andy Celeste was 40 years old when her divorce became final. She was forced to go to work to support her two children. Sandy got married right after graduating from college and had never really held a full-time job outside the home. Nevertheless, because of her enthusiasm, education, and maturity, she impressed the human resources manager at Devon’s Department Store and was immediately hired. The position involves supervising three departments of men’s and women’s clothing. Sandy’s training consisted of approximately two months at another store in the Devon chain. She spent this training period both selling merchandise and learning the supervisor’s responsibilities. On the first day of her supervisory job, Sandy learned that, because of size constraints at the store, six clothing departments are all located in the same area.
In addition to Sandy, there are two other supervisors in the other departments. These three supervisors share the service of 28 full- and part-time salespeople. Because the various departments are so jammed together, all the salespeople are expected to know each department’s merchandise. Devon’s merchandising philosophy is that it will not finish one department or storewide sale without starting another. Both the clerks and the supervisors, who work on a commission and salary basis, are kept busy marking and remarking the merchandise as one sale stops and another start. To make matters worse, Devon’s expects the employees to re-mark each item just prior to closing time the night after a big sale. The pressure is intense, and customers are often neglected and irritated. However, all the salespeople realize that when the customer suffers, so do their commissions. As a supervisor, Sandy is expected to enforce the company’s policy rigidly. Soon after taking the position as supervisor, Sandy began to experience severe headaches and a gnawing stomachache. She would like to quit her job, but realistically she can’t because the pay is good and she needs to support her children.
1. To what do you attribute Sandy’s health problems?
2. What are some possible extra organizational, organizational, group, and individual stressors?
3. Is there anything that this company could do to alleviate stress for its supervisors?
4. What individual coping strategies could Sandy try?