Monday, December 29, 2008

To the newspaper

Copy of a letter sent to The Spec this morning. I am still upset by the way I handled this whole thing. Lesson well learned.

Editor. I know this may not be a normal letter but would appreciate if it can somehow be considered for publication.

I am a cashier at a local grocery store. Sunday night I had just been on cash for fifteen minutes or so when a customer came through the register next to mine. I had just finished with my own customer and turned in time to hear one man say to the other "there's a twenty on the floor."

I turned and jokingly said "It's mine." Then I saw the second man, who's back was to me, putting a folded few twenties in his pocket. I thought that the twenty must have been his and offered it to him. Big mistake on my part. I should have asked for an audit on the tray to find out where it came from before assuming it was his.

When I went to serve my next customer I realized that the twenty came from my tray and immediately told my superiors. We audited the tray and it indeed was mine. Now, I have been a cashier most of my adult life. I should have known better than to do what I did, but I am also sure that the man who received the money realizes that it was NOT his.

I was very upset by the whole incident as I have a very good reputation on cash and am very rarely out by more than a few pennies on my tray. I was upset enough by this that I had to take a few minutes to get myself together enough to serve customers. I have lost the store $20.00 and I have now been 'red-boxed' which means I get audited EVERY shift for two weeks. That is, to me, one of the worst black marks on my record.

I was upset enough that two of my regular customers asked what was wrong and upon finding out, offered to pay the $20.00 for me. I couldn't even do that. You know why? Because I am honest and I wish the person that got my twenty had been too.

I just want to thank publicly my two customers. I do not know your names, but I very much appreciate what YOU tried to do. It made me feel a whole lot better about myself.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Addition to the Blog (or: What Started it all)

At the very end (beginning) of this blog there is a new post added. You can get to it from the a link on the right side under Blog Archive 2007.

It is a post I originally wrote on my other blog, but after looking at it again, I feel it belongs over here.

Christmas Rush

The few days leading up to Christmas are always fun. Stressful and hectic, but fun. We were SO busy! I can't believe how much baking goods we sold three days before Christmas! Holy Moley!! I had most of my baking goods purchased by then. I was finishing OFF the cookie decorations!

Anyway, when I got a chance to look at the baking section it looked like we had been hit by a hurricane. I think there were three raisins and a chocolate chip on the shelf. It was nice with the snow, though, that everyone seemed to be in a great mood.

Lots of huge orders too. Maybe I'm missing something but I am amazed at how much FOOD people buy to entertain with. We had very few orders under $50.00 and an awful lot that were well over $200.00 and some cents shy of $300.00. I don't like ANYONE THAT much to be preparing all that food.

So that brings us to . . . . . yesterday.

I had the 2:00 to closing shift and we were actually closing at 6:30. We are normally 24 hours so people tend to panic a little when they know we are going to be closed. SO many people buying the dinner stuff. Fresh fruits and vegetables by the ton!! All 7 registers open and I didn't even get my break until three hours into the shift. Normally its halfway through, but we were just too busy. Lots of people that took one look at the parking lot by the store across the highway and opted for us instead. Not that we weren't crowded but our lot is a whole lot easier and safer to get in and out of.

Lots of my regular customers, and one special one that gave me some home made cookies in a special little box. How very thoughtful!! And good!! Another one gave me a big hug and he was all wet from the rain (yes I said rain - in December - day before Christmas = NOT impressed). I didn't mind though. He's a friend from outside of the store atmosphere.

The 'Late' Girl was "working" yesterday. I still haven't figured out why, or how, she is still employed. She is on time once in every 15 to 20 shifts. She is never at her register unless you tie her to it. She's SO slow that I can get three customers done in the time it takes her to do one. And she is constantly late with no concept of the fact that she is holding any one else up. I've seen her punch in and then go wandering around the store looking for something to eat on her break when she hasn't even started yet. She is actually in trouble and told that she'll be written up every time she's late in the New Year. Her answer was that she smiles at the customers. Yes, she said that.

So, last but not least, TCFH got a 'talking to' as she apparently P O'd a customer and got written up. She laughed it off! She still has not been talked to about picking on her fellow cashiers. (See one of the previous posts). She seems to be getting a little worse each week. No people skills.

(Okay, so it wasn't last)

Back to customers. It was so nice to see one of my regulars as I showed up for my shift. She was so happy to catch me and give me a hug and a kiss. I was hoping to see her and give her my best wishes for the season. Lovely lady. I also saw my elderly gentleman, that buys food for the donation box EVERY time he comes in. He was looking a little frailer than normal. Hope he's okay. Had one customer that tried to fool around the way I do but she wasn't good at it. Some people can pick up on what you're talking about and fit right in with the flow. You can talk like you've known each other for years. She didn't have that. It was like her script was one page ahead of mine. I couldn't follow her at all. Maybe she'd been into the egg nog.

More tomorrow.

SNOW ! ! !

We had this blizzard last Friday and it was so bad there was NO WAY I was driving my car. I figured I'd let a bus driver worry about getting me from A to B. I had anticipated that the storm would be as bad as they said so had bus tickets already. (Tickets work out the six bus rides compared to a cash price giving you 5 rides).

Anyway, I looked on line to see how long it takes in good weather and doubled it for bad. I was to be at work by 2:00pm so figured I'd leave at 12:00 just to be safe. My hubby walked to the stop with me and it was nice that he was worried and wanted to be sure I'd be okay. We waited in the open by a building that gave no shelter at all. It was blowing SO HARD that it was like having acupuncture all over my face. No matter which way you turned it was there. The bus finally arrived and he stopped, not where I was by the driveway, but by the bus stop sign that was still full of snow. (idiot)

It didn't take too long to get downtown but the wait there was HORRENDOUS. The wind was swirling because of the buildings, and the snow was brutal. I have no idea how long I waited other than when he finally came there was a rush for the bus and some young thing shoved me out of the way. I HAD A FREAKING CANE!!! I came so close to poking her in the ass with my ice gripping cane tip (read spiky).

So the point of the story is that I get to work and it is 2:00 pm exactly. I'm not sure if I am more surprised at how long it took to get there or the fact that I was on time! Now the part that really blew my mind was that after I was there an hour the Princess showed up!! You could have knocked me over with a feather. This is the same person that doesn't want to work any more than she has too and makes it very clear that she is above work anyway. So, here I am being all impressed and stuff and actually rethinking my opinion of her, when after ten minutes of being there she asks me why they won't let people go home. (WTF) THEN I hear her whining to head cashier that they should close the store and send us home. WE HAD CUSTOMERS! She also balked at the idea of taking a cab home when the husband thought it a better idea than risking the drive again. I can see his point, but I can also see why she was a little reluctant to cab it. I myself was going to call for a cab rather than riding a bus home again, but couldn't get an answer on the phone 90 minutes before I was to leave.

WE HAD CUSTOMERS! It wasn't crazy but it was steady. Its not like we were standing around for any length of time. There was barely enough time between customers to clean the belt. Where they were coming from, I don't know, but there were actually a few that were doing a full weeks' shop.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Further Adventures of TCFH

Well, I had the whole weekend off as it was the only time my brothers were available for Christmas. It was different. Instead of turkey they decided to have an Indian Christmas, butter chicken, goat curry, etc. Was pretty good but I missed the turkey and stuffing.

Anyway. While I was away..............

Turns out the CFH is not at all pleased with HEAD cashiers' choice of people being trained for customer service. The CFH is probably late 40's, early 50's, and the new customer service lady is about 22. WELL.......... That won't do.

So CFH is picking on her and being rude to her whenever she can get her by herself. As soon as head cashier comes out she's normal (for her, anyway) but as soon as she's gone the belittling comments start again. CFH is also yelling "can we get another cashier here", as soon as she has two people in her line. Seems that she thinks she shouldn't be the only one 'working'. Now, maybe head cashier has told one or two of the others to clean the front end, or do belts or garbage or whatever, and HC rules the front end when on duty. WE answer to HER, not the other way around. Doesn't matter the age or even seniority at that point.

It is up to HC to decide when and where the cashiers are needed. She is the one that has to make sure we are busy if a 'suit' comes in the store to check up on everything. She is the one that gets in trouble if things don't look right or whatever. Eventually it gets to us but she takes the brunt of it.

Seniority comes into play between CASHIERS, NOT between cashiers and head cashiers. SOMEBODY has to be in charge. SOMEBODY has to be the one to decide which cash is open, when another cashier is needed, when someone can go on break and where we are at all times.

And besides if another cashier is needed you should at the best call HC and see if she has one or at the worst just page for someone. Don't scare the crap out of the customers by yelling across the store.

Jeez, grow up woman.

So, an aside: Had two different customers comments yesterday. One said he hadn't been in here 'in a long time' and was not pleased to see that now that the renovations are done our prices went up. "I won't be back. I'm going to F------."

hadn't been in here 'in a long time' Do you think that maybe it is something called inflation???

Second customer had never been here before and said she loved the store and especially the size and selection. She wants to make us her 'regular' store.

Yeah, won another one over!!! She's worth two of Mr. Crabby Pants.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What is with you PEOPLE???

