Working under another person can be reassuring, aggravating, worrying and many more kinds of ‘ing’s’! In many people’s experiences, including my own, it is clear that managers come in all different shapes and attitudes. So let’s categorise them in terms of the type of superiors who are commonly found, habituating in a retail work place.
The intense one
This is a bittersweet type in my experience. The intense one is the manager who dedicates their all into work. You struggle to have ‘banter’ with them because you fail to picture them in any other way besides the sharp suit wearing, fast walking, quick talking boss who always looks like they have somewhere else to be. When they do crack quality banter it’s nothing but awkward – you’re not used to their fun side.
They can often be found floating around your workplace in their normal clothes because there’s still some paperwork to do or they need to check on things.
My manager lives in Bristol and my club is 2 hours away. He was in a meeting in the area and, instead of racing home, thought he’d pop in. He ended up staying in a hotel because later that night there was a motorway problem!
You can’t imagine socially interacting with an intense manager, but they are the one who you’d always turn to in an important situation. That’s workaholics for you, they are good at their job and are good for you.
The less intense but scary one
This one has had about 50% of the workaholic aspect taken from them, which is replaced with a personal side to their character. They are still good at their job and a great point of call for serious issues, however you feel you can talk more with them. Even with the jokes and the banter, this person still has strong authority and does not need to assert themselves! They hold that ‘I give you your hours and pay your wages’ aspect about them which is hard to ignore when socialising with them. They will look similarly as professional as the intense one, but have a much more social presence which makes them just as approachable!
Now the inbetweener is interesting. In some instances, they are more open and fun loving, giving you hugs and making a joke of your negligence at work, but when things get stressful and you’re out of line or rude they can turn into a stunt double for the scary one. It comes as more of a shock as you have to remind yourself that this fun-loving, easy-going character is still your boss – and they probably have to remind themselves to be authoritative. If I was to be a manager, this one would probably be me – a self-conscious buddy manager who then decides to turn authoritative at the wrong time.
The buddy is very much similar to the inbetweener but when they are authoritive, or attempt to be, we don’t feel shocked or awkward, in fact we laugh and mock because this person just isn’t ready to be a scary boss. Most likely they are new to the role, or in the wrong role. This person will have your back when a customer drives you insane, though. The saddest part about the buddy is that when they try to assert their authority, it falls on deaf ears as this person’s ‘best mate’ reputation sticks as hard in the mud as the professional stick in the mud for the intense one.
With that said, all managers are great because all managers are people and, most importantly, all managers fund our pizza, eBay sprees, and club nights!