Monday, January 26, 2009

Thank heaven for NORMAL customers

Again it was crazy in the store yesterday. Very, very busy.

And lots of nice customer to balance out the whack jobs and the rude.

Had one guy come through, looking like he's contemplating why there is such a thing as navel lint. I ask him if he wants bags. Plain ignores me. So I said "I guess not." Then I ring his 4 or 5 items through and ask if he has an air miles card. He is already swiping his debit card. Great, except that I have to put the information in or we're going to be here a long time. Again, I ask if he has an air miles card, and he finally acknowledges me with a very well spoken (add nasal sound to this) "huh". I said "I guess not. Are you paying with debit?" (I knew the answer to this but I was a little pissed) No response. I lost him again. I just typed in the amount, said go ahead with a wave of the hand and sent him on his way, with a comment along the lines of "It wouldn't kill you to be civil."

I know, I know. Probably not the BEST customer relations skills but every once in a while you really want to smack them upside the head with a slab of bacon.

You know in a situation like that, I probably could have charged him twice as much on the debit card and pocketed the extra with out him even realizing it.

And then there are the customers that are SO HAPPY to see me working there that day. I don't understand where the fascination comes from. I guess I must be okay to talk to or something. Maybe its a refreshing change from some of the sour pusses we have at the store. It really makes the job easier.

Its the days when I see the regulars that makes the time go fast. When you deal with the customers that are there to just buy the food and get the hell out of the store, then the time drags.

There is something pretty special about doing your job and having customers that have gone through another cashier stop and ask how you are or just to say hi, and actually remember your name. Its also great when they come through your line and say things like "there's my ray of sunshine" or "I'm so glad to see you working today" or "I came shopping today hoping you'd be here."

All of the above were comments I got just yesterday!!

How can you not like this job!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Full Moon isn't Due till February 8th

You'd never know it by the way it was in the store today.

We had one of the registers decide to start acting up. Twice in one hour. Then the same cashier had a guy come through that got 4 FULL bags of groceries. He gives her 5 five dollar bills and then says he wants to debit the rest. She's about to swipe the card when he says he doesn't have enough money. She gives him back his $25.00 and he then says he'll put the groceries back and starts to pick up all the bags.

She stopped him right quick on that one. He almost insisted on it but I saw what was happening and said 'no, hang onto the bags'. The second voice chiming in told him he'd been noticed. He decided to leave and sort of waved his hand in a dismissive way when the cashier tried to find out what he was going to do. He ended up just leaving her there. She had to let head cashier know and then got a refund for all that food.

Then I have a guy carrying this large pail of kitty litter and I just though at first he was struggling because it was heavy. As he goes to pay me I start to notice he seems a bit off. Turned out that he was drunk. He paid fine, but as he was leaving the store he wobbled all over the place. He had to stop outside and refocus his eyes.

Very crowded too. Boy we've been busy since Christmas. Sometimes we'll have a little down time between customers and, sure enough, the head honcho wanders by. He sees cashiers standing around and thinks that means he can cut one out of the schedule. What ends up happening is that we are more stressed from having bigger line ups. Its not unusual to see four or five people in each line now. And that's just not right.

And when you work with people like the Princess, or late girl, or the lazy girls it makes the day even longer. Its hard to be pushing your self extra in order that customers aren't standing around waiting too long. In the meantime the girls 'that don't care' just go through the motions. I'm personally tired of taking up the slack and having lazy people ride my coattails.

Good night.

Friday, January 23, 2009

WTF for real ! ! !

Showed up for my shift and I got to be on express (1-8 items). I actually like it. Its fast and furious but usually, and I do mean USUALLY, they are all small orders. (Still people who can't count.) Its not too hard on the back and you get to see a lot of people and stay busy.

So, guess who's working with me? Yup some people that know how to work... and the Princess. So I haven't been there for very long and I hear her talking about wanting her break. Now, break time is usually half way through your shift. So if you have a five hour shift it will fall somewhere around the 2.5 hour time frame. But it is only two hours into her shift and she's asking for her break. She's told it isn't due yet.
Why not she asks.

Because you're working until 7:30.
No I'm not. Just till 6:30.
No, says head cashier. You're scheduled until 7:30.
Princess disagrees so Head cashier checks the computer and the hand written schedule and the board that tells where everyone is. Sure enough she's scheduled until 7:30. Well, she KNOWS they're lying, so, while she has a customer standing there, she goes and gets the schedule and takes it to her till. She stands there looking at it and was right ticked, (make that pissed) off that Head Cashier was right.

