Tuesday, April 28, 2009

So . . . . What's new

Okay, still don't know anything about the cashier that left. Rumours are rampant, but I will not spread them on here. Suffice it to say, I miss her terribly and hope all is well.

Now, some suits were in last week and they have decided it is better to be counting the money out at the registers instead of in the office. They no longer want cashiers in the cash office. WTF??

I suppose on some level it makes sense, but I don't think it is a great idea to be showing people money. Enough said.

We have lost a few cashiers lately. One student just spent her last day with us and won't be back as she's done schooling. Lots of fun and will miss her personality. And we have a few new cashiers, one of whom seems to be a princess sort of fill in. (more on that one later)

There is a schmuck that has been going around with a stolen Amex card and scamming the stores in the area. I am proud to say that the bastard didn't try it with me. I have dealt with Amex cards enough to know that they are really anal when it comes to someone messing with their cards. If you need an authorization code you HAVE TO PHONE THEM.

Anyway, it seems this thief thinks he's smart by targeting the younger cashiers. I haven't met an 'older' one yet that he has tried his bit with. I hope he comes through my register. After the fun I have had over the past two weeks getting MY money back because of an internet scam, I'd be ripe to have him try something with me. I'd probably rip him limb to limb just on principal alone.

The story of my scam experience took almost two weeks to clear up. It was full of ups and downs, help and futility, accusations and resolutions. The good parts were with the online paying system, the bad points with my own bank. I got the money back and had to retrieve it myself, but the bank left me a nice voice mail yesterday that said how the money was now back in my account and sounding like they were very proud of themselves for solving this. I am NOT going to let this go with them.

Any way, if you REALLY want to know the whole story and I hear from enough people I'll make it a blog note.

Back to store stuff. Buggy stealing is still ticking me off. I don't know why they can't just bring them back or . . . . hey . . . . DON'T STEAL THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

What is it about people that makes them think that they can hold up my cash line by putting the groceries on the belt and then wandering off to get 'one more thing'? Three different customers in less than an hour! I will shove their groceries back and serve everyone else that comes along until they return. I DO NOT hold the line up. If there are just a few items I'll put them underneath and then when they come back innocently ask "Oh, were those your items? I didn't see anyone so I thought someone changed their mind." Hopefully they get the message.

As I gallop towards 60 years of age, (2 more years) I am starting to become less willing to put up with idiots. I know how I want customers to act and I have very thin margins for their behaviour.
A T T I T U D E is NOT appreciated, nor tolerated. I am becoming more inclined to react negatively when they have been rude or inconsiderate. I find it hard to do that. But NOT impossible.

Granted you are shopping in our store but it does not mean you have the right to treat myself or my customers badly. Be considerate and you get pleasantry, be obnoxious and you get that in return.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sometimes Spit Happens

We seem to have misplaced one of our cashiers. She has left and no one knows why. It is rather sad as there is gossip going around and I don't think its fair to her. I think it would be better if we all knew and could then deal with it. If it is the reason I am sort of hearing, it reminds me of my first job back in 1968. I was a cashier at the Dominion store at Eglinton Square in Toronto.

We had a girl that was working there one minute and the next minute disappeared. We were told that she was putting 'friends' through her register and ringing in only half the items. She had been doing this for a while and then I guess they caught on, because one evening she did it when a mystery shopper was the next in line.

One Witness = one FIRED cashier.

I, along with the other young girls there, were scared witless. Back when I worked there if you told a prospective employer you had been trained by Dominion you could get a job anywhere dealing with money. To do anything to jeopardize your work record was just not heard of. To be trained by Dominion was quite the feather in your cap. It took about a week of training to get you up to speed. One whole afternoon was on bagging, alone ! ! ! !

You were expected to be on time, courteous to customers, and to know your prices. Everything then had a price tag on it and you punched the register numbers in. It was a mechanical register. You were also expected to study the flyer so you knew what items were on special that week.

