The second day I go in, the district manager is there with 3 other managers,(NOTE:there are a total of 5 employees, 4 of which are managers at my studio). Well I am sitting at the table getting ready to do my e-learning,and I overhear the district manager and the (I guess) assistant manger, whispering (talking) about the store manager after she left to go print out flyers. I thought that was so unprofessional and rude, I just sat there acting as though I wasn't paying attention, because they were whispering LOUD. As my day progressed I noticed that every time my manager was in the camera room showing me something, the DM would come in and cut her off, basically telling her that what she was showing me was the wrong way to do it, belittling the manager in front of me.And that's of course bad enough, but what I really want to talk about this is the following:
Moving on to the next couple days of work, I did a couple of my e-learning skill assessments, and then she immediately started teaching me how to use Express, SAS, how to make sales at the sales tables, and so on. She has been teaching these things so fast, its hard for me to remember. (NOTE: What happened to training me through the training book/guide???). But anyway she had me posing the teddy bear as an infant and using the posing guide online. Posing infants was the only subject I had learned to pose up to my 3rd day of work.This seems to be the norm still unfortunately and a self defeating cycle for SPS. People are going to come to Sears, feel like they're getting photos that aren't up to par because they're done by new [untrained] employees, they're going to spend what the photos are worth [$9.99], and Sears is going to do poorly financially and therefore put more pressure on its people to save more money on labor, encouraging them to spend less time on labor.
On my fourth day of work which happened to fall on a Friday she threw me in the camera room cold turkey and I was completely LOST. She was OFF that day as well. To top it off every session I had was GROUPS!!! I had NO idea about posing groups, so that meant every 5 minutes I was running outside the camera room asking for help. I was terrified and so unsure of everything except making a catalog on express LOL. I haven't even been trained on keeping my sessions to a minimum of 15 minutes,so all of my sessions were at least 20-45 minutes long, due to my lack of knowledge. The whole time the ass.manager was running in the room telling me to "speed it up" there are other customers waiting.
This was always a ridiculous cycle in my studio. Yeah, I get that you're trying to save on labor by getting people going as soon as possible, but you can't send them in unprepared (especially with groups: sheesh). They're going to quit and when they quit, you're going to have to pay for the labor all over again when you hire the next person. I know in my studio they hired in twos since once would always stop showing up. after a few days.
Clearly it's not working when you can't keep anyone around. Something has to change: why not train people correctly and give them the time? I know it's a huge labor investment, but so is having to have the coverage to train a new person every week. I'm not trying to say that this is the studio manager's fault: I think that a lot of the decisions they make are based on the environment that's created by those higher up.
Of course, how in the world can any managers give adequate training when there's only two employees at many studios these days? (And not only that, how can they convince new people that they're going to like working there if they're overworked and run ragged themselves?)