I work in a retail environment. We are getting a new manager. The previous manager seemed to have rules but didn't care if they were followed. For example he told us, we (as non-management staff) are supposed to get a 10% discount but managers are allowed to get a 30% discount and he doesn't mind if we get the 30% discount too. Another example was he said "technically dogs aren't allowed in the store" but he lets them in anyway. Perhaps another example is only managers are supposed to no the code to disable the security alarm, but when I messaged my manager that no one was there to disable it, he just told me the password. Also we didn't keep track of theft or accidental breakage and as a result the inventory count is very wrong.

Should I point out the ambiguity in policies to the new manager, and if so how and when? Or should I just keep doing what has been happening (which is everyone decides for themselves how things are done) until the new manager raises the issue? I would like stronger management instead of arguing with coworkers each time there is a decision to be made, because sometimes it's more important that people are just on the same page. In general, how do you take an instruction from a boss who says "you are supposed to do x but do y instead"? (I know the "common wisdom" is to ask again if you don't understand something, but in my experience if a person can't explain something the first time, asking again just angers them).

  • Retitled this to what I assume is really your core question. Recommend you still edit the body of your post to make it less vague.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 14:45

2 Answers 2


The old manager has instituted some policies that are more lax than the official company policy. That is something you should bring up with the new manager before they have a chance to learn it the hard way.

If they learn it the hard way, for example by seeing that you or a coworker let a dog in, there is a big chance that a reprimand or other punishment follows.

But if you bring it up early, you have a chance to explain what deviating policies the old manager had and ask what to do about them.

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    Yes, and make sure you're totally neutral about it, without an interest either way, just adding to his background knowledge. That is, it must come across as neither "The old manager always let us..." nor "You'll never believe what..." Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 16:19
  • 1
    Yep, as a new manager I would very much appreciate a heads-up about this situation.
    – G_B
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 2:08
  1. Yes, tell your new manager, but do it DISCREETLY. This may result in some perks being revoked (30% discount for example) and you don't want your co-workers to be mad at you.
  2. Don't judge. Just ask for guidance. "here is the policy" "here is what we currently do", "what would you like me to do?". Only give feedback if explicitly asked, in which it's totally ok to give your honest opinion.
  3. Leave the communication of any changes to the manager. If there is a conflict between what you need to do and what someone else does, just elevate to the manager and don't argue yourself. "hey, no point in arguing, let's just ask the boss"

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