What counts as "working" for Shift manger?

Due to today’s “food court” story from the shift Manager OP, I’m wondering what counts as “working” for a Shift manager? This story: Talk Fast To Fight The Slowdown

I would think that part of their job would be to try to troubleshoot POS machines if there’s problem with them and they need the POS to work to take orders and cash/debit and credit cards. But another commenter says “Op should be instead working helping out with the bagging orders and such” because of the huge line.

“Manager” is one of those roles thats going to have a huge range of definitions depending on the company you are at. But in general in my experience the higher up the management chain you go the less defined your workday is. Your “working” is solving whatever problem is currently occuring as best you can and prioritizing resources. I once had a boss tell a coworker “dont ever worry about comming to me with a problem. If you dont have problems there is no reason for me to be here”

So in an instance where there is a long line and a bad POS system. Both might fall under a managers responsibility but they arent going to solve the POS system during a rush so they should help with the problem they can do something abut now and then work on the POS problem later.

Im in a more managerial role now and I can tell you my experience. I will never solve all of the problems on my plate. Its just not possible, so you decide which problems are more important than others and which you can actually do something about.


The thing to remember is the OP is there; the commentators are not.

There was a LOT of things against it being an efficient day: lack of staff, increased demand, and then power outages caused the order screen to pack it in.

OP could have gone straight onto helping clear the queue, but then they would have been without order screens for far longer and thay could have made things worse. OP took the decision to work on the screens, and we have to assume that the time cost of them working on fixing that issue outweighs the time cost of it not being done at all.

It’s all well and good us, in the comfort of our homes with no idea of all the information the OP has to hand to say “OP should have been serving”, but we weren’t there; we don’t know. It may well be that fixing the screen there and then wasn’t the best use of their time.

But OP was there, and they know the system, so we should at least offer them the courtesy that they were making the right decision based on the information they had at the time.


Yeah someone should tell that to Snowy commenter. They’re the ones insisting on the comments that “Op should be helping with the bagging the orders instead of fooling around troubleshooting the POS” . But they probably wouldn’t listen.

Thanks for answering my question!

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If there’s a line of 30 people and I can get the POS working by Customer 10, that frees up not only me but also the person yelling out the orders. POS fixing for my vote.


My manager was all over the place. He noted absences manually since the paper system was stopped due to plague, rearranging people in their positions if there were too many people off that day, turning on/off the machines in the control room at precisely the right time for breaks, talked in-depth with the maintenance crew about mechanical problems, and jumped in to help us if things were moving too fast. Those are only the things I know about and can name off the top of my head. He should absolutely not have been working with the rest of us all night, or even during an entire busy period.

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