Okay, I know we are all trying to save the environment. But please, if you don't want a bag TELL ME AT THE BEGINNING. Especially if I am on express. I really do appreciate that you don't want or need that bag. But when I have put the groceries in it and then you tell me you don't need it one of two things happen.

Either I have to now take the time away from the next customer to remove your items and I am left with a plastic bag that I have to reposition on the mounting spikes. OR I turn to find that you have crumpled the bag and left it on my counter which means I have to un-crumple and try to reuse said bag, again taking time away from the next person. Please pretend that YOU are that next person and think how you would feel.

Also, I am giving you a warning. There is going to soon be some serious wrist slapping if you people, and you know who you are, don't start to learn to count!!!!

It says EXPRESS 1-8 ITEMS. You want to know how to tell if its eight? It depends on how many things I have to scan. A bunch of grapes is ONE item. Fourteen cans of cat food is FOURTEEN items. A case of pop is ONE item, seven big bottles of pop is SEVEN items.

There you've been warned.

Monday, December 8, 2008


For the most part we act as professionals. Sometimes we get a little crazy, but no one gets harmed, no customers put in danger, nobody over or under charged.

So why do these people from head office think they can come into our store, on our turf and start throwing their weight around. One of our head cashiers was made to feel basically stupid because the Suits wanted some buggies mover RIGHT NOW. The Suit didn't want to understand that there was no where to put them. Suit wanted some buggies that were full of 'stuff' put in the back. Well a new order had just come in and there was no where to put the 'stuff' so the Suit's brilliant idea was to put it down the aisles. What???

They were not in the way where they were. They would be if put in the aisle. So the night manager stuck with the head cashier and said they could stay where they were until they had room to put them in the back. End of story. Suit not happy. Score one for us.

Then the head cashier offered to help put decorations up and was told that she didn't really know what to do so they would 'handle' it. Again: What???? You can't just explain what you want done and think that maybe, just maybe, head cashier would actually know how to follow instructions?

Also, on the night before our 'Grand Opening', some Suit decided that we needed the bags for groceries changed RIGHT NOW. Except that RIGHT NOW was right in the middle of the evening rush hour on cash. So another poor head cashier has to come along and take our bags and help us get new ones up all while we're trying to serve customers. And don't the first several bags of the new roll end up being stuck together? Plus the bags are really cheap looking. They look worse than something you'd get at a dollar store.

AAAAANNNNNDDDDD we had these little bags that are just the right size for two cartons of juice or one bag of milk. They replaced them with bags that are almost as big as the regular bags so we don't have anything to fit that niche the little bags did.

Why couldn't they ask the cashiers if they had any input? I'll tell you why. Because Suits know better.

Whew, I feel better. :-)

PS. I was just informed that these seem like growing pains for a new store. They are, but its all stuff for the blog isn't it?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More on The Grand Opening


Worked with the Princess AND the CFH.

This will kill me to say, but the CFH isn't that bad when she is just being normal. I actually got along with her fairly well yesterday. She was first cashier and I was second. She actually had cleaned the belt and was looking busy. She was even pretty nice to customers. Still a little snappy, but overall pretty good.

Now when the Princess showed up she was put on cash. The rumour had been that she was going to be greeting people. That had us rolling on the floor.

The night before (Thursday) she was getting close to her going home time and she had a customer with a young child that the father was having a little trouble controlling. Nothing major, kid just wanted to run around and be a little boy. Doesn't she get an item with no price on it. She had turned off her light but NOT placed her sign yet. Another customer comes along and puts her items on the belt. Princess decides she has to go get the price, RATHER than calling for someone, and before she goes looks at the next customer and says "No, I'm closing." Well the woman nearly filled her drawers and the cashier on the other side had her jaw drop. I couldn't believe what happened and I didn't hear all of it, but after Princess wanders away to check the price her customer looks at me and says "Boy, there's some brass in that one, isn't there?" He didn't look impressed AT ALL! And she only had to go about 40 feet to get this price, but I could have done the distance three times in the time it took her to return.

The other cashier told her, when no one was around that she can't do that. She can't send customers away. You finish the one who has groceries on the belt. Plain and simple.

Well, doesn't the same thing happen again yesterday! A customer comes along with probably 20 items and wants to go in the 1-16 item line (Princess). We had 7 cashiers on yesterday because of the grand opening so NONE of us were taxed with too much work at that time. Rather than just serving the customer, she chases her away????!!!!

Again, she was told she can't do that. She never freaking smiles and always looks like she sucks lemons for a hobby. I really wonder why we keep her.

Anyway, the good thing was, that for the most part, the A team cashiers were in yesterday. Had to get a few of the lesser ones in to fill spots, but the REAL slow ones had the day off.

Friday, December 5, 2008

GRAND OPENING ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Well It went off pretty darn well.

Lots of people, mostly regulars. LOTS of compliments on how good the store looks. Lots of pleasure that there is a such a wide selection of products and the fact that there are a lot of items that have not been seen elsewhere.

Over all great response from all that I ran into in my 5 hours. Only complaint was a customer that does not like the new buggies. I agreed with her. If you are doing a decent size shop there is just NOT enough room in the new buggies. They have an upper and lower section to them and while it is a good idea, it just doesn't cut it for a large order.

I forgot to punch out to come home today. The big guy asked me as I was leaving if I had had any comments from people so I told him what I had heard. I also pointed out to him about the goofy locking bar mechanism. He listened so who knows???!!!!

Anyway, I got half way home and realized that I didn't punch out. Called in and reported it so it will be fixed tomorrow.

Oh yeah. The uniforms worked well. Customers were really impressed with the way we looked. I don't particularly like the apron so I'm looking forward to the new shirts with the name of the store on them so we can lose the aprons. Just not really to my liking.

More tomorrow. Knees are killing me tonight.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tomorrow !!

Tomorrow, Friday the 5th of December, 2008 is the opening of our 'new' store. We are pretty much good to go.

The Coinstar machine is the only real complaint I have about anything. It is too close to the registers and makes too much noise when in use.

Other than that...

There are now big words saying 'Service' over the service counter. (bet we still get at least one person a day asking where it is). There are also words and sayings up on the walls. They look kind of nice.

I think they could have taken a little more care painting around the front windows, though. Little sloppy.

We still have the locking gate to service, facing the wrong way. I'll have to mention that again. Most of the other little things I've mentioned have miraculously changed so maybe the store fixing fairies are listening??? For example, while the lights over each register were not working I made a make-shift sign. The next day all the non working registers had them. Then I said how the two signs for the express counters were not visible and yesterday they were underneath and in range of view.

So here goes.....

1) The gate that you have put at the entrance to service needs to been turned 180 degrees and attached to the other side of the entrance.

2) The Coinstar machine needs to be moved into the corner where the big bottles of water are now.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And Another Thing

Why is it that some of the younger people today don't like to work? I don't mind helping when they forget a code or something, but jeez, at least try to remember them. You shouldn't have to be asking time after time after time for the same code.

And do some work will ya? Where in the heck do they disappear to? I can be standing there working away and wonder why I have so many customers and I'll look up to see I'm by myself. They're gone! One of them even leaves her light on and will have customers standing there waiting for her but no one knows where she went. Same one that happens to be late most of her shifts. Although to be fair, she will stay late when asked. Good thing too, because if she stays for 8 hours you can usually get a good 5 hours of work from her.

The Princess.. Wow, how long does it take to sweep a floor? And please don't put the damn dust pan on my counter top, especially when I have just cleaned it!! And SMILE. Even just once every 15 minutes would be nice.

And speaking of cleaning the counters and belt. I wish that each person would just take the time to clean their belt for the next cashier coming in. Common courtesy. And while you're between customers clean the belt as well. How would you like to be putting your food on there?

One little aside here. I had a customer a couple of weeks ago say to me that he won't give to the food banks because he has driven by them in a line-up and seen them standing there smoking and yapping on their cell phones. Made me think.

I tend to agree. I don't have any spare money to spend on frivolous items. If I was hungry, I would want food more than I would want to be smoking. I would want food more than I want to talk to someone I am probably going to see in another few hours or minutes anyway. So, maybe this should be rethought.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Three Days and Counting

Well, our Grand Opening is this Friday. I have a pretty early shift so I hope there are a lot of people to see what we are like now. I don't know what they have planned. We have been open through all the renovations, etc and everything is pretty much finished. Although it would be nice if we had lights over ALL the registers. We have the apparatus for all of them in place and wiring to all but three. Dumb.

Also, they put in this special locking gate across the entrance to the customer service area. Unfortunately it is also the entrance to cash one and it is in such a place that when it is open the cashier is blocked into her spot. In order to get out she has to unlock the thing, then squeeze around it in order to leave. Not much thought into that one. I also noticed yesterday that the signs for the two express aisles (1-8 and 1-16) were more than 8 feet in the air on top of these honking great number signs, and that one of them was blocked by the fancy hanging thingy that they have over customer service.

Today though the signs have been changed. They are now underneath where they can be seen. Still no electricity to our lights but we have fancy handmade pieces of paper that we have penciled in the word OPEN. It works.

More tomorrow. Have to go watch CSI Miami.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wow, Where have you been??

Been a while I know.

So, the store is nearly done. We have new concrete at both entrances. You had to have heard the noise of buggies entering and exiting the store to know what an big deal that was.

