GETTING MORE TALE #565: The Price We Gotta Pay
(And All the Games We Gotta Play)
I was reminded of this story recently, when J from Resurrection Songs asked about pricing schemes for new release albums.
We had a pricing schedule, created by the manager that I have called “The Bully” in these pages. I’m sure she did a fantastic job of purchasing, pricing and stocking goods. She was horrible at managing people, and never should have been in any position of power over others.
The pricing schedule was pretty simple. Any time we’d get a shipment of brand new stock, there would be an invoice packed with it showing our cost on each title. The Bully made up a pricing schedule based on cost, so we could price incoming items easily. For example, if the cost of the item fell between $10.40 and $11.60 (plus shipping), our sell price might have been $13.99. (That’s not an actual pricing scheme, that’s just an example of how it worked.) This way, all of our stores would have consistent pricing across the board. That was important. It also made it easy for us to price things on our own without having to ask for too much direction.
The pricing scheme was created and implemented during one of the periods when The Bully was no longer speaking to me. Who knows why anymore. A manager who stops speaking to her direct reports is the very definition of unprofessional.
I came in one Tuesday afternoon, which is when the brand new stock arrived. Remember New Release Tuesdays? I began pricing the new releases using the pricing scheme she made. Suddenly she broke her silence and started going at me.
“You’re pricing these all wrong!” she yelled. Unfortunately nobody was in the store to witness the exchange, so you’ll just have to believe me. I looked down at the paper in front of me. “But this is the price right here on the new pricing schedule.” I looked at it again to make sure I wasn’t wrong. I wasn’t.
She paused and yelled again. “Forget about that!!” Then she stormed into the back office, slammed the door and stopped speaking to me again. No witnesses, no apology either. An updated pricing schedule was issued shortly after. I never reported this behavior. As discussed in a prior chapter, I had brought up her abuse before and didn’t see any changes. I just sucked it up until I couldn’t anymore.
Some may doubt these stories, which is understandable, but I’m the guy with the journals. I’ll never forget the way I was treated by one very unprofessional jerk.