Sunday, November 28, 2010

YAY, I finally got one ! ! ! !

I knew if I waited long enough I'd get a nut job.

I was on express the other day and had about three people in line at the time. The second one was antsy and hopping from one foot to the other. She's getting frustrated with my customer who is using the debit machine. Our machines are slow and she's going "why is this taking so long?"

I gave her a look and she shut up. For 5 seconds. She starts encroaching on my customers space and really starting to bug me. Finally, its her turn and I ring in her ice cream. They were ice cream novelties and they have tax on them.

"I don't have enough money. Why are they so much?" I explain to her that there is tax on them.

"I wasn't told there was tax on them. I'm not paying it."

Okay, then you can't have them.

"Well, why do I have to pay tax." I explain that they are novelties, and NOT regular ice cream. (This is just the way our taxes are set up. If its considered food, like ice cream, then no tax. If it is a 'treat' then you get taxed.)

"Well, I'm not getting them. I'll go get something else." Okay, could you put these back please?

I void off her order and carry on. Five minutes or so later she is back. By now I have about 4 people (she's #5). Third in line is a young lady with more than eight items. Big deal, I can get them through fast and I am not in the mood to chase her out. Besides it would take as much time to clear her out as to check her through.

Well, Miss Ansty Pants starts saying "this is 1 - 8 you know." And "you should get out of the line" and "That's not fair."

Now, none of the other customers could care less, and most knew me. I told her that it was okay and to leave her alone. She says "Well, I was in here with 9 items and they chased me out of the line." I just gave her an over the glasses glare.
Finally one too many comments and I told her in no uncertain terms and in a pretty loud voice: "This is MY register" and stared her down.

That did it. She came through, paid and left. I have had this woman before and she has been a problem before. Better not try it again.

The crazy cat lady was the same way. Always pan handling in the neighbourhood but at least she was buying treats for her cat. She usually has three to four pouches and when asked to pay, lays this pile of change on the tray. It is hardly ever enough. Anybody she goes through ends up arguing with her about the fact that she doesn't have enough money, which ones does she want?

One day she came through me and she tried to bargain the price down. I just took the $5.00 bill out of her hand and gave her the change for her items. Since then, she either comes through me with enough change or goes to someone else and has the money. SO I guess she learned.

* * * * *

Another customer one time was asked if she needed assistance for lottery. The first couple of times I asked her she looked at me like I was an alien, then finally says: "Yeah" She had her two young boys with her.

I said you meant "yes, please, didn't you"?

She didn't know what to do. I didn't see her for a couple of weeks and the next time she came in she came through my line and seemed very uncomfortable about having to face me. I acted like I didn't know her and treated her politely. She has been a changed person since. She is always pleasant. And the boys are nice too.

* * * * *

As my husband always says to me "You can't fix the world". I say, "Yes, but I can sure as hell fix my corner of it."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How do you tell when they are REALLY crazy?

Okay, so I was working a 10:30 - 2:30 shift and it was pretty early into it. A lady comes through I have seen several times in the store. She has always been quiet but pleasant and is around 50 - 60 (?) years old.

She asked me if I have seen the tabloids and whether they are talking about the stars death list (?). "No" says I,

"And you won't, either!"

And the next thing I know I am hearing about how sonar is going to be the ruin of everything, she has studied astrology AND astronomy so she knows things.

"Did you know that Michael Jackson was in Scary Movie 3 and where is he now?"


"Yes, and the movies that Mel Gibson has done? Well first he did the Passion of the Christ and then Apocalypto. You saw what happened to Indonesia and then Haiti. A volcano and an earthquake."

"Really? (help? somebody? anybody? Please help?)"

"And There was a movie about space travel and life . . . ."

"Oh, you mean Forbidden Planet? That starred Leslie Nielson!" (idiot, shut your mouth)

Her eyes light up! ! ! !

"Well, you know, you should watch it again. There are lots of messages in that."


"Yes! And have you seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show? Well, you should. It has a lot of predictions too."

"And they have been sending sonar waves out to outer space and what pictures are coming back? This is what they are seeing. Hitler!"

Why don't I have another customer? Please?

10 minutes she talked to me about this stuff. TEN MINUTES! ! ! In the meantime I've smartened up and decided not to tell her that sonar is used underwater. I did find out though, that it is the sonar waves that are destroying everything and Mel Gibson has to quit making movies. Oh, and that stuff they talk about on Coast to Coast? ( a strange radio show that covers everything from the Cold war to tracking Sasquatch). Its all true, especially the alien parts.

Are you confused? ? ? ? ?

