Saturday, May 31, 2008

And So It Goes On

Got to work two days ago to find that some poor new cashier was been trained by Yappy Girl. As much as I hate to admit it she seemed to do a fairly decent job as long as you could get past the fact that every simple instruction came with about sixty extra words spoken at break neck speed.

I knew what she was talking about and had a hard time following it. I can't imagine what the poor trainee was going through. She must have been shell shocked.

Oh well, at least the trainee doesn't talk as fast.

Had a young man come through express last night with about 25 items. I let him go because:
a) I wasn't busy and
2) he talks to me about what is happening with his life. (I think I am sort of an "in between phone calls to mom") mom figure. He was proud to say he has an apprentice job that is in his field of interest and finally got a first pay check. SO novelty of novelties he was going to eat!!

Kind of fun to touch base with these young people. It amazes me that they know what they want to do with their lives. I wish I did at that age. Maybe I wouldn't be a cashier now. Maybe I could have been a doctor or something. Instead of being told in high school by some whacked guidance counselor, that I should be a stewardess because "I was tall"????!!!! (wtf)

Ah well you can't get back the last note, so you go on and play the notes you can.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


So Yappy Girl was in yesterday. This would be a cashier I work with. The girl has some issues. I am not sure what is going on with her but she is like a kid who's had way too much sugar and then taken speed. She operates at warp speed. Mouth, limbs, and mouth again. Except that, sometimes, I think her brain can't keep up. She'll ask for a price check and then if someone doesn't react IMMEDIATELY she'll go and check herself, still with the mouth in overdrive.

She finishes her shift and then hangs around the store for a while. She starts to talk to the other cashiers when they are trying to do their jobs. She'll ask really strange questions that she already knows the answer to then switches to another subject. Sometimes she'll walk away in the middle of an answer if you are silly enough to try to engage in conversation with her.

So after wandering around the store yesterday she only had one choice of cash to go through and I was it. She starts to pile all these groceries up on the belt, sweeping them back with her arm in order to add more to the front (?) of the pile. There are reduced price stickers on some items that are supposed to be removed by the cashier and they are all detached. I finally ask her to quit doing that and she did: for exactly two packages. The problem is that the stickers fall off their packages or they stick to other items. In other words you are NOT sure whether you have got them all or with the appropriate item. I might mention that this is all happening at "rush hour" in the grocery store.

I now have a line up of three more people all with buggies FULL of groceries and the express aisle is lined up ten long. All the while there is muttering about leaving the bread under everything and what will I do and I don't know if I need so much and I don't know why I'm spending so much. I end up bagging it and putting some bags at the next register because there is no more room for it on mine. She tells me I need the discount key which I have already called for and then bemoans the total again and pays.

I finally move on to my next customer and am part way into the order when I have the head cashier and Yappy Girl behind me trying to go through my coupons.

"What are you looking for?"

"She says that there is a $5.00 coupon missing." they can't find it or maybe they do but I have a customer to deal with. I continue and then they are back, again. Another coupon missing!!???

Finally they take the pile and get out from under my feet and start riffling through them. Then I look over at customer service and see her going through the bill and starting to return items.

Turns out that she went through the store so fast just grabbing any and everything that she got a bunch of stuff that wasn't on sale. Now, she WORKS here. She should know the prices and how the specials tags are below the item on the shelves etc. I think she just grabbed everything that had a sticker on it.

By now I am supposed to go on break and we still only have two cashiers. The head cashier is supposed to open another register so I can leave but she is still tied up with the Nutty one. Also there is now a line up of customers waiting to buy lottery tickets or return items or get rain checks. They are getting a little frustrated, but curious; the head cashier is mucho ticked, because this is taking time away from HER job and I am about to go on break which she realizes will make the line ups way worse.

I am smart enough to size up the situation and offered to stay until she got it all sorted out and works through the crowd. Head cashier was very happy I did that.

Consequently because of a total LACK OF COURTESY and an incredible amount of INSANITY on the part of Yappy Girl several people were inconvenienced. It took two and a half, almost three, hours to get that girl out of the store. As she left the parking lot she got into a honking match with a driver that had the right of way and it turns out all she wanted to do was get across the road and park on the other side. A total distance moved of 50 feet, maybe.

