Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Princess on Steroids

Well, seems like someone is going to step in and take a shot at replacing her. We have someone who is constantly rude to the customers, fellow employees and probably most other people she comes in contact with. You know, sometimes being blunt is good but most times it is just kinder to be a little less snotty.

I don't really like working with people like that. Makes the day longer and it makes for an uncomfortable feeling regarding customers. I actually get embarrassed, shocked, sometimes even mortified, by what gets said.

Sure customers ask stupid question. That's what a lot of them do. But, jumpin' jimminy don't point it out to them! Its nice that they come in our store. We shouldn't be chasing them away. Its lack of customers that has caused the hours to be cut and make the work all that more frustrating. Both for cashiers and customers.

And yelling across four registers is just plain old RUDE!!!

We have a big sign out front now that has this week's specials listed on it. I wonder who decides what goes on there? I think personally I would have put the one item that is almost 1/2 price right now. But that's just me. Also, I think the letters should all be the same colour as many colours makes it look a little yard sale-ish.

BUT, it IS nice to have something out there attracting attention. Its a good idea and maybe still a work in progress. So we'll reserve the judgment for now.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Well........... What do you think of the new look???

Do you like it??
FINALLY, after numerous hours following incorrect instructions (from their own help section) I now have my blog back where it should be. The blog name is correct, the correct email with it, the correct blogger address, my follower attached, all posts present and accounted for. Which leaves one happy (finally) unknown cashier.

Okay. The conversation with the HEAD OFFICE.

Seems that the water at the check out counter is a health issue. The problem is that when you finish a sip of water, you then wipe your mouth on the back of your hand and, gasp, touch the groceries and bags. I'm not meaning to be sarcastic.

Its just that:
a) what about the fluids from the chicken we handle?
b) what about the blood from beef or pork?
c) what about the stupid customers that stand there with their debit, credit or air miles card in their mouth and then we are supposed to touch that???
d) what about the customer that has let little junior have a sip out of a juice bottle or someone that has been drinking from a can of pop or water, all of which come from OUR shelves, and they expect us to scan it?
e) what about the vegetables that come to us covered in water from the sprayers and then have been handled by customers?
g) and lets not even discuss how filthy money is.

If we can handle all of those items then how is a bottle of water at my register going to impact anyone?

You take your cashiers aside. You explain to them that they can have a BOTTLE of WATER only. They must clean their hands after drinking with one of the little sanitary wipes that are provided and you have them sign a paper saying they are aware of the rules. If they get caught with ANYthing else, write them up!!

Plain and simple. None of this: "oh gee, your late, well don't do it again tsk tsk" stuff. WRITE THEM UP.

Another thing that came up in my phone call was the fact that the young kids have no idea how to pack groceries. The young one I was training was atrocious. No other word for it. And Miss Sterling had one as well. One thing in one bag, then twelve heavy things in the next. Bread with celery on top, cereal boxes sideways in the bag. Do these people not have ANY common sense?

We need to take the time to teach them how to bag. Maybe after they have a week or two under their belts, we can stand at the register and teach them to pack properly. As an older person a lot of customers come and talk to me about things that bug them. A lot of complaints are either about the way they were treated (rudeness) or their groceries being handled very badly.

One last pet peeve from me today. I think management needs to hire someone that can sit in the parking lot (I'll mention this as I would LOVE to do it) and
a) keep an eye on who parks there and for how long, and
b) to tell people to QUIT STEALING OUR BUGGIES.

We actually pay someone to round them up and bring them back!! Its time to start catching them before they leave the lot.

Or else I can see a charge going on the buggies, which I'm sure no one would like.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

So, what do YOU do when you get an email from HEAD OFFICE??

Yup, yours truly fired off an email to someone at the web site wondering why they hadn't been heard from. See, I had already sent an email a few weeks ago, and the first I heard that someone had received it was when the manager mentioned as I was speaking to him about the letter of recommendation.

THAT lead to me firing off the second one which ended up giving me a response that said:

I have received your email sent to Customer Care and would very much like the opportunity to speak to you on the telephone.
I can be reached most days between 8am -5pm, Monday to Friday. At your convenience, please give me a call.