I remember that when the register roll ran out there would be a collective groan from the customers because you had to feed the paper through and around a bunch of pulleys and wheels and guide posts. Customer used to know that there would be some kind of wait while the girls got that done. There were a few of us that picked up on it right away, and we'd end up with a lot of the customers.

Anyway, I would like to know what happened to my friend. I miss her and wish her well. I find it hard to believe that I may have misjudged her. She was one of the easier cashiers to work with. Always pleasant to customers, ON TIME, and very helpful.

And a last tidbit. I was leaving to go home the other evening and it was five minutes past the half hour. The person replacing me came along and I commented that there was quite the discrepancy between the time clock and the real world. The clock creeps forward over time and they have to drag it back to normal, real world time. Well, anyway, she asked if she was late and I said I think so, as the shift starts on the half hour. She looked at the time clock as she punched in and told me that it was okay; it was only 25 to the hour. So, if everyone leaving, left five minutes early and the replacements all came in five minutes late, there is a potential 10 minute span over every half hour where the cashiers that are staying are stretched to maximum.

Not really fair to anyone you know. Sometime you're going to want to go home before the end of your shift and there will be no one to cover for you.

Oh yeah, I forgot, some people just don't care.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Worn out more than I thought

Sorry, I haven't written as I said I would. I didn't realize how much those two busy days took out of me. Saturday I was on express and I don't know about anyone else but I find being mentally tired way harder to recover from than a physical tired.

I showed up on Saturday and stepped into a register with a HUGE line-up. Must have been ten or twelve people. I started right in and was up to super speed in no time. I got the line down a couple of times to maybe four or so and then it would go right back up again. We had six of our seven registers open and running. I guess the fact that we were closed the day before and the day after made every one panic. PLUS, the store had an Air Miles promo happening as well ! ! !

That meant if you spent over $100.00 instead of getting 5 miles you could get 50!! That's huge. So we had lots of big orders going through. I'm glad I wasn't doing them. Although I had several people with more than the 8 items, but what can you do when its that busy? By the time you send them out you haven't saved any time for the next customer, so I let them slide.

BUT, the piece of cake was this woman who is standing there with three lilies lined up on my belt and the rest of her groceries and she's trying to decide which one looks best?? WTF?? You couldn't do that before my register? THEN, wouldn't you know the scanner rings it in twice, but I didn't hear it. So she pays for her order, stands at the end of my register with her stuff still on the end. I had circled the place where it showed 15 items on her list and I thought she was going to get snotty with me. Instead she points out that the winning lily rang through twice. Now she had been watching what I was doing so I don't know how she missed it, but what the heck, I missed it too. SO I had to send her to customer service to get her refund. I wasn't about to do it while I had this huge lineup. In the meantime she leaves all her stuff on my table, in the way.

Then some schmuk with a basket of stuff and he just leaves it in the basket. I DO NOT empty baskets. All the reaching and bending I do, I am not about to hurt my back taking your stuff out for you. What, your arm's broken? I tipped the items, carefully, out of the basket. One kid even pointed it out to her Mother and the comment was "That's okay, SHE can take it out." So, over goes this basket and I tipped it all out and told her where to put the basket. No not THERE; at the front of the register on the floor.

Then there are others that think they can just put the basket on my bagging table and that I'll get rid of it. NAY NAY. You carried it up here and you couldn't remember where to put it from the last time you were here? So I put the groceries IN the basket and tell them they can put it away by the door as they leave.

I love training customers.

Oh yeah. Why is it that you can be standing at your register, light on, no closed sign up, looking eagerly at the customer and they ask if you're open. BUT, when its time to go on break, your light is off and the sign is there, they will continue to put stuff up. Or they'll read the sign and then look at you like you're going to say "Ha Ha jokes on you. I really am open." or "That's okay. I'll do your huge order and the heck with the fact that it is already half an hour after my break."

Was that sarcasm?? YES ! ! !