Yeah? Well try being in my shoes the next time she comes through. Because, guaranteed she is going to think of me as someone she can talk to and confide in.

Gawd, let it please just be because of the full moon.
Anyone know a place I can take 'rude' lessons???

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another crappy excuse . . . . . .


The reason I haven't been writing as much is because there have not been any interesting characters at work. (Please see the last part of this post for a teaser). Even the new employees are, for the most part, 'normal'.

Of course this week has been a little different as there are exams going on, so a lot of them took the time off for that. The nice thing is the ones that didn't, seem to be mostly the ones that actually know how to work!!! What a treat that has been.

Oh, and management finally figured out that we were chasing customers away by not having enough cashiers on, especially over the supper rush. I have actually been getting some shifts on express too. The interesting thing is that several customers have mentioned how nice it is to see me on express again as the ones that they've been using are too slow. They were actually at the point of not coming to our store anymore because of the inconvenience of it being slow and not enough cashiers.

* * * * *

I have written to head office yet again about the possibility of them opening a store in an area where I feel it is really needed. There is an area coming from Burlington to Hamilton where you go more than 12 kilometers without running into a grocery store. The interesting thing is that going the other direction you have two stores within about 5 kms. Then, near our store you have three grocery stores within less than 4 kilometers. The place where I think a store would fit is about half way and right near a new exit off the 403 west bound. This exit has been sorely needed for a long time because if there is an accident out on the highway you were stuck for a long time. There was no escaping the lineups. Now, with this new exit, you can leave the crowded highway and go along Plains Rd. With the added traffic that will bring I can see a need for a store there.

Also there used to be a large department store that had a small grocery section and when it closed down all the people in the area had to go somewhere else for the bread and milk.

AND ! ! !
On that very spot they are in the process of building more condos! ! ! ! All those extra potential customers! You're still going to have loyalty to your 'favourite' store, but the convenience of a store on your doorstep is very hard to resist.

* * * * *

We have recently ( October 21st) acquired a new puppy. Because of the interesting dynamic of this situation, I have started another blog about the exploits of Sidney and Emma. There is a link on this page for it. So with three different blogs, there should be something new on at least one of them.

* * * * *

Please keep checking back, because two days ago I had a doozy of a customer and when I figure out the best way to write about it, it will be added. Also I don't want them to get the sonar or Mel Gibson after me.

All right, Mel Gibson is okay, but not the sonar.

Are you intrigued yet?

Friday, November 5, 2010

All Right, Already

Okay, so I haven't posted in a while. But there hasn't been too much interesting happen. Until last week.

First off, we have a few new hires that are proving to be ....... interesting!?

I love (insert sarcasm) people that come in, work four or five shifts and start talking about how fast they are. Lets try to get accuracy before we even try to get some speed. Its important to treat the customer well. Its not to be talking to other cashiers (unless its for help) or, EVEN WORSE, to walk away from the register to go the the service desk to ask some one something that could have been done with a white phone!!!!!

Unless you have specifically gone to do something at the customer's request, stay at the register. Or if you can't get an answer for a price check ask the customer if they want you to go check it yourself, and do it in a timely fashion! ! !

Plain and simple.

* * * * *

And another thing, we are supposed to take the last bag around to put in the buggy. Okay. This means that unless you have an empty register between you and the next cashier, you are going to probably be disturbing a customer.

That's not great but, for crying out loud, excuse yourself if you have to get past them. You should NEVER, EVER try to just push past. I don't care who you are or who they are. You don't push past!!!!! You ask them if you can slip by, you say excuse me may I get by or whatever is appropriate. I am so very fed up with our cashiers that do that. Even some of the more experienced (3 to 4 year) ones seem to not have manners sometimes.

* * * * *

So last week I had this lady with a huge buggy load of groceries. She also had her son (12 years old?) and her daughter (7 ?) with her. Well the Mum realized she had the wrong milk and asked the son to go exchange it. ATTITUDE right away. "I don't know where it is" "why do I have to do it". Meanwhile the Mum keeps asking him to do it and he keeps ignoring. I finally got pi**ed myself and told him he better be back by the time I get to the end of the order. With that he gives me a sullen look and wanders off to get it. I keep on checking and filling bags which are now piling up on the end of my register. He returns to say there isn't any left. The Mum didn't buy that and goes to see for herself. She comes back with the right milk and says to him they must have put it out right after you looked, Spawn From Hell (or whatever his name was).

