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.