How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marcus?
This case follows Heather Grant as she begins her new role as manager of the Staunton, Virginia, branch of Loom & Ferris, a mid-sized call center specializing in printing, branding, and logos for corporate clients. As the new manager, Grant's role is to increase morale among her employees and to improve sales and productivity. She decides to spend her first week observing the call center and getting to know her new employees before making any decisions. Her arrival is not welcome to most of her employees, and she knows that because the company's sales are falling, she may have to fire some of them. Marcus Feeny, one of the employees, arrives late and unruly on Grant's first day, of which she takes notice. She recognizes him because he has the best sales numbers of anyone in the branch by far. Throughout the week, she observes Feeny to be consistently late, unkempt, and disruptive to his colleagues. His bad attitude does not go unnoticed by his colleagues. After a heated argument between Feeny and another employee, Grant calls him into her office to speak with him. She brings up his behavior and appearance at work, and he is immediately defensive and brings up his sales numbers. She recognizes that he sees himself as in the right, even though his colleagues believe that he is getting special treatment by being allowed to flout the office rules. At the end of her first week, Grant realizes that she will have to let some employees go to keep the branch afloat. She must decide the best course of action and whether or not Feeny should stay.