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Subject: new term - alpha owner? rss

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Will

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A few years ago, someone opened another gaming store in my area. There was already a store that focused on selling with some emphasis on table space, but very little open gaming time. The new place focused more on having table space and being open a lot, but selling food & drinks with less emphasis on selling games. There was a strict no outside food or drinks policy which did not apply to a select few.

The guy who opened the store a few years ago had to deal with other things & looked for someone to take over the store. There was an arrangement that let the new manager ease into it to see if she could make it profitable, while he retained ownership until she decided and so he could recover some of what he had invested. For the first 2 weeks, she did what he told her to do, and it continued to do poorly. Then she started doing things her way, which included such radical concepts as listening to customer feedback and acting on suggestions, and in a week, she tripled the weekly revenue. He continued to tell her to do things his way, and she kept doing things her way.

Eventually, he disappeared, pulled money out of the account to prevent the rent from getting paid when it was already a month behind making the place go 2 months behind on the rent. He claimed that his wife (who is not a part of the business had "accidentally" used the wrong debit card, and that he would replace it, which he didn't. The place was shut down.

Finally, after weeks of him hiding, his wife confirmed that he intentionally sabotaged the business because it wasn't being run the way he wanted. He could have recovered some of his money as the new manager was turning the place profitable, but he threw a tantrum, and scuttled the business. He sabotaged the store because customers wanted different food choices than what he wanted to sell.
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C Bazler
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I thought this was going to be about an alpha owner of games: somebody who doggedly insists on playing only his own games and not others.

In your instance, I'd just call that guy a royal jerk.
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John Middleton
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His money, his business.

A manager can be just an employee.


What's the point of this story.


Also....hit return sometimes.
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mortego
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DegenerateElite wrote:
His money, his business.


+1 to this notion.

Obviously I don't know either person in the OP's story but I can say that some people just like things done their own way and in this case that seemed to be what happened.

Had the story been such that the owner told the new manager to do what they thought would MAKE the store more profitable and it did turn a profit then I'd say the owner was being a jerk, but...

[random hitting of return]

...he had given instructions to the new manager to do it his way, I see no problem there.

Addressing the owner's passive-aggressive way of dealing with the situation is far beyond being a jerk, that is bad business behavior and hopefully he won't return to business (for his sake).

I learned years ago that "smart" people surround themselves with SMARTER people, it's possible to be in-charge but not be the smartest person in the room (and by smart I mean knowledgeable in the matters at hand). Also, good customer service wins every time. Happy customers are RETURNING customers, the new manager was very smart in this way, imo. If this store had belonged to them it would've survived.

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CARL SKUTSCH
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People can be stupid, self-centered, ego-driven, random. This includes people who own game stores. Your story sounds like the story of a guy who's a bit of a jerk but it's not that surprising or unusual. I remember working in a family business once (half the people were family, half were, like me, outsiders). The family was a next of dysfunctionality. Yelling, screaming, psychodramas. They were reasonably good at what they did and so managed to survive but I think it was only a matter of time before they went under. I know I only lasted 4 months.
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mortego
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skutsch wrote:
People can be stupid, self-centered, ego-driven, random. This includes people who own game stores. Your story sounds like the story of a guy who's a bit of a jerk but it's not that surprising or unusual. I remember working in a family business once (half the people were family, half were, like me, outsiders). The family was a next of dysfunctionality. Yelling, screaming, psychodramas. They were reasonably good at what they did and so managed to survive but I think it was only a matter of time before they went under. I know I only lasted 4 months.


I worked for a dysfunctional family and all the family members were bosses (by divine choice the youngest one once said because his family was blessed by the lord with money), that was back in 1982, the company is still thriving and the family still owns it (I worked there from '82 - '87)). The good news was that the oldest son (very smart guy) had the last word so the company stayed afloat in spite of the insane family arguments they would have in front of employees.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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If he didn't like the new way of doing it, she should just fire the new manager. The manager opposing the owner was asking for it. If she thought she could do better than him, then a reasonable way to do this is to ask the guy to sell it to her.

Sabotaging business sounds kinda silly.
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Scott Radtke
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I don't think you know what Alpha Means. that is some true passive-aggressive BS.
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Scott Radtke
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rattkin wrote:
If he didn't like the new way of doing it, she should just fire the new manager. The manager opposing the owner was asking for it. If she thought she could do better than him, then a reasonable way to do this is to ask the guy to sell it to her.

Sabotaging business sounds kinda silly.


People are silly most of the time
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Amy (Other Amy)
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Small businesses are second only to families for the opportunity to see human dysfunction up close and personal. Nothing surprising here. (I also thought this was going to be a thread on gaming behavior, or some horror story about a shared Kickstarter pledge.)
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Boaty McBoatface
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DegenerateElite wrote:
His money, his business.

A manager can be just an employee.


What's the point of this story.


Also....hit return sometimes.
I was thinking just this.
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Rich Keiser
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So, the first owner of anything?
 
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Dano Fish
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My father is an entrepreur and angel investor who has also sat on the boards of numerous companies. I have seen a lot of business drama unfold over the years. Let's just say, if things CAN get ugly, they often will.