So she goes into sulk mode BIG TIME. So much so that a little later I notice someone at the Service desk and she asks for a manager. Head Cashier shows up at the same time and the customer proceeds to tell her about the VERY rude cashier and how she treated the groceries and how she was so miserable. Well doesn't the manager show up in time that the woman gets to tell him the story. At first he was saying that he'd 'counsel' her. (that's where you get talked to and told to behave.)

Uh, I think not. And luckily Head Cashier was against the counselling thing too. This is the same person that got us a low score with the Mystery Shopper. The same person that has left me high and dry while she putters around putting groceries away one at a time. The same person that stands there making the customers feel like they are putting her out by going through her register. The same person that shows up late, leaves early and wouldn't help you out unless threatened. The same person who will stand there with a face on her like she's been sucking lemons for hours.

As the evening wore on the sulking got worse. None of the other cashiers wanted to be near her, because she was moaning about how unfair it all is to her. Finally, the little snippet got sent home early, because she was so freaking miserable Head Cashier couldn't stand to look at her. As she left the office her body language let them know how put out she had been and how pissed she was. Which is amazing, considering she should have been grateful for getting to go home early. She's the one that wrote her schedule down wrong. They DID NOT have to let her go. I bet she carried that sulk home and I feel very sorry for the husband.

It just keeps getting better

Another story about the Princess. Apparently she was scheduled to work till 9:00 pm the other night. At ten to 9 she starts to close down, even though the only cashier at the time is on express. There is a customer with a full buggy and nowhere to go. Another cashier is due back from break at 5 after but, Princess doesn't want to stay and help. No consideration for any one else. AGAIN!

Head cashier asks her to stay, and she pulls this hand on hip pout thing. She's told an audit can be done in two minutes and that it would be a real help. Plus she will be out of the store just after nine. Still pouting, she is then told that the other cashier will be back and we can't send this customer with a buggy FULL of groceries through express, because by the time that is done the line up will be huge. Still pouting.

Finally head cashier tells her she is staying. She was so pissed that she didn't get away with her crap.

YES!! Someone actually made her work!! Its about freaking time. She is gradually getting away with less and less. I don't know why this girl is still at my store. It boggles the mind. Maybe we can just 'work' her out of here.

I have the dubious pleasure of working the same shift as her twice this coming week and I plan on keeping an eye on her disappearing act. I am not about to put up with anymore of this sulky, pouty attitude from her.

Oh yes, the Mystery Shopper incident. All I know is what I was told. I have not read the report. Apparently we had them come through in the past few weeks. We got a very low score on cashiers because they chose someone to go through that "was obviously NOT happy to be there, never greeted them, barely made eye contact, did not say more than a few words to them", and did not do the best job either.

Hmmm, wonder who that was??? And yet she still works here. Gawd, I hope we get some more applications very soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Princess needs to be Dethroned

Okay, I've had it. Overlapped the Princess's schedule yesterday. First off, why did she get the nicer time frame? Probably because there aren't as many customers to get pissed off by her 'lovely' attitude.

So I get there for my 2:00 start time and its busy right away. And it just kept getting busier. Unusual for a Wednesday afternoon. Jumped in and started getting em through. The Princess is lagging along as usual, and I seem to always have more people in my line than she does. It gets to be just after 3:00 (she's there until 3:30) and I notice that she's standing there looking at her go-backs. Five items. FIVE ! ! ! ! She picked up something and goes wandering off. When I glanced under her counter there were still four items there. (these items were, a huge jug of juice, a can of frozen orange juice and three cans of soup or beans. All could be carried at once although the bottle of juice could and should, for her size, have been done on its own.)

In the meantime I am getting a line again. I looked up and her light was still on so I asked another cashier if they knew where she was. They didn't but paged her. I had told the second gentleman in my line that she was open and he could start putting his groceries on her belt. The first man in line said "oh no, she said she was closed.' I said I don't think so, she's working until 3:30.

I tell this to Head Cashier who pages her again. I told the gentleman he could go ahead she'll be there in a minute. When she did show up she was SO PISSED. I really felt sorry for the guy I sent over. She has a pretty face when she smiles, but that is so rare. Usually she has this look like some one has just farted after eating cabbage and beans and did it right in her face.