So now he's standing by the buggy and just playing with his hand held toy. I have no room for any more bags so I put a few in the buggy. He just looks on, like it's his duty to be a sullen little snot that needs a smack on the ***. Meanwhile the daughter had knocked something off by accident and picked it all up and apologized to me as she told me what she'd done.

Now the Mum spots this broom thing that she needs and hands it to me to scan in. I do so and then go to put it in the buggy but the little heathen is in the way. I told him to watch his head and swung it right above him into the buggy. I just gave him one of my best "if you were my kid" looks and he started to put a few bags in the buggy. The Mum seemed to be totally clueless as to what a little pri*k he was. Either that or she had given up. She didn't seem to notice the daughter being the opposite of the spawn.

Or didn't care! I don't know.

Even the next few customers in line were talking about this kid and all of them wanted to have a go at him.

I wonder if his name was Damien??

* * * * *

I finally got a day time shift (by that I mean something that I got to go HOME in the daytime) this past week. It was nice. I get to see a lot of the older customers and they were obviously glad to see me. Especially when I got on express for a bit. Anyway, next week I am back to the late afternoon crap again.

Its not that I necessarily don't like that shift, its just that I keep getting stuck working with slowpokes and/or not enough other cashiers. Its a hard time of it either way, because I tend to draw a lot of customers to my register when they see how bad the other lines are. Some nights we have customers so deep you can't see the front end for people.

At least last week the finally gave us one more cashier. It helps a little; but if its two new people then its equal to one regular employee.

* * * * *

One last thing I did to a new cashier yesterday. Not on purpose, although it turned into a good learning opportunity if he was paying attention. The customer was about to buy four of an item that was going to go on sale the next day. I decided to let him know that he could save a further $2.00 EACH by waiting one day. He was very appreciative and the cashier then had to void off the four items. that led to him needing a managers key because of the large amount voided.

See, if he had taken the time to look at next week's flyer he would have known that and scored brownie points with the customer.

Sort of like I did.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why you don't use the 'B' word.

I'm not superstitious. I'll walk under a ladder, let a black cat cross in front of me, just sweep up spilled salt, etc.

BUT ! ! ! !

I will insist that no one use the 'b' word in the store.

We can be going along at a pretty steady pace and then suddenly have a pause in the line-ups. And some one will say, "boy, its not b**y+ in here today." Usually a customer but sometimes it will be one of our own employees.

Our eyes fly open, we gasp and we say "don't use that word!!!!"

When they ask why, I have to explain:

Someone is sitting at their table reading the paper, watching tv, eating supper, whatever, and they hear the b-word. Their head jerks up, the nostrils twitch a little as if they can smell the fear. And they suddenly remember that they haven't bought groceries in twenty years, so they better go stock up now! Not tomorrow during the day when we aren't as busy. No it must be N O W. Someone said the b-word!!! And within 1/2 an hour we will be lined up all across the front of the store.

It has not failed yet. I'm sure they come from as far away as twenty MILES because of that one little mistake. They may have already been shopping yesterday or on the weekend, but they hear, the 'word', and they:


And then this happens:
  • They usually forget their bags and complain because they have to pay for some more.
  • Or they left the bags in the car or they have them with them but they are underneath all the groceries that they have just piled three feet deep on your belt.
  • Or they have a credit or debit card that you have to swipe a few hundred times.
  • Or they realize they forgot their money/purse/wallet at home. (I'll be RIGHT back [they live in Buffalo, NY])
  • Or they just realize that they brought the remote, not the wallet. (actually happened)
  • Or they say that an item was a certain price and you find out it was in last weeks flyer. Then they don't want it or they will argue with you that it should be that price anyway.
  • Or something scans at the wrong price or isn't in the system. So you page and no one answers. And of course they REALLY, REALLY NEED that bucket of aardvark heart soup for TONIGHT'S meal. So you wait till you can get someone to answer or you go and try to find it yourself.
  • Or they want cigarettes, but don't ask until you are done the order
  • Or they ask if you take this or that card, again after the order.
  • Or they have a card that is declined for what reason I don't know, but they insist on trying it a hundred times then walk away leaving a buggy of groceries behind including frozen and perishable items.
  • Or you ask if they have a reward-type card and they don't answer you or they start to search for something, or they mumble something to you. You will always pick the wrong thing to do here. Either you wait then they look at you, you ask them again and they say no. Or you go ahead and process the order and they then remember that they do indeedy have one. Sometimes they say yes and you wait and they don't have it or you ask, they say no, you process the order and sure enough they did have it with them. (new wallet, or changed purses) "Can you do it now?"
  • Or they don't understand English and just look at you as if you are puke green.
I'm not sure how this went from not using the 'b-word' to a primer on how to be a cashier, but . . . . . its my blog, so it goes where I go.

