Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: tennis courts
broken into 2 parts: BOLD is my reply. original font is DD
Ok first off dd I truly appreciate you taking the time and thought to write this out. In that same spirit, please allow me to reply to you in very specific terms as well.
Alright, with the above information, I think the problem is a little clearer.
You mentioned the place is 'friendly.' From what it sounds like, this ACTUALLY indicates that the place is 'informal' if not 'unprofessional.' This isn't to say that it's a bad shop, just that it doesn't take the approach that say... Priority One does. There's a level of professionalism that comes with high performance customization and stringing, and this pro shop/stringing room/whatever has shown that this isn't really what it's after. Just understand that this is... OK. It's not the end of the world. If you're on the bottom of the totem pole, in reality there's very little you can do about this as it is. HOWEVER, if you want to pursue this, you need to propose changes, just know that people are VERY resistant to change, especially when there's any level of risk involved. It's easy to modify/change/improve on the low hanging fruit, but suggesting that an entire tier of service that you do not already offer be added to the repertoire is probably not going to go over well -- especially when there's an initial cost.
The shop is definitely informal. The interesting thing is, the teaching side of things are very organized and strict, etc. but the shop is more of the side project, if you will. Definitely not RPNY. So I think thats part of the 'history'; the shop has always been this way, and so its just continuing the same way. Which you are right is fine. Its just that seeing these rackets, and getting to know these members I feel so bad about not giving them type of service they deserve you know? Its one thing if I just learned how to string and worked for sports authority and know nothing about tennis, but I care about the sport, the people, and my job seriously. Why not do the job I know I can? Herein lies the problem-and you are right again-the place is probably very resistant to change. Esp since things are 'fine' as they are now. And also, the cost vs revenue is not in my favor.
Before I get to a strategy to implement policy, I'll respond to a few other points in your post(s):
Doing your own thing: While this is great, and you SHOULD be taking the initiative to improve your work, offer flexible services, and do your best not to rely on others, you need to be careful to not create waves. If you've got a precedent/tone set in your shop, and you are constantly trying to disrupt it, you're going to get smothered before you have a chance to get anything going. I'm one of those young guys that like to improve processes, but I know better than to jump in without REALLY understanding how/what/why things are the way things are. There may be good reasons (or not so good) that things are terrible. Take some time and ask questions and understand things better. Start conversations with the other stringer and talk about his tournament experience. Talk about how long he's been stringing (just as a conversation starter). Ask if he's got any bigger aspirations and if he's ever thought about turning the operation into something bigger/more serious. Listen to what he has to say -- even though he's dismissing you, it doesn't mean you should do the same.
Yea this was my initial question really. How do I go about suggesting changes and improving things without being too disruptive. To be honest, management has been VERY nice to me, only the stringer is being weird. They have listened to my ideas so far and are open to more discussion. Get to this more later. But yes as of now I am still getting to know how everything is, etc. the fact is, the place is truly wonderful. The entire staff has been very nice to me, from the coaches to mangement. Again, only exception is stringer.
So re the stringer: we dont see each other. He comes in the morning, I take the afternoon shift. I am pretty sure at this point he actually avoids me, because he makes sure to find out what time I am coming in, and leaves well in advance. And talking to the other staff, I discover that he doesnt play tennis, etc. its just a job to him. You mention bigger aspirations. Here is a kicker for you guys. He owns his own tennis shop at home! He has now brought to my attention that I should buy my own machine so 'we can make tons of money'. At first I was kind of stunned at this statement, and at this point I really dont want to be part of his 'team' 'making money'. I prefer to work for the facility, for the person that hired me, and not this fellow stringer who's got other agendas. So yes, he definitely has bigger aspirations, and he tried involving me. But now that I have 'disrespected' him as he says, hes stopped that. And yes, he dismisses me. I feel as though he thinks I am a threat to him....
Member of TW MAC. yes, we are better than you. and we bout to hop on a court to make another 'mil