On Work Stress

The difference two hours can make.

Every Monday the managers in my district have a conference call with our supervisor. This Monday was no different. Two o’clock conference call. It was an upbeat call focusing on areas to develop over the next week and important new releases this week–Gran Turismo 4, Tekken 5, MVP Baseball 2005. Ten minutes into the call, my supervisor mentioned that his supervisor, the Regional Vice President, was likely to visit in the latter half of the week. Toward the end of the call, he explained what was likely to happen and not to be overly concerned–the stores were in great shape and this would be a low-stress visit.

Two hours later the low-stress visit had turned into nearly full-on panic mode.

Two hours after that my supervisor dropped by and produced a list of a few dozen changes he wanted to see implemented by Wednesday, the date of the visit.

None of the changes are drastic. Move this there. Take down that display. Tidy up the backroom.

It might be an interesting visit. A Regional Vice President. A Regional Manager. Two District Managers. Five or six Store Managers. Wednesday will be an interesting day irregardless, given all the games releasing that day, to say nothing of the scheduling quirk that is Wednesday which would make the potential visit a distraction more than anything.

My staff thinks I spend too much time at the store. Indeed, I’d planned on leaving at something close to a decent time today, and ended up staying two hours later than I’d intended. I can see tomorrow being another late night.

Such is life, though. The reality of the job.

Of all the games releasing this week the one I most anticipate is MVP Baseball. I am a little concerned that EA is releasing this game so far in advance of the season–pitchers and catchers have already reported, so teams aren’t anywhere close to finalizing their twenty-five man rosters. And it’s more than likely that some trades–like the Sammy Sosa trade to Baltimore–won’t be reflected in the game. I liked last year’s MVP Baseball, and I hope this year’s incarnation brings something new to the table.

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