We have new tiles on the walls in the hot food section and in the bakery. We also have fancy shelving now that makes the store look so new and updated. People are wondering whether prices are going to rise as soon as its all done. I think they will a little due to gas costs etc, but I don't think it will be TOO bad. (at least I hope not) Apparently the store over the bridge is getting a big renovation as well. A few customers have mentioned that.

We have our new uniforms now. We are to supply dress pants AND dress shoes (with rubber soles). In other words NO RUNNING SHOES. Great. Except what do you do if you need a runner because you wear orthotics? Also, I can't afford to buy MYSELF a pair of pants let alone a pair I have to wear for work!! To be fair though, we were told that they can supply us with pants, but don't know what they look like yet and when they'll have them. I honestly don't care much as long as they sort of fit. They have got to be better than what I have now.

Funny thing is, I was not looking forward to the clothes change, etc, but after sitting through the meeting and listening to what's happening, I actually feel bad. I feel like a slob in what I wear now. I feel like I don't represent the company as well as I could. I am always a professional in my manner and the way I treat customers but after trying on the new shirt its hard to put on my old shirt and pants now.

Worked with TCFH (cashier from hell) today. She was okay until I went on my break. I hadn't even left the area when I hear her bitching about the fact that she is the only one working. "Can somebody open up?". This was said too loudly and was unnecessary as another cashier was standing two feet away from her. She only had to ask her rather than announcing to all and sundry that she's crude and rude.

The Princess was in today as well as The Unreliable One (UO). The UO didn't even show up the day before. She was there for five minutes today before she started to complain about how she doesn't know what she's doing there and she's messing up her packing, letting unbagged items go without green stickers (the proof that something has been paid for). I honestly don't understand why she is still employed. I can count on one hand the times that she has been on time. I hate working with her and/or the the Princess because I end up doing twice the work. Granted they get a fair share of customers, but when they're working and I'm on express I get a lot of people with too many items trying to get into my line because they don't want to deal with the attitude or the slowness.

Yesterday was a great day, though. I worked with a few of the girls that its a pleasure to be with. Even thought they have stresses in their lives, they are still professional, considerate and pleasant to others, especially co-workers. I like most of the girls actually. There are not too many I don't like. Maybe four or five. I just don't have the time for slackers or lazy people or people with at-ti-tude.

And one last thing. I was mentioned at a university party. One of the girls I work with, Long Lost Grand-daughter (LLG-d), went to a party and got talking to someone there abut the fact that she is a cashier at the store. She was asked which store and when she told the guy he got all gushy about how there is this cashier that is so terrific and always asks how he is and what he's making for dinner and packs his groceries so well and she is his favourite. So the LLG-d says my name and he goes "Yeah that's the one. She's the best. I love going through her line. One of my two favourite cashiers."

And on that note, I bow and leave you for now.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Holy Crapppppppppppp

I got to work next to TCFH (The Cashier From Hell) yesterday.

Bitch, bitch, bitch. The good news was that when she wasn't bitching she was just being plain nasty. As sometimes happens all the people we expected and were prepared for Friday night didn't show up to shop until Saturday when we were short because someone canceled.

I had a line up at one point of about eight people and she had two. Turns out that the customers didn't want to go in her line. HHHmmmmm wonder if its because of the bad vibes? Maybe its the attitude? Or could it be the sour face?

Anyway, at one point, before it got busy, one of the cashiers was doing 'go-backs' (items that customer decide NOT to buy). I had one customer, TCFH had one and then another one stepped into her line. She gets on the phone to page the other cashier back! WTF??? I am giving change to my customer which means they are gone soon and can take them in my line. Just send 'em over!!

She was on the phone every 15 to 20 minutes asking for another cashier, plus she was making comments to me like "Are we the only ones working today?" Now this is all going on while customers are going through the lines. She even grumbled to every customer about how hard she had to work.

Shut the ---- up.

Its like having Yappy Girl back without the speed talking. Pretty mush as annoying. She takes breaks when she wants to, wanders off to the washroom without letting anyone know where she is. She never cleans her workstation up and doesn't make sure there is any change for the next person coming on the tray.

OTHER THAN THAT: Lots of compliments from customers about the look of the store now. They like the openness of it and I have heard that salad bar sales have increased by about 50%!!

The place for the sign is all ready and the new stucco is being applied to the front of the building. It will be painted when its dry. The interior is gradually getting painted, but they have taken our clock down and we are LOST without it. You have to be able to know what time it is, because if you are on audit you are to go to the office five minutes before the end of your shift. Hard to tell the time without a time piece.

We've heard a little about uniforms, which I think I have already mentioned. They sound like they will require ironing. Not happening to mine. Also we are to wear black pants, but they can't be jeans. So... they want us to BUY black dress pants!! Not happening, either. If I spend money on a pair of dress pants, they'll be for me to wear when I go out. NOT to wear to work.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cashier sort of joke

I do this puzzle every day and couldn't resist adding this to my blog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My own Political Poll at Work

Just a quick one today.

Yesterday I managed to chat with quite a few customers that asked how I thought the election would go last night. We discussed Obama winning and not one person thought that McCain would be able to pull off an upset.

Therefore, our unscientific poll predicted an Obama win and then was confirmed last night when Barack Obama became the President - Elect in a virtual land slide.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Why is it that young people sometimes don't have any sense of responsibility? If you are written in the schedule and its a day you have said you don't work then you have to tell someone. You can't just 'not show up'.

What about the rest of us? At least one of us will be waiting for you to show up so we can go home.

Show a little consideration. There are days I was scheduled that I was NOT happy about (see previous posts Sept. 26, 29 or 30). It ended up working out but at least I made the arrangements or let them know my displeasure or whatever. I DID NOT leave them hanging short handed.
end of rant

The store seems to have more space now and it appears neater. It has really helped having doors on the freezers now and the product arrangement seems to make sense. It still takes time to find things but all in all not bad. Fewer and fewer complaints from customers. Still the odd one saying about prices but they don't seem to realize that it is due to the recent gasoline price problems more than the store changing.

An awful lot of product is ending up on the shelves that has not been entered into the computer. Its annoying when this happens, because:
the customer is inconvenienced,
the cashier is stressed,
someone has to take time to find it,
time is wasted while waiting.

An aside: I watched a cashier the other day that was waiting on the price for something and just stood there rather than ringing in the person's other groceries???? WTF?? (like I said: no common sense.)

One last thing for today. I am still pretty sick and it must have scared the crap out of some of the customers to hear me coughing. I made sure they could see my hand sanitizer and that I was using it between each customer PLUS anytime my hands came near my face. I also made sure to turn away if I had to cough. Short of staying home, which I couldn't afford, I did all I could to make sure I didn't make anyone sick.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wow that was rough! ! ! !

So I went into work yesterday for the first time in three days. It was B U S Y ! ! !

I was working with a lot of the newer girls. Its okay to a degree because they ask me different things which keeps me on my toes. They don't know a lot of the different fruits and vegetables so don't even know how to look them up. The downside is that it takes a little away from my job. But not enough that I'll stop doing it. Its kind of fun to show off your knowledge.

Although, I DON'T like it when people that ask are just being lazy. I'll tell you, the Princess, sure has no clue about customer service. She was on express and at one point just walks away from her line up to ask me what a certain vegetable was. You didn't think to ask the customer? I'm sure if they're buying it they know what it is.

The store is coming along pretty good. The sign background is up now. Heard a little more about uniforms. Apparently they are not as nice as head cashier thought at first. They were only seen in a video and now that they have been seen in person it looks like ironing will be needed. They include a vest???? I don't think so. And nay, nay to the ironing thing too.

I went in there first thing Friday morning to get a couple of bananas and some grapes for lunches. Boy was it a mess. Very dirty looking, stuff left laying around, garbage on the ground outside the front door, transport buggies in the front of the store and one employee who looked like he had just gotten up and hadn't bothered to get clean clothes. Other than the fact that I knew him you couldn't tell he 'worked' there. The shelves weren't fronted either.

It looked a lot better when I got in on Saturday. The Cute One and The Stern One were busy filling shelves and getting buggies and tidying things up and checking prices and getting information for customers.

And then at the end of my shift, and an hour before her's, Unreliable Girl called in sick.That meant there was a scramble finding someone to fill in till 11 pm. I was asked to stay a half hour later as it was so busy and there were a couple of slower girls working. We got through the crowds though and the 7 o'clock girl came in so I was able to go home.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wow, who'd of thunk it????

I actually had to take today off as well. Headache that won't go away, dizzy, congestion, cough, puberty-voice = good call.

Good news is that I picked up a shift on Saturday to make up for it. This way I'll only be short 3 hours instead of 8.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Short Post Today Part 2

Well, I actually got smart enough to call in sick!!

Yes, me, the Unknown Cashier called in sick for maybe the third time in two years. I feel like H E L L and just the thought of standing there serving customers for four hours was all I could take. I knew I didn't have it in me today.

So off to bed for the UC. Hopefully I feel a little better tomorrow.

Short Post Today

So I went to work yesterday with the start of a cold. First off, I get there and can't punch in. Okay I get sent to number 4. I'm there a bout ten minutes when i see the schedule book and take a look. Turns out for some silly reason I was a half hour early. Down side of that is I will have to stay a half hour longer than I thought.