* * * * *
Last comment and pet peeve:

I really am getting seriously pi**ed about certain people that will refuse to shell out a nickel for a plastic bag but think it perfectly okay to STEAL a buggy that ranges in price from $125.00 to $150.00.

I have even gone so far as to tell them that they can NOT take the cart off store property and then watched helplessly through the front window as they do it anyway. I would so like to be able to go after them and say "whoa, what did I just tell you?"

It wouldn't be so bad if they'd bring the darn thing back the next time they come this way, but the don't.

You can tell when it will happen too. They are usually young, in uniform and have just said no to bags. You casually ask if they are driving, and receive either a grunted 'no' or a "deer in the headlights" look which tells you they know they have been caught.

BUT, because they don't really care, that's another buggy we are going to lose.

What's really bad is that there is someone in the neighbourhood that collects the buggies in his truck, brings them to the store and we pay him for them.

(+ B**y as a bee)

Busy time of the year

We are now heading into the busy time. First was Thanksgiving, next comes Christmas and New Year's.
And then there is Easter.

Ahhh, Easter. Spring flowers, little birds hatching, bees humming..... and people buying groceries like there is going to be a famine.

I said last year I will never work another Easter. It is absolutely insane!!!!

I like to be busy, but WOW !

We just had Thanksgiving and sure there were crowds, but people weren't so panicked. They come in, get a buggy load of food, pay and go on their way. Christmas its a little more frenetic*.

*(Adjective: Fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way: "a frenetic pace of activity")

New years the same. People are in a pretty good mood, they have company coming and they are excited.

But,....... you get to Easter and there are two 'holidays' going on. There is Easter and Passover. Both are pretty important to their respective peoples. Well, do we get busy???!!!!!

Holy mackeral ! ! ! ! There are customers everywhere. It gets absolutely nuts. You would seriously think that there is about to be a world wide food shortage. Customers come in and buy one of EVERYTHING. Orders are always kissing $200 or $300 totals. Most people are patient, but when you get the ones that don't celebrate anything, or that are just plain ignorant, they try to stir it up.

They are the ones that make it an unpleasant experience. They bitch about the lines, the service, the lack of a certain product, the price of a certain project, why they have no friends, why the cigarettes are so much, etc.

I forget what it was last year that made me say I will never work Easter again, but it must have been the customers and the lack of work ethic with some of the younger cashiers. They just don't know how to do a job fast.

* * * * *
One afternoon last week, I worked with a customer service person that was really great to be with. She is never afraid to step in and help. She makes sure the 'please see another cashier' sign is at the end for you to go on break, she tells the last customer in the line that they ARE the last ones. She is helpful, friendly, and runs a tight ship, but not pushy in an "I'm the boss and you aren't" kind of way. She takes a lot of crap from customers and employees. Not as much as she used to though. There were some cashiers that just did what they wanted, when they wanted.

She would ask them to do something and they'd either ignore her or look at her as though she had suddenly grown another head. Well that soon got resolved. I think it was because she is close to the same age as some of the cashiers and they just thought that seeing as she was their age they could goof with her.

WRONG! She has several things to get done, and that she is responsible for. She can't do them all by herself and she has to keep the front end busy or they will cut our hours more.

And that's another thing. I am really tired of being one of only three cashiers on when we have our afternoon/evening 'rush hour'.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So where have YOU been?

Funny how cutting your shifts can result in so many people missing you.

I have cut back to 3 - 4 shifts a week, as any more is just too hard on my knees.
If I've had one I've had a hundred customers ask where I have been.

"We thought maybe you'd left."
"Haven't seen you in a while. Were you on vacation?"

They like me, they really like me ! ! ! !

* * * * *

So, what's been happening.

Well....... as it is the start of a new school year we suddenly have students using our parking lot to leave their car in while they bus to the university. Not nice ! ! ! ! It takes away from the space we use for customers. I think if I was going to park somewhere illegally, I'd at least make sure to put my car where it wouldn't be in the way and therefore not liable to be noticed.

Also, there is a certain faction of our young customers that are too cheap to pay 5 cents for a plastic but think nothing of walking off with one of our buggies. I have even told them that they can't take them off the lot and they pretend like they listen, and they think they have me fooled. But I can see them out the window. By the way, they are also, for the most part, very rude. They have no clue as to what please and thank you mean. I guess they're used to having everything handed to them on a silver platter.