She looked at the groceries on the belt and actually 'tsskked' because he had his food up there. Like the sign should have been enough. Apparently this is a trick of hers. She leaves the light on so the other cashiers think she's open but puts the sign up for customers to see. Then she wanders off, taking one basket back to the front or putting groceries away one at a time. Out of courtesy you are supposed to let another cashier know where you've gone.

I still did three customers in the time it took her to serve this poor gentleman. Never a smile, no acknowledgement other than to tell him his total. Anyway, she gets done with this customer and I look and she's gone again. Now it is still only 10 after 3:00 so she has a fair bit of time left. Head cashier comes over and asks where she is. I don't know, she was there a second ago.

Again they page her to cash because we were BUSY. She finally arrives and serves one whole customer and then closes up and turns her light out because she thinks its time to go home. She pretends to fuss about the register like she's tidying it up for the next cashier. And then takes her tray and is in the office by 25 after 3:00. She wasn't even on audit!! Of course by now there's no sense in sending her back out.

I told another Head Cashier last night that its time The Princess started getting written up and that someone should also be telling her that her shift goes until 3:30 NOT till 25 after. Unfortunately we have this 7 minute grace period on either side of your shift start and finish time. So theoretically you can start 7 minutes late and leave 7 minutes early and still be within the guidelines. The thing is, we all may use it sometime, because maybe you're late one day, or have to leave a little early to catch a bus or whatever. But I am REALLY tired of the girls that take advantage of it all the time!! The Princess being the worst one.

I have a great work ethic and I'm not tooting my own horn, but I know it to be true. I just do. Anyway, I am getting really tired of showing up on time and leaving on time and making it easier for others to be so slack and LAZY.

There had better start being a little more respect for fellow cashiers around this place.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Again with the no brains??

Okay, you are about to spend a fair bit of money on your groceries. So why do you insist on piling them up like so much laundry? Why haven't you realized, after coming here who knows HOW many times, that there is a little barrier than makes the belt narrow down just as it gets to me?

Do you people want to know how many times I have rescued your eggs because you're too preoccupied to notice that you have once again set them up to get SQUISHED? And hey, use that thing on your shoulders for something other than a place to rest your damn ear buds. It only takes a little thought to realize that maybe, just maybe, the can goods should be on the belt first, then the produce then the fragile, squishy stuff like bread and eggs. I don't mind sorting it out for you as we go along, but just a LITTLE common sense isn't going to kill you. You actually may find you can use it in other aspects of your life. Like the idiots that leave the buggy at the end of my register therefore blocking any one else from coming through.

I WILL call you on it if I see it.

And, here's a novel thought: instead of picking up your 27 bags of groceries and then trying to maneuver the cart I made you pull through, why don't you put the bags in the cart, push it to the exit and THEN pick up the bags. That way, its easy to do and you aren't blocking my next customer.

You know I am soon going to have to post rules at my register.

1) No idiots.
2) No yapping on the friggin phone and talking so loud the whole store knows that your best friend is an idiot, but you wouldn't want to hurt their feelings.
3) No leaving the damn basket on the end of my belt and expecting me to take the stuff out. It WILL get dumped.
4) No crowding up on the customer who is still paying me. Wait your turn. It is NOT going to get you out any faster by standing closer to the exit. Respect their privacy and personal space.
5) No kids in diapers or otherwise sitting on my counter A N Y W H E R E ! !
6) No kids touching their snotty little fingers all over the keyboard to the debit machine.

and 7) if you've got bags of your own or want things packed a little differently please just say so. Don't wait until I'm done and THEN expect me to rebag it all. It takes up too much time and how would you feel if the person in front of you did it?

I just don't understand how people can be so stupid sometimes. I really don't.

Had a lady the other day. She bought two loaves of bread, a bag of potatoes, two canned goods and some eggs. I start to put both loaves of bread in one bag.
No don't do that, I want them separate.

Okay, can I put them in the smaller bags then?
No they're not strong enough.

WTF??? but okay, whatever. By now my 'nut bar' senses are in full alarm.

She then starts to go on about plastic bags not being a problem. Its the recyclable bags that are going to be the issue. The plastic degrades in the land fills just fine. Those reusable bags get dirty and why would you want to reuse them? She is blathering on about how its all made up by the garbage police and I'm just trying to get her out of my space. I run her card, hand it back to her and she signs the paper. I quickly move on to the next customer and think all is going to be fine.

Except, that when I go to put the items on my counter Nut Job is still standing there.
"You didn't give me my card back."
Uh, yes, I did. You put it in your wallet.
No 'thank you', no 'oh, I'm sorry, so I did." Just turned and left.

