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Sue A
Star Contributor

USA
447 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2011 :  9:45:32 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I didn't think of that. Went and checked. My district and DM are still the same, no changes.

Sue A
Silver Certified
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2842 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2011 :  05:52:31 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jeff, enjoy your new District Manager, she had been one of my supervisors before becoming a DM. She nice to talk to, but I've never caused any trouble.

Marla
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  02:31:29 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Does anyone have trouble with their SPAR DM??

Mine has made me almost cry multiple times. Now she wonders why I don't even want to answer the phone when she calls. If I see her on my caller ID I just want to scream.
I have been working for her for a year now. I ALWAYS get all my work done usually a day or two before the due dates, but sometimes I have one or two jobs I complete on the due date.

She is sooooo mean. She talks to me like I am dirt. She has a snotty rude tone of voice and she always interrupts me very rudely when I am trying to explain something to her. It's very obvious that she doesn't like me. When I used to be a scheduler, I loved the people I could count on and knew they would always get their work done.

When I first started out I saw on every single job it said to call your DM if you had questions. Well, I don't do that anymore. A few times I emailed her and she never would answer my emails. So I tried calling and that worked a couple of times. Someone else from SPAR emailed me about a job and I replied saying I had asked my DM a question, but had not yet heard back. Oh boy, did I ever hear it about that. She really let me have it.
A couple times when I called with legitimate questions, she got huffy and told me she just has no idea about all the details of the job. She got all snotty about how many projects she has and she can't know everything about them all. Well, excuse me for asking!!

After all of that, I avoid calling her like the plague because she gives me a stomach ache, and then a few times she griped at me for not calling her with an issue.

I was blown away one day when she asked me why I had not called SPAR about a kiosk key I needed. I had told her about it on the phone and she had told me she would take care of it, but then she didn't. She then began to lecture me about how many calls she gets and I could not expect her to remember what she had said she would do. She said I should email her, which I had stopped doing because I never got answers. I guess she has never heard of a pen and note pad to write down what she tells people on the phone she will do. So her forgetting to do her job was now my fault.

I told her one weekend that I was going out of town for my anniversary with my husband. All my work was done, but I wanted her to be aware if there was a DVD kiosk go back on the weekend, I would not be available. My kiosk had never had a go back. She made me feel like crap for having the nerve after a year to be gone for a weekend, even though my work was done. Even though there was likely to be no go back visit, she got all peeved and said she shouldn't be giving me all the work and should have someone else in the area.

She was a bit nicer to me for a while when I did her a couple of favors three weeks in a row and completed a job out of my area that she was desperate to get done.

Now I am nervous because I want to drop an area 25 miles out of my way that I do 2 stores in. When she hired me a year ago she said it would be just temp until she found someone else, but I am still doing it.
I also want to take a week off this summer since it has been over a year now with no time off. But I am pretty sure she is going to have a cow over that too.

I just wish she would treat me respectfully. I do my best to get all my jobs completed correctly and on time. I was on the learning curve in the beginning because this was my first merchandising job, but I have spent a LOT of my own time reading and teaching myself and applying myself to learn my job and do it correctly.

MSPA Silver Certified
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  02:36:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would kill to get a new DM. Wish they would re-align my area!!

MSPA Silver Certified
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Jenny41
Star Contributor

Ohio
USA
746 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  04:03:21 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kris, sorry to hear this, but I hope you don't let this person sour you on Spar or merchandising in general. Some people just do not belong in a "person" sort of job, sounds like that may be the case. Spar is a great company, I love my DM and maybe you will get a new one soon, as for the town that you want to give up, if she does not oblige, call her boss. I would, as long as you are doing your job, you should have nothing to fear.
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  05:52:18 AM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
To answer your posting, Kris. My DMM and I for the past year have gotten along very well. Have I always pleased her? NO. But if I called to let her know something, she dealt with the matter at hand in a supportive way.
IF I was tight on deadline, the call I received was to support what needed to be done to get the job and/or report in on time.
Emails were ususally handled very promptly. She stayed up nights to tend to matters and keep her inbox clean. She and I had an understanding that we could call each other at any time. (We're both night owls.)
I've been asked more than once to cover for another rep who needed time off and did so. Her only request of me if I expected to need time off was to give her as much notice as I could.

I've only talked to my new DMM a couple of times, but those calls have been of the same good caliber. MarlaB posted that she had a positive experience with my new DMM in her former position.

