Monday, August 24, 2009

Customer Updates

I haven't talked about a few of our customers lately.

The gentleman that I have said reminds me of my Dad is still coming in, but with the hours that I have had cut I don't see him very often. He is still a wonderful, dear man and I think very highly of him. I care for him greatly. I bought him some cinnamon hearts back around Valentine's as he loves them. I can't find any now. It would make a nice pick me up for him. I ask after his wife and he says "no words today". I'm not sure what is wrong with her. I am guessing Alzheimer's but could be very wrong. I told him that she knows he's there and he said he doesn't know that.

Oh and he's is still buying his two cans of beans every time he's in the store. They go in the food donation.


The Purple Lady has disappeared from my life. One day about 6 or 8 weeks ago she came in to tell me that she was moving up to live with her daughter. Her daughter and the doctor thought that best.

I knew she had been to see her doctor and I knew the next time I saw her that things weren't right, but I could NOT get her to tell me. She wanted to so badly but something just held her back. I told her I was here for her when ever she needed me. I saw her once more in the store after that and then no more. She chose to leave without a good bye. I think that was important for her.

I miss her dearly. Would love to know how to get in touch just to send a little note or card.


Sicko Boy had disappeared. Its like one of those you don't realize you haven't seen someone until you see them somewhere else things.

I was driving home from work one evening and saw this electric wheelchair with someone in it and a big kid walking beside it. This was within ten blocks of my house. Anyway, I did a double take because at first glance they looked familiar. Then it twigged that it was SB and his Grandma. That was when I realized I hadn't seen them in the store in a long time. Wonder why they had to move?


Mrs. Pinchpenny still comes in and is still as rude as always. She just interrupts when you are dealing with another customer. VERY annoying.


There is one lady I haven't written about because I thought it not nice to. BUT, I think I am sick of hearing how she has been made blind by eye surgery. Its the same story every time. I thought at first how tragic and all, and that I would be very helpful. But then I noticed that she can now read name tags and doesn't need the help with her money anymore etc. SO, I am guessing its the sympathy card we're playing now. She sure can pick out her scratch and sniff lottery tickets okay!!


And one last quick one:

The lady that got so irate with me about me asking for assistance to the "Cigarette" counter?? Well after that incident she avoided me for a while. I think she thought I would be 'mean' again. Anyway, I just acted like it never happened. One of the other cashiers pointed out to me that she will NEVER buy the cigarettes at the same time as her groceries. I hadn't noticed that before, but now when I see her come in, sure enough, she'll wait until after she's been through the cashier and then go to the service area to get the cigarettes. Don't know why but I guess she has her reasons. It always takes longer to do it that way, but ..... hey, whatever gets you by.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cutting hours leads to . . . . .

There has been this big push on lately to cut hours. Two weeks ago I was affected. Yup, they called me and took my Wednesday 'express line' shift away. Found out later I could have taken another shift from someone else to replace it. I'm NOT clear on whether it had to be the same day or just the same time period.

Now, I'm fairly close to the top seniority wise as I have been working there since April 11, 2007. The only people ahead of me now have worked there forever.

So we have been struggling through this hour-cutting stuff for about a month and a half. Its been brutal at times because you are always short staffed, you can end up with huge line ups which aggravates the customers, you can't get any one to do a price check because they're run off their feet as well, and you oft times are paired with a younger cashier that has no idea of work.

That last one really pisses me off.



There I feel better.


Anyway, don't I pick up the paper last Friday and read how our store had record profits. Somehow it really bites that we are busting our butts, worrying about jobs and all that fun stuff but feel 'safe' in the knowledge that the COMPANY has made a profit.

I am enclosing the article below and I have changed certain words in the article to keep up with my 'disguise'. I have used symbols for all store names and changed the city name. I don't think I had to but, what the heck, lets be safe.


*****'s sales up 23 per cent in Q3

Grocer sees move to discount stores

August 07, 2009
Ross Marowits
MONTREAL (Aug 7, 2009)
Grocery store operator ***** Inc. enjoyed record profits in the fiscal third quarter, despite a continuing consumer shift to its discount banners.
The Montreal-based company said yesterday strong sales contributed to a 23 per cent surge in profits.
It earned $112.6 million, or $1.01 per share, for the quarter ended July 4, an increase over year-earlier profits of $91.9 million, or 81 cents per share. Excluding one-time items, adjusted earnings per share totalled $1.01, up 25 per cent from figures posted a year ago.

Quarterly sales rose 4 per cent to $3.5 billion from $3.4 billion a year ago. Same-store sales, or sales at locations that have been open for at least a year, rose 4.2 per cent.
The results beat the expectation of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who forecast 93 cents in earnings per share.

"Clearly the recession is having an impact on consumer behaviour. Our conventional stores are growing, but we are seeing a shift towards discount," CEO Eric La Fleche said.
In addition to its ***** and ***** Plus banners, the company operates discount stores **** ****** in Ontario and the former **** ***** ******* stores in (my city here).
Competition remains fierce in both Ontario and Quebec, especially among staple products. However, unlike in past quarters, La Fleche said the competition is rational.

In both markets, it achieved higher sales, more customers and larger sales per store visit. And it claimed to have increased its market share in its Quebec base.
In Ontario, its supermarket conversion plan is on schedule with 128 of 159 stores converted to the ***** banner as of July 24, 2009, including all former ****b stores.
***** is in the process of rebranding Ontario stores originally purchased under the ******** banner and converting them to the ***** name.

La Fleche said the company was pleased with its record results, especially since they are compared with the third quarter of 2008 when it returned to positive earnings growth after taking a hit from price wars in Ontario and information technology problems.

The supermarket chain expects that food price inflation, which reduced to 3 per cent in the quarter, will continue to reduce over the coming two quarters. The impact will be felt on imported goods such as produce if the Canadian dollar creeps up towards parity.
Irene Nattel of RBC Capital Markets said ***** benefited in the quarter from food inflation, increased sales volume as consumers buy less expensive, but higher margin private label products and improved productivity.

*****'s board increased its quarterly dividend by 10 per cent to 13.75 per cent.