And one last comment for today. For those people that take the buggies and don't return them: you are only shooting yourself in the foot. Because one day, the store will say to heck with it and switch to those stupid put-in-a-quarter buggies that never work right any way. Only I can see the day when you'll have to actually pay some sort of deposit on a buggy, maybe $10.00. I mean that's good enough for the big blue jug that you buy water in.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Just a note before I go off to bed. I have worked at the store two years today!!!!!

And it was absolutely crazy busy in the store today. I'll write some more tomorrow because I am just too tired tonight. I have to see if there is a way to find out how many customers I served today or how much money came through my register. Just nuts today. This is at least as busy, if not busier, than Christmas is.

Oh and I was on express and several customers commented on the fact that I was back in my 'usual' spot. Thing is, it was SO busy that I hardly talked to any one.

Anyway, tomorrow . . . . . .

Friday, April 10, 2009

What I did to relax today

I made COOKIES! ! ! ! !

Rolled and cut out and decorated.

Fun, fun, fun...

These are little Easter bonnets. I saw the idea on the web some where and just HAD to try it.

It lets the creative side of me come out. Tomorrow they go to work.

I've edited this to reflect the fact that I now have better pictures of my cookies. See you at the store ! !

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Closed, Express, Rainchecks and Other Stuff

We'll be closed tomorrow and Sunday. (Good Friday and Easter Sunday). That means it is going to be very busy today and extremely crazy on Saturday. Also on Saturday there is a bonus Air Miles deal going on SSSSOOOOO even crazier.

PLUS, last night was a full moon. All in all it should be an 'interesting' few days.

It was quite busy last night, especially over the supper time 'rush hour'. Most of the first three hours of the shift the line was ten people deep. (An aside: some people with less than 8 items will walk right by one or two cashiers doing nothing to stand in line at express. They seem to think that 8 items or less means they can't go through a regular register line.)

Oh yeah, and how come when you turn your light out AND put a sign up saying you're closed people will still try to come in your line, but when you're light is on, no sign in sight and you're standing there looking at them they ask if you're open? They don't seem to realize that yes, I do actually sometimes have NO ONE in my line. They almost act like its a trap.
Yup, you got it. When you come in here I'm .................... going ....................... to...................................... ring-up-your-groceries-and-charge-you!!!! BWOOO HA HA

Sometimes people can't, or don't think. Had a guy last night buying four cases of pop. Easy enough. Except when I told him the total he looked shocked. He looks at the display then at me and THEN says 'Oh, I see.' and promptly pulls a rain check out of his pocket.

Then he looks at me like why didn't I know that. Well duh, the Spidey senses and x-ray vision are turned off at work!!!

Now I have to refund it all back then put them through at the sale price. Luckily, there was no one behind him. I wonder how he thought I would know about his rain check? O course when we refund back over a certain amount, in this case almost $25.00 we have to have a managers key.

I saw my older,grandpa gentleman friend yesterday. I could take him home in a minute. His wife is ill, I don't know with what (I hope its not Alzheimers) so I always ask how she's doing. He goes to see her everyday the way my Dad used to visit my Mom. Also saw Mrs Violet. She is not smiling lately. She had to have her front teeth out because she broke two of them. Then she has to wait for the swelling to go down and they will be putting in a bridge for her. She loves to smile and chat with people and she has so many friends around the village. Its been hard on her.

Back to work stuff.... On all the registers there is a little shelf underneath the bag holders where you can rest your foot. Technically I think they want you to put go-backs and paper flower covers etc, there. But when you're standing all day it helps if you can put your foot up for a little bit. Its good for the back.

On express, though, the shelf is higher. It is uncomfortable to put one foot up, even if you are tall. I'm going to ask the boss if they can move it up to the other end and bring that one down here. I mentioned it to some girls last night and they agreed that their backs hurt as well when working express. The height of the shelf now is such that if you were to put your foot up you might as well hang a red light over the register as well. It looks like you're advertising for companionship of the paying kind.