I left it a day and when I looked at the phone number it was going to be long distance for me.

Being the shy little thing that I am, I wrote back asking if they had a toll free number and if not I could be reached at ### between the hours of this and that.

Bold, eh??!!

Well, quarter past *** rolls around and the phone rings. Now I am mostly thinking this is an information session, but partly thinking "I wonder who I have p------ed off and whether I will be saying bye bye.

Worried about nothing. It was an informative call. There is absolutely NO WAY the shirts can be made longer. BUT, I can request a second shirt and have a piece of that sewn on the bottom of mine to give me the added length. (who's paying?). OR, I can ask after a polo shirt with a mandarin collar like the grocery clerks wear. Sounds like a better option. They are unisex and in men's sizes which means they should have length to them.

Then we got to the water issue. Not so good and at first I agreed with the HR person, but now that I had the kind of day we had yesterday, I am rethinking this whole thing.

Enough for now. Will write another blog shortly.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

WOW was it busy!!!

I don't know what was going on today but was it ever busy. From about 3:30, when I started, to about 7:00 there was never less than 5 people in my line and a few times as many as ten.

What was going on today that EVERY one was shopping?

I just don't know. I was on express, for the first time in about a week and a half. Most people behaved themselves. I had a few with 13 items, but most were about 6 to 8.

Oh, something interesting has been happening over the past three weeks. Once in a while you'll get an order that totals out to an exact dollars amount. No cents, just an even amount. Some days I have had two or three such totals. BUT, today was the twenty fifth day in a row (only counting the consecutive days that I have worked) where I had an exact amount. Pretty interesting actually. Considering most items are something that ends in a 9, its not all that easy to do. And most people are buying items that are by the pound. So when it comes out exactly to the dollar it is kind of neat.

Anyway, its probably only interesting to me, but what the heck. Its MY blog.

Tomorrow, I'll write about the call from, are you ready? HEAD OFFICE on Friday. Also, tomorrow is the Around The Bay road race (30K) and the Bay and Back race (5k). I am going to watch the 5K race tomorrow. Its amazing to see all these people coming down this long street running right towards you. I have a lot of people that I talk to regularly about racing. We have a 'running' store across from us at work and they are allowed to use our parking lot if they shop in the store. I went last year and was surprised at how many people ran by and said "Oh, look. Its the cashier from *****."

Hopefully the weather is nice tomorrow.

Off to bed now to rest up for all the cheering I have to do for my customers tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Water Issue

You've heard the saying "All talk and no action"? Well, I have to somehow get the cashiers to ALL bring a bottle of water to work on the same day. There is security in numbers. They can't send us ALL home and they would get tired of writing us ALL up.

I think a mistake management made was in letting people have water and then taking it away. I don't know that its right to allow it, even though it was not 'policy', then decide to enforce it after two years (at least). The proper way may have been to say "look, I am allowing you to have water, not pop. Screw it up and you lose it. THAT'S IT." And even then it should have been the irresponsible punished, not everyone.

So, if you feel strongly about an issue you have to try to do something about it. The thing that the girls didn't do right was to push the boundaries. Eating at the register??? What kind of idiot does that? And an open pop can or juice bottle with a straw in it? Accident waiting to happen. And you don't really need a bottle big enough to water an army, evidenced by the fact that so many of them used to be left behind.

So, come on people. If we want to be hydrated this summer we have to all agree to actually DO SOMETHING. I know there are three of us with the guts to act.

Talk to me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fun at work today

Its 1 am, and I can't sleep so here goes :

WOW. I got to work Saturday, the 21st, and was told I was training one of the new girls. I was a little nervous, yup, nervous at first, but soon settled into it.

I hope I didn't scare her about the bagging stuff, but I have a real thing about that. This was actually her third day of training so I think it was actually a good time to work on the finer points of bagging. At first she was making some pretty bad (in my eyes) choices about how to do it. She also still uses too many bags and has some inappropriate items together. But it doesn't come over night. When I was first trained they took a whole week to do it, and one day was spent on bagging alone. So these young kids don't have much of a start before being thrown in the pond to sink or swim.

