Sunday, June 29, 2008

Young people and work

I know. Seems odd to use those two words in the same sentence.

I don't understand why they have a job but can't show up for work. I have always been a responsible person and as such have shown up when I need to be there. I even show up when I feel like hell. Sometimes my knees are killing me and the thought of standing for 4 or more hours in one spot is beyond me.

But I still do it. Some of these kids are of the mind that they don't need to be there or be on time or have any responsibility at all. They either call at the last minute or they just plain don't show up. I was called to possibly fill in last Thursday night and again for Saturday night. I was unable to do either one as I was not feeling well on Thursday and I was in Toronto Saturday afternoon so didn't get the message in time.

Yet, I felt bad for letting them down. I have become one of the reliable ones that can usually be called in at the last minute. There are others that they can call but they do not always do a good job. We have a couple of them that are so friggin slow its unbelievable. I know if I was a customer I would be mighty ticked off if it actually took me longer to pay for my groceries than it did to pick them out.

And yet, as I have said before there are a few young people that are so very grown up and responsible. Wonderful personalties, care about their jobs, do it well and are wonderful with customers. They can be counted on to be there when they are supposed to. Will work an extra few minutes or hours when asked and never take it out on the customers. They show up a little early to relieve someone and are just very great to be around. I love it when I find I am working with them.

Young people as customers are also an interesting experience. Its amazing how many have no concept of money. Time and time again they have bought something that will give them change of anything from 25 cents to just under two dollars. They will start to walk away totally forgetting they have change coming or even more amazing tell me to keep it. I always question them on it, and they are surprised to realize how much they almost gave away. Don't they know how to do math anymore??

And oh, the absolute look of shock when something is $3.87 and after they give me a five I'll ask them if they have 12 cents and I can give them $1.25 back. I can even look in their hand at all the change and tell very quickly that they have enough but they'll just give you a loonie because they can't seem to add up the coins.

Anyway, off to work.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

#1 on Google

Have to go off to work on express again tonight.

Hubby just wrote and showed me that I am the #1 choice if you are looking for "unknown cashier".

Who'd a thunk???!!!!

Watch the accolades and awards start pouring in now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sal the Reliable

No sooner got that written this morning than I received a phone call to come in for a 3:30 to 7:30 shift. Someone crapped out.

Wasn't all that busy but enough so that the time went pretty good. It really helps when your break is a half hour later than normal. I like that because you come back and you are more than half way through the shift which means you're closer to going home. Now don't get me wrong. I really do love my job.


I love to visit with my husband more. I like to sit in the evening with him and knit while he flips through every channel we get PLUS practice his dobro. (resonator guitar).

I'll finish this tomorrow morning.

Tuesday morning thoughts

Still love my job. I know there seems to be a lot of bitching and complaining that goes on here, but: its MY blog.

I think the powers that be have switched to that "just-in-time" method of shipping. I can't say for sure, but it seems when I walked around the store last night there were a lot of empty spaces. The overnight people do a good job of getting everything out on the shelves so its okay in the morning, but, still....

Also the hours have been cut for all employees. Not sure what that is about, because we sure are busy. Not ALL the time, but sometimes there will be just one cashier besides the express open. Just one! That means all the people that can count will be lined up forever. Now, the head cashier can come out and help and MOST times does. But what if she's busy getting HER work done?

For the most part the customers are okay about it. But sometimes even the ones that have been coming here forever will get upset about it. It doesn't help that there are a couple of head cashiers that are a little cranky when talking back to them. Just inflames the situation.

Yes, there is more than one head cashier. There is the OFFICIAL head cashier that does the bookkeeping, scheduling, payroll etc., but there are about 5 more that are almost as official. That is so we can have a 'head cashier' on during the day shifts.

Oh yeah, end caps: those are what they call the shelves at each register that usually have candy, gum and magazines. It is also the name of the end of each aisle.

Another reason that I really like my job is that the people I work with have been so helpful with my limitations. ( had a hip replacement November 2006, and need two knees done). It is never assumed that I can run around the store putting back items that people changed their minds on. Or that I will be able to restock the gum and candy. The other girls will do that for me. In turn I will clean belts, keypads, registers, and catch trays. Those are fiddly jobs and sometimes the girls don't like to do them.

