Say you are a manager at a McDonalds.
A customer walks in and walks up to the front counter and asks your employee for a McTaco value meal. You think for a moment. The employee says that there is no such thing as a McTaco value meal, looking at you for confirmation. You shrug. The customer becomes irate and asks for you. You walk over and immediately apologize to the customer, and tell them it will be no problem, that employee will head straight to the back and fix up your McTaco.
What have you done? If you take a common understanding of customer relations, you have just served the customer, because they are always right. You just saved the day, because that customer saw how quickly and decisively you put your employee in their place, and got that McTaco made.
In all reality, what you have done is fucked over your only customer. As a manager, your only customer is your employee. They buy their paycheck from you with their work. Much like a Value Meal, there is more to it than just the pay. There is the benefits (the drink) and the support of his decisions (the fries). That employee is now in the back trying to dream up what a McTaco could possibly be, and resenting you, they are no longer going to work as hard for you, because you’ve already demonstrated that you’re not gonna back them up. You, in turn, are a customer of your manager, you buy your paycheck from him with your work, and the extras on your value meal are again, the support of your decision and the resources to do your job (the money you can pay your employees).
Every manager offers a paycheck, every manager offers benefits to whatever degree. What separates OK managers from GREAT managers are the fries. Nothing is a worse feeling than having a manager so desperate to prove themselves that they shit on you in the process.
And that is how I spent my Wednesday – trying to fake up a McTaco, for an irate customer, while my manager defended his actions to me by trying to explain that by making this Taco just this one time, we could prove that we _never_ make Tacos.