I think she has potential, but that being said I trained a girl before and, though she started out strong, she faded fast and disappeared when she found that it was work. Hopefully this girl will stay around. The customers liked her and she did not get at all flustered by the few mistakes she made. And even the mistakes were very minor and not stupid, but just things that can happen to all of us. Get a little finesse into and there'll be no stopping her.

Also, quite impressed with our new customer service girl. Hard to take the fact that she is young enough to be my GRANDdaughter but that aside, she is really blossoming. She used to be a shy quiet little thing but wow, this has given her a whole new persona. She suddenly has this aura of confidence. So nice to see.

Good on ya, Sparkly Girl!!!!

By the way, this is the same girl I wrote about a couple of days ago. The 17 year old. And yes I am pleasantly surprised and ashamed of myself for thinking she was not up to it. She has stepped up to the plate and done an excellent job so far. Time will tell as to whether she can handle the snarky customers and some of the pressure that can go with the job. But so far I stand (or sit because I'm at the keyboard right now) corrected. If the transformation thus far is any indication, customers shouldn't be an issue for long, if at all.

By the way, it was really busy at the store today. Guess it must be all the end-of-spring-break crowd. The new girls did very well.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Thick Plottens

Went into work yesterday to talk to the boss. Finally tracked him down and hashed over a few things with him.
*They don't do reference letters but will talk to anyone you have call them. Good.
*The shoe thing is part of the "uniform", so I'll start wearing black shoes in where they can see me and switch to my orthotic shoes after I am behind my register. Good.
*The water issue is still outstanding and I am going to keep fighting that tooth and nail. Good!!!
*Apparently, you can be late, unreliable AND lazy and it still takes time for you to be written up, warned and eventually fired. Bad.
*Having water at your register just became a little more doable, I think, as I show up for work, do a good job and am never late. Plus it should take a while to get written up, warned and eventually fired. Good.
*It would really help the cause if I can get ALL the girls to go along with this. Good?
*I plan to ask for a copy of the warning, to show to the union. Good.
*The Boss said that if I tell them what size shirt I wear he will call the company that makes them and have one made longer for me. GOOD!!

One interesting thing was that he said when I leave I can have someone call him and he'll be glad to give me a reference. I corrected him and said that its not "when" I leave, its "if" I leave. I don't want to go as I would miss my customers SO much, and there are several ladies I work with that I would miss chatting with. I actually like being an 'older person' for the younger ones to talk to. Its nice being asked for advice, etc.

Had to give yesterday's shift away due to an appointment. I actually enjoyed not being there. That's a first.

Also, I pointed out to a customer the other day that we had gotten rid of our road salt. I told him that if we get snow it will be the bosses fault for sending it back. Anyway, last evening we had snow flakes falling. Told you so.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I wonder if they think first

Got to work tonight to find that they are training a 17 year old to work customer service. 17 YEARS OLD!!!

This is the second time someone with way less seniority has been given this job. I wasn't even asked. Apparently I'm not the only one ticked about this latest escapade, either.

See how I feel in the morning before I write more.

Angry post?? You betcha!!

So my better half thought that my last post sounded a tad on the angry side.

Well, I am. You know, I'm thinking of leaving because I used to be happy there, and I'm not any more. I used to look forward to going to work. Now, I don't.

Problem is, I really love the job. Seeing my regular customers all the time is great. Its nice when they go through someone else's register and still stop to say hi to me and ask how I am. Where else do you see that?

BUT....... I also find that I get sick and tired of management making stupid decisions that seem to take morale down instead of up. Now most everyone is happy that the Princess is gone and that Late Girl may be taken care of soon. So why, when everyone is happy again, must they do something to bring people down?

Yes, I know, they own the company and yes there used to be a no water allowed rule, but if you have let it go for several years and people started abusing it, why not say "look, you can ONLY have a 500 ml bottle of water WITH a lid at your register. The first person that has something else then we go back to no water and the offender's name is posted so you know who lost you your privilege."