So this cold thing: what happens to me is that my voice sounds like a boy going through puberty. Its up, its down, its cracking all over the place. Usually that lasts for a day or so and I am better. Well, woke up this morning feeling like crap. My voice is now in the low bass, Kathleen Turner range, and I have the sniffles. I will go in today because I'm stupid and will take my hand sanitizer with me (as I did yesterday). I'll get sympathy votes and some people thinking 'why didn't you just stay home'.

SORRY, just can't do it.

Saw a lot of my other regulars due to the fact that it was a day time shift. They were amused at the sound of my voice.

The new courtesy counter has gone in. Seems awful big to me. It could have been half the size and been plenty big enough for us. It looks like a place that is going to collect junk. I hope not. Also the cigarettes are still locked up in the office. It would be SSSSOOOOO nice if we just didn't sell them anymore.

Anyway, that's it for today.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Signs and doors

Well, the bracket for the sign has gone up. I guess it won't be long now. Several people sad to hear we won't be called by our original name anymore. But several people looking forward to the change. (Personally I think they are looking forward to it all being done!)

I wonder why it is that when I have days off I end up in the store buying things I have forgotten. I stand there for over four hours and have people coming through buying the very items I need, but at the end of shift go home and realize I didn't get what I needed. then I end up like yesterday being in the store at 10 after 7 in the morning and then again at 3:15pm.

I think part of it is that the store is a lot easier to get in and out of. The enemies parking lot has got to be one of the worst to navigate. Also their freaking store is way too spread out and not enough selection. Can you believe that for a store that is almost twice the size of ours they do not sell lactose free milk???

Our parking lot is pretty good but there are still some schmucks that drive through. We have a couple of stop signs there because you enter the parking lot right where there is a side parking space. Cars exiting there have to stop or they'll smack into those entering the lot. I often time see people that just slow down (better than nothing) but there are those that not only don't slow down but that don't even look.

One day............

In some ways they are making the store too modern looking. I think you can lose some of the, I don't know, comfortableness (sp).

We do not have a lot of people that come in and just mosey around and stop others from shopping but on the other side those that wish to rush through, can. I know for myself the most important part of my shopping experience is quality, both in product and my experience in the store.

I was hoping the entrance was going be changed a little but it looks like it won't. At least they have our other door open again and people can once more go back to old habits.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Registers - NOT, New Sign - YES

They are in the process of putting up our new sign. While they are doing that they have one of our doors closed off. That means that people can only come and go through one entrance. Now, the cool thing is, I have watched people walk up to the FENCE that is surrounding the door (sticking out quite far into the parking lot, I might add) look at the fence like what the heck is that doing here, and walk around to the other door. They then come in, do some shopping and go to leave by said blocked off doorway. The look of surprise to find that you not only can't get IN but, you that you can't get out either is priceless.

Its not like you can't see there is no way to exit. There is a rack of gumball machines and a shelf of goods five feet tall across the door. I don't know, I guess they are just occupied with their shopping and forget, or they think the new sign has gone up and the fence pulled down already.

Another thing. They took away our candy/magazine racks to be painted. Now they are usually at the end of the register and sort of form the partitions along with the register assembly. At first it was strange being all open and everything. But within half an hour we decided we like it better. It makes the front more open, the customers can see us easier, we can seem them coming, there is not a lot of space taken up with dust collectors and nobody standing there reading a magazine and blocking the entrance to my register.

Had a few complaints about items:

Where is the olive bar?
Why has EVERYTHING gone up a dollar?
There is less produce.
Everything is moved.
Can't find anything.
the salad containers are in a stupid location (they are just above floor level under the salad bar)
there aren't any rubber bands for the salad containers

There have been several people saying that they like the way the store is looking.

Oh, yeah. The other day I got called into work (my day off, but I didn't mind). When I get there, there is a sign on the door saying that the debit card system is down but credit cards are working and of course we'll take cash.

Interesting thing: Of the people that came in while this was going on and did NOT know the debit cards were not working 100% were young people (teens). There were signs on the doors and at the end of EVERY register. When I asked them if they were using debit, because I don't want to have to void out the order they were surprised to find they couldn't use them. Now I feel some what sorry for them, because I think they get sent off to school with the card and access to Mommy and Daddy's account and that is how they get lunch or snacks, etc. They don't seem to ever carry cash and will use the card for items as low as $1.25. I am also surprised at the ones when they DO have cash, will walk away and leave the change behind. I can understand pennies, but 30 and 40 cents at a time! Do they not realize that you only need do that 2 or 3 times and you have a dollar? Granted that doesn't buy much but, heck, even the pennies add up.

Anyway, turns out it was a nationwide problem and, as usual, some schmuck decided to do an upgrade in the DAYtime and there was a glitch in the program. Have these people never heard of "after dark", when MOST people are asleep and not using the system??

Well, off to bed. Have to go in tomorrow. We'll see what else is changed.

Oh yeah, about the registers. Looks like we are just getting a paint job on them. No new equipment. So bye bye to the open look.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Long Time - No See

Well, I should be ashamed I guess for leaving everyone hanging for more than ten days without any entertainment.

The store is coming along pretty well. More and more compliments coming in but also concern that the shelves seem empty. I'm hoping that once the major renovation stuff is done that we'll start having more product on the shelves. Its nice that they made it able to hold more but it looks a little bad that there are so many blank spots. Of course that is probably also being held up by the renovation stuff. I guess it means less items to move.

OH, and we have doors on our frozen foods now! before we had the older kind where the product was easy to reach in a cooler sort of thing. It also meant that the cold air could overflow and roll across the floor keeping the whole area cool. Hopefully there'll be less complaints about the temperature now that we have doors.

AND...... One day last week, when I had the day off, I had to drive by and saw a big crane there. I am pretty sure a new heating/cooling system was hoisted up.

I have not been in the store for three days. It will be interesting to see what has changed this rime.


So nice. Except this week I only have three shifts which is okay but I'd really like to have four. I have to find out how I can claim a shift from someone. I had it done to me when I first worked there and there is a shift I could do that someone else with less seniority has. So I'll ask when I get there today.

The princess was okay for a while but man, she doesn't have any freaking common sense. We were VERY busy last week and customers lined up. There were two cashiers besides myself on duty. She saunters over and asks me if I know where Head Cashier is. I said I didn't know and she says well we have lots of customers, I think we need someone else on. I suggested she page.

Now, rather than do that or just keep working, she strolls outside looking for the HC, who is on break, to help and tells them that "we're busy". She left her register with a line up!!!!!!!

WTF! you couldn't move your ass a little faster? You can't pick up your pace a little and work harder? You can't wipe that sulking look off your kisser?

I DO NOT blame the head cashiers in any way. It is very hard to know when we will be busy and it happened to almost be the time for the next cashier to come on duty, anyway. Now on the Sunday before Thanksgiving we were all set for lots of customers and they didn't show. Yet, the three days after Thanksgiving we were very, very busy. In that case we work a little harder and the HC comes out and goes on cash as well.

BUT, the interesting thing about the store is that one minute there are no customers and then suddenly there are lots of them. Its like they collect somewhere and then make a dash for the registers. You can be standing there wondering how many times you can clean the belt and the next thing you know there's a MOB at your register wanting to get home and make supper.

We have some new employees that appear to be working out. I hope so. Maybe some of the not so good ones can be replaced. Like, why are we putting up with someone who is consistently late?? And someone who makes it obvious they don't want to be here and will read a magazine rather than help customers and couldn't move fast if their ass was on fire?

Also, one day last week, one of our own employees is walking around in a grocery store carrying a dog. A DOG!! I love dogs BUT they are not allowed in GROCERY stores. ONLY A SERVICE DOG'S PAWS CAN CROSS OUR THRESHOLD!! When I confronted said employee they said they knew they couldn't bring a dog in and then went out side with it. What if I hadn't said anything? Would they have just kept on going around the store? What if the manager had actually been there and seen it? Probably would have cost them the job.

Oh crap, wait a minute. I could have solved a couple of problems there by not saying anything.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finally, Compliments

Well, things have worked out okay as far as me and my bad times last week. I ended up taking the Friday off rather than work from 4 to 8. I was going to switch with one girl and take her 3:30 to 7:30 but an appt I had was changed to a little later time so it was best to just give the shift away. I don't like being short on my hours, but what can you do.

Also, I was so full of it and not going to work and stuff. Yeah , right. I worked from 4 till 8 pm on the Wednesday night and didn't turn into a pumpkin or anything. i wasn't happy about it and the shift seemed very long as I am used to breaks at a certain time and leaving at 7:30. Oh well, hopefully it won't happen again.

Again, I would not want to be the one making up the schedule. But you know I am a little worried about HC. She doesn't seem herself lately and she seems to be so thin. I really like HC and like to spoil her with treats. But I also don't think I can say anything to her. I think HC's tough and doesn't let people close to her easily. So I'll just keep bringing goodies.

Finally, on Saturday, customers started to say positive things about the store. They were complimentary about the way it looks and that the product selection is nice. They like the way the produce is displayed now.

Having new shelving in a black seems to make everything stand out more. Still a few complaints about the salad bar, (lettuce wilting, dressing on everything(?)) but most are glad that its back.