IF you have questions about a job, call the SAL line. I find them supportive and knowledgable or willing to ask someone who is. I suggest you try them. Your only problem with that idea is they are on east coast time.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  09:52:55 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you Jeff, Yes, I have that problem with both merchandising companies I work with. The East Coast time really causes a problem.

It's nice to know that this is not typical of SPAR. Thanks for listening to me vent!! I appreciate hearing your positive experience. Now I know I'm not nuts, but this is neither supportive nor professional behavior.
The crazy part is that she has no idea the lengths I would go to please if I had a rapport with her and felt she was cared at all about the challenges I work through to get the jobs done.


MSPA Silver Certified
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  10:05:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks Jenny.
I would agree that she is definitely not a "people person". She lets the message through loud and clear that she is only concerned with how each and every situation effects her and her bottom line, and that she doesn't care at all about how it effects me.

Once I was explaining to her why I chose to do my route the way I did. It had to do with saving time and gas because I drive about 80-100 miles per week for my jobs and I get $8 a week in gas money.

Was having trouble with one area and the conflicting due dates because I didn't want to have to drive back to an area (22 mile round trip) for one $9 job. I got the job done on the due date but didn't make it home in time for the reporting deadline due to a reset that went long. She made a snotty comment about how she would get "dinged" because I didn't want to drive "4 extra miles".

As it is of course the gas and upkeep on my car comes out of my lousy $10 per hour. So I don't think it is unreasonable for me to want to do everything in one trip and I hadn't realized at the time of the new project just how important the reporting deadline was.

Anyway, thanks so much for the response and for listening to my venting!! Sounds like I don't have a typical experience with SPAR, so I am glad for that!!
Have a good one!!

MSPA Silver Certified
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2842 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  4:17:58 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kris, be glad you're getting $10/hr, I'm not even after 3 years. Always a wage freeze when my anniversary comes up. Of course, here in the Midwest, prices are not as high as Cali.

I have one of the best DMMs ever, I had bad ones in other companies, but Gail is great. I will say I've only had to have one of my helpers do a job for me in the 3 years, and have covered for other reps when asked. That is one of the reasons that I stay with Spar, even when all of my companies pay more and offer direct deposit.

Marla
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MariaMia
Star Contributor

Los Angeles, CA
USA
274 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  5:04:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I worked for Spar many years ago and got #10 an hour so it has not changed in Ca.... the more time go by, the more they stay the same. M
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Sue A
Star Contributor

USA
447 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  6:29:45 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've been with Spar 14 years and don't get $10 hour either.I'm with Marla when my annv. date comes up, they're in a pay freeze. In those years I've had 7 dm's and have never had a problem with any of them. My last one never ever bothers me with phone calls or emails. About the only emails I get from her is out of office for so many days. Or once in a while a job that is due.I figure if I don't hear from them that I must be doing my job right and no ones complaining.

Sue A
Silver Certified
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Gayle M
Member

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  7:42:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kris, I live about in Northern,CA also. I have no problems with this DM. She send reminders to all of us and that is her job. I only make 9.50 an hour so you are well paid. The only time she has said anything negative to me was when I failed several times to print my paper work.She was right it is my job to do that.Other than that I have no issues for the last 3 years...She is alway courteous and asks me about my family. I had to take care of an ill family member and she got my area covered on short notice and told me not to worry about it. I guess I have a different experience.
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  10:33:37 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hmm, interesting. If it is the same DM, I have obviously done something to rub her the wrong way. I have never forgotten my paperwork. In a year, I had one small job that was a day late because I had a family emergency, and I called her and got permission to complete it the next day. Other than that I have gotten every single assignment done on time for the 58 weeks I have worked for her.
Wish I knew what happened to get us off on the wrong foot.

Oh, I did have a couple of Blitz's that I called in my reports for at around 12:30 instead of 12, but I had the jobs done.

I guess I am doing good at $10, but by the time I take out my gas for 80+ miles a week, the printing is only being covered at about 1/2 my cost and I put in a lot of hours printing/reading instructions & reporting.....at the end of the day, I think I net around $6 or 7. I don't know how it could be done for any less, unless you don't have much traveling.

Oh well, I guess I need to try harder and try to figure out how we got off on the wrong foot. I get along just great with my other scheduler from my other company, as well as other schedulers I have worked with in this industry. I was a scheduler for a while, so I thought I knew how to please them....get the jobs done!!