Written and binding contracts are the best thing anyone in business can do for themselves. Handshake deals and friendly arrangements are ripe for disaster. Writing it down ensures that BOTH sides know EXACTLY what they are getting in to. If both parties agree to the same things then there shouldnt be any issue in both signing the agreement. If one party refuses to sign on terms they gave you verbally-- RUN AWAY AND FAST.

Contracts are particularly critical when working with family. Many families could save themselves a lot of pain and estrangement if muddled and contradictory business operations are avoided from the start.

In this situation, the owner is a jerk but, presumably, within his rights (assuming lack of contract). The replacement manager was unfortunately naive.
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Pete
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There is almost certainly another side to this story.

Pete (has learned this the hard way over the years)
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Carl Frodge
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The thing about nomenclature is that it usually springs up organically, rather than by proposal, as you're offering. Although terms can catch on simply because they're clever (Meeple for instance).

 
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Carl Frodge
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plezercruz wrote:
There is almost certainly another side to this story.

Pete (has learned this the hard way over the years)

Pete, where have you been!?

Carl (got worried something bad happened to you). whistle
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Josh
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The thing about starting a business is that anyone with money(or credit) can do it, there's no minimum requirement for skill, understanding, or temperament as in an actual profession. The only barometer is failure and provided you have enough money even that won't stop you. I've got a couple good horror stories of LGS that burned down around the owner's ears while he stood there with torch in hand looking confused.

Lately Jake's Cards and Games opened a second store in my town(they come from one town over) and left it completely unsupported. Staff knowledgeable in ONLY magic, horrible inventory and ordering, and almost zero support for league/event play for anything but magic. Surprise of surprises not even one year later they're closing down the second store.
 
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amyotheramy wrote:
Small businesses are second only to families for the opportunity to see human dysfunction up close and personal.


Ken Fischer, of Fischer Investments, once said, "There is a reason why big companies are big." Which sorta suggests that there are reasons why small companies stay small!

Quote:
His money, his business.


Which reminds me. I should mention that, just because you have money doesn't mean you know how to do anything. You see this on KS all the time laugh but it's too bad that those have the dough are often in control.

In any case, the ex-manager now can put down on her resume that she's turned around a failing business, and has a bright future ahead of continuing to do so. Meanwhile, while the guy with the money will make the same mistakes all over again until he runs out of cash. Who do you think is better off??
 
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Will

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The new manager's decisions were to switch out the snacks to things that needed to be restocked on a weekly basis rather than a monthly basis, hence the tripled weekly revenue. He wanted out, but wanted whoever took over ownership to keep it exactly the way he ran it. Also, it wasn't just his money. There were also the customers from which he collected money, but never placed their orders. The manager had to sell stuff quick and cheap the day of the eviction notice to be able to pay them back to they wouldn't take him to small claims court.
 
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Michael Korson
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Broadstorm wrote:
The manager had to sell stuff quick and cheap the day of the eviction notice to be able to pay them back to they wouldn't take him to small claims court.


Not sure that I follow this part - why would the Manager care or have any responsibility to wrap up the owner's business affairs for him if the business was being evicted? If things had deteriorated that badly and the owner had disappeared with all of the business' cash, why didn't the manager simply resign and walk away? She doesn't own the business and is just an employee at this point - the owner can ultimately suffer the consequences of being dragged to small claims court.
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Boaty McBoatface
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maklen9 wrote:
Broadstorm wrote:
The manager had to sell stuff quick and cheap the day of the eviction notice to be able to pay them back to they wouldn't take him to small claims court.


Not sure that I follow this part - why would the Manager care or have any responsibility to wrap up the owner's business affairs for him if the business was being evicted? If things had deteriorated that badly and the owner had disappeared with all of the business' cash, why didn't the manager simply resign and walk away? She doesn't own the business and is just an employee at this point - the owner can ultimately suffer the consequences of being dragged to small claims court.
Decency?
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Will

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rattkin wrote:
If he didn't like the new way of doing it, she should just fire the new manager. The manager opposing the owner was asking for it. If she thought she could do better than him, then a reasonable way to do this is to ask the guy to sell it to her.

Sabotaging business sounds kinda silly.


Normally, you would be correct, but the terms are a little different in this case. They had an unusual arrangement. He retained ownership, but was trying to recover some of his money as he handed it off to someone to take over. She was given the chance to see if she could make it work, but had some very legitimate concerns about the business as it was well known that the business was struggling. She was making it work from the first week she started listening to customers.

He could have simply STFU & let her make back some of his money (as he claimed he wanted) while making some for herself. He wanted the snacks to stay the same, and changing them up was enough of a trigger that he scuttled the business. He took money for stuff he never ordered, withdrew the business rent money for himself, and disappeared for so long that people were recommending calling for a wellness check.
 
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Pete
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Where were the "new snacks" coming from? And what were the new snacks?

Pete (delves)
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John Middleton
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You seem pretty worked up over something that only tangentially effects you.


If people hated the store then who cares if it closed.


Was your girlfriend the manager here?


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christopher anderson
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I'm a nice guy, and I want to own a game store. I would sell board games and have a coffee shop. I already roast my own beans, and I know a little bit about board games. Therefore I have two choices: open a game store and run it my way, or don't open a game store. Notice how one of the choices is not to go manage another person's store and run it my way. I see the OP's point; however, there's a good reason the store failed. Maybe the manager will open her own store with some crowdfunding, if one were so inclined.
 
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