Its so nice to have bottles and cans come through now where we don't have to wipe the dust off them. I don't like to have dirty hands when I'm handling people's groceries and it was getting to where you were having to clean them after every three or four orders and after every order that had cans or bottles.

I'm also VERY glad that that crew that was hired to move stuff is gone. They were sort of rude without realizing they were. They would do their job but didn't interact with the customers or try to help them or move out of their way. Okay, maybe one or two of them did, but for the most part, no. Anyway, they're gone now, they did a good job and they have left the building.

I think there is some renovation going on in the back of the store now and then they'll be done. There is still some touch up that needs doing like the wall in bakery and near the offices, but for the most part....done.

I'll be glad when they get a sign up over us too. Right now if a stranger to the area drives by they have no idea what we are.

Oh yeah, had several people over the past few days say how much they DON'T like the store over the highway. (Not mentioning any names but they are the enemy.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update to The Working Outside of Available hours

Maybe I am just old and cranky. I don't know.

I guess I keep forgetting that it is just a job. Maybe I'm overtired and just looking for things that bug me.

Plus it appears that you can't just pick someone that you would like to have your shift. You have to work your way down the list by seniority.

So now I have to know:
1) who is available for work
2) who is entitled to first shot at my times
3) who is fast or slow
4) phone numbers for said people
5) whether this is the 'occasional' time that they 'may' be required to work outside of their availability.

Getting a little too complicated for me.

Anyway, I was given phone numbers that may or may not be the right ones and I have called one of them and am awaiting the return call. Of course, it may not be the person I think I called because the message on their answering machine doesn't identify who they are when it picked up.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Available After 7:30 pm

Well in two days I am expected to be working from 4 until 8.

Its not going to happen. I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I don't really want to lose the hours because my pay just about covers the cost of gasoline and car insurance.

BUT, I also made it clear a long time ago that I am not available after a certain time and am a little ticked off that the younger kids have earlier and better hours than me. I have more seniority, and as stated numerous times, I am old enough to have earned the right to have decent hours. I have done all the crap shifts as a teenager and younger person and I am only working part time.

The idea of being a part timer is that you let them know what hours you are available. That is why we have so many part-time cashiers. Now, if I am needed to work outside of the hours I have stated then all that is needed is a quick little "could you work such and such a time"?

I hadn't turned down too many shifts when asked, but lately I have just because what's been offered were times when I already had other plans.

Anyway, I guess push will come to shove soon. I would hate to leave. I'd like to think I'd leave a hole IF i LEFT but I suspect it would be as big as the one left when you scoop water out of a bucket.

Sad, but true.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Atmosphere Pt 2

Showed up for work and you can cut the tension with a knife. Seems like it might be coming from a higher boss who seems to think that nagging people is the way to get things done and gain respect.


I have written down that I am not available after 7:30 pm ANY night. I've done my time working crap shifts and now the younger kids should have a chance. Anyway, the schedule has me working two 4 to 8 pm shifts this upcoming week. When I pointed out that I wasn't available I was told that the schedule is made and I will have to fix it. That means I have to call the person who has less seniority than I do and ask, yes ask, if they will switch with me. I don't think I should have to do that. I made it clear for a long time that I am not available at that time.

It is apparently to cover breaks over supper time? Well, I think just a body is needed. It doesn't have to be me. As long as someone works that time then all should be well.

I am sort of feeling like I am ready to leave. I love my job but I don't like some of the attitude that is going on. I realize that it is a pain in the ass to make up a schedule with all the variables there are. BUT, I don't see why some shifts, as has happened over the past few weeks, can't stay basically the same. Wouldn't that make it a lot easier? If someone has been there 18 months as opposed to being there 5 or 6 months well then reason only dictates that as you move further down the list you get worse choices. That's the way it worked when I was a teenager and working at my first grocery store.

I remember the more senior people were getting the good shifts and us teenagers were used to plug in the holes.

I have all but two times showed up for my appointed shift. I have always taken just the 15 minutes allowed for break time. I stay late when asked. I put the customers before anything else. I help as much as I can. I don't stand around doing nothing. I have a lot of experience and a way with customers. The couple of times that I thought I was going to be late because of traffic I have called and let them know.

Anyway, I'm giving it a day or so. A few other things happened that are bothering me, but I feel that maybe the pressure from the boss is getting to everyone and they are getting plain old cranky. We'll see how the next few days go. All I know is that I am NOT working past 7:30 any night.

I also would not want to be in the head cashier's position and have to deal with all the people they have under them. I wouldn't want to deal with ME and I like myself. Its a rough job and you get nothing but grief for it. Oh yeah and complaints. So yup, I don't like it but I sure wouldn't want to do it either. I guess all in all, I'm crabby and feeling the pressure.


I'm not sure what is going on at the store lately, but there is a strange atmosphere happening.

We had one of the head cashiers up and leave. There's a story there but I don't know what it is yet.

We have the renovations coming along (REAL Walmarty now). The bunches of carrots are standing, yes standing, up.

New shelving is going in and I suppose it looks good except that the store has lost a lot of its neighbourhood feel. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe no one is feeling comfortable. It is sure showing in the customers, who are getting crankier every day.

The Princess is really bugging me. I don't claim to be perfect but I have a way that I think customers should be treated. I've said that numerous times. Well, last night, she had a customer that she had just finished with and then she was going to get change. Another customer showed up so rather than serve him and then get the fives she tells them that she'll be right back, she has to get this change. But, she turns and doesn't show ANY sign at all of being in a hurry. She then goes looking for Head Cashier by walking a good twenty feet to the service desk, slowly and with that perpetual scowl. No HC so she comes and asks me to page for her. Well, I am supposed to be gone by now PLUS I am waiting on a customer of my own who I am pretty sure was the one she just turned her back on. So I handed her the phone. She just looked at it and then goes to put it back but misses the cradle entirely. She bangs it around a few times and then I hear silence. I finish with my customer and look at the phone and it has not been put back at all. (It needs to be replaced properly or the next person using it in the store somewhere can't hear). She has just left it there. I wanted to wring her little princessy neck. Luckily HC showed up and my replacement came over.

That's another thing. I show up early for work and stay late when needed, but I am getting real tired of nobody showing up to let me go home early. I also make sure the bags are ready and full, that the area is clean, there is change in the drawer but no one is doing the same for me. Oh once in a while someone does it, but not nearly as many times as I do. And then the one time I didn't show up until one minute before shift change I get "Oh I guess you don't like me anymore. You came in late." Granted she apologized for making it sound that way, but I just want them to realize that it is a courtesy from me to them. What REALLY annoys me, though, is when my replacement is already there and still doesn't come over to let me leave maybe a few minutes early.

Sorry, to be bitching, but I guess I'm feeling the pressure from not enjoying myself at work as much as I'd like to. I will still do the coming in early for others, maybe not as often, but that's the kind of person I am. I guess sometimes you just want a little back.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Customer From Hell (CFH)

Just a short one tonight.

Had a customer in today. She has two loaves of bread that scan at $2.99 each.

"Those are 2 for $5.00."

"I think that may be the 'Smart' bread."

"No, the sign says 2 for $5.00."

"I know that, Ma'am, but I had this problem a day ago and it was another type of bread."

So I decide to go check and she has to try to beat me there. Fine. What ever. We get there and she shows me the sign. Sure enough it says 2 for $5.00 but it is for English muffins. I tell her that.

"Well there aren't any English muffins there."

I can see that, and the tag is off to the right of all the bread. There is a small space where muffins could have been but aren't now.

"Well the sign shouldn't be there then. I should get the bread for the price it says."

"I don't think so. It clearly says English Muffins."

"But there aren't any there are there? I want to talk to your manager."

So I page him and someone else comes out and doesn't it turn out that they know each other. Turns out the CFH worked here before along with her two kids one of which was fired. SO SHE SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

The someone else agrees with me that it is obviously a mistake but the CFH decides to push it further and starts to make a scene. Being that I wanted to slug her BUT I'm more concerned for the store I again call for the manager. He does come out and says to just let her have it.

I was happy until I realized that he wanted me to let her have the bread for the muffin price.

Any way her face is in my memory banks now so I'll be looking for her in the future. I hate people like that that just want to be a bitch.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Renovations are a PAIN in the BACKEND !!!

Well, every day that you walk into work now there is more of a mess. Its actually a little disgusting for a grocery store. There is dust on everything. When you have cashiers that don't seem to like to clean, like The Spawn and The Princess, it makes for a messy work place, especially if you happen to have to work that lane after them.

Now I admit I am not the world's best housekeeper, but I know how to keep the work surface clean. I think if people are buying FOOD they should be able to put it down somewhere that is clean. Granted they are going to wash a lot of it when they get home and what's not washed is safely packaged, but still....

Also, we have an outside company in now that is clearing shelves off and rearranging items. They have NO customer skills and one of them yesterday nearly ran over a customer with a buggy. Just came barreling up the aisle and she had to really swerve hard to avoid him. Plus, I have heard that they are not very helpful when the customers ask them things. Okay, they don't work here, but they can at least say I'll get someone for you.

AND, there is no parking at the store. We have a large lot, part of which is taken up by two waste bins. BUT, why are all the spots closest to the running store and the restaurant, both across the street, taken up with cars?