MSPA Silver Certified
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Jeff68005
Star Contributor

Bellevue, NE
USA
1171 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  11:05:15 PM  Send Jeff68005 an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kris ... You make me jelous. I often go 150+ miles per week merchandising. I have one location about 25 miles from me (one way) that I route in with other work. This week that route will have 6 stops on it and maybe a few blue boxes (NCR/BB).

On the other hand, I received notice that one chain of stores will have their visits cut in half or worse. Naturally, I expect the stores to blame me for the visit reduction. My most distant store is part of that route.

I agree with you that we spend a few unpaid hours each week preparing for our tasks and then again reporting. That seems to be true of all the companies that I work for.

SPAR is on the low end (pay wise) of the companies that I work for, but for the most part the work is steady. I can make up some of that with improved routing of my weekly blue box loading. That happened about 4 - 6 months ago with the addition of some locations. Another SPAR rep and I traded locations about 8 months back. That worked out better for both of us.

Jeff Hix
Serving metro Omaha, Nebraska including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Ralston, Plattsmouth and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
MSPA Silver Certified - MSPA Gold Certified - NARMS Proficiency Test PASSED
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Gayle M
Member

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2011 :  11:42:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I don't think anyone gets good pay any longer in merchandising. I have one company that I make 11.00 for and the rest are 10.00,9.50 or flat rated jobs. Years ago the pay and the time were different. When you are an independendent contractor you do spend your own time reading and printing. But in return you have flexibility and the ability to switch your schedule around. I take care of an ill parent right now, and this job allows me to take my mother to the Doctors and still make a living. It would not be like that if I had a 9-5 job. I would not have a job, if I was in this same situation. I do know that communication is the key to everything in this work and if we don't communicate with our management it makes their job much harder. I am not saying this is your issue, but I have found that is important with all companies.
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  12:25:26 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Marla,
So glad you've had a good experience. So far I've stayed with SPAR because they offer me the most work and the most regular weekly jobs instead of sporadic.
Ya, things are definitely more expensive here. $3.89 for gas right now. And my DM wonders why I do everything in my power to get all my jobs done in an area in one day. I cover 4 cities for her and they are in opposite directions. If I have to go back to another city twice in one week, I have to pay for that out of my own pocket!! And she was saying she would get "dinged"!! I get "dinged" all the time when they have something like sending me to KMart on Friday for a Blitz that pays $5,but costs me $4 in gas!!

Oh, well,I like the flexible schedule, so I will stick with it. I just wondered if my experience was typical.

Thanks for your feedback!!

MSPA Silver Certified
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  12:35:24 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I agree Gayle,
I have stayed in this job for the one and only reason of flexibility. It is the one real perk.

I've had some issues with time frames and department management schedules in my out of town jobs that have really narrowed my flexibility, which has been discouraging.

But if I went and did some other type of retail, I sure wouldn't have weekends off!!

MSPA Silver Certified
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  12:44:24 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jeff,
Wow, I wouldn't want to travel any more than I do. I just finished having to put new tires on my car, a new windshield due to a crack from driving my route & doing a big tune up ahead of schedule because of work mileage....all to the tune of $1000+ That really hurt! I guess that partly accounts for my wondering if this is really worth it!!

Time in the car is usually not covered either, which can really add up. I don't know how you do it for that many more miles!!

I also had 4 stores go from A to B which means visits every other week instead of every week. I knew they would from the beginning as their sales have been low right from the start.

Well, in the end this job is making my car payment and paying for 2 other bills. And I am able to have weekends off and some control over my schedule. So I will probably keep at it. Especially with the alternatives in the job market right now.

MSPA Silver Certified
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Kris R.
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  12:48:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Gayle,
Sounds like we have about the same experience. My other merchandising company pays more, but the work is not regular. I like having the regular weekly visits I can count on with SPAR. Plus, once you get to know the project and the store you spend less time preparing and reading instructions, so it gets easier. The one-time jobs I get take longer in prep because I like to know what I am doing before I get to the store!!

MSPA Silver Certified
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MarlaB
Star Contributor

Attica, IN
USA
2842 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2011 :  05:25:08 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kris, gas is $3.65, or at least yesterday. I don't travel that much, but I also only work about 10-12 hrs plus 4 NCRs. About 65miles per week for Spar and maybe that much for the other companies that I work for monthly. I do work all of the companies into my driving schedule. I just got a new vehicle and not sure what kind of mileage I'll get from it, hopefully better, at least more dependable. I also have a mother that need the doctor visits and such, plus 1 in nursing home, and 5 grandkids. This is the only kind of work that I want now, and it works around my other 'career', farmers marketing.

Marla
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