Red Mango Business Practices

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

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    I just started as a manager of this frozen yogurt place called Red Mango in early January, its mostly owned by Korean people and they seemed nice during the first month. I began to see how cheap they are and disgusting business practices that go on there in as little as 3 or 4 weeks. I was told to hire someone, but they wanted to meet the person before a decision was made. I had a bunch of people come in that sent me letters and resumes while responding to a Craigslist ad we posted. I spoke to many people over the phone and had a good 15 or so people come in.

    So the first guy comes in, he's a bit chunky. I wouldn't call him fat, but he was bulky. If you put him in a suit he might look like a bouncer. He wasn't muscular, but whatever. The owner asked who he was and I said an applicant, before I got up to go interview him the manager said to get rid of him, he "doesn't want fat employees". So I talked to him and told him we would get back to him. Then a nice Puerto Rican girl came in, he didn't want to hire her because "latinos are lazy". Most of the employees we have now are either Korean or Chinese...I'm the only white person there. We have no black or hispanic employees, our total number of people is 12 right now.

    So the owner calls my cell one day while I was working up on the main floor and asked me to come downstairs into the office. Him and the Chairman of the Red Mango franchises of New York were in the office talking and sat me down and said "don't give free samples to blacks, they don't have money to buy anything". I found that statement to be disgusting, but I need a paycheck and arguing with them was only going to get me fired and not convince them to abandon their bigotry.

    I had dinner with the owner and Chairman and a couple other people one night, and they were casually asking me about my life and asked if I had a girlfriend. I'm a bisexual, and am currently seeing a Korean guy, but knowing their attitude I just said yes I have a girlfriend, the owner did meet my ex-girlfriend who I dated for 3 years.

    So two days ago, I was in the office talking with the owner, and he was telling me how pleased he was with how things are going. We both commented how the store is finally running smoothly, all the little problems we had since opening this January seem to be solved and things are good. Then today the owner as I'm leaving tells me "I sent you an email, call me after you read it". The email said the following...

    Dear *******,

    As a manager position for a brand new company, we expect leadership by way of example, dedication and hard work. So far, you have not demonstrated those qualities and would like to remind you that you are still under the 90 days probationary period.

    I hope you can step up and show evryone that you deserve to be a manager for Red mango store.


    Sincerely,
    ******* **

    Now this is nonsense, when we were being trained during January I spent 65 hours in one week in the store helping to get it ready. We only got paid $60 for all the hours of training we spent there. I continue to devote myself to that store despite what I deem disgusting personalities of the people who run the business. Yesterday, my boyfriend came into the store, and we are usually very discreet since a lot of people are very uncomfortable seeing two guys. My boyfriend gave me a quick kiss on the cheek in the back part of the store not knowing there are cameras to observe the store. I'm convinced the owner saw this and now wants to get rid of me because of my sexual orientation, though I'm not 100% certain.

    I'm just really annoyed, I'm already in the process of looking for another job, but this one is so close by and it pays alright and I really enjoy the employees I work with. They also pay everyone off the books EXCEPT me, who gets a check and a big chunk taken out from taxes. Sorry for the long post, its alright if you don't read it...I just had to rant.
     
  2. SpoiledPrincess

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    Send an email back outlining what you feel you've done and why you feel you've shown leadership qualities. Have the other people in the store worked there for a long time? Some places use the discretionary period to get rid of as many people as they can because they can let them go without the people having any legal come back? You mentioned that you were trained with other people when you joined so perhaps it's a dodgy firm where they regularly get rid of people within the discretionary period and lay a trail so that if they're called on it they can justify their not keeping you on.
     
  3. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

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    I sent this letter, we were all hired at the same time more or less but the rest of them are High School students, I'm the only one who is in the store almost all of the time.

     
  4. SpoiledPrincess

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    You might want to quickly edit your name out of that, but it's a good letter, you've laid down what you do and that you go above and beyond expectations.
     
  5. No_Strings

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    Honestly? I'd secretly record some of his racist ramblings and drop him in it. :newangel:
     
  6. earllogjam

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    Maybe it is the curse of that 'Survivor' TV show. Doesn't that Korean guy who won own Red Mango? The other survior, Richard Hatch is now in jail for tax evasion - I think he also was suspected of child abuse of his adopted son.
     