I don't think it fair to the employees or especially the customers, a lot of whom are elderly.

THAT said, the parts of the store that are sort of done look pretty nice. Again, it is still Walmarty; but definately fresher and more modern looking. They took apart the bakery counters yesterday, during the store's rush hour, and made a heck of a lot of noise doing it. Once, when they were taking away an older display case it crashed and we all held our breath waiting for the breaking glass. But it held up. I guess because it was so bleeding heavy! Took two guys and a special tractor to move it properly. Come to think of it, it would have made a nice cage for my snake.

I wasn't on express last night, again. Turns out that they get more work from The Princess if they put her on there. She is very slow but at least she does some work rather than reading magazines. She still gives the impression that dealing with customers is extremely annoying and I wish she could greet more than two of them with a smile.

Oh yeah, THE FULL MOON Monday night.

Get into work and the regular express is out of commission so I go on the 1 - 16 items instead. Second customer is Mrs. Pinchpenny and I am still dealing with my first customer, on EXPRESS, when she puts three DIFFERENT SIZED tomatoes on the scale and wants to know how much they are. Now she is already interrupting and I am just NOW getting the money from the first person. So it will be a minute. I look at her and smile because I AM talking to this customer and figured that would let her know.

I finish with him and ask her how I can help. Again she says "how much are they?"

$1.26 says I.
“Oh. Well how much a pound are they?”
I don’t know. The scale is in kilos.
“Well, I need to know what you’re charging me.”
$1.52 a kilo.
” but how much is that a pound?”
I don’t know ma’am, about 70 cents I think. (I’m older and was trained in pounds not metric but I have a rough idea, just through experience)
"But the sign says they're 69 cents a pound." (I refrained from strangling her.)
“well, I want to know whether I should buy the basket.”
I would. Its a better buy. (meanwhile my line-up is getting longer.
“but that’s $3.99”
I know.
“Well how much are they each? Because there are 8 in the basket but there are only two of us at home ”

WHAT!!!!!!!!! They are all different sizes! Get the frig out of my line. (Unfortunately said inside my head)

So two more 'normal' customers, then someone buying two bags of grapes. I ring them up and put them in the bag and the customer asks how much they are. I said '$6.59 a kilo'
"But the sign said they are $2.99 a pound."
'$2.99 a pound is $6.59 a kilo.'
"Oh, well that's too much."
' But that's the same price, just one is kilos and one is pounds.'
"No, I don't want them. Its too expensive."

(How come they weren't too expensive when you picked them up and thought they were $2.99 a pound?????????)

Very next customer puts some plums on the scale. Same exact situation!! Now I can understand that the kilo/pound thing is confusing but we are not cheating them. The prices are displayed but seeing as the metric thing is a royal pain most prices are displayed in large print in pounds and smaller print for metric. SO it is clearly there.

Next customer: bought about 8 things that totaled $23.65.
"But I only have $20.00."

What do you want to put back?
"I need it all."
Okay, I look to see which items she can put back to bring the total down.
When I tell her she says:
"No, I need those things."

Well ma'am, you can't have them all because you don't have enough money.

So finally she gives me two items worth .75 each and asks if that's enough? Well, no, that totals $1.50 and you are still $2.15 over.
"But I need everything else."
But you don't have enough money. Anyway to make a long story short, we got it down to $19.53 and when she goes to put her change in her pocket she has twoonies, loonies, quarters, etc. More than enough to have paid the original bill.

(the body is under my register in case anyway is looking.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

WHEW. Is it hot or what?!

Went in to work today and it was pretty good. As we all know I don't like the temperature anything above about 65 degrees F (which I guess is like 18 C.)

Anyway, that is one of the reasons I like working in a grocery store. It is supposed to be cool in there. Well apparently it was once again too cool. Although to be fair only one person pointed out that it was too cool. I told her it was 70 degrees inside the store. (She was old enough to still remember fahrenheit).

Now I know it was only one person, but it is like a million degrees outside. You can't breathe because the air is so heavy and you need a machete to even walk through it. I think it is the edge of one of the hurricanes. I'm not sure which one but it was so muggy and warm today.

I'm at home,now (was finished at 4:30) and it is about ten to 6. It is getting very dark outside and I think we are going to get one heck of a rainstorm. Even my little OLD barometer that with a full blown blizzard will only commit to a degree past the change label, is actually leaning way too close to the stormy label. Heck, if it says that, we may be in for a flood that will require some one who knows how to measure in cubits. (Noah's Ark).

Worked with a pretty good crew today and it was nice. No negative vibes in the store. Everyone had fun. No real bad customers. Makes me nervous, though. There's a full moon in a few days. It will be interesting as the week moves on.

Oh yeah. So the tomatoes are really, really good this year. So much flavour!!

I decided to make salsa to preserve. Got it all going yesterday (my day off that turned into snake at work day instead). Had the salsa heating, had the bottle in the canner, had the water heating up, the lids and sealers in their pot. Go to put the lid on the canner to help the water heat up and where the $$#@%$()*&*!^ is the lid?????

Now my kitchen is small (old, built in 1914 house) and there are very few cupboards as we have not had the money yet to redo the kitchen. Its okay. I make do. But there are only so many places you can put this freakin' lid. Looked everywhere. Heck I even looked in the fridge. (it wasn't there).

So had to turn everything off and figure out what to do. In the meantime, a few days ago I got a great deal on a toaster that can do bagels. Today I go to plug that in which means I have to move the old toaster and guess what is hiding behind it?? Yup the stupid lid. So, in the temperature from hell today I made ten jars of salsa and boiled them in the canner for 20 minutes. Yeah, not the brightest bulb in the drawer today, but boy the salsa sure tasted good when I tested it before canning. I have one jar that will need to be used up soon so we'll see if it is good enough to go ahead and make more.

{Boy... THAT had nothing to do with work. :-)}

Been a little too long

So.... what's new?

Well, yesterday was again 'take my snake to work' day. That was possible because it was my day off. So where do I go on my day off?? Well, the store of course. Even though it was a little rainy it was so muggy that it was okay for the snake to stretch her.... ribs. One cashier had asked about seeing her and then word spread and I had a few people looking forward to the event.

I showed up and the requesting girl wasn't there yet but soon showed up. She was so thrilled and then a few other girls game out of the store. Even the assistant manager who wanted pictures but was not getting close. One cashier even called her Mom who showed up with Dad, sister, friend and friend's daughter in tow. All were impressed with the snake and lots of questions. I had fun and people seem to be amazed that I have a snake as a pet. They are a great pet. You don't have to do much except feed them every 2 to 3 weeks, clean the cage about as often and make sure they have heat and water. You can go away for days on end and not have to worry about them starving to death.

Yappy Girl came in for, hopefully, her final 'visit'. She was picking up her vacation pay, which according to her was not enough, and she was sure to tell EVERYone that worked in the store about it. She bought a little stuffed dog for her son who is, surprisingly, a real normal kid. She did that in order to cash the cheque. As I punch in the amount and say it out loud to her she says that's wrong. I pause and look, thinking I have transposed numbers or something. No, I was right and she says no, it should be more money. SO?? You want me to just put more in the computer or what? She really had a chip on her shoulder and seemed to be really cruising for a fight or something. Anyway, I never made eye contact which I figured was the safest way to go.

BUT.... we seem to have someone who is almost as miserable as YG was. Just in a different way. Too many bad vibes coming from her.

Anyway YG's replacement... I'll have to come up with a code name for her. So, she wants to take her break and she keeps saying "I'm going on my break now." She can't go until she is told by Head Cashier because we have to have people covering the registers. It was also coming on to lunch time and now that school is back we get a TON of high school kids in buying lunches. Especially now that the salad bar is back.

She keeps telling me she's going and finally I say to her that she better check with HC before she does that. Now she's already turned off her light and telling people that she's closed. So I have a line up four people long and she's standing there trying to get HC on the phone. Finally she figures out that she's not going anywhere and opens up for one of our regulars who happens to like his groceries put in bags right away. (I think because he likes to put them in the buggy immediately.) Anyway, he's quirky, but what the hell, you work around that. He asks her three times and she decides to be stubborn and say "I'm getting to it" and then curses under her breath. That in and of itself is unusual as she usually just curses out loud. (On the same day the "f" word came out in front of an elderly lady.)

When she finally got her break she was gone for more than 20 minutes. When she came back in the store she wandered around a while before eventually getting to the register. I find I don't really like working next to her. She is a little too negative and doesn't seem to think of her co-workers. She leaves the space a mess and the belt is dirty, actually filthy the couple of times I have worked on the register after her. She also doesn't like to stock the bags back up or get change for the tray.

Well, that's enough for now. More later on the co-workers.

The store is coming along. We lost our big signs two days ago. I guess they are going to paint first before the new ones go up. The store is looking nice although it looks very Walmarty. I mean that the shelves, at least for dairy so far, are all black and reminded me of the Walmart I was in in Pennsylvania a couple of months ago.

It also appears that some prices are going up which I think will be a HUGE mistake. We are gradually having the old stores no name replaced with the new stores no name and 30 cents on frozen orange juice is too much of a jump.