You're welcome!!!


Then I had the experience of going to one of our own stores, just a different location, on Saturday. I bought 4 grapefruit, two pink, two red, same price but different codes. Why would the cashier, who never even greeted me, weigh them one at a time? I had set them up in two piles of two and told her they were the same code. "yeah" she says. Now bear in mind, I have already taken out my employee card and showed it to her so she has to have figured that I work for the same company in SOME aspect or another. Then she packs my groceries.

Two grapefruit in one big bag, the other two in another big bag, the spinach salad in a third bag, the bread in a 4th, the eggs with the sandwich meat, and the chips with a canned item. total = six large bags

WRONG. I rebag it. Eggs on the bottom, bread and chips in same bag as eggs. Grapefruit (4) and spinach salad together. Canned item and sandwich meat in smaller bag. total = 2 big, one small bag.

She never said two words to me other than the original 'yeah' but could carry on a thrilling discussion with the other cashier about the perfume she was wearing. I got my discount and air miles and left. Not the best impression and I am a cashier. She had no idea if I was a mystery shopper or Mrs. Rich Bitch and thinking of switching stores. No 'have a nice day or thank you or kiss my ass'. Nothing. Not the best impression to leave customers with.

And speaking of mystery shoppers. We had one the other day, I heard. I'll keep you updated.

And one last thing. My picture will soon be updated.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



today in the local paper is a story written to Action Line (one of those consumer I-have-a-problem-can-you-help-me-fix-it things) about this poor woman who took her twins to the grocery store (same chain as mine, different location) with her and there weren't any buggies to accommodate her children. The store used to have two such buggies but now has one (being used at the time) as the other was stolen. (That is a whole other problem that our stores have.) When you consider the percentage of people that have twins compared to single births, then this store was probably in that range with the one buggy compared tothe total number of carts.


How did she get them from the car to the store? Did she really expect to show up and just find a twin buggy sitting there waiting to be used by her?

Now my store has a few sets of parents with twins and guess what?? We don't have a single buggy for twins. These people bring their own strollers because they think ahead. They also want their kids to be comfortable and safe. I don't think I would want to be trusting my kids in a store buggy. I would find it hard enough keeping an eye on one, let alone two.

Anyway, this falls under the crabby lady and her chair rule. We have this lady that comes in and goes through the store loading up her buggy without help, but gets to the cash and wants a carry out. Now she never asks for the carry out until the end of the order. If the cashier doesn't recognize her then this woman is left standing at the end of the register, waiting until a carry out can be summoned and available. She doesn't move away from the register either. Just stays there blocking the way. I have never figured out how she gets all that stuff in the buggy but can't get it out to put in the car. And before you tell me that the bagged items weigh more, she often buys a case or two of pop and she gets that in the buggy.

So, last time she came through me I recognized her and called for a carry out. Timing was pretty close to perfect but she asked me where the chair was that we used to have at the front. I told her we don't keep it out there as it is in the way and kids climb on it, etc. I did however tell her about the blind girl that calls up ahead of time and lets us know she is coming so that she can get as assistant to help her shop. I suggested that this lady call about the chair and we could have it here for her. Didn't she come in not two days later and had obviously called because the chair was at the front; coincidentally, right by my register. She sat in it while I rang her groceries and never said anything about thanks for the suggestion, but what the hell.

The other lady is this one that reminds me a little bit of Marty Feldman when he played Igor in Young Frankenstein. She is sort of bent over and looks out of one eye at you and has a lispy need-to-spit kind of voice. She buys a few lottery tickets and likes to sit at the front of the store scratching them and drinking her tea. She was another one that used to get all crabby about the chair not being there, etc. I explained to her, too, about the kids that climb on it and that she just has to call first. The next time she came in and complained I asked if she had called and she said no. So, in as kind a kidding way as possible I told her that I had had to put the chair away because no one had booked it and I can't have just anyone using it. She took the hint because the NEXT time she came in, there was the chair ready and waiting.

Anyway, the lady with the twins. In the story she had mentioned that she talked to the store manager about the twin buggy issue and he told her the situatuion. So I am just wondering why, if he told her he'd try to get more buggies in, she felt she still had to complain to someone else about it.

It has been my experience from the few times I have told my own customers to talk to the manager or the head office that those issues have been solved in a very timely manner. In fact I tell people if they have any issues then they should feel free to call because my company DOES LISTEN to their customers and they act on it.

