Personal Management Journals

This is another assignment that I have done for my Management 360 class. The requirement for this class is that I have to keep a personal journal of 6 entries that have come from different sources.

Journal #1 Like usual I always read newsletter on a Saturday morning. I was scanning through the newspaper to find what interesting topic to read. I saw a section called “Why some restaurants are doing away with tipping”, I started reading and found that the way that the chef-owner Amanda Cohen manage her restaurant is pretty interesting. Amanda Cohen is chef-owner of Dirt Candy restaurant in New York. She eliminating the line to write in a tip on her checks. Instead, a 20 percent ‘administrative fee’ is tacked onto every bill and goes toward employees’ salaries, for both servers and cooks. Chef Cohen’s attempt to chance tipping culture is not just an economic issue; it is also an emotional one. She believe that when you are a server on salary—rather than relying on often-mercurial guests for your financial livelihood—every night is a good night. In the article, her statement was “Everybody works for me. I should be the one to pay them.” From this article, I think this is a good management that Chef Cohen use for her restaurant. I think the idea that if you get bad service, you get to punish the server—that is awful. If the service is bad, the customers can complain, say something to the manager, or let the restaurant take care of it. Instead of going to decide how much they going to pay for the server’s job.

Journal #2 Three years ago, I have the experienced to work at Wal-Mart for 2 years. I believe Wal-Mart have a good management system. At Walmart, management is a mixture of controls and standards with a certain degree of freedom for everyone to be able to test on new things and continue to innovate for improvement. Management strategy is built on teams and the managers go through the process of working with their teams members. Mangers go with the group and after every major operation, they all sit down together to analyze the strengths and improve on the weaknesses of the endeavor. Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, introduced some of the basic concepts of management which were popular with employees until the present. He offered stock options and store discounts to his employees. Walton believed that teams will always do better than individuals hence; he has always tried his best to make his employees happy since happy employees make happy customers and more sales. Another reason he is that he believes that the employees would care about the company more when they are a part of it and their success is dependent on the company’s success. At Wal-Mart, management encourages their employees to be open to talk and air out their concern and problems. This is what they call the “open door policy” management style.

Journal #3 Why can’t Kmart be successful while Target and Walmart thrive? Walmart’s success doesn’t just stem from impressive logistics, aggressive vendor management and its position as a low cost retailer. What really underlies Walmart’s advantage is a coherent and differentiated approach to the market. Target offers a very different value proposition, focuses on different capabilities and has a different product portfolio. Kmart, the least successful of the group, is struggling to define its way to play. The lack of a clear concept about how to reach the market, in our view, is the single most important factor in explaining why Kmart’s fortunes have fallen so far, compared to its two rivals. Kmart does not have a good management system. Without a clear way to play, and capabilities to support it, a company like Kmart cannot achieve coherence it needs to truly excel at what it does, and thus outpace competitors.

Journal #4 I used to work at Deb shops. Deb was a great company to work for. They treated employees very well and corporate was always respectful and helpful. However, Debs going out of business was a hard blow to my entire team. The downside of Deb is the management part. The management was horrible. Things were always changing with no warning; the work load is off balance and not good planning. The amount of tasking can get overwhelming, you work with only one coverage and can have Mark downs, then they will throw a sale change and expect it all to be done within a short amount of time while taking care of customers.

Journal #5 Stopped in at Harry A’s on Saturday night (6/26/2010 – family vacation) at 8pm—just wanted drinks and to listen to the band and dance. My dad ordered a pitcher of Sangria and 2 bottles of water. We left a half pitcher of the two Sangria, 2 full glasses of Sangria and the 2 full unopened bottles of water on the table when we got up to dance. When we returned 5 minutes later the table had been cleared! We asked 3 different servers to resolve the problem and were ignored. Then we asked if a manager could come over to our table and that never had happened. So we went looking for the manager by ourselves. We explained what happened to the manager and her only response was that they were very busy and she begrudgingly shouted to the bartender “get him a ½ pitcher of Sangria” without once offering an apology. My dad then said to her—“This is the way you treat your customers when you staff does something wrong?” At this point the manager walked away to deal with another family that was complaining loudly about the service they had received. My dad stood at the bar for at least 10 minutes being ignored while waiting for his replacement ½ pitcher of wine which he never did receive. He then proceeded to locate the manager he had spoken to who was at that moment embroiled in a loud argument with other complaining family. (At this point it is obvious that management’s attitude is not to satisfy the customer if a problem arises).

Journal #6 Well! Last night I went through one of my worst dining experiences in my life. I met up with my friend at a local pizza and pasta at 8:00pm and ordered my usual order of pasta and garlic sticks. My friend ordered the exact same item. Fifteen minutes later, one order of pasta arrives. I asked the waitress if the second order was on the way soon, the waitress gives me a blank stare. I told my friend to go ahead and eat her meal first, I figured I could wait 15 more minutes. It is important to keep in mind the restaurant was not busy, after all, it was a Monday night and there were only two tables being served. My friends goes about eating her pasta, while I watch the clock. 10 minutes turns to 20, then 25, then 30, then 35. At this point the food has not arrived and I have not seen the waitress in 35 minutes. So I walk to the manager and ask him if he could locate our waitress. He looks around and shrugs. The manager tells me he does not know where the waitress went. My friend has finished eating about 10 minutes ago. One would assume that a concerned restaurant manager would go into the kitchen and check on my food order that seems to have been sucked into a culinary black hole or is burnt to a crisp at this point. What does he do? NOTHING! At 9:30 (an hour and a half later) my food order suddenly appears and the waitress tells me she would be happy to box up my order so I can eat it at home. If I wanted to take out, I would have ordered take out. I told the waitress to tell the manager that I had no intention to pay for my order of pasta that never arrived. I asked her what went wrong and she just shrugged her shoulders and did not offer an explanation. The biggest problem I have is that no apology or explanation was given by restaurant management. When that is the case you know the establishment is going down the tubes. However, the only good thing is that I was told that there would be no charge for the meal. Being the nice girl I am, I still tipped the waitress with a 15% tip. I usually tip 20%, and should I have tipped zero for the awful service I received. Should I have don’t that? Would you?



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