When I got back in after break head cashier was still fuming and I think it took her quite a while to get over the anger and frustration.

And Yappy Girl goes merrily on her way.

Wow makes the ABSOLUTE WORST customer a dream to deal with.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Express Again (or 'my 2nd home')

I really like being on express. Its fast paced and the time DOES fly. Which I really needed.

Yesterday my sister-in-law became the proud owner of a live-donor kidney. The donor is the girlfriend of a long time friend of my two brother's. She is also a longtime friend to us and a huge lot of fun. She and my SIL have had to go through LOTS and LOTS of tests and procedures and counsellings etc.

Just before I had to leave for work, I received the call from my brother that the surgery went well and that the kidney was already working. I did not realize how much stress I had been under for her until I hung up the phone. Then off to work for me. I stopped at my best friends house on the way to tell her about the surgery and to get a quick hug. I wouldn't be seeing my husband until after ten so needed to talk to someone. Thank heaven for work. I told some of my co-workers about it. And also told several of my customers. It was so nice that they genuinely cared and were happy for us.

There were a few that had had someone close to them have an organ transplant of some kind as well. They knew what it felt like and were very happy that we had a live donor. Its such a wonderful thing that someone can do that for another person. My SIL used to wonder why the donor chose to do it, and I have tried to explain that she is getting almost as much from this as my SIL is. The overwhelming feeling of saving someone's life!!!???

Back to work. Had a few of the rudies back today. I'd like to smack them. The other side of the coin is the people that come through and for some reason think I have done them a favour for letting them buy groceries, taking their money and sending them on their way with a smile and some well packed bags. I seem to recall they are a little of the older generation. Over 40's anyway.

Also had to pull into a parking lot and was amazed at the grade school aged kids walking across the driveway and staring insolently at the car and not moving one little bit faster. Actually slowing down to a swagger and glare at the car. I do not expect them to scurry out of the way but at least have the decency to look like you're thinking about it. Some people can see that if they let the car in then they are not holding up traffic and are actually being considerate. But these kids couldn't care about anything but them selves and will grow up to be the little snots in the grocery store that expect everything to be done for them.

Oh goody.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Again With the Express Aisle

I was on express yesterday. I actually like being there. It is fast paced, it is busy, and you see a LOT of people. It can be tiring, because it sometimes is SO busy that you find yourself getting into a rut of repetition: "hi, how are you, I'm wonderful, do you have air miles, $9.53 please, your change is .47, thank you, Hi, how are you, I'm terrific, do you have air miles, " etc, etc...

So yesterday, I had a couple of minutes with no one in line and then there was this young couple, probably mid- twenties, and they were sort of deciding whether to get in my line up. Another customer showed up which made them decide to commit to the cashier process. He goes off somewhere and she starts to put the items up. Soon there are 9, then 10, then 11 and it is still going. Unfortunately for me I had already started the order. I see the customers behind looking at the number of items so I do the raised eyebrow thing to let them know I, too, have noticed.

She is taking her time, too, which ticked me off a little more. So when she's finally got it all on there, and it turns out to be 21 items, she starts to push the buggy through and I said to her "for future reference, this is the express aisle" and I point to the sign that clearly states one to eight items. "Oh, I didn't know."


Then she says "there should be some corn coming soon."

"Well, if its not here by the time I get to the end, it won't be happening, because I am not holding the line up."

She, at least had the decency to look a little, and I do mean LITTLE, sheepish. But then when its time to pay she actually held the credit card back a little like she's hoping the boyfriend will arrive. Eyebrow again, which made her hand it over.

I went to the next customer and the next and the next and still she is waiting at the end of the register for this 'corn'. Finally, after more that 10 minutes, the boyfriend shows up with 6 ears of corn and looks at me like how come she's done already? He was actually perturbed that he had to dig the change out to pay for his corn.

Another reason management won't let me have a taser.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Cashier Perk

Just another quick post for today. Had to go to my store today because water was on sale and the sale ends tonight at midnight. I wanted to pick up five cases. I pull up to the store and see a customer I've served leaving the store. "Hi" she says, "how are you?" and a big smile comes my way. Three more times this happened in the store with customers that recognized me. Sort of makes you feel famous.

