By Peter M. Birkeland
A documentary-like look at the frustrations and uncertainties that marketers face of their pursuit of the yankee dream. writer uncovers the problems in operating a company in line with a person else's procedure and values.
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KING CLEANERS FINAL DAYS A few days after the cleaning at the metal fastener company site in which I participated, Larry put together a special weekend crew to provide a thorough cleaning of it. We buffed and waxed the ﬂoors, cleaned the entire carpet, polished the desks, and had the site looking ﬁrst-rate. Larry provided all these services at his own expense since it was not part of his contract. Yet later that week, Larry was terminated. “Yeah,” Larry said, “The contract manager called and said, ‘That’s it.
If people come in and use the bathroom with dirty feet after we clean, there’s not much we can do. I even mentioned it to the contract manager, and he just shrugged it off, he just laughed and said that he has to keep the women happy. ” “Keeping the women happy” is one of the most important tasks franchisees face. While working with one of the top franchisees, Rusty, I learned how he avoided the problems Larry had encountered. ” I asked. “Oh yeah, man,” said Rusty, “women in organizations cause by far the greatest problems.
Asked one franchisee. Rocky was one of the most inﬂuential franchisees in the system, in part because he owned several Star Mufﬂer shops, but mostly because of his irreverent, antimanagerial attitude. 99,” replied Rocky. 99! Shit, that’s above list. ” “No, I’m not,” Rocky declared. ” “Why? ” Rocky is right. He can do what he wants—within limits— but his actions impact everyone else in the system because franchisees are interdependent. They are interdependent precisely because of the trademark.