27 Comments

  1. Doesn’t a big corporation usually at least try to place displaced employees in the remaining stores? I would think that Marla would have her pick of new employees.

  2. Why wouldn’t Marla be unhappy that the only reason her assistant manager is staying is because she didn’t get any interest from other employers? I don’t think that’s something that most bosses would react to cheerfully.

  3. CIDU Bill: I’m not sure where you get that, particularly after she says in the second panel that she can’t blame Doug for looking for other jobs.

  4. She seems to be angry that, having learned that her job is safe, the employee STILL isn’t sure she wants to stay. In fact, the words actually used suggest that she’s going to be out the first chance she gets, and is hopeful about the occasion.

    This might be something that, even if you understood it, still might bother you, especially if expressed directly, face-to-face, rather than implied.

  5. Winter, she does look angry (“I’m not really angry; I’m just drawn that way”?)

    My interpretation was that she expected more loyalty from her assistant manager.

    I’m not saying that would or wouldn’t be logical: I’m just trying to interpret what I’m seeing on the page.

  6. Bill: I’m not disputing that she looks angry – or at least aggravated. I’m saying that there are two things here that might bother her: (1) that Crystal was looking for other jobs or (2) the Crystal has just implied that the only reason she didn’t leave was that she didn’t get any other offers.

    The second thing seems more likely to bother even a reasonable manager, so it seems more reasonable to assume that’s what bothers her, rather than the first thing – particularly when she’s just recognized that the first thing was reasonable for Doug.

  7. Winter, you’re right.

    I do have to admit, and this will come as no surprise to anybody, that this character really gets on my last nerve sometimes — and therefore my inclination isn’t to see things from her point of view.

    I have nothing against unpleasant fictional characters per se: my issue with Marla is that the reader is expected to identify with her.

    I’ve worked retail and I’ve managed retail. I’ve dealt with customers who deserve contempt a lot better than she deals with customers who don’t.

  8. I don’t know the characters, but I figured the expression on the
    dark-haired one meant that the redhead was one she’d like to
    lose. (BTW, which one is Marla?)

  9. Regardless of whether Marla has an “attitude,” it’s pretty dumb of Crystal to tell her boss that she’s looking for other jobs, especially when Grumbel’s is closing stores. Her job is safe for now, but there could be more layoffs in the near future, and now Marla is more likely to give Crystal the boot should it come to that.

  10. Who is the clerk or assistant hired away from the rival department store in the same mall, within this last year or so? Was it this Crystal?

  11. mitch4: Crystal was hired from an (old) general pile of applicants, not from a competitor. I don’t think Marla hired anyone herself from the rival store in the last year. She did let Stuart know that Brice was open to being hired away from the rival store, and Stuart took Marla up on the suggestion.

  12. Sorry, I’m not good with these names.

    There were a few episodes of byplay with that rival store. The toxic guy hired by the District Manager as Assistant over Marla’s dislike was waiting for news about a promotion to store manager at another Grumbel branch, but because of some miscommunication about phone messages he didn’t get that transfer/promotion and instead just went over to the other store in the same mall.

    Where he was incompetent, and the local Store Manager of that store was incensed and walked over to complain directly to Marla about giving that doofus a courtesy good rec. And it ended up that she was available, and got hired as Marla’s assistant.

    Disclaimer: Probably 60% or more of that is my memory making stuff up to fill in gaps. That’s how these things work, scientists tell us …

  13. Mitch4: Hm, I have a somewhat different story in mind, but I’m not sure if we’re thinking of different stories, or if we’re thinking of the same story, but one (or both) of us has garbled something.

    The story I’m thinking of in the last year is that Stuart wanted to offer Brice a manager position at another store. But Brice quit to work for Mina at Delman’s, and since he was unpleasant about announcing his departure, Marla didn’t bother to tell him about Stuart’s offer. Brice almost immediately found out that Mina was terrible to work for. Then Marla took pity on Brice, and let Stuart know that Brice would be eager to take the other manager position. So Brice got hired by Delman’s, but almost immediately got hired back (at a different Grumbel store).

  14. Thanks, WW, I’m sure your version has less fabulation than mine!

    So it wasn’t Mina, the Delman’s manager, who came over to this Gumbel’s. But wasn’t there another Delman’s refugee, who did work out pretty well at Grumbel’s after all?

  15. Gosh, I can’t think of another Delman’s refugee, but don’t remember things well enough to disagree, either.

  16. I wonder if Brice’s store was one of the ones that closed. Since he was such an awful boss, I imagine his receipts would be really low. Or does that follow?

  17. Wow. There’s a lot more story arc going on than I would have guessed. Too bad I don’t read it on a regular basis. My comics slate is pretty full, although with my recent strategic withdrawal from the front-line of the gainfully employed has opened up some time.

  18. That comments section definitely shows how poor layout can get. The four-level reply was one word per line on my, fairly wide, desktop browser.

  19. Brian in STL: I know, seriously! Has even one person responsible for the page looked at that layout?

  20. When Brice went to Delman’s, he gave notice to Marla and she tried to tell him about the offer for him to be manager of a different Grumbels – he would not listen to what she had to say and even put his hand up in her face for her to stop talking, so she did.

    He found out that Mina was a horrible boss and much worse than Marla – who he did not like as she did strictly follow Grumbel’s rules, but used logic when she could and tried to be nice to the employees – and came back to see if his position was open – she called the district manager to find out if the other manager position was still open and was then nice enough to tell Brice about the opening and that they were interested in him for it.

  21. Crystal is a fairly recent hire as her assistant manager and is a “new age” person as indicated by her name. She tends to be more down to earth than Marla (or the reader) thought she would be and more intelligent. She was a reject when Marla had previously looked for a new assistant manager.

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