Sunday, May 31, 2009

So.??? Its been a while. . . . .

What's new?

Well, first off. Late girl is not doing it occasionally now. It is becoming the norm for her to show up late. Usually 15 or so minutes but the other day it was an hour and a half!!!

Some of the younger girls just don't seem to get it.

There's a scam artist that has been going around with a credit card and when its scanned through we are told to call for authorization. Well doesn't the customer pipe up with "oh, I have the number" and the cashier is stupid enough to use it. What, in bleeding hell, would possess any one to do that??????????

Rumour has it that one cashier was hit twice by this guy. Anyone worth their weight in salt knows that it is US that calls for authorization and therefore US that would get the number. NOT the customer!!

Also, for some reason they have cut hours, decided because of this to pair a 'weak' cashier with a 'strong' one. This is going to "help" even out the load. You have GOT to be kidding me!!!!!???

The reason they are 'weak' cashiers is because they don't know how to apply themselves anyway. So they get put with someone that will take up the slack and keep them from looking so bloody useless???

I, for one, am getting very tired of this arrangement. I happen to care very much about the customers and I don't like to see them waiting for a person that doesn't realize she can use two hands at the same time. I further do NOT like the fact that I bust my a$$ to get the customers through, while someone other cashier takes ten minutes to collect baskets and put them away, followed by a stop at the courtesy counter to chat and then pretending to do some perfunctory shelf straightening.

Oh, and I have had the first customers complaining about the temp in the store. And starting June 1st we will be charging for bags. Happily they are not supposed to be what we now use. They'll be a bigger bag made of thicker plastic.

They still won't go for paper.

I am wide awake right now (5:27 am Sunday morning) and have not been asleep since 6:30 AM Saturday morning. My hubby's tribute band (see side links) played their first MAJOR gig last night.

It was un - freakin-believable. The crowd was right into it which gave the band such an immense boost. Everything was perfect. I was so wired when I got home that I just couldn't sleep. They were truly amazing. I CAN NOT wait for the next shows coming up.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Knocked for a LOOP

The day before Christmas Eve last year, I was eating something perfectly tame when I heard this sound from the upper left side. I knew something had happened. My dentist was able to see me Christmas Eve and confirmed that I had indeed broken a tooth. But do I break a piece off the top? No.

I cracked it from top to bottom through the root. Luckily it had been root canaled so it wasn't hurting. But I was going to have to have it out. I wasn't really ready to get that done because I figured it would be painful. It didn't help when my own dentist said that I should see a specialist as the way the tooth was broken and the fact that it had a big root..... Well, he didn't want to try.

So I go to see the specialist and he feels it might take a little bit of work to get it out. We sent the estimate off and the company said they'd cover it. I decided to wait a while.

Fast forward to last week. I call to make an appointment and they ask would I take a cancellation? I said okay and sure enough they called me Tuesday with a time of 2:00 pm Wednesday. Supposed to be at work for 3:30. I went in and asked if they could get someone to cover for my shift and no problem.

So . . . . . . off to the dentist where he sticks a needle in my face, then one right in the gum where the tooth is broken (by now a little piece had come out leaving a perfect spot for him to aim for). He says to me "big pinch" and launches across the room with a friggin javelin and stabs it right into the palate. (roof of the mouth that is not fond of being stabbed and HURTS LIKE HELL)

HOLY CRAP ! ! ! ! ! !

Then he leaves me for the freezing to set in. For another $440.00 I could have been unconscious. What? And miss the fun?

Anyway, he comes in, they put a little gauze catch basin in, in case the tooth breaks up and tries to fall down my throat. He uses vice grips I think, and clamps on to this tooth. Back and forth he rocks it trying to work it loose. I hear a little 'plink' and I knew it had broken again. He finally got the damn thing to come out. It ached more than anything, as he was trying to get it to let go.

Then his assistant says there's a piece broken off inside. He looks concerned but she uses her little irrigation thingy and was able to flush the piece out.

YAY! ! !

They give me instructions and a script for pain meds and off I go to pay the bill. When I get to the desk she says to me that it was less trouble than he thought. The bill is like HALF what they expected.

YAY ! ! !

Before the freezing wore off I wanted to buy myself a couple of new fish for my tank (as the store was very close to the specialist's office) and then head over to the drug store to get my meds. As I am driving across the city I notice the freezing seems to be going away faster than I was expecting.

Okay. Get to the drug store and they say 15 minutes. I sit there sweating and thinking that the freezing is going to be gone before I can get a pill into me and have it start working. BUT, the freezing wore off only so far and I got my pill, took it and headed home. The freezing stayed in the area of the tooth, and one small part of my upper lip (can't figure why), for a total of six hours. Took one more pill before bed, removed the gauze ( O U C H ) and slept pretty good.

Got up this morning and just didn't feel great. The only time the tooth, sorry, place where the tooth was, hurt, was when my heart beat. So I ended up giving another shift away.

And that's why I wasn't at work today.

Way to encourage employees, man ! ! ! ! !

Usually a strong cashier (ie. fast or efficient) is paired along with one or two of the weaker ones. You can't put all the strong ones together because that means all the slower, etc ones end up working together and we'd be out of business.