I like to be considerate of those who will come behind me and of those I am relieving. We have a 7 minute grace period inside of which you are technically not late. When I first started, there were some girls that took serious advantage of that. Coming in 7 minutes late and leaving 7 minutes early. And there still are a few now that do it. But it is starting to be pointed out that they are scheduled to x o'clock and it isn't that yet!

I feel if I am scheduled to work until 4 pm then that is the time I leave my register. It only takes me a minute to walk to the time clock. On the other hand, the afternoons that I work express I do like to leave a little earlier than 7:30. My relief starts at 7 and usually isn't on the register for all that time. Therefore I like to leave a minute or two early. I almost always punch in 7 minutes early on the days I am working express. I know the girl that's there has been on express most of the day and it is a tiring job.

You have a lot of hidden responsibility on express. Not only do you have to keep the lines moving, but you have to keep an eye on people that need help at the customer service counter. Also you are the one that people come to with a "quick" question. AND sometimes even the one that people come to to complain about another cashier.

That doesn't happen much now that the irresponsible ones are gone. There are always some that want a job and then are all surprised and everything when they find that not only do they have to show up, but they have to be on time and actually do work!

Sometimes the younger ones have no clue. We've had some that when told its time for their break will just put up the sign and leave. Not worry about the customer who has just put their groceries on the belt. Not even apologize. Just turn off the light, lock out the register and leave.

I'm sure my chin hit the floor the first time I saw that happen.

That'll do for now. So far I have the day off and I have to go yell at the bank for something they messed up.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Free Food?

Why would you come up to me with a big bag of walnut pieces, claim they are walnut crumbs (cheaper), and tell me you couldn't see to write the code number down. All this talking is done with your mouth full of walnuts. Which was disgusting by the way.

Did you really think I wouldn't see them? While surprise for you. Because when the code couldn't be found and I had to do the figuring myself I added in 25 cents for what you were eating. I hate people that think they can steal from the store.

Just a few of the regulars tonight. (I worked the 3:30 to 7:30 shift, which means express). Had some schmuck with 18 items, again. It is amazes me how many people have lost the ability to count. I said that out loud and the next few customers were in total agreement.

That's it for tonight. I'll rant a little more tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday Quiet

Rather quiet at the store today. We had lots of cashiers today (3 to 4) but not very busy. More of what I call fits and starts.

Nobody, then a rush of big lineups. Then no-one, so you get time to clean the belt or tidy up or refresh the bags. Then a crowd again. Makes the day interesting. I find when it is steadily busy that the time sometimes go very slowly. I think because, especially on express, there are so many customers that you think the time should have flown. But actually you really only spend maybe a minute or two with each one, so even though its lots of people, its not very much time.

A few more of the idiots that stand there watching you put the groceries in the bag, then stand at the end taking them all out again and packing it into their own bag or back pack. The very same backpack that you just asked them about as in: "are the groceries going in the back pack?"

I heard that Yappy Girl got into it with Head cashier about the change issue. She wants to know why no one ever talks about the good things she does. Still waiting to find out what those are.

Actually, the fronting of shelves (that's the process where items are brought to the front of the shelf so there are no gaps or spaces showing) is very important and she does that well. But she doesn't seem to realize about being courteous to the next cashier after her. She just doesn't get it.

Should I try to explain it to her? Or would she just get super defensive again? Maybe the proper way to handle it is to tell her what it feels like and see if she can't grasp the concept of thinking of others.

She told someone the other day that she graduated university with honours. HONOURS!! That's pretty impressive. Seems that she has the smarts but maybe no common sense.

Anyway, enough on that.

Selfish-lady was in today with the little monsters. This was the first time that they were in the buggy, and the boy was not screaming. Also no grubby little fingers all over the debit machine key pad. Almost did a double take because they were so quiet.

Time for bed. I'll write more tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Been A While

Boy the times flies when you're busy.