Common Courtesy

Well, apparently courtesy is something that is becoming rare and unfortunately it seems to be a certain age group that is like that.

I have several young people (I'd say in the 17 to 20 year old group) that come through my register. There are both sexes and several nationalities. The young men are usually pretty good, sometimes sullen, but for the most part its like I am a mother figure so they'd better behave. Then the young girls. They are okay if they don't have a cell phone stuck to their ear. If they do, you can usually forget about any communication at all. They hand over their credit card (at that age, yes they have them) and never look to see how much they are spending. Too busy talking. They will watch you put the item in the bag then take it out as soon as your back is turned and leave the bag and the receipt on the counter. I have a garbage pail but they don't 'do' garbage.

The foreign students, I am very sad to say are the worst. They make no effort to understand the language. They DO watch every bit of money that is spent but, they barely if ever talk to you. Now that is not to say they are all like that. There are some that try to talk to you but for the most part no. They won't look at you and won't even smile, or try to let you know they don't understand. I have had a few that WILL try and then I will go out of my way to help as much as possible. I do stay neutral with them but there is the odd one that is just out and out rude.

They also do not seem to have common sense. (to be fair it is not only the foreign students but some of the other students and even adults). I will bag up their groceries and leave 5 or 6 bags on the end counter. Now this counter is barely four feet wide and two feet deep. It also contains my small bag holder, so there isn't a great deal of room. After the receipt is handed over they will stand there and start to pack the items away in their backpacks or bags and leave me with no place to put the next customers groceries. I have tried to ask that they move to the next register which happens to be empty but they truly look at me with an "I don't understand" face. I try to show them but they don't seem to know what I mean and they don't seem to communicate. I am really not meaning to pick on anyone, these are just my observations. I am not sure if it is that there is a cultural shock or a lack of wanting to interact with 'foreigners' or maybe just plain shyness.

Anyway, that leads me to another thing of courtesy. When you go on your cash register tray at work, sometimes it is on 'audit'. That means that it is counted and you sign for it that it has a certain amount of money in it; then it is counted again at the end of your shift. Its a way of keeping an eye on people. For the most part it is random but if there is a mistake over a certain amount then you will be audited every day for two weeks to make sure it was a mistake and to keep you on your toes. As someone that was ALWAYS responsible for counting my own tray I welcome it as it was very hard to just turn the tray over to someone and not know that it was balanced.

Anyway, I went onto a tray after another girl yesterday and of course the lid was on it so I didn't look until I got out to my register. I had a customer right away and opened the tray to see that I had 3 pennies, no nickels, two dimes and five quarters, some loonies and twonies for change. They rest was in twenties. (the odd thing was the change didn't even add up to a round number like it should have. She was out several dollars.)

I was able to make do (good old debit cards) and asked for change from the head cashier. I was told that the girl before me does this all the time. Oh, really I think. Well, don't I run into her the next day. So as its getting close to her leaving I asked whether she had left change for the next person. "No, not my job."

She feels that her job is to take money from people and that unrolling coins makes customers angry while they have to wait. (SARCASM ALERT) Yeah I've noticed that those 5 seconds undoing a roll of coins has nearly pushed some of my customers over the edge. (end of SARCASM ALERT). Why wouldn't you unroll the coins one of those times between customers or instead of running off somewhere in the store to talk to another (male) employee? No thought to the fact that our job is basically simple to do IF you use your brain.

It is just plain considerate of your fellow employees to think ahead for them instead of being wrapped up in your own little world. I told her that if I was coming in after her again I wanted there to be change in my drawer. She said again that it is not her job and that when it is audited it is there responsibility to make sure there is change. Well, no its not. It is their responsibility to make sure that the tray balances. They have enough things to do in the office without trying to make sure we all have the proper coins etc. It is "our" tray from the time we clock in until we clock out and it is just plain decency that makes you have a tray ready for the next cashier on duty. All I can say is I hope one day I am on a tray BEFORE her so I can leave it that way for her. Maybe THEN she will see what it is like.

Mean: yes.

Do I care: for her, NO.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just a little info on the links

I first had started my blog on Friday April 14, 2006. That's the link entitled Sally's Day. Then somewhere along the way Blogger updated some stuff or upgraded or whatever computery stuff they did, but when I clicked on my link I was at a new blog titled Sally's Mind. I have not figured out how to move my posts over or how to combine the two blogs. So, for now I have three.