Of course that might bring a whole different group of people to the store. HHHHHMMMMMMMM

And when are people going to stop smelling so bad? What would make you think that it is attractive to have a scent SO STRONG that you can be noticed form ten feet away??? Had several people through wearing too much perfume or after shave, or, even worse, smelling like ashtrays. (Ashtray smell is the worst, followed by, BO). But heavy perfumes and after shave make it hard for me to breathe. You know its bad when the lettuce is wilting and people's eyes are watering.

My Dad used to say that you want people to say "Oh, what is that lovely scent?" NOT:

"My eyes!!! My eyes !!! Oh gawd my eyes!!!"

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kids, Parents and Idiots

Not that these things go together all the time, but some days it seems like it.

Wednesday, working the afternoon to evening shift. On a regular register and its fairly busy. Through the store I could hear these parents and two kids traveling around getting their items. Don't you know they choose my register to come through.

So its Billy don't do that, Billy be quiet, Billy quit grabbing the candy, Billy be quiet, Billy don't climb out of the buggy, Billy be quiet, Billy don't push the buttons, Billy be quiet, Billy don't climb the water bottles, Billy be quiet, Billy don't hit your sister, Billy be quiet, Milly don't scream, (she stopped, he didn't), Billy be quiet, Billy don't open the ice fridge,Billy be quiet, Billy don't do this, Billy be quiet,Billy don't do that.

So: Billy stopped doing that, kept screaming, stopped grabbing candy, kept screaming, climbed out of the buggy, kept screaming, stopped pushing the buttons, kept screaming, stopped climbing the water bottles, kept screaming, stopped hitting his sister, kept screaming, Milly don't scream, (she stopped, he didn't), stopped opening the ice fridge, kept screaming, stopped doing this, kept screaming, stopped doing that.

This is all going on while I am trying to ring through their order. Finally I got sick of it.

"HEY!!" I yelled. The kid stopped screaming! The whole store stopped. I actually thought the other customers were going to applaud me. "Billy, you should be quiet." Well, THAT'LL teach him.

The order is almost complete when he starts up again. I asked him if he wanted me to come around the counter and talk to him. Then the mother says to me " we should take you home with us. He listens to you."

Well, yeah. Because YOU don't do anything. He could tell that I'd have climbed the water bottles to get at him. Why should he listen? There were no consequences to his behaviour.

That was incident number one:

Number two: Guy buys about $14.00 worth of reduced produce and the credit card is declined. "Can you do it again?" Sure, and it is declined again. "Well, maybe if you punch the numbers in?"

What?? It is going to be the same result but WTF. So I punch the numbers in and, surprise, its declined!! Then he says to me "Well, I don't know why it doesn't work. I use it all the time." (Well, maybe that's why it doesn't work. Do you pay the bill 'all the time'?)

Then he asks if I will cash a personal check made out to him? We don't even do checks made out to US!! I said no, do you have a debit card? No, he replies, and then he says he'll be back.

I figured I'd never see him again, but sure enough he came back (an hour later). Then he's aggravated because the groceries are all taken out of the bag. That was done because after he left the receipt disappeared. No idea where it went. I had JUST come on so there wasn't any place it could have gone. Checked the garbage, etc, so we just totaled it up and charged him the correct amount. And he paid in cash. A lot of work for $14.00 worth of day old produce.

Incident number three: I asked the customer if they wanted bags and they said yes. So I bag the whole order up and then after they've paid they stand at the end of my register taking it all out and putting it in their own bags and backpacks. Again: WTF. All you had to do was say something. And also, to the lady that rearranged all her stuff after I bagged it, if I did such a lousy job, why wouldn't you have said something.

Had the union rep stop by yesterday and while I'm trying to talk to him about the water situation, The Rambler walks over and starts to listen in. We were almost done so I didn't think much of it. But later, when he comes through my register to buy some food for his cat, The Rambler comes back and asks what we were talking about. I nearly, well, you know. I couldn't believe she asked that. But he covered very well. (He got points from me for that). For the most part I am pretty sure she didn't mean anything by it, but still, to just ask what two people were talking about????!!!!