Way to go for my store!!

But the vests and shirts are still butt ugly.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Curioser and Curioser

I am not sure what happened but I did not get red boxed. There is no reason explaining it and I haven't dug too far. I suspect that somehow someone paid it for me. I further suspect it was a customer. But I guess I will never know.

People are wonderful.


So the Princess has been copping more of an attitude than usual. A couple of weeks ago, head cashier asked (not told, but asked) her to start using the single bags.

an Aside: The bags we have now are just terrible. When you go to take one off after filling it, it pulls at least one more bag with it. You are then having to take that single bag and put it aside for the moment. We don't always have time between customers to set up these singles to be used right away. BUT, the company obviously doesn't want to lose money so would like us to use them up. Pain in the a$$ but sure what the heck. So when you have some down time you set a few of them up on your bag holder to use on the next customer.

Back to the Princess: After being asked, she said no she wouldn't use them. WTF???!!!! Oh wait, I know why. Its because she might have to actually work. Which means the rest of us pick up the slack for yet another one of her doofus little attitudes. Head cashier sort of insisted but she still won't do it.

THEN . . . . she is told to do some clean up and holy mackinaw I could clean the whole store in the time it takes her to get just the sweeping done. Not only that but if one more time she starts to sweep under my feet when I am serving a customer, and I DO mean UNDER my feet, there is going to be some chunks of hair flying around and it won't be mine.

We have some of our cashiers that are trained to work customer service. That means they have the responsibility of keying in employee discounts or doing lottery or refunds and other things like that. It also means that they are responsible for what the other cashiers do. Sort of like a mini boss. The interesting thing is that they are younger than me, but I have NO PROBLEM with recognizing their authority.

Not so the Princess. Junior head cashier asked her to do some cleaning and explained that the sweeping had been done so she was to clean belts and do garbages.

WHAT???!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Have her touch garbage or to actually work?? What are you thinking.

Jr. HC goes to serve a customer and comes back to find the broom being pushed along at the blinding speed of a snail, and agains asks her to do the belts and garbage. She grumbled something and walked away. Jr. HC is talking to another cashier later and the Princess decides to confront her about talking about her (the P) behind her back. Again, WTF.

Next thing you know, she is unable to show up for work all this week. HOW IS SHE STILL EMPLOYED HERE ? ? ? ? ?

Also Late girl has been doing better about being on time. Apparently the warning worked (she'd be written up EVERY time she was late starting Jan 1st) but she is also turning into some one who doesn't like to be on cash. Everytime you turn around she is off doing baskets, or buggies or counting her fingers or something. I had a line up the other day and she asked if I had go-backs (products customers have changed their minds about). I said no, would you open up your register. She just went about collecting go-backs. I asked her again to open up and she looked at me like I had just spoken to her in Klingon. So I told her to open and she finally did, but by now a head cashier had had to come out and open to relieve the crowds. Neither HC or I was pleased at this point.

And the last thing for today: Who in the hell thought up these new uniforms? Okay I wasn't too happy about wearing an apron but I have to admit it looks nice and its handy to have the two pockets on the front for pens etc. SO why did some schmuck decide that baby poop green VESTS would look good? And the cream coloured shirts with 3/4 sleeves and a slit in them???

Come on.... did you really look at these things? The shirts make the girls look like they have a hunch back because the cut is so bad, and the vests are so cheap looking. And they even covered up the buttons with a little flap.

Why would all the advertising show people wearing the black aprons over a white shirt and then you decide to change to these two pukey colours? That's right, I said PUKEY.

We have had a lot of comments on the professional look of the black and white and now this. Thank goodness the stupid vest was too small for me. I have been told that I will have to wear one as they have ordered more, but my god they are U G L Y. I am holding out as long as possible.

Not only do I feel that they are hideous BUT I get too hot in a regular shirt, let alone one with a vest over it. It wouldn't be too bad if they were 100% cotton as the fabric would at least breathe but to have any polyester in them at all means overheating. And I DO NOT like to be hot. I don't handle heat. Stick me in a fridge.

By the way, the vests look like something from the 70's.

And to end on a positive note:

Still lots of compliments on the store and layout and products. And have we been BUSY!!! holy moley, its been great. No standing around time. Well, okay, a little. But once the day gets going it is pretty much non stop. Granted the students are back but there are a lot more people we've never seen before coming in. And the produce is back up to the standard our original store was know for. Great ! ! ! !