Nordstrom - Asked to Step Down After 10 Years of Management
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA -- I've worked for Nordstrom for 11 years, 10 years of that in management. I have been asked to move 3 times to other states to take over management to turn business around. I had been with this store for 5 years when my store manager was asked to relocate because she had been there to long. I would say she was the best store manager I had ever had with Nordstrom. January, new store manager is transferred from out of state. A man who has only managed a store for 2 years. I haven't worked for a man in 25 years for good reason. And I am a man myself. Most of my interaction with him was negative. It was very clear that he either didn't like me or the job I was doing. I had been having great business and increases for the past year. Had received cash call almost monthly.
My increases had been so good that I was having a hard time getting a monthly bonus. Managers monthly bonuses are revised every quarter on trend and increase. If you're doing well you have to do better. For the months of Nov. Dec. and Jan. I had to have an increase over 50% to make Bonus. Nov. Dec. no bonus but in Jan. 165% increase and a pick up of $65,000. This translated to a bonus of $659.
I had requested a sabbatical leave the beginning of November with my old store manager. This is a benefit of the company that after 10 years of continual employment you can take 6 weeks off unpaid. My old store manager had also promoted my best employee to an assistant position in another department. New store manager did not know anything about the sabbatical and I kind of freaked. I found my request with signatures of store manager and HR manager. I asked the HR manager about it and she told me that the request was in a different file so the new store manager didn't know about it.
To be fair I did have a few oops moments of things I was to do but didn't do them the way I was used to or should have. I did feel like I was being watched and judged. I tried not to have much interaction with the new store manager. He also told me that managers didn't go on sabbatical if they were short staffed. I was fine when I requested the sabbatical and my previous store manager promoted my employee. The HR department isn't the best at finding employee's for you. They rely on people applying on line to get prospective employee's.
I was having a schedule review for the month I would be gone. I had a line for a new hire, the store manager asked who the new hire was. I told him that I was trying to get someone hired. The HR manager was there as well and I was asking her about their hiring process. I was later told I was being disrespectful to the HR manager. The store manager asked me to rewrite the schedule with only 2 employee's. This in the fact that I was short one employee and I would be gone for 6 weeks. Later that afternoon he called me and said I had brought up some good points and rewrite the schedule with a temp dept. manager.
Days before I was to go on sabbatical there was no temp. dept. manager. My employee's were not looking forward to each closing 3 to 4 days a week. Normally we would split the closings and I closed as much as they did.
On my second day of sabbatical I heard from my previous employee who had been promoted and was now managing next to me. She told me that they had just announced the temp. manager that day. Nothing like upper store management planning ahead. It is very normal that at the store level as manager you must have everything scheduled and planned in advance. As far as corp. and upper management it is usually late. Such as our quarterly bonus arrangements are usually delivered to us 6 weeks into the 12 week quarter.
I traveled most of my sabbatical and spent a lot of money. Work was always on my mind and the work situation as well. When I returned I went right back to work. Several weeks after I returned the store manager called me into his office. Most of our interaction is behind closed doors, you have to know that Nordstrom has an open door policy and his behavior isn't the norm. Most employees commented on this as well.
He told me that he was surprised that I hadn't met with him after my return as it was a get away and time to think about things. After some brief conversation he told me that I didn't have the management skills to manage the department and that I didn't hold my employee's accountable. My employee's as well as myself are in our 50's. The new store manager is turning 50 this year. I was asked to step down, I would not be able to sell in my department or the dept. my previous employee was managing. I was offered designer handbags or Salon shoes. I choose to go to Designer Handbags. This step down resulted in a pay loss of 70%. I went to a dept. making $10 per hour and 6.5% commission.
It was clear after a week that this was not for me or where I wanted to be. I called a friend who managed my previous Dept. in the city I came from. There was an opening in the dept. and I gave notice and would be there in a week and a half. I would start at $16 per hour and would continue to work with my regular employees.
There is a big trend at my old store. The new store manager is cleaning house and getting rid of managers that are over 40, been there to long and most likely making to much money. I was replaced by a 27 year old with management in bridge departments. Needless to say my old employee's are having a hard time with her management style.
Although I have changed stores I am still with the company. One of my best customers contacted me because she and her boyfriend had both been contacted by the new dept. manager. She wanted to make sure that they were being taken care of and that she was there to help if she could. Any one who knows me knows that I do a lot of business by email and phone calls. I am in contact with all my clients. This is a very odd line as I haven't left the company just gone to another store out of state. My client told her that she would continue to work with me. Her boyfriend told her that he thought it was rude of her to call. Most likely because I was still with the company and working with both of them.
There are changes every year with any company but this year there seem to be more then any. Everything is being micro managed to the nth degree. Opening accounts, using mobile devices, etc. I'm sure this is coming from upper management who does not work on the floor and is trickling down hard.
The company does seem to be big on hiring 20 year olds when our main clientele is 35-70. Yes they are talking about the YC "younger client" at the loss of our older one. I'm sure that by the end of the month there will be many more older managers gone from my old store. I was not the first one that this happened to. Support jobs had been revised so that they could let someone older go and hire someone younger. I'm sure this will come back to bite them in the ass.