  7. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

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    Wikipedia says he tried to open one but was shut down, but I guess he is associated with the company.
     
  8. snoozan

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    Why are you still working there? Why aren't you on the phone trying to contact people about their illegal hiring practices? How can you morally and personally help these people by contributing to their success?
     
  9. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

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    I have mixed feelings, I don't want them to succeed obviously but I wouldn't even know who to contact. Also I'm not quite fired yet and I really need a paycheck until I can secure a new job.
     
  10. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    These folks are handing you a line. I would say the writing is on the wall. Either they've discovered you're dating a guy or they want you to enforce their discriminatory practices or they've determined you're not a "team player."

    Sales projections and data are something they should be sharing with you. As a manager you need to know the sales goals for the quarter, projected growth AND you should be part of the team that formulates these figures. To not include you in them leaves you in an untenable situation.

    This is a really common problem in business these days: all the responsibility but none of the authority. If you're the manager then you need to have your performance expectations spelled out in crystal clear terms on paper and you need to be part of the decision making process. YOU know what's happening in that store. You should know every single quarterly cost and sale that store makes and how it matches projections in similar demographic areas for stores in that chain and direct competitors. YOU should let them know what you believe is possible, what direction the store should take in terms of marketing to your particular territory, and YOU should be aware of every single policy the business has not only to cover your ass with them, but with your employees. That you don't know these things and that they've sent you such a vague letter tells me they don't know what they're doing.

    Whether the rock hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the rock, it always comes out badly for the pitcher. -Cervantes

    You need to re-write that letter and tell them they need to spell out exactly what you have failed to do and exactly what level of performance they are expecting from you and the store. You need to be part of management, not just a wage-worker they don't have to pay as much because he's salaried. You cannot let yourself be part of a team when you have no say in the direction of the team. They don't have to listen to you, but you should have a say so they always know your position going into performance discussions and projections.

    If they refuse, resign immediately. Don't wait to get fired. Save copies of the letters they sent you and the letters you sent them. Your professionalism and future is at stake and you need to cover your butt for other employers.

    What sounds worse to the next job?

    "I was fired because blah blah blah"

    OR

    "I felt I had to resign because the owners refused, after several requests, to expressly state not only store performance expectations but my own performance expectations. I do not believe I could manage the store without knowing what was expected of me and my employees. I believe a manager has to have clear guidelines and policies so that I can gauge performance. I believe a manager has to be part of the decision making and sales/costs projection process. I believe a manager has to know everything about what he's responsible for, not operate in the dark."

    In case you aren't sure, if you can say the second to the next employer you interview with, you can be damned sure they'll be impressed. Don't mention how well you got along with anybody because it raises a question in the mind of the interviewer that perhaps, if you're denying something without being asked, that there really was a problem.

    Remember that, as a manager, you're looking out for the best interests of your little piece of the company and, to do so properly and with the best chance of success, you need to have all the data about everything you're responsible for. You can't manage what you don't know. Don't let them put you behind the 8-ball.

    Racism is bad business practice. If you don't sell to blacks and someone tells Al Sharpton or Channel 7, then you'll have people picketing the store or even vandalizing it. To appease Sharpton (and all the news cameras), they'll offer you up as a sacrifice, blaming the policy on you and denying that Red Mango actually has such a policy. Your name will be on regional TV and your career will be shot. Get out now for your own best interest and send them a letter expressing exactly what I said and leave it at that. Deliver pizza if you have to. These people aren't worth your future.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd New Member

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    Orbitz, you seem like an articulate guy....how hard would it be to find a similar job in NYC? There have to be tons of similar jobs for you. Pinkberry has a presence there. Why not try to move over there?

    And sorry you have to be going through this crap. The email from the boss sounded very vague and without foundation.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd New Member

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    One other thing, you may want to keep the name of the company out of this post....since this is a public forum, someone with an axe to grind could find you at that store and give you a hard time and/or "out" you...it would be pretty easy to link up the location and your face pics...just food for thought.

    Best of luck with this!
     
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