of a job. And then what have you achieved?
    Originally posted by pennypinchUK

    I couldn't have put it better!
    What Dilema?
    To anyone that tells you "There is no I in team" say no there isn't
    But there ARE TWO I'S IN COMMISSION and I dont get paid "Team"
    .....................
    Faint Heart, Fair Maiden, Juan NEVER!.
    • svmitche
    • By svmitche 14th Jun 11, 10:27 PM
    • 583 Posts
    • 963 Thanks
    svmitche
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 11, 10:27 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 11, 10:27 PM
    Totally agree! This is a no brainer - if you have ideas to improve business you do some research and present them. Don't speak up and people WILL be let go for definite.
    I'm so sexy it's a wonder my underpants don't explode.
  • bogwart
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 11, 10:27 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 11, 10:27 PM
    With respect, I think you're sticking your beak in where it doesn't belong. You've been a part-time worker at a new business for all of two months and already you've decided that you know better than the owner. Do you not think s/he has not already considered such matters as pricing, especially when the whole thing goes sideways? There is no upside in this for you. Either the shop will go bust or it won't, and you have nothing to gain either way. The business was obviously under-financed at the outset and if I were you I'd be looking for alternative employment.
    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 14th Jun 11, 10:46 PM
    • 4,462 Posts
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    scotsbob
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 11, 10:46 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 11, 10:46 PM
    "Others disagree" That will be the other staff with more experience than your two months.

    You keep on serving behind the counter, listen to the voices of those with more experience and let the owner run his business.
    • chergar
    • By chergar 14th Jun 11, 11:08 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    chergar
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 11, 11:08 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 11, 11:08 PM
    The shop has only been open two months so presumably all staff have worked there for the same period of time.

    The "others disagree" could be the other staff members but it could be people who come in to the shop or people in the town.

    As it is a rural gift shop is it in a touristy area, will business be likely to pick up over the coming months?

    I would speak to the boss about your concerns, if he cannot pay the staff wages then there is serious trouble ahead, if he was managing to pay staff then it could be considered that any sale is a sale and upping prices could reduce business. Be polite and pro active in your approach though, don't criticise what he has done so far and come up with alternatives for him to look at (utilities, pricing, marketing to increase business, etc)
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 14th Jun 11, 11:32 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 317 Thanks
    tallgirld
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 11, 11:32 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 11, 11:32 PM
    I think you should mind your own business.

    If you talk to you boss YOU will probably be the one to lose your job. Why you might ask? I tell you why because he will think you are full of yourself and a busy body.

    If the company goes bust what difference does it make? He isn't paying the wages anyway!!
    • Pmarmalade
    • By Pmarmalade 14th Jun 11, 11:45 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    Pmarmalade
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 11, 11:45 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 11, 11:45 PM
    Obviously the above responses reflect the different personal thoughts and experiences across different work environments and different personalities within them.

    It would appear the negative commenters perhaps don't like to take advice from others or work in a place where their superiors don't like to be shown up. I work in a place where innovative suggestions are encouraged across the board with no risk of looking silly.

    Your boss will fit either of these two types or, more likely, fall somewhere in between. Do you feel (s)he is friendly and approachable? Do you have a good relationship with him/her?

    I think a couple of comments above are naive to assume the business owner always knows best and has thought of everything. Sometimes you're too close to something to see the problems, or you're too personally attached to fully rationalise. The worst business minds are probably the ones who aren't able to take constructive criticism or take a step back and see things from another person's perspective (especially that of their clients/customers!).

    I say judge it based on your relationship with the boss and how well you feel they'd be open to suggestions. But letting him/her know your thoughts is always going to be a risk so know that you might not have a job at the other end as much as you could be appreciated for your ideas and efforts. Whether you are going to make this step or not - always be looking out for other opportunities if things aren't going well there so that if the worst comes to the worst you have ideas lined up.
    Last edited by Pmarmalade; 14-06-2011 at 11:51 PM.
    • double mummy
    • By double mummy 15th Jun 11, 8:23 AM
    • 3,891 Posts
    • 6,090 Thanks
    double mummy
    do it but dont just have an informal chat

    research comparative prices, and make a full written proposal not only will this present well to your boss but if you do leave the job then you have a new skill for your CV
    The only people I have to answer to are my beautiful babies aged 8 and 5
  • JoannaS
    Ageism at it's worst!!
    "Others disagree" That will be the other staff with more experience than your two months.

    You keep on serving behind the counter, listen to the voices of those with more experience and let the owner run his business.
    Originally posted by scotsbob
    Another fine example that ageism is alive and well!!!! Experience doesn't equal wisdom!! This person has been observant enough to see the bigger picture which has naff all to do with their age or how long they've been there or what experience they have!!

