The Making of A Great Retail Store: The Discovery of DooDoo Phenomenon (Case Study Great Store or Restaurant – Part 12+1)


Today is Thursday and the week is almost over. However my days off are spread across the weekly schedule and my week has no start nor end that is noticeable. Busier schedule was an inevitable consequence of lowering my commute time. When I was first trained in sales, I learned highly productive people get buried under a lot of work and their productivity is directly related to the “overload.” The busier person learns to develop more and better skills to handle the overwhelming work I was taught. As the saying goes if you want something done, give it to the busy person.

The past few weeks since I transferred to my present store have brought to my attention the significant difference between two groups of retail workers. I named the first group DooDoo Team and the name does correspond to a term only a child would use to refer to something messy and dirty (if not worse). The biggest characteristic of a DooDoo is the fact that they hardly move. A strong bias toward staying in one spot and not moving identifies a DooDoo. The truth is plenty more can be said but basic information is most useful in management situations versus complex information that is difficult to apply. The DooDoo Team is headed by a senior staff (a company veteran) who may be qualified in numerous ways to lead in productivity but simply won’t move for anyone! Retail work requires movement in response to the activities of the operation and refusal to move seriously affects productivity.

The second member of the DooDoo Team is an iPhone addict who finds it not necessary to look away from the screen unless absolutely necessary. As I have put to him several times, he awaits a customer to approach and plead for assistance and is only then that this person will physically move. I also pointed out to him the fact that his “sales” are “orders” because he makes no effort and simply helps with outward requests. A very basic difference between salespeople and ordertakers has been historically known (in retail) to be the effort required to create sales versus little or lack of efforts made by those waiting for arrival of purchases. The second member of DooDoo Team is in danger of becoming a vegetable as the Team Leader. He expressed satisfaction in this transformation and I decided he is beyond my help.

The third member of the DooDoo Team is a new employee who was once manager of another store. I had him marked for D Team membership because of the tiny amount of transactions to his credit. He has since expressed a desire not to be a DooDoo Team member and is willing to move away and approach customers. That is the hallmark of a DooDoo Rep and this employee has no problem fleeing the doomed future of a DooDoo. That has been a success in my part to convert DooDoos to productive employees.

Since my announcement of the identification of a DooDoo Team at this workplace, efforts were made to label me as a DooDoo also in retaliation. I realized the damage my scientific work would suffer if terminology was violated by the idiots I work for and a solution had to be found. The Energizers Team was the solution. In spite of the fact that my study had little interest in anything but the DooDoo Phenomenon, an opposite had to be identified to create and maintain a dichotomy. Western thought relies on dichotomy and a wholistic system is confusing for lay individuals. Energizers identify an opposite group to help see what DooDoos are in better details.

The Energizer reminds us of the Energizer bunny. It has been questioned many times how some retail staff are able to jump around so much and not lose steam. Their study is besides the point here but they do exist. A very basic definition (with attention to the DooDoo Phenomenon) is an Energizer is willing to move from one spot and approach the customer. This may seem basic but the number of staff who are incapable of such action (in retail field) counts to many millions only in America. Worldwide numbers? Energizers are able to move around and assist customers for hours and hours throughout the long retail days that can last 10 to 12 hours easily (for management). They help and keep our systems going. They are not the subject here. DooDoos are the subject.

The little amount of work done by a DooDoo is what marks this problem. The nature of retail requires activity and DooDoos are believers and practitioners of inactivity. Is this a new problem? Can it be solved by typical actions of retraining, re assigning or discipline? Is it manageable at all? Too many questions can be asked and many are mine. I find the DooDoo Phenomenon interesting and genuine. The first step has been taken by this article to remind us of an old problem in the industry. Lack of productivity is a huge problem and manifests in many guises. The DooDoo Phenomenon is an old problem in a new appearance. Old solutions should help but fundamentals need to be addressed. What is a DooDoo? How do employees turn into DooDoos? How do we handle the loss of staff to vegetables? What is left of businesses if more and more turn into DooDoos and are lost but get paid? Some of these questions will be answered by me for my own interest but will they be answered industry-wide?

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