It's a small but very busy business my dad owns. He comes in two days a week and a general manager is in charge for the rest of the week.
The general manager is an experienced saleswoman but quite short-tempered and impatient. However she never says a bad word to me -- she would shout at the two women who work here about the slightest mistakes but never at me -- even if I am carrying out a task with someone and should at least share 50% of the blame.
The atmosphere is always tense and the office dynamics would seem extremely weird to an outsider, including me who recently joined the family business from a much larger multinational corporation. Strangely, work gets done here and productivity is high. The girls (who I get on well with) also prefer me here because "the manager is less crazy" while I'm around.
As I'm expected to take over the business or at least take up a management role in the future, I'm quite worried about any staff leaving as it would have a major impact on the business.
Obviously I can't tell the manager that "please don't suck up to me just because I'm the boss's son." I know the obvious answer is to "talk to dad about it" or "be honest with the general manager" but I'm really trying to solve this on my own (and I don't believe being open and honest are always the best solution to office politics.)
Does anyone have similar experience with family businesses and could share ideas or suggestions?