    This post is so patronising it's ridiculous..."you keep on serving behind the counter"......"and let the owner run his business" assuming that it is a man who owns the business too! Totally useless and unhelpful.....your experience hasn't made you wise has it??!!!
    Last edited by JoannaS; 15-06-2011 at 1:05 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Debt owed 4000, Saved (to pay back) 300, only 3,700 to go!!

    My best money saving tip: Good manners cost NOTHING! So please be nice to each other!
  • JoannaS
    Am I reading this?!......
    I think you should mind your own business.

    If you talk to you boss YOU will probably be the one to lose your job. Why you might ask? I tell you why because he will think you are full of yourself and a busy body.

    If the company goes bust what difference does it make? He isn't paying the wages anyway!!
    Originally posted by tallgirld
    Wow another really helpful one!!!! Full of yourself and a busy body for trying to help them make a profit?! Have you gone mad?! When was looking after your bosses interests a sackable offence?! With an employee like you, who needs competitors?! Sheesh!!!!!
    Debt owed 4000, Saved (to pay back) 300, only 3,700 to go!!

    My best money saving tip: Good manners cost NOTHING! So please be nice to each other!
    • Cimscate
    • By Cimscate 15th Jun 11, 10:28 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    Cimscate
    Seriously flawed business plan
    Quite honestly if the business has only been open 2 months and the boss can't pay your wages I don't know why you are still working there. It is obviously underfunded and I should think the only help he would want is for you to invest so he can keep open for longer. He must be an amazing person to have all these people working for him and not getting paid. I can't see that repricing will make much difference; his whole business plan must be seriously flawed. And yes, I have run my own business so do know what I am talking about!
    • pippinpuss
    • By pippinpuss 15th Jun 11, 10:30 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    pippinpuss
    Quite often a new business has deliberately low prices to entice customers in. Then put them up when the shop is known in the area. I wouldn't worry unless the takings haven't increased in 6 months
    • woolly_wombat
    • By woolly_wombat 15th Jun 11, 10:42 AM
    • 594 Posts
    • 395 Thanks
    woolly_wombat
    ".... as I frequently close up at the end of the day I have an idea how much we take...

    I think we underprice lots of our gifts, but others disagree...."

    New shops spring up from time to time and you get to realise after a while which ones won't survive because the owner hasn't done their research.

    When you speak to the owner be sure to back up what you have to say with concrete evidence of underpricing. Be polite, not pushy.

    Be aware that whilst you may well be correct, what you have to say could well be ignored, in which case keep up the good work whilst planning your next job.

    Good luck!
    • joehoover
    • By joehoover 15th Jun 11, 10:50 AM
    • 143 Posts
    • 239 Thanks
    joehoover
    Some people here are missing the point, even if someone has been in a job longer does not equate to them knowing better. I've had co-workers for over 10 years and some of them are terrible, they do the minimum required and coast along. Nothing can be done as they don't technically do anything wrong, they just don't show initiative or enthusiasm to help push the business forwards, they are also the ones who moan about their work. Whereas everyone else who gets stuck in and makes more effort are rewarded with better bonuses and greater job satisfaction.

    I would rather work with people who are ambitious and moving towards the same goals so the company can be a success rather than people just pocketing their pay.

    A new person can also bring fresh eyes and their own experience from previous employment. What's to say the way you do things is correct because you've always done it that way. Companies should have the scope to adapt and change to a difficult market.
  • Marco12452
    Any boss worth their salt would be pleased to have constructive input.
    You are risking jobs by not speaking out.
    • nhampson
    • By nhampson 15th Jun 11, 11:27 AM
    • 123 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    nhampson
    I would welcome input if I were the boss. I would rather have someone say something which was wrong rather than say nothing and it would save the business. Wages may not be being paid but the owner will lose far more.

    As other have said you should do some research and find some examples you can use before you speak to him. Think what questions are likely to be asked to you in return and be ready for them.

    Firstly be sure that the underpricing is the issue. I would rather make 1 profit per item if it meant a thousand a day were sold rather than a 10 and sell ten. Maybe prices are more competitive as the location/footfall isnt as good and the lower prices are an enticement.
    • golddustmedia
    • By golddustmedia 15th Jun 11, 11:50 AM
    • 796 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    golddustmedia
    YES!
    Definately tell the boss. If the boss hasn't realised it already he'll be grateful to know before it's too late and may even acknowledge the insight shown, presumeably there may be future promotion to shop manager for a good employee?

    If the boss took this in a bad way at all, well then you'd have to question if you want to keep working there as sooner or later the business would likely fold.
  • nicotg
    Rural Gift Shop
    You seem to be a lot more enterprising than your boss, why don't you open your own shop online & later an outlet nearby so you can take on the customers when he goes bust.
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