Aboud's Market. Individual essay. Management Assignment. (Essay Sample)
Read: Aboud's Market
The story below is a personal account shared by course author Antone Aboub, Ph.D.
My first experience with work was joined with my first years as a child. My father owned a corner grocery store, one that had been in his family from the early 1920’s. It was approximately 25’ x 40’, with two small backrooms where the inventory of beer and soft drinks were placed. Extra groceries to replace on the shelves daily were kept in a dank cellar accessed by a trap door on the floor adjacent to the “block”, the solid wood table on which we butchered meat.
Originally Bahou’s market (eventually Aboud’s Market), the store had survived the poverty of the Great Depression, the rationing of food during WWII, and by the time I was born in 1947 it was benefiting from the post-WWII economic boom. It closed in 1972.
Our initial residence was an apartment over the store, although in 1952 we moved to a house across the street. There was seldom a day, even as a toddler, I did not find myself in the midst of the business’s activities. By the time I was in junior high school I had regular work hours: weekdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. (the busiest times of the day and week), and Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to noon. There were seldom more than two “employees” on duty at a time, and often but one person. My Father was the “boss” (at least on paper), but two of my Aunts worked. Eventually, my younger brother would also have regular hours, which began the day after I left for college. The only person who was not a family member when I was in secondary school was Paul, a young man who was at that point almost adopted into the family.
By the time I assumed my regular hours I already understood several important principles.
Recruitment of employees was almost always “word of mouth”, generally occurring around the dinner table.
The simple rule of selection was that if you were “family” you would be hired. Nepotism was almost always the rule of the day.
There were no job descriptions. On any day the same employee might be sweeping the floor, butchering the side of a cow, stocking shelves or, most commonly, waiting on customers. Trips to the bank or home delivery of groceries would be other shared tasks.
As a consequence, “cross-training” was critical. All training was on-the-job.
Perhaps the overlap of family and employee resulted in what we might describe in modern terms as an informal mentoring program; however, beyond that reality, there was no orientation for new employees.
There was no formal compensation policy although clearly my Father paid my Aunts identical wages given they lived in a house attached to the store with my Grandmother. No one ever thought that individual salaries should (or could) be held in confidence.
Performance management involved almost immediate feedback for a job well-done, or a job not so well-done (in my family no one ever had a unspoken thought). There was no yearly evaluation. Nothing was ever reduced to writing.
Discipline involved a rebuke. No family member was ever fired, put on probation, demoted or suspended without pay. One young man who worked part-time after I began college quit in a huff one day, although I think he would have been fired had he not simply walked out the door. There were no written rules related to discipline.
The store’s culture could be reduced to three simple ideas.
The customer was always right.
There was always something to do, just look for it.
Doing two things at once (or three) was valued over doing one thing at a time.
Although a Personnel Department (not yet Human Resource Management) was a common feature in most larger businesses, Aboud’s Market had no reason to establish such an office; yet, the functions for which HR would be responsible were clearly visible.
Now read the Essay Instructions and submit your essay.
Write an essay of between 500 and 750 words.
When writing your submission you must relate your response to relevant concepts related to the lesson's readings. You are free to supplement the lesson's readings with sources from the web; however, you are not permitted to use Wikipedia as a source. You will be graded to the degree you do so in a logical, coherent, substantive manner.
You must use appropriate APA guidelines when documenting those references.
When saving your file use LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME as a naming scheme.
Upload your paper to the assignment submission box.
Interview a family member or friend who is currently employed. (This cannot be a person interviewed as part of the Lesson 1 submission.) Solicit and include in your essay answers to the following inquiries:
Identify the person’s relationship to you and where the person is employed.
Identify the type of organization where the person is employed (e.g., sole proprietorship? For-profit? Service-Providing? Etc.).
How was the person recruited to the position?
What is the person’s job title?
Does the person have a job description that he or she uses to identify responsibilities at work?
What training did the person receive once hired?
How does the person receive feedback about his or her performance?
Compare and contrast the answers you received with the author’s description of the employment situation at Aboud’s Market.
You will be graded to the degree you do so in a logical, coherent, substantive manner.
My interviewee was my cousin Charles who works at McDonald's in Chicago. McDonald's is a for-profit organization that specializes in fast foods. He was recruited through an online application. He filled an online application form used by the corporation to recruit new employees. As part of the application process, he was also required to complete a short online quiz made up of multiple-choice questions. He also submitted a parental consent form since he was barely sixteen at the time he was applying for the post. Afterward, he received an email informing him that his application was successful. He was then invited for an interview at the restaurant in Chicago. It was an individual interview lasting about twenty minutes.
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