Later. Have to go to work now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rough Few Days


All those students that didn't show up the first week of school have been making up for it this week. Yesterday was the first day in seven that it was actually almost quiet in the store and you could breathe between customers.

I have been on audit for almost a month now. It started when I made a mistake during a busy, LOUD, time. I wasn't able to concentrate due to some very loud teenagers and gave a somewhat regular customer twenty dollars too much in change. I wasn't sure at the time but it suddenly hit me about 2 customers later. I immediately asked for the tray to be audited because I wanted to be sure one way or the other. Turned out I was right; and he never came back. So I went on audit. When you are down money you go on audit for two weeks. Fine, except that at day 12 of 14 another mistake was made and I can't for the life of me remember an incident that could have caused it.

Anyway, last night I go in for 3:30 expecting to be on express and I am put on three. WTF??!!!

I have ALWAYS, since I worked there on the 3:30 -7:30 shift, been on express. So I was quite taken aback. I was told at first that the girl on express was staying later than 3:30 and that was why I was not going there. Except that at 3:30 I looked and she was gone. Now in the meantime there have been little comments made over the last few days like "Oh, are you still on audit?" and "make any more mistakes". Meant to be funny but taken in the context of being moved from my regular spot the mind starts to work.

I like being on express. It is a LOT easier on my back for one thing and the time goes quicker. Plus I see a lot of my regular customers. But why was I suddenly not there and why was I given such a lame excuse?

And then to top it off last night, with one more day on this audit stuff my tray is out $25.00!!!!!!!!!!


I had taken the tray in for counting and Head Cashier bought my change to add to her change drawer and then balanced my tray. Now I watched her do it and didn't see anything wrong. (roll of twoonies($50), roll of loonies ($25), roll of quarters ($10) and a roll of dimes ($5) = $90.00 out of my tray; 4 twenties ($80) and one ten ($10) go into my tray)

I couldn't figure it out and I was almost in tears so I left and started for home, thoughts of quitting flitting through my head. Maybe I have lost my cashier skills. Maybe I am way too tired, Maybe I am way too stressed. I don't know.

But then! An AHA moment. I remembered that another girl and I got change at almost the exact same time and I also remembered that when I opened my roll of twoonies it seemed odd that I had another roll of two's when it should have been loonies. Another girls tray was up by over $25.00 so I thought well maybe I got her two's and she got my one's. So back to work I rush to find Head Cashier frantically trying to find the roll of twoonies she bought from my tray.

I told her my theory of what may have happened and how it would explain the problem with the two trays. We look in the cash drawer and she says she thought this one roll would be the problem because she thought it was twoonies and it wasn't. Suddenly I realize what happened as I too had thought it was a $50.00 roll of coins (it wasn't wrapped the way twoonies normally are and turned out to be loonies). She adds the money up again and low and behold that is where my $25.00 went. So the notes were written and I initialed and all is well in my tray and her cash drawer.

I toddle off home, now half an hour late, and get to see my hubby. He was worried about me because I am not usually that late. I told him the story and he was just glad that nothing had happened to me. I'm sorry he was concerned for me but it was REALLY important to me to get it sorted out.

It is strange how that can affect your whole mood. I was in a foul mood for just not being on express. And I almost let it get the better of me. Luckily a few of my regulars hunted me down and came through my line even though I was busy and it would have been quicker for them to go through express. I really appreciate them for that.

One last aside; On Monday I was on Express and there is this one nice lady that always talks to me and she said she had ten items, could she come through my line? I said sure seeing as its only ten and I didn't have any customers AT THE MOMENT. She puts her stuff up as I am finishing with the customer ahead of her and son of a B**** if she doesn't have 22 freaking items!!!

What can I say now? I've let her in. And of course suddenly people show up behind her. So now they're waiting while I try to get through this order. I wanted to say something but she's nice and apparently so am I. So I let it go although I think my body language may have let her know. She was very quiet suddenly and left fairly quickly.

AND Two things about buggies.

I don't know why people can walk into the store after having to walk AROUND a buggy that someone else has left IN THE DOORWAY and then get a buggy from inside. Why can't you just push the buggy in and use it? You had to avoid it and dodge around it to get in the store?
I can understand if its been raining or snowing and the buggy is wet, but otherwise? What? No common sense?

And the other thing. If you take the buggy off the lot to get your groceries home: BRING THE DAMN THING BACK!!!!!

Do you want them to put a coin thingy on it so you have to pay a deposit? Because the talk is not for it to be 25 cents anymore. They are talking about $5:00 or $10:00 or even more. Those things are not cheap and we don't have the resources to go and bring them back. If we did then prices would go up even MORE.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Friends and compliments

Well, all those people that didn't show up on the weekend???

They were out in full force yesterday. I started at 3:30 and never saw a break in the line until almost 6:45pm! It was nice though. I like to be busy.

As the evening wore on it got quieter and when it got closer to going home time my relief stopped by to chat for a little. She told me that she was happy that Yappy Girl was gone because she didn't think the way the 'contest' went down was at all fair. She was embarrassed by the way YG treated customers and product. She said that she thought that I was the best cashier there!! Not the fastest but the one that everyone likes to work with and the one the customers seem to like too. She felt I was courteous and got on well with every one.

WOW! What a nice compliment! :-)

I'm glad to hear that that is the way people feel. Makes the job all the more worthwhile.

One of our own got engaged over the weekend. It was so nice to see the glow on her face. The pure happiness. Just terrific!

Still don't have our salad bar running yet. Also, I had to take a little walk through the store last night to pick up a few items and it looks like we've been ransacked!! The amount of stuff missing due to students stocking up is phenomenal!!! The were three packages of pasta on the shelf. Hardly any cereals, three containers of yogurt, most of the bread gone, no hamburger and on and on and on. Be interesting to see how much has been replaced by the time I go in or whether that, too, will just disappear as fast as its put out.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Okay, so its Labour Day today

We have a day off today and it is gorgeous weather. I worked yesterday from 8 am until 1 pm and it still didn't turn into the mad crowds we've had other years. Someone from the Mac welcoming committee was in and said that this weekend is move in for 1st year students and then welcoming and orientation goes on this week. Then next week the other students start to arrive.

That means it will probably get busier over these next several days. That's fine by me. I would much rather be busy than not.

It is so cool having a job where, for the most part, you like who you work with: and one that also not only lets you be yourself but actually seems to enjoy it.

I think I would like some of the people I work with to realize that being a cashier is not JUST checking out groceries. You can at least, at the VERY least, think about the person coming to the register after you. You're standing around doing nothing, well how about cleaning the belt. People have to put food on there. It makes it look like you care if you keep your work station tidy. It also shows consideration for your fellow workers to just leave it nice for when they take over the next shift.

Also the job is more fun and rewarding if you treat the customers nicely. They are our bread and butter so to speak and as such deserve to at least be greeted nicely and talked to a little. Sure it becomes same old/same old for us but it is their first time in the store today so SMILE and be nice.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Well Today's the Day (NOT)

More tomorrow as I on my way to bed (have to get up early for work at 8 am.) There were no frantic crowds today. Basically a typical Saturday.

Now that may not bode well for tomorrow. It could be that Sunday will be crazy. Maybe they were spending today moving the furniture and stuff and tomorrow will be the grocery shopping.


Well Today's the Day

I have to be at work in a little over 4 hours. It'll be interesting to see what today brings.

We have some pretty decent specials on and product is still sort of all over the place with some items being moved to new locations. Hopefully a lot of the people coming in to stock up today won't notice much as they'll be new to the area. They won't notice its moved if they didn't know where it was in the first place.

I wrote to the new owners the beginning of the week with the hope that they may have information on the new uniforms. They replied yesterday and all they would say was that they hope to have them finalized by the end of September. A quote from their email when asked about the salad bar: "Also, concerning the Salad Bar, it is still being tested." I had told them how much the seniors rely on it.

Three of last year's cashiers have checked in so far. They start after Labour day. It will be nice to have some of the old team back, but the team we have now is pretty darn good. There are a couple that COULD be gone but for the most part it is a joy to work with all of them. The majority REALLY care about customers and that is very important to me. I know it is vital for the store but I find it so hard to watch when someone doesn't do something right in their way of treating our customers.

I know I'm not perfect, by any means, but I think I do know how to treat people. I think that they want to be treated with common courtesy and like they are important. I don't think they want to stand there while the cashiers carry on conversations with each other even if their groceries are being checked out at the same time. I also think that they want to feel they are getting good value for their money. That means they want their items packed well and efficiently. They want to be heard and they want to feel like coming back. They don't want to feel like they are eating into my time.

Well, I have vented a little. I am going to do some knitting now for my best friend and then I'll have more to say this afternoon.

See Ya!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

So, I'm a day late. Sorry. :-(

I got busy yesterday (day off and all) and didn't write. I had some running around to do and what not.

Anyway, today was pretty good. We're gearing up for the weekend onslaught.

We are very close to a MAJOR university, a pretty big college and direct neighbours to a high school. ALL the students start coming back over the next few weeks. THAT means stocking up PLUS all those kids that are living away from home for the first time will have parents buying all the stuff they need to set up their dorm or apartment or room.

Lots of cleaning stuff will leave the store. We will be bizzz - zzeee!!!

Almost all the cashiers are working tomorrow and Sunday. We're closed Monday for Labour Day and will open again on Tuesday for some more crowds.

