About 'Who's Minding the Store?'

‘Who’s Minding the Store?’ is about a retail home improvement store on the verge of being shut down unless sales improve. Enter Derrick Payton, a veteran retail salesman and manager. He arrives to The Design, Your Choice for Home Improvement to take on the role of operations manager. On his first day his district manager tells him, “You’re the new store manager and you’ve got one week to improve sales or the store will be closed permanent!”

Feeling more like being thrown to the wolves instead of celebrating his new promotion, Derrick takes on the challenge the only way he knows, which is keeping a positive mind and attitude. What Derrick doesn’t realize is most of his employees carry on like all is normal despite dismal sales numbers. For the sake of maintaining morale, he keeps the ultimatum to himself, even from his wife, who repeatedly presses him about getting a raise for his sudden elevation to store manager.

When a couple of employees praise Derrick for being the only manager who answers his phone he comes up with an idea to motivate employees and turn sales numbers in their favor. But this proves easier said than done when two of the assistant managers on his staff battle him at every turn, making his attempts tougher than necessary.

Right when Derrick thinks he’s got a handle of things he must deal with employees who don’t understand the need to come to work on time and help customers because that’s what they’re paid to do. Amid the chaos of unhappy and ungrateful employees fortunate enough to have a job, Derrick comes face to face with the oddest customers anyone could ever meet.

Customer satisfaction takes on a whole new meaning when Derrick addresses complaint after complaint. “You promised me a discount!” “You promised my delivery would be first thing this morning!” “I demand you reimburse me the two thousand dollars I’m out of pocket because of your store’s mistake!” “Get me the store manager!” And it’s right about here where Derrick wants to run for cover.

Only he’s got no place to run and no place to hide.

‘Who’s Minding the Store?’ is real in more ways you will imagine. I know. I lived experiences like you will read in my 2nd published novel. Don’t misunderstand me. This is not a book about me. It’s a book about me, you, and the person next to you. That’s right! It’s a book all of us will relate to because all of us have had a job in retail, or something similar, that puts us face to face with over-demanding, under-appreciate customers and fellow employees who come to work to be paid, but offer little in the way of working for it.

The stories do not represent any real persons, but the scenarios are very real. There wasn’t a day I didn’t find myself smiling as my fingers stroked the keyboard to my laptop, reminiscing while I wrote of a time that made me laugh more often than leaving angry.

When I think of the customers who wanted something for nothing, the employees who didn’t understand why they had to come to work on time, the managers who believed it made sense to pay people $10 per hour versus $15, I can’t say there was a single moment I wondered why I put up with such chaos for the past twenty-something years     and counting! Believe it or not, I can’t help wondering how people put up with my own antics, which remain undisclosed in this blog, but will find in my book ‘Who’s Minding the Store?’