When I come in, because I am limited in what I am physically capable of, I work hard at what I CAN do. I usually clean my register completely and then start fanning out to the other registers to give them a wipe down. I also clean the coin machine, the ice machine, the top of the candy racks, and the top of the Coke machine.

I make sure my bags are in order and then I wait for customers. If none are forthcoming I'll straighten the products on the ends of the aisles or tidy up the gum and candy.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I stand there. (usually when I have cleaned all I can or particularly if I am not feeling well)

The other day this incident occurred: (two person conversation)

"Unknown, pick up a white phone."

Oh, hello, head cashier.

"Mr. BossMan would like you to do something."

Oh, sure. What?


At which I chuckled a little and said okay.

I had been standing still for a good 30 seconds and had just finished an hour with one of our slowest cashiers. This girl can NOT keep her attention on her job and customer, and everything is done

Also, there are two people I get paired with a lot and I've noticed when I work with them I seem to be always working and especially getting the bigger orders. Many's the time I have looked up to see they have both walked away from their registers. And sure enough my next customer has a buggy FULL of groceries.

But why in the heck would you pick on me for standing around, when I do my own job as well as I do. And did you ever think of maybe complimenting a person on how well they perform as opposed to finding one little error and making that the thing you mention.

I actually found that the further into my shift I got, the angrier and more unappreciated I felt. The key word being felt. I care about my job and particularity about my customers. For me to feel badly reflects in my attitude, thereby making my job harder and not as much fun to do.

One thank you goes a LONG way to making employees feel good about their jobs.

Anyway, don't be surprised at what you may occasionally see in the video camera peering over my shoulder.

And here I thought they were for security purposes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day and all that commercial propoganda

Started at 1:30 and it was kind of quiet. A customer or two then enough time to clean a register, another customer, more down time, until about 2:30. Well, I guess by then all the Mother's Day treats wore off, because they showed up in droves!!!

I like when its steady like that, but I am once again getting tired of serving the majority of the customers and usually the ones with FULL buggies. There are a few cashiers, like yesterday's 'late' girl, who don't have the concept of work.

I have one co-worker(?) who will call for help the second she has two people in her line, even if they are very small orders. She has a habit of being quite blunt in her manner of speaking and is going to one day really p**s someone off. (Maybe it will be me).

She is the first to bellyache when someone else walks away from their register, but I noticed yesterday, every time someone came around with a FULL to the brim buggy she was gone. Light would be on but no one at the register. In fact one time she complained because one girl left her register to get 'thank you' stickers (going to be gone 45 seconds at the most) and yet not two minutes later I look over and she's gone. The last half hour of her shift she does hardly anything. She does NOT use up the single bags, just leaves them for the next person, and doesn't even make sure there is change in the drawer. I tell you, its like having Yappy Girl back at the store.

* * * * *

There's another cashier that spends a lot of energy reminding customers that the belt narrows down at the end. Personally, I think that if you can't tell by looking then too bad and especially if you have been here before and still haven't learned. Oh well.

I think of the numerous times a mother tells the child to not touch something because its hot, but the child keeps pushing until finally they get burned. THEN the learn the lesson.

I will rescue the odd item at the last minute, but it still boggles the mind, that these people come in here week after week and don't retain that information. Why would you put a sheet pizza on there that barely fits any way and expect it not to get crushed.

And there is one lady that regularly spends between $170 and $325 on groceries. She brings her own bags and a little boy with her. They are cute together but why oh why must you put every last thing in your cart up on the belt sometimes to a depth of 16"????

It makes it almost impossible to bag, because you have no time to plan it out. There is a just a wall of groceries and no where to put them. They are all mixed up so I can't get the cold with cold, produce in another bag, etc. And she doesn't take the full bags off the end either. She's busy teaching the little boy something or other. Yesterday they were watching the coin machine, while I'm trying to wade through the mess. There were heavy things mixed with light things. It would be so much easier to just put it in the bags as I get it. Cans on bread, eggs under cleaning products. Tomatoes under the pop.

* * * * *
Last tidbit: When I went into work yesterday our flower display was all full and nice looking. When I left 4 hours later it looked like a tornado had hit. All that was left was a few leaves and a little pile of dirt.

* * * * *
Tomorrow: the wonderful cashiers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

There has to be a word for it . . . .

Sometimes you get the customer that is in need of extra attention. But why do they show up when you are dealing with other customers as well?

Had a lady yesterday. She bought frozen 'drink'. Most of us know that if it says 'drink' not 'juice' then it contains LOTS of sugar.

So AFTER I have rung in the drink, she asks:
"Is this sugar free?"
No, if you want sugar free you have to buy juice.
"Where is the juice?"
Down at the end of aisle 7, left side in the freezer.
"There isn't juice there."
Oh, I didn't realize we were sold out.
"I want cranberry juice."
I don't think we carry frozen cranberry but we have 100% juice in bottles in aisle 4.
"Where is it?"
In aisle 4, right hand side.