I'm on number 1 (express) again tomorrow afternoon but on Sunday I'm in at 8 in the A.M. so I think I'll be on a regular register. There is something frightening about seeing a buggy coming at you that is overflowing and you're wondering where to put everything.

A while back I talked about this lovely gentleman who buys two tins of beans for the food bank every time he's in the store. Well he came in today and was very glad to see me. I think he is such a sweetheart. The kindest face next to my Dad's. Anyway, he said he hadn't seen me for a while and I said I'd missed seeing him. We chit chatted a little and as he was leaving he stopped and said that I make him smile inside.

That is one of the nicest things anyone has said to me. I hope my Mum and Dad can somehow know what people say about me. I would like to think that they are very proud of the way I have turned out.

Mrs. Violet was in twice today. On Wednesday she brought me a copy of a recipe that I had asked her for. She is the one that thinks I have 'niceness' in me. She has brought in these neat little 'cookies' before and I gave a taste to one of the other cashiers. Well, they turn out to be just what HER grandmother used to make for her so I had asked Mrs. Violet if she wouldn't mind sharing the recipe for my friend. She had stopped in before I was there, today.

Mrs. Violet goes walking, A LOT, and she almost always stops in the store to get herself some little things for her dinner or breakfast the next morning. When she came in today she asked if I had gotten the recipe and then said that she hadn't expected to see me. She was going home to change out of her sweater (much warmer today than she thought it was going to be) and then come back with something she had made for me.

Sure enough, half an hour later, there is this sweet lady standing behind my register just waiting for me to have a minute and she's holding a little tin with some home made truffley things. SO CHOCOLATY!!!

And I'm special ? ? ? ? ?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I've Just About Had It !!!

Okay, this post is not entirely to do with work. First:

Quite complaining to me about how cold it is in the store. We have MEAT here. We have MILK and other DAIRY products. How the h - e - double hockey sticks do you expect us to keep it fresh? And YES, I like working in the cold. In fact I LOVE working in the cold so I am obviously the wrong one to ask or complain to.

There I feel better.

Today was, otherwise, a great day at the store. I was really ON ! !

Cashier wise, performer wise, personality wise. And yes I am tooting my own horn.

I had people laughing and telling me how great it was to meet some one so cheerful. I told them I don't feel like I work there, I feel I perform.

As stated in the last post, morale is terrific. The other cashiers are all pretty happy campers. Everyone, in SPITE of the renovations and the moving of product so the flooring can be done, is in a great mood. Oh, and the crazies have all crawled back to where ever it is they hide until the next full moon.

Anyway, it's late. So I am off to bed and will have more to say tomorrow.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Take Your Snake to Work Day"

I didn't have to work Saturday so I had promised one of the people I work with that I would bring my snake in if it was hot.

It was, so I did.

She was sort of a hit and sort of not. There are still people that are deathly afraid of snakes. I don't understand it but I respect it. I wouldn't want anyone to force me to look at anything that scares me.

There was a group using our hoses for a car wash and they were quite interested in the snake. Also a few of the cashiers and some of the young men came out. Pictures were taken and are going to be up on individuals Face Book pages before the day is out. I like it when people are not afraid of my boa. Snakes are important to the environment and too many kids grow up thinking they should kill them.

The is my boa when I first got her. She was one week old and about 14" long.

This next picture is of two ball pythons I used to own with their supposed dinner. Ball Pythons can be hard to keep sometimes as they don't always eat when they should. I had put these two young rats in because both snakes had been making signs that they were hungry. I looked about a half hour later and this is what I found. Needless to say the two young rats became pets. And the snakes were given to a reptile store downtown. I prefer my boa.

Have a great day and I hope there are no more crazies in the store today.

The Summer Olympics are over for another four years. I really enjoyed the parts that I watched. I missed ALL equestrian events which is unusual for me. But I got to see most of the swimming and diving I wanted and a lot of the running, including the whole marathon. So glad a Kenyan finally won. I missed the 5000 and 10,000 meter races though.

Oh well, next time. I have my dvd of Michael Phelps to hold me over.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Full Moon


Somebody must have had the crazies locked up two days ago on the full moon, because they all showed up at the store yesterday. Even the machines were being weird.

Screaming matches, odd requests, rude people, (oh sorry they come in every day), stupid people, people who can't count or make up their minds or can't find stuff. People that wanted to start fights and people that wanted to finish them.

I hope they have it out of their systems because I am ready to take them on tonight. I REALLY don't like rude people!

An aside: morale at the store seems to be up a lot since Yappy Girl left us. She turned the speed contest into a cut throat competition and when she had herself convinced she was going to win, and should win, it became more intense. She already had her winnings spent!!

When she DIDN'T win: Holy Mackeral!! Tears, anger, fury. Then she had to go home early because she had been 'robbed'. Called in sick for the next two days and then left a message to replace her shifts for the following week. Showed up at work with a letter of resignation! (yay) demanding her records, vacation pay and a letter of recommendation.

My suggestion was to write that she was never caught stealing at the store. (Mean: probably. Fair: unlikely. Feeling about said comment: priceless)

As I said the morale is way up now. Amazing how much stress she brought to the store with her. We'll see how long before the customers notice she's gone. She upset several of them with the way she handles their groceries.

I made a mistake last night I haven't made since the first week I worked there. I had a customer that was making some muffins and had bought some extra things to put in them. He had a ready to make muffin mix, some walnuts, and mini M & M's. I weighed the walnuts and then scanned the muffin mix and then weighed the M & M's. Except that I really shouldn't have left the muffin mix ON the scanner/scale. Usually you can void it off but last night the machine or scale or powers that be didn't want that to happen. So we had to fudge around the weight and enter the info a different way. We got it to work but man, it was just silly stuff after silly stuff. Items wouldn't scan so you had to punch the UPC code in. Then you'd move something past the scanner and it wouldn't work. You'd go to put it in the bag after finally getting it to scan and it would scan again from a foot away. So now you have to void one out because you have two rung in. AAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Then there were some avocados coming through with two different codes on them. You would enter the first code and low and behold you have changed them to broccoli. So you have to void it out, enter the other code and let all the other cashiers know that one code is incorrect.

Also the past three days there has been a tremendous run on fives. All the bank machines in the area spit out either 20's or 50's. It makes it hard for us, but so far we've managed.

We should hear any day about the new uniforms; and the renovations are starting to look good. They brought in this big stainless steel thing the other day that has spaces for 6 different soups or chilis and several spaces for hot food.

It is going across the front of where the other salad bar was. I bet you that they are also going to have some fancy coffees, etc.


How about the U.S. losing out on even getting to run in the men's OR women's 4 X 100 relay. Both teams dropped the baton, in the SAME PLACE.

In the 200 meter dash the night before two disqualifications propelled the American 4th and 5th place winners to silver and bronze. At that caliber of race it is hard not to get caught up in the race and not watch where you put your feet. Such a disappointment for the athletes. BUT,,,,,, That IS what they train for. It should be second nature to run in the middle of your lane.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ah ..... Renovations

We are undergoing renovations at the store. We were bought out by a Quebec company called Metro three years ago. They have done some studies and asked employees (Not any that I know) what they think about names etc.

It has been decided that The Barn, Dominion, A & P, and Ultra Mart will be gone. We will all be 'Metro' which, I'm sorry, sounds like a subway. The only lucky one is Food Basics because they operate in a different category. (Although, lately some of their prices aren't so great.)

Anyway, the customers are getting a little panicky. We had to close the self serve salad bar for a while because there is work going on in that area. OMG!! What will they do without their salad stuff already being made?

Also, we are a little low on stock of some more obscure items and of course this is the week that all have come in looking for those things. Ah, well. Never fear. They can always ask or complain to the cashiers. After all: we know EVERYTHING.

We also are integrating our lottery and Western Union section with the first cash register so that there is not so much moving from one area to the other to serve customers. Not sure if there is an opportunity for a little extra knowledge there. Would be nice to be able to at least sell the lottery tickets. HHHHmmmmm

And last but not least, there is much speculation about the new uniforms. Rumours have them being neutral colours like orange (Yappy said that), or red and white or grey and there is talk of ties from clip-on to bow. All I can say is that if there is a tie involved I don't think I'll be working there for much longer. I would really miss the people and the job, but I DON"T do things around the neck. It has to be a humongous blizzard before I even put on a scarf!

* * * * * * * *

On the Yappy Front. She is gone. She quit over some silly thing that basically boils down to taking her ball and bat and going home. More later when it is safer.

* * * * * * * *

About the Olympics:

I was listening to a radio talk show last week about how the Canadian athletes have "let us down" with their "poor" showing.

Ex-freaking-cuse me?????? If I competed in something and came in 7th or 8th in THE WORLD I would be ecstatic. How great is that? I mean, sure, you don't get a medal but, WOW, to be THAT good. We need to support our athletes more and we definately need to be prouder of them than we are.

And watching Michael Phelps swim was a thing of beauty. I watched Mark Spitz back when he set his records and it was nice to see someone else do it. I really liked when Michael was receiving his 8th medal and it finally hit him what he had done. He was out of swim-race mode and able to be a young man overcome with the emotion of winning the OLYPMICS.