I found the same sort of gut punching reaction at most places I have worked at. Things start going nicely, people are getting along, the job is getting done and people are happy. Some little rule is being broken, but things are getting done and morale is pretty darn good. So some stupid boss comes in and thinks:

"well crap, if they're happy they can't be working!!! I know, I'll make a new stupid rule for them. Ah, that's better, they're miserable again."

WTF is up with that.

Well, I'm off to have lunch with a dear friend and then to work. I have a big decision to make. I hate leaving my customers and friends, but I can't be climbing up stairs just to get a sip of water, I don't like wearing a shirt that is too short for me AND that is partially see-through. And I don't have any respect for the bosses at the store.

Now, THAT, is not good.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What the hell are these people thinking???!!

So get to work tonight to find a stupid note taped to the cupboard where we were supposed to keep the water we can't have at the register.

At first reading, we all thought that the water could be kept there and that if there was any bottles or containers at the end of the evening it was thrown out. Okay that makes sense. But no, after further investigation by one of the cashiers it turns out that we can't have any water there. Nothing. The only water allowed is in the lunchroom, upstairs, where it is dirty, and hot and up way too many stairs. So, if you get thirsty now, you are supposed to close off your register, climb twenty or so stairs, drink your water and come back down????

Oh, wait a minute, I bet what they really want is for you to wait until your break. Hhhm!!

Well them why are the powers that be allowed food and water in their offices? Oh, I get it. Do as I say NOT as I do.

Well, we'll see about that.

I am not a union person but neither do I tolerate bullshit. Apparently what happened is that water was never allowed but they started to ignore it. Well, then of course some stupid ones decided to have coffees, or sodas or other things that don't have a top on them. So then some boss got PO'D and decided to go back to the whole nothing at all thing. What do they think it will be like in the summer?

Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. Either it is allowed for ALL or it is NOT allowed for all.

And I, for one will not be climbing any damn stairs to get hydrated. I'll keep my water in my car and have to go out there to get it. And it will not be on my breaks either. Lets just hope some of the other girls are going to keep to this as well. Unfortunately, I don't think they will. There is a lot of talk but when push comes to shove, I'll be by myself on this one.

Oh well, I'm sure I can find a job somewhere else. Maybe with better hours.

Guess I better start collecting letters of recommendation.

Writing Void

Its going to be difficult, I think, coming up with things to write about now that one of my stars has left. I may change the flow of this a little by maybe adding some more of my life outside the store. Haven't decided yet. Let me know what you think.

I love hearing from followers of the blog and wouldn't mind too much if you wanted to sign up as a follower. There is a spot to the right of the postings.

Couldn't bring myself to go into the store last week on my day off, as I'm there so much anyway. So I went to the 'enemy over the highway' and checked out cereal. Now, I don't like this store att he best of times because they are too friggin big and don't really have that great of a selection. Oh, it looks impressive and all, but for example you go in there looking for peanut butter and they have lots of their own and maybe two small sizes in a name brand. Well, I want the big size as its more reasonable. I have found this in the case of most of the items I have looked for when I go there.

And speaking of reasonable, there cereal was 50 cents more and the whipping cream 30 cents more. Now they are a bigger set of stores than we are, but there prices are higher. I bought the stuff, (Stupid) because, as I said, I just didn't feel like going to my store. I wish I had.

By the way, neither our cheaper store chain nor theirs, carried the cereal that I wanted. Aggravating, really.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Recipes and Tips

When I'm talking to my customers I often have a little tip or a recipe idea I'll share with them. Let me know if you think I should maybe add them as a link or whether it should be by asking for people to write at my email address if they have something specific in mind.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What will I write about now??????

Well, one of my stars is gone. The Princess finally left us. Over three consecutive days she:
1) tried to go home fifteen minutes before her shift, then ten minutes before,
2) held the tray, which does NOT have a tight fitting lid, on its side tucked under her arm,
3) disappeared and had to be called back to her register,
4) took a half hour break and had to be called back to her register,
5) decided to get po'd at the head cashier for keeping her waiting.

After being told the error of her ways she called the next day to say she quit.

Good Bye. And I do mean GOOD.