Since last time, I've told a few more people about this space. Been getting overall great reviews and most people saying they think I write very well.

Had several of the regulars in lately. Had a lady in on Monday that made me smile. On the weekend I watched an episode of All Creatures Great and Small. I absolutely LOVE the Yorkshire accent. I could listen to it all day long. Well this lady started talking and I recognised it right away. She was astounded that I knew where she was from. I said how could you not recognise that beautiful sound. I told her about my Mum and Dad having been there and how they actually met the real James Herriott. They were very stoked about that. My Mum had planned on her and I going over there together and she was going to show me around. It never worked out. She put it off for some reason and then she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Anyway, it was lovely listening to this lady speak. She advised me to go over there anyway. Maybe one day.

Then there is this older (probably late 80's) gentleman that calls me by my name and always has a smile. He always buys at least two cans of beans for the food share bin. He is impressed that I remember that he does that and don't put them in the bag with his other groceries. I once asked him if he was a grandpa and he said "yes, why?". I told him that he had the kindest face and looked like he would be an absolutely terrific Grandpa. He reminds me a lot of my Dad, actually. Such a kind, kind loving face.

Showed up for work on Monday and Head cashier says "you're on 5." Then "I'm sorry."


"She's here. On 4."


Sure enough I get out there to little miss ray of sunshine and she's pissed because she has to stock the end caps of each register. There was a new guy being trained for nights and he needed to be checking to get the experience, so Yappy Girl has to put stock out. Well, when I showed up she thought I should do it, I guess, and wasn't too happy that I didn't have to do it. Now the weird thing is that when she is on cash she wants to be off wandering around putting stuff away, not checking out customers.

Finally she gets to go back on cash and she starts yapping. NON-freaking-STOP. I did this, cell phone that, should be more people here, grocery clerks should do more work, she's a cashier and doesn't have to take that from anyone.

(SHUT UP)!!!!

She can not seem to keep her mouth shut for more than two seconds. In fact if its quiet for three seconds I feel like checking to see if she still has a pulse. I saw her at one point holding up three customers because, rather than ask for coins or bills (not her job, remember) she had customer 1 wanting cash back. She didn't have it and customer 2 was paying with credit card. But lo and behold customer 3 has cash!! So she has #1 waiting, yapping at #2 to sign his credit card slip and she's ringing in #3 to get her hands on the cash. After all this is done she sorts out their groceries for them, which she has piled at the end all together. Her mouth is going a mile a minute. The customers are not sure they are getting their own bags so the result was:
Three confused and not very happy customers.
One stupid cashier that leaves a bad impression.
One slightly amused but also very stunned cashier.

Then it is FINALLY time for her to go home. The next cashier comes on and guess what?? No coins in the tray, no bags to put groceries in. Nothing cleaned up. As soon as it was 5 minutes before the end of her shift she is gone and handing her tray in. The next girl comes out to have nothing to start with. In the meantime, Yappy, who is now clocked out ( and goodness knows I'd like to clock her out) stands over by the courtesy counter which is where we get our change from, yapping away while head cashier is trying to get the coin together for the girl that has just taken over the tray. Yappy doesn't even acknowledge the other girl or that she has just left someone in the lurch yet again. I wonder how she's going to like it when it happens to her. Because someday it will. I promise!!!

I have NEVER seen her clean the belt off. I really do not like inconsiderate, selfish people.

Mrs. Violet was in and told me she really misses me the days I am not there. She also told me she prays for me every night. I haven't the heart to tell her I may be beyond help. :-)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Last word (for now) on store temp

Yesterday it was very pleasantly warm outside, not humid, just nice. The sun still feels a whole lot hotter than I remember from previous years, but I stay out of it as best I can.

So, anyway, the few days before were very hot and humid and the people coming in the store were commenting on how nice it was in there. The temperature in the store is the same as it was last week when they all complained about it being so cold. The only difference was the outside temp.

Nuff said on THAT for now.

Had Corn Boy and the girlfriend in yesterday. This time they had the correct amount of items for express and all went well. Its funny though, they both seem incapable of speech. Oh well.

