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.