As this has been going on another customer had come along, and was waiting patiently. He only had a few items, but I like to get the customers through. So I sort of turned to deal with him and she takes the hint and goes to look. I get this customer done and another comes along at the same time as I hear from the middle of the store:

"There isn't any there."
Yes there is, would you like me to help you find it?
"Show me."
I'll be right there and I finish with the next customer.

(I thank him for his patience and go to show her where it is)

"There's no cranberry juice."
I point out the ten or twelve different kinds we have.
"I want one without sugar."
Then you'll want the 100% juice and I hand it to her.
"This has sugar in it."
Yes, but its not ADDED sugar, its the sugar naturally found in fruit.
"What about that one that says 'no added sugar'?"
I get that down and show it to here, read the ingredients and it contains sucrose and Splend@. I explain that to her and she looks at the label.
"This has more carbs. (I think she said. I don't remember.)
I think that's because of the extra sucrose.
"Well why would they do that?"
Because some people don't want 'sugar' but will accept sucrose.
"So what was the other one like?"
Its 100% juice so it has nothing added to it. Its all fruit juice.
"This has more sugar."

NOW she points at the side of the bottle. Turns out she's looking at the nutrition chart which shows the actual sugars and I am looking at the ingredient list which shows what's in the product. The nutrition chart shows the sugars available to the system, I guess.

So anyway, she wanted to keep this circular discussion going but I was done. I said to her all I can suggest is that you decide which you want. Calories from fruit or calories from sugar.

Then she comes through my line to pay for it and surprised me by almost thanking me for all the time I gave her.

I think she had been sent out to get something and didn't have enough information. I would be surprised if she did the shopping on a regular basis. Even the way she carried her purchases gave her away.

* * * * * *

Yesterday was sort of busy and had a few other weird customers but mostly regulars. Up until the last hour the time flew by. The cashier next to me leaves and all of a sudden there is only the express and myself open. And it was BUSY now. I had a line of about five very full buggies. The head cashiers came out and helped clear the backlog.

Turns out someone was supposed to be there at 2:00 and it was now after three before she returned their calls to her. She confused the days and thought she was due a half hour later but was on her way now. When she finally shows up she didn't have an apology for being late, doesn't turn her light on and goes to start putting baskets away.

A man came to her register and asked if she was open. She said yes while holding this armload of baskets, then says "But "Unknown" will be glad to help you." and walks away.

I have been busting my hump to cover your lateness and you can't even jump in right away?

By the way, this may be the person I have been waiting for to fill the gap The Princess left.

* * * * * *

One last thing for today. Would my readers like to give me a clue as to how many of you there are? All I ask is that you put a location where you're from in the comments under a blog. I am curious as to how many people are following this and at the time I have no way of tracking it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

AT - TI - TUDE ! ! ! ! !

We have the next wave of students coming through now and that's usually fun. One gentleman had a supply of almost every cleaner we carry PLUS gloves, masks, scrub suits, bio hazard signs . . . .

Well, you get the drift. He said he had never seen anything so dirty and was giving the bill to the landlord. He said he was told it was 'clean'.

Another man had his son in tow with him and I really felt sorry for the son. The Dad was SO MISERABLE. Never stopped complaining the whole time he was in the line. This was terrible, the prices were high, the quality sucked, our hot foods weren't made of anything edible, our salad bar didn't have enough on it . . . blah blah blah.

The son looked very uncomfortable and I really felt for him. Course maybe he was thinking 'only two more hours and I'm on my own finally'.

And I have a new type of customer lately. There are these people that think they can put stuff on the belt and walk away to do more shopping. W T F????? If you think I'm making other customers wait while you decide what else you need, think again!

I had it happen three different times with a basket worth of groceries left on the belt, and one time with a buggy. The buggy was just left there blocking the end so no one could get in. I even had one older lady, one time, that left her groceries and then went to buy a lottery ticket. (the ticket seller is right beside me). A gentleman of about 40 came up and I waved him through. She stopped that with a ahhhh sort of growl (I actually didn't know what to say) and then came over and got into line. Its like people think someone is holding their place and its their given right to hold up the whole line.

And last item for today. I heard on the radio that some place in the States is thinking of having GPS installed on the grocery buggies. Here's an excerpt from the article:

Sensors can track the devices to see right where your cart is, so that as you turn into an aisle, the screen can show what's there and which items are on sale.

The systems also keep a running tally of what you buy. Many stores do so already by signing shoppers up for preferred customer cards. What's new is that the store can offer special discounts based on your buying habits or tell you while you're in the store that one of your favorite products is on sale.

You can even get smart cards where you input your grocery list, made on the computer at home, and the touch screen organizes it to make your trip through the store easier.

WELL, how about if the GPS was used a different way? What if your signal is picked up and then added to your debit or credit card. If the buggy is not returned within a few days a major charge is added to your bill. If the cart is left behind the signal is canceled until the next person takes the buggy. It could even be something that is activated at the register. You can usually tell who is going to be taking the buggy home with them so if its one of our regulars that we KNOW drives to the store you would not activate the gps reporting system.

ANyway, just a thought. I am tired of seeing our buggies STOLEN and it is time these young people, yes its mostly students, learned to return the BUGGY! ! ! ! !