Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I can't fix the WHOLE world

So, I've been quiet lately.

Well, there's a reason for that. Its been sort of . . . . . . . interesting, lately.

Had one day last week where there was an accident on the local highway that backed up traffic TERRIBLY. We had most of it coming past us because the highway was closed for such a long time. We actually had a lot of people that just pulled in the parking lot and figured they'd get the shopping done instead of just sitting still. Made for a very busy afternoon. A lot of people were asking US for updates and if we knew what was happening.

* * * * *

Then we have a couple of cashier issues. Now I am trying not to get involved in this crap but when it affects MY performance I'm going to say something.

1st: The cashier that used to be on customer service. I wrote about her when they first chose her to do the job. At that time I thought it was a wrong choice and then, later, said that I was mistaken when she turned out to be very good at it. I was pleasantly surprised at what a responsible young lady she turned into. Well, since hours have been cut and she doesn't get to do that any more she has gotten very, very bad. I am not sure if there is something else happening in her life that is causing the change but she does not give a DAMN about this job anymore. She comes in late, is very tired, was texting at the register ( a big NO-NO), sits on the bag holders, lies across the belt, disappears at times, flaunts the rules. Something drastic has changed in her life to cause this. She is behaving so out of character.

2nd: We have a new cashier who is a teenager as well. She is trying to do her job but is trying TOO hard. She doesn't go anywhere without running, she is too apologetic, too helpful to customers, almost to the point of being pushy. Its hard to describe. She had a loaf of bread the other day that wouldn't scan because the label was slightly askew. So she then tried to punch in the numbers on the label. In the meantime she has opened this customers loaf of bread up to get to the label, she is trying so hard but you can see the customer trying hard not to just grab it right out of her hands. I finally told her to just punch in the value of the bread and hit the bakery key. So then she starts to apologize to the customer and did she want another loaf of bread "I didn't touch this one" and on and on. I told her to just listen to the customer when she said no and to move on because she was taking up a lot of the customer's time.

Then she has a bag of eight limes and punches in the code for them and puts them in the customer's bag. Except that limes are each not per pound. So she didn't charge for 7 of them. I told her about that which got me thinking of earlier in the shift when she had asked about mangoes, another per item price not per pound. And I began to wonder how many items have gone through her without being charged correctly. This kind of thing should not be an issue if the cashier keeps an eye on what comes up on the register. You HAVE to do that. Its how you learn prices for the odd time something comes through that does not scan and you can't get a grocery clerk to price it for you.

The running thing is just a bad idea, because running in a store or any work place implies that there is a reason to run and therefore people can get panicked. Running should only be done for emergencies.

* * * * *

We had a floor walker for a whole weekend. He actually caught somebody stealing and then we didn't have him any more. A few days ago Head Grocery Clerk noticed a buggy sitting with a fair number of items in it. He asked Head Cashier if she knew what it was about and told her that that was the second buggy he had found. Well not an hour later doesn't he just HAPPEN to walk past the exit and catch someone heading towards the door. The couple quickly covered by saying "did you leave your wallet in the car again?" And left the buggy to go get the "wallet". Of course they drove away. The buggy had almost $250.00 worth of meat in it.

They must have been testing the waters with the first two buggies. When they thought it was safe they tried and luckily our guy was there. Except that he feels very bad because if he hadn't just happened to have been there we would have been robbed. Again!!

* * * * *

Maybe its just me, but I don't see how cutting the hours of cashiers and others is saving money when it means you have less eyes in the store watching for these things. The BIG Boss likes to see everyone 'busy' and not standing around, but I'll tell you when I'm "just standing around" I am looking at customers and watching how they act. You get to know your regulars and when there are strangers you watch them more. You can be looking down different aisles. I find that the 'older' cashiers are more aware of people and how they act. The kids are too busy just getting them through and out, then they go back to their cell phones or magazines, or eating, yes STILL eating, at the register. They are not looking at what is happening around them.

* * * * *

Its a shame we don't hire more mature people. Maybe they'd actually do the job and do it well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Interesting who reads the blog? ? ? ? ! ! !

So last night I check my email and there is a message from someone who has worked in payroll for over 20 years and is not sure how she found my blog but likes to catch up when she's checking her other favourite blogs.

Doesn't she write me a nice note, with direct quotes and all, about the way working before and after a holiday works. I'm not going to write the particulars here as too many of the young people I work with will take advantage of the information. Suffice it to say that I was slightly mistaken.

* * * * *

I worked on Sunday (after being off for two days due to illness) and had the pleasure of working next to a young lady that was texting on her cell phone most of the time. Even while a customer was at her register! Now, granted, she did take the time to ring them through but as soon as it was time for them to put their pin number in on the keypad she was back to the phone. HOW freaking RUDE ! !

