Don’t shoot the manager, fire ’em.

One last anecdotal lesson for the week regarding our trip to Shelby MT last weekend.

Dan often talks about people’s actions not being congruent with their stated desires. I like that word – congruent.

Behavior that isn’t congruent exactly describes a convenience store I was in this weekend.

The store is one of a chain owned by a large Montana corporation and is in what might be considered an “economically challenged” town – despite being 15 miles from one entrance to Glacier National Park and 30 miles from another.

When I walked into this store last Friday, I noticed a sign on the wall behind the registers. It said “<town name> Most Improved Store”. I thought “That’s pretty cool, especially here.” I say that because quality businesses just don’t seem to happen here. Lowest common denominator is more of the norm. Any sign of improvement, especially if it improved enough to be noticed by corporate, is something to celebrate. Celebrating business is just not something I associate this place with. It’s pretty run down, unfortunately.

Then my eyes dropped to the sign just below the “Most Improved Store” certificate.

Shoot the manager?Keep in mind, this isn’t in the employee break room – where it might be mildly funny for a day or so since no customer would ever see it. Even there, it shouldn’t be a permanent fixture because of the attitude it might generate.

BUT…this sign is right in the line of sight for a customer at the register and right under the “Most Improved Store” Certificate.

I was astounded. So much so that I went back the following weekend to take a photo of the sign (seen above).

The upside, if there can be one, is that I have to go back through this town on Friday, so I will see about getting you a picture and will update this post if I get one.

Can you imagine the reaction from customers who see this? Perhaps the locals don’t care, but it’s not a great first impression for the tourist on a long drive across the prairie who is finally in sight of the mountains. This is the oasis they stop into before they mosey down the road 30 miles into Glacier Park, only to be confronted by this sign – easily readable from the counter.

Even my 15 year old son, who gets indoctrinated by osmosis, couldn’t believe they put that sign where a customer could see it.

And here’s the “Not Congruent” kicker – it’s on the wall right outside of the store manager’s office…

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