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I worked at Kauffman Tire Inc full-time (More than a year)
Most of the people were fun to work with and were pretty genuine. You could pick up the phone and call or email the support staff at corporate and get answers or solutions pretty quickly.
The lack of a work life balance at retail. As a store manager you can expect to work a lot. And if you have to commute 30-40 miles in Atlanta you'll never be home at a decent time. Oh and Saturdays. You have to work Saturdays no way out of it unless you burn vacation days. The district managers can be unforgiving. Build a thousand bridges for Kauffman and then do one thing small or large and you'll lose ten pounds from stress over the next two weeks wondering if you'll lose your job or not. There is no middle ground. It's either one extreme or the other with them and the retail management team at corporate.
Advice to Management
Give your managers weekends off or at least let them go home at 10am on Saturdays. If you can't trust the assistant managers to run the stores then you need a better staff. That will do multiple things for morale. It will help keep the managers from getting burned out. It will also help create incentive amongst the assistant managers that if they work hard they'll have more balance in their personal lives. Also keeping the current pay scale and allowing the managers to work less hours will be like giving a raise without actually costing the company additional money. When it comes to customer complaints it wouldn't hurt every now and again to understand that some people are literally idiots. The customer is not always right they are just that, the customer. If you get a complaint understand it comes with the territory in retail and take care of the customer, but do it without causing a scene and chastising your employees. At the end of the day your employees are your most valuable asset. Don't drag them over the coals over something small and hang them out to dry for other employees to see. There's usually a logical explanation of why something happened without running around like the building is on fire. Knee jerk reactions aren't good for business. Ask for the other part of the story from your staff first.