So, The first link is to my husband's page. He is an IT tech and very savvy with the computer stuff. He is also a musician and as such practices a LOT. There is always an instrument near him and he hardly ever is not practicing some riff, or technique or song or phrase or tone or whatever other things that go with music. I love him to pieces.

The next two are the aforementioned ones.

The next one is the Hen Cam. When we lived in the country 22 years ago we had chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, bees, pigs, sheep and a goat. I miss the chickens, especially at this time of the year. This is when the new chicks would have just arrived and the older hens are still laying and there is so much to do. One of the most relaxing things I have ever done and the very best therapy for my mind was to watch the hens as the went to roost at night.

The next one is a puzzle site I go to once a day. It is part of my morning ritual.

The last site is to the best yarn shop in the world. (my opinion, at least). The web site does not do it justice. Julie also has a blog link on her site which is fun to read. It has very nice pictures of the yarn store and her projects etc.

Sorry for the non-grocery posting, but the word starts to go out today to my friends about this site. Who knows how far that will lead and I want people to understand why the different blogs and some of my favourite sites.

Monday, May 19, 2008

People You Meet

I suppose one of the nicest things about working in a grocery store is the number of people you meet that are truly nice.

The store I work at is in an older neighbourhood, which is also home to a lot of university students. So you have the students that are learning to shop for themselves and then the older more worldly people that are grocery savvy. Then there are the ones that are on a little bit of a tight budget and are very careful about what they buy and the opposite end are those who either haven't a clue how to shop or for whom cost is not an issue.

It is also amazing the way some people treat the food that is going home to their families. I had one customer that, literally, threw his groceries on the belt. Even the eggs. I was surprised by how he was treating the food. I know it has no 'feelings' but, still, the packaging is not meant for it to be treated like that. No concern for bruised apples, squished bread, possibly broken eggs, meat packaging, nothing. I found myself not taking as much care with the bagging process as I normally do. He was rude as well. I didn't treat the groceries the way he did but he sure didn't go home with his groceries organized the way I normally do.

There is my retired police gentleman that always asks if I'm "available". My stock answer is "for you, always." We get into it quite a bit with words. There's the gentleman who is nearly blind and thinks I'm terrific because I help him so much. He is one of those that holds out the wallet for me to take the correct amount of money from. He says he loves the way he is treated at our store. I have a few older ladies who are like that as well. They just open the purse and trust you to take the money the best way. They sometimes don't like to fiddle with change for fear they are holding up the line. They appreciate me doing it and I can get in there and have the change out, usually managing to do it in a way that lowers the total weight of coins they are carrying.

There is Mrs. Violet, who thinks I have "niceness" in me. She will always try to come through my register if I'm there and she sometimes makes little treats that she brings in for me. She walks a great deal and is a little hard of hearing sometimes but is one of the sweetest people I know. She is very special.

There is my English Lady. She is very smart and is another one of my 'fans'. She asks me for hints on cooking and what items to buy etc. She never used to cook much for herself but is enjoying finding new ways to make things. She keeps me on my toes.

More on people to come. That'll have to do for now.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

How hard is it to count??

I often times work in the express lane which has a big sign over it saying 1 - 8 items. HOW HARD IS THAT TO UNDERSTAND??????

Apparently very hard as lots of customers think that if they have "just a few more" it doesn't matter. Well, yes it does. That is why we have a 1-16 item lane as well.

Oh, the other regular lines are too long!!?? Well that's a shame. If you have to come to the express because you're in such a hurry then maybe you shouldn't have bought so much. But at least have the decency to ask the cashier whether they can put you through. I would gladly let you know whether I can get you through without disrupting the line too much. Otherwise you are slowing up my customers that are trying to get home with the last few (less than 8) supper items.

I really wish I could say to customers "this is express, which 8 items out of your 14 do you want?"

On the upside, I have a lot of regular customers that I will be talking about in upcoming posts. I, believe that I actually perform there more than work as I am always getting comments on how funny I am and how much my customers like me and prefer my line because of my personality. So stay tuned. I hope to be posting regularly.