She’s One Impressive Manager – You’ll Never Guess Her Age!

office depot amanda
Amanda’s Place – Office Depot Store #2657

After reading her Office Depot “Store Manager” badge, I asked the delightful young woman, “Really? The top top manager?”

Amanda replied, “Yep, that’s me.”

“You’re not the weekend manager?”

“Nope. I really am the Store Manager.”

Sincerely surprised, I jested, “Wow, the GM of an Office Depot at 29.”

She corrected me …

“Actually, I’m 25.”


Now I was dumbfounded. In 30 years of consulting with organizations of all types, never have I met someone in her role with her title at her age.

As we chatted, she beamed a bit when she shared that her store is #2 in the district. Expressing how impressed I was, I offered her a QBQ! book “if she’d like one.” Skipping no beats, she exclaimed, “Wow, I’d love one!”

Amanda, the learner.

So I promised to return after I ran next door to Petco and then out to my truck to get her a QBQ!

Minutes later I was back with her book and a story that I couldn’t resist sharing with my new friend, Amanda Wells of Office Depot store #2657:

When I walked into Petco I wasn’t greeted as I had been at Office Depot by Amanda’s team member, Jonathan. (A friendly fella, Jon helped me locate the printer ink I needed.)

Now, I don’t need to be greeted, but I do sometimes—like with the ink—need assistance.

After searching the Petco fish department three times and wandering the store twice seeking help, I traipsed up to the cashier and asked, “Excuse me. Where would I find Tetracycline?”

Pontificating like an animal-products expert, he retorted, “That’s an antibiotic and you’ll need to go to a veterinarian to buy it.”

Knowing this “expert” was completely wrong, I politely responded, “Actually, PetSmart carries it. It’s a yellow powder that comes in several foil envelopes, all packaged in a carton. It runs about $18.”

To which the now former expert mumbled, “Um … well … let me check to see if … .”

But suddenly, from an open office door mere feet away, an unseen woman’s voice boomed, “We don’t carry it!”

So the cashier looked at me and parroted, “We don’t carry it.”

Yeah, thanks, pal … I heard.

I left, went to my truck, got a book for Office Depot Amanda and delivered it to her. Not able to resist, I shared my experience …

When I told her what the faceless and nameless person in the Petco office—possibly that store’s manager—had done, 25-year-old Amanda perkily suggested, “Well, she could’ve come out to talk to you personally and said, ‘We’d be happy to order it for you.’’’

Amanda, the wise one.

I declared, “Amanda, now I know why you’re running this place.”

And I gave her another book.

Minutes later, I was heading ten miles north to PetSmart to buy the Tetracycline that I’d been told at Petco only vets carry. As I drove along, I considered for the umpteenth time that being outstanding just isn’t that complicated.

All one has to do is be like Amanda the Millennial.

What lesson do you take from the message above and how will you apply it? Do you have an Amanda story? Share below!

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4 Responses

  1. Agreed, Amanda is an excellent example of QBQ in action, and it sounds like she’s spread it to her folks too. Well done Amanda! And thank you, John.

  2. Wow, inspiring to hear a story of someone so young. She sounds like she will do BIG things and will make a difference with those she works with. Thanks for sharing John!

  3. A great story John and I am glad to hear it. I do have one suggestion. Have you thought of tracking down this young manager’s supervisor and then sending this supervisor a note praising the great service of this young manager?
    As you know, most managers only hear about the bad news and not the good. Can you imagine how you will influence two people with your note–both the supervisor of the manager as she shares your complimentary letter with her subordinate and the young manager who gets to hear it?
    Go ahead John, make their days!!

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