Mrs. Violet was in again. Still walking lots (more than I could). I notice her hearing is getting worse. I worry about her crossing the street in front of the store.

I passed out cards with links to this page to a few of my regular customers. The people I think will understand this whole thing. I hope I hear from someone about what they think of the ramblings of a cashier.

We have this one lady that comes in (Mrs Pinchpenny) and she can be annoying in a tight sort of way. She is obviously well off and reminds me of Ruth Gordon. She argued with me up hill and down dale that the cereal was on for $1.99. I told her I didn't think it would be priced that low as it is an expensive item. She told me she had SEEN the sign and starts to walk away to look for it. She said it was at the front of the store. I knew it wasn't that price because it would make the price below retail and we don't do that. I am on a regular register, but with a pretty big line-up. Now, having had my hip replaced a year ago November, I don't like to go hiking all over the store. After standing for a few hours it is hard for me to walk. (I need both knees replaced). However, I did have to follow her to try and find this display of cereal that said $1.99.

We go all over the front of the store with her insisting there was a display and telling me she KNOWS she saw it. Finally, after going down a few aisles and around the front with her mumbling that she KNOWS she saw it, I went back to my register. I did this because the head cashier came out and walked her around for another few minutes. Turned out the SAVINGS was $1.99. I only knew what they had discovered because head cashier told me. Mrs. Pinchpenny didn't even appear apologetic for holding up the customers. I'm not sure what it is about her that annoys me. I always feel like I am not good enough, or doing a good enough job or that she is annoyed that she even has to deal with us. Not sure, just weird vibes from her.

Sicko Boy's grandmother was in yesterday (the owner of the scooter). She reminds me a little of Jekyll and Hyde. So pleasant one minute and then sounds like Linda Blair in the Exorcist the next. She appears to be looking after a bunch of kids. I'd say about 4 or 5 (not counting Sicko Boy) anyway, and she is in the store quite frequently. The kids are for the most part well behaved. I have seen her taking them to school and the younger ones hold the scooter as she rolls along, so she knows where they are. She can be very pleasant but when one of the kids does something bad, her head starts to spin and these horrible words and sounds come out. It makes my blood run cold.

To be honest with you, I have never seen these kids do anything wrong. One time two of the girls came through the express and I, apparently, handed the change to the wrong girl. Well, the sound that accompanied the "give your sister her money, NOW" really took me aback. The girl never even had a chance to think of doing it herself. My fingers were barely off the coins when the venom flowed. Now, I admit, I don't know what these kids are like at home, but I thought it odd that she never even had a chance to be naughty before being accused of it.

Back into work this afternoon so off to study next week's flyer. I like to tell customers what the specials are coming up for the following week so I need to memorize the front page.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Too Cold????

Talked to the powers that be yesterday about the temp in our store. It is set at 70 degrees which seems pretty warm to me for a grocery store. BUT, it IS an older store and there is only one unit for heating/cooling. Therefore, it is hard to regulate the temperature in all areas of the store.

We ARE going to be getting some major renovations and rumour has it that the freezers will probably be getting doors. That would be excellent. As we all know, cold air sinks and warm air rises. In our freezer areas the cold air sinks to the floor and if people are not moving through there frequently then we are going to get pockets of some pretty cold air. Most of the complaints have come from people who have just come from the freezer area. Once you get chilled it DOES take a little time to get your temp back up.

So, please, bear with us. We are not trying to freeze you to death. We are trying to strike a happy medium and to keep the food in the store fresh and the customers comfortable. It should be better after renovations.

Now, about buggies.

What the heck is so hard about taking the buggy with you when you leave? You are going to be walking right past the buggy corral on your way out the store. I am trying to keep my eyes open for people that are too lazy or inconsiderate or just plain stupid. I will NOT tolerate at my register those who do not think of others. Why would you want to leave the buggy in the aisle? Or in the way of the other customers? I bet you don't like it. Use your head for gawds sake. If you used it to carry your groceries to me then it is not that much harder to just take the buggy through, put your bags in the buggy and leave it at the door as you leave. Just plain thoughtfulness.