Then yesterday, Late Girl was supposed to show up at 3:30 and didn't. This is after being asked if she was going to show up and her confirming she would. So for over two hours there was Miss Sterling, on express, and myself. That's it. It was extremely busy and the head cashiers had to stay out on cash just to keep the lines down. Consequently they barely had time to get their work done and to arrange for a replacement. Luckily overtime was approved for the Miss Caregiver and she made it in with very short notice.

Late Girl's shifts are being covered by someone else for the rest of the week and hopefully she'll be gone soon too. We have had lots of people handing in resume's so there is plenty to choose from. Plus there are at least three mature women that have expressed interest in working here.

Let's hope.

Plus, the boss mentioned to me yesterday that the uniform calls for black shoes. I wear my running shoes as I have orthotics and don't have black shoes that they fit in. I told him that and he answered with an understanding sort of agreement. Now, if I really want to be a pill I could get the shoes and hand him the bill asking him to pay it for me. When he says no, I can explain that I already had to buy the pants after being told they would be getting some in and I can't afford shoes TOO!!!!

You know, I'm getting cranky in my old age and am getting really fed up with these stupid rules. Who the hell can see what colour my shoes are behind the damn register? We stand for our whole shift on a slightly cushioned mat. You think they could let us have decent shoes. If not, then maybe we should be sitting.


If I can't have it can I at least stop people from drinking by my 'expensive equipment'? And what about the stupid person that bought a whole case of Arizona ice tea, and when putting it in the cart managed to break one can which sprayed all over me, the floor, and the back of my register keyboard?

HUH! What do you say about that???!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yeah, right.

Okay, we have to talk to the customers, its dry in the store and guess what the powers that be have decided now?

We can't have a bottle of water at our registers. Apparently, someone supposedly caught something from dealing with a cashier and one thing lead to another and a store closed.

Sorry, sounds like bull shit to me.

I think someone got it in their heads that they don't think it looks appropriate for us to being drinking at our work stations. Oh my gawd!!! The customers don't realize that we might need hydrating as well!!! Holy crap. I did not know that.

Well, far be it from us to shock the hell out of them.

This is NOT the end of this story. War has been declared.

On a lighter note. Things are pretty much as usual. Customers being a pill, co-workers driving you crazy, others making life so easy.

I don't understand why, with the amount of resumes and older women especially that have asked me about working here, we still keep some of the people we have working for us. It can't seriously be the devil you know syndrome, because there are a couple that a devil would only be an improvement on.

What about someone who is constantly late for work, still disappears during their shift, calls in sick for about half of her shifts and is so friggin slow a snail could pass her?

Or how about the one who just plain doesn't show up for shifts and when called its learned they are out at a party with friends?

Or the schmuck who'll book off sick and then be stupid enough to show up at the store with a bunch of their friends?

Or the one who blathers on and on and on and gets confused way too easily.

Or the one that is rude and doesn't like to work and gets complaints almost weekly?

double F???!!!!!!

Oh yeah, we also are not far from a university, a high school and a college. So there is a lot of traffic. But how come some of the university students park in our lot and take the bus to school? Because they get away with it. We had new signs put up but then the boss doesn't enforce it. I was sitting in my car on break last week when a van pulls up and parks beside me. Two young women got out, picked up their backpacks and took off for the bus stop across from the store. I got the information from the van and gave it to my boss. There is, according to the signs, a two hour limit on parking time. When I came out three hours later, there's the van still sitting there, no ticket on it. Why bother if the boss isn't going to even follow up on it.

My hubby says it isn't up to me to fix the world and I tell him I can at least work on my little corner of it. I am tired of getting to work and not being able to find a decent spot. I have been telling them since last SUMMER that there were people parking in the lot that shouldn't be there. I thought that was why the new signs went up. Apparently I was wrong. All I can hope for is that they have decided to give them a two week grace period and then the poop hits the fan. I sure hope so, because not only can't I get a decent parking space but the customers are commenting on it and getting annoyed about it as well.

Take that boss man! Maybe if the customers complain enough you'll get something done.

There, I didn't mean to be in a cranky mood but the water bottle issue just set me off.