The Roopchand Departmental Stores, New Delhi, has a separate section to sell winter garments. This section consists of two groups
The Roopchand Departmental Stores, New Delhi, has a separate section to sell winter garments. This section consists of two groups : permanent clerks and temporary clerks appointed during winter season. Unfortunately, this section has always witnessed a tug-of-war situation between permanent and temporary clerks. The story begins thus.
The permanent clerks, by virtue of their long and fruitful association in the Departmental
Stores, had developed intimate social relations among themselves. Usually, they take their lunch and tea together. They worked, like a well-knit group, in close proximity and not surprisingly, developed close relations even after the work is over. The slack period starting from April to September every year had given them wonderful opportunity to sit together, discuss about matters of common interest, peep into each other's minds and, if possible, solve their problems to mutual advantage. Presently all of them are unmarried
with the exception of two. The temporary clerks were school girls who are normally appointed before the commencement of winter. Often, they have complained about their work in the Winter Garments Section and two of the clerks even desired transfer to some other section after a short stay. The reasons are quite obvious : The permanent clerks bothered little about helping the newcomers. If the newcomer is not able to strike a deal with a customer, often, the permanent clerks joined hands in making uncharitable criticism before the Section-in-charge. Being small in number, the temporary clerks could not resist the frequent onslaughts, which are at times irritating and insinuating. The temporary clerks had very little scope to blow off their "steam". In this heated atmosphere, the determination of commission on sales remained a contentious issue. The permanent clerks had, through an informal understanding, agreed not to boost up sales. They feared, inherently, that fluctuations in sales would lead to fluctuation in employment. At the same time, they could not tolerate the sight of a temporary sales person pocketing a fair-share of commission. They always felt that the temporary ones do not deserve any commission, because they have not contributed anything on a continual basis for the development of the Department. Suffering from an inflated ego, they also believed that they had the right temperament and skill to boost up sales. Thus, in every way, the temporary sales clerks are inferior to them. Recently an unhappy situation has developed when one of the temporary clerks is able to make a substantial sale to one of her acquaintances. Now, the permanent clerks began to make a hue and cry regarding the commission payment. The poor sales clerk came to the Assistant Sales Manager with tears after having been scolded bitterly by the permanent clerks for having sold a few sweaters in their absence.
The temporary clerks were always anxious to show good performance so as to earn a position in the department. To prevent this, the permanent clerks used to furnish false information about garments' quality, negotiable price etc. Whenever the temporary clerk sought the help of a senior in selling the garments to the customer, the latter would take over and claim the commission on sale herself. The temporary clerks were often assigned
to insignificant tasks like arranging displays, rearranging garments, bringing garments from stores, etc., and were prevented from striking it rich with customers. At every stage the temporary ones are taken for a ride by the permanent clerks.
a) Explain the behaviour of permanent clerks in the Winter Garments Section from group point of view.
b) What action strategies would you evolve to improve the situation ?