If I had been the customer I would have complained so fast. She was also sort of leaning over to keep the phone out of the way, but in doing so she couldn't be seen by customers. Her light was on and customers would look, not see anybody and then come to me. Fine, except that if we didn't need the extra body I would have preferred to be at home because I was still pretty freaking sick.

I'm not even pleased going in today, but hey I feel a sense of responsibility.

(SARCASM ALERT) And maybe, just maybe, I'll have the pleasure of working with one or two of the three or four girls that think that having a light on is good enough to say that they are 'working'. Nine times out of ten they are not at the register but are wandering around putting baskets back or doing go-backs (items that customers changed their minds on). Okay, it does NOT take that long to do that sort of stuff. It seems that AS SOON as they don't have a customer at the till they wander. There are things they could be doing at their own station that keeps them available for customers. Hey how about cleaning the belt once in a while or tidying up a little.

And by the way, what was with the FOUR 10 minute bathroom breaks when we weren't texting?? I can't get around very well, but I can sure make it to the washroom and back in three minutes. AND I'M OLD!
I don't even have to go THAT often!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sick ! ! ! ? ? ? I'll say ! !

So this has been a tough year health wise and last week my hubby was sick. I had been sort of sick for about two weeks already but nothing too bad. (She said tongue in cheek).

So then he gets sick and wow it was wicked. Really bad cough, sore itchy eyes, congestion, barely able to swallow. Yuck all 'round.

I thought he just had a worse version of what I had. But, NAY NAY.

I started to get a sore throat on Canada Day evening (Wednesday). I thought it was just because I had been stuck under a tent during the rain with a smoker and the fumes really irritated me. But no. I woke up Thursday morning SO SICK. I hadn't slept most of the night, my throat was okay but I could feel the congestion coming on. And TIRED ? ? ! !

I decided to go to work, because:
a) I needed the money to save for a trip.
b) I'm stupid.
c) I would lose the holiday pay by not working the regularly scheduled days before and after a holiday. (lose 2 days pay instead of 1)
d) I'm stupid.
e) I wasn't sure they could get someone on such short notice.
e) I'm stupid.

I made it in and how I made it through the 4 hours I don't know. I guess I went into auto pilot. I sure hope I didn't make any mistakes. And my customers noticed I wasn't my usual 'cheery' self.

I went home that night and crashed. I was SO worn out. Of course I couldn't sleep, because I was either coughing, trying to breathe, coughing, sweating, coughing, freezing, coughing or rubbing my eyes. Holy CRAP, were they itchy. I would have poked them out if I thought it would help. (And I knew how to put them back correctly.)

Friday morning, I waited until just after noon hour to see if I was going to feel better. I didn't so I finally called work and asked if they could get someone to cover for me. Head cashier said I sounded awful and that she would get someone. I said if you can't I'll come in but really hoped they would.

Saturday morning, I got up and was a lot worse. The congestion in my chest was making it feel like there was a fifty pound weight on my lungs. It shouldn't be WORK to breathe.

I called earlier this time to give them plenty of time to call around and this time it was like I wasn't believed. I felt like I was calling in with a fake excuse and that I was really planning on having Saturday off to go and party. I know it is just perception on my part, BUT it really made me feel that way.

Kind of ticked me off, because I have never called in when I was not sick. Never! !

In the past I have tried to trade Sundays away or plain given them away because I don't want to be working them any more. I am now booking them off.

I am still a firm believer in having the teenagers and students work the crap hours. I had to when I was their age and I'm sure anyone else with maturity at the store will agree. I think that as a RESPONSIBLE ADULT I have earned the right to have my weekends and evenings free. I gave them all up as a teenager and I want them back now. I also don't think that I 'have' to work my fair share of evening hours. That, again, is what the students are for. With the way hours have been cut, there are sure enough of them needing those ones that I don't want to work. I want to get those day time five hours shifts that the girls JUNIOR to me are getting.

I also want to state that I empathize very strongly with the full timers that HAVE to work some weekends and evenings each week. But sorry to say that comes with the full time job. There are enough part timers to fill in the little shifts that I'm talking about. And again, this is nothing against the scheduling because I understand the strong/weak cashier thing, but then lets hire a few people of my age that are responsible workers.

Anyway, its Sunday, early afternoon, and I am to be at work in less than three hours. I don't want to go because I still feel lousy but, I also need the money for my trip. I am planning on having my hand sanitizer, using the hand towels provided (with sanitizer) and trying not to cough. I don't want to make anyone else sick with this.

And that's all for today.