Even better are the schmucks that take the buggy home with them to carry the groceries. Then they come back next week and can't bring the buggy back?? WTF???!!!

Or how about the bozo's that will walk past the buggies that people leave outside the door, having to actually push them out of the way and then take a buggy from inside? I've got news for you. MOST OF THE BUGGIES ARE THE SAME! ! ! ! ! ! The time the groceries clerks have to spend collecting those buggies is taken away from the time they need to reload shelves or, heaven forbid, do a price check.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's Too Cold In Here

I tell you if one more person tells me how cold it is in the store I think I'll throttle them.

Its a GROCERY STORE for crying out loud.

We carry food!!

The majority of the items we carry in here are supposed to be cool or cold!!!

ALSO, I don't know if you've noticed but we don't have refrigerators with doors on them so a lot of the cold air pools in the dairy and frozen food area. If no one has walked through there in a while the air will be just sitting there on the floor. So don't come from picking out your ice cream, pizza and frozen peas and tell me that its cold over there.

And another thing: don't go stealing a whole wack of those little bags that you are supposed to use for produce and then tell me you have a dog and want to use them for him.

HELLO! We have to pay for those things. They are supplied to you as a courtesy. Buy your own bags.

And quit standing at my register watching me bag all your items and then tell me you don't need bags. Or even worse, just wait until I'm all done with you and serving the next customer, then stand at the end and take everything out again and leave the bags on my table!

I feel better now.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sunday at the store

First off, let me tell you that, contrary to what people THOUGHT would happen with Sunday shopping, the world has NOT, from what I see ground to a halt and burst into flames, and families have not split up and lost their time together.

Why just yesterday, Selfish-Lady was in with the two kids (aged about 2 1/2 and 5). She was busy shopping and the kids were having a grand time running all around the store, squealing and screaming and pounding on things like there was no tomorrow. They also, particularly like to run back and forth across the front of the registers, close to the front window and totally OUT OF SIGHT of the mother. I'm surprised that she appears so unconcerned that these kids could possibly be stolen. It is sad to say that, but in this day and age IT is a distinct possibility. I am not at all happy that it appears that we, the cashiers, are sort of expected to watch out for them.

This is not the first time this has happened. She also tends to block the exit from the check out lanes as she sort of collects the little monsters and pretends to put the items back that they have moved around. She has no consideration of the other customers trying to leave. She stands there "reasoning" with them and tsk tsking and then wanders out of the store. Thank goodness instinct takes over and the little dears follow her.

A lot of other families come in and the children seem to be helping with the shopping and actually learning HOW to shop. I remember that as a fun time with my Mum although at the time I didn't know I was learning stuff. If I had I probably would have rebelled as I was at THAT age where parents knew nothing.

Then there is Sicko Boy. This is a young man (?) that sometimes swipes his grandmothers scooter and uses it to come to the store. He zips around in this thing (he is perfectly capable of walking) like he has the right of way. He seems to have the attitude that he is in this thing and therefore should be treated as someone special. He annoys the crap out of me. I DO NOT like him on two feet and I DEFINITELY do not like him on wheels. If he was my cub and I was the lioness I would kill him. I don't know why it is like this with me, but there are some people that just sort of set off my killer instinct.

I also had two guys, come through express, that had 14 items. They DID come through when I had no customers so I let it go. BUT, then one of them said that they had too many items and she'd probably going to tell you you can only have so many. That was my cue. I said to him " funny, you should say that. I was just going to ask you which eight items you want." They have been in before and could tell I was funning with them. We kept it going for a little while.

Then, about an hour later I have this lady with a buggy FULL of stuff and she is hanging back until a couple of other customers go through with their 2 or 3 items. She then pulls into the line up and I said "I'm sorry, but this is express." She says "But I waited till they were gone." That makes it okay????

can see the three customers that are already behind her and the looks on their faces.

I also happened to have three other cashiers working with me yesterday that were all on regular lines. Yes they each had a customer or two and yes she was going to have to wait, but if she had gone where she was supposed to go in the first place she would be half checked out now.

What in the hell gets in their heads sometimes.