It really irks me that we don't take more steps to keep our buggies around. We know have about 5 different styles, so when the guys go and get buggies and try to put them away in the corral, it doesn't work very well. Buggies are supposed to nest together. They can't because of the different types and styles of buggies.

* * * * *

Now most of you are used to me and they way I look at things. I think the customer, though not 'always right', deserves the courtesy of being treated like we appreciate them coming in. I DON'T think the cashier should be standing there and ignoring the customer. They should be making eye contact and talking to the person not over them.

I like to talk to fellow employees as well, but as soon as I have a customer, I immediately switch over to being the one that listens to the customer and give them all of my attention.

Anyway. . . . . A couple of weeks ago, there were two girls on cash and one girl on her break. It was over the dinner rush hour, and we were packed ! ! ! ! !

The girl on express and myself had line-ups 8 to 10 people deep. So many customers that you could not see the front shelves for 'people'!

I don't like to see customers standing in line looking a little more angry with each passing minute. I called for another cashier and was told by head cashier that "there is no one else." Next thing I know, (mind you the front end was FULL of customers), some one wants me to go on my break.

I can't walk out and leave those people standing there, even if the schedule must be maintained in order to get all the breaks done. So I kept checking and no one comes over to put my 'closed sign up and to close down my line. (Its better if head cashier does it then the customers are not so angry at us." I get told to go on my break and I said "I can't. I can't leave all these people standing there ! ! ? ? ? ? ? ?

So I kept working to get these people through and on their way home. I was leaving at 7:30 and finally got my break at 6:15. It is supposed to be around 5:30. But to be honest I really do like a late break so I didn't mind. It makes the shift go quicker.

What really bothered me was the fact that I called for an extra cashier which means that the head cashier is supposed to come out and start checking as well. But she couldn't. Why????? Because she was busy selling lottery tickets.

WTF????? They count for a small, very small, portion of our income. People will buy tickets for lottery, no matter what you do or don't do. Its not even like we (the store) get a prize of anything for selling a winner. The lottery commission has put a to the retailer winning for seli. I tell you, I was so pi**ed at the way things are handled when this one particular girl works. Its like she thinks she's special or somehow, above work. And she has a way of making people uncomfortable when she talks to them. She has a bad habit of looking over people's heads rather than make eye contact.

Its like she feels the customer's are not as good as she is. It doesn't even look good. She is one of those people that doesn't make direct eye contact. She also will laugh out loud in such a way that she draws attention to herself and it is usually just after dealing with one of the employees on some cashier type thing.

"nuff said on that, other than I wish I wasn't working these 'rush hour' shifts with people that are afraid of working. I miss the odd daytime shift that I prefer.

Having said that, I was fortunate to work twice this week with a few people that really know how to work. And actually communicated with the customers.

* * * * *

Thursday, September 9, 2010

School's Back ! ! ! ! ! !

The little darlings are back in school!!!

That means that we have more of the regular cashiers at work in the daytime. You know, the ones that actually work???!!!

It has been such a pleasure the past few days working with the people I work with. They all do a great job, they are friendly to the customers, they are considerate of their co-workers. And THAT is very important.

You know, you may not like having to deal with some of the customers we have but at least be considerate of your co-workers. The hardest shift is the 7:00 AM yo 3:30 PM shift. You're on express, you have to keep an eye on EVERYthing. You have to sell cigarettes, if we have them.
You also must keep an eye on lottery, get the candy shelves at each register re-stocked, handle and concerns that approach the customer service desk, AND serve any and all customers that come through. Because from 7:00 to either 9 or 10, depending on the day of the week, you are by YOUR SELF!!!!

By 3:00 you're ready to leave so its VERY nice when your relief comes in a little early. I have been burned a few times by somebody being late for their shift and that person goes in my black book. They get no help from me for when they have to take a bus, or have an appt. or anything else for that matter.

I think it is pretty inconsiderate of your peers to expect to leave 5 minutes early and show up 5 minutes late, because there is a built in 'grace' period of 7 minutes either side of shift start or finish. You might help them out once but when the favour is NEVER returned, then its "gloves off baby!"

* * * * *

Funny thing, I was thinking about my elderly gentleman friend who lost his wife a few months ago. He is such a wonderful, sweet man and I care deeply for him. I was thinking I hadn't seen him in a while and wondered if he was okay.

Sure enough doesn't he come through my line yesterday! He bought a few things, including his two items for the food bank, and was very happy to see me. (Not nearly as happy as I was to see him).

We chatted for a little. I asked him how he was doing and he said okay, some days are better than others. And then he said his days are always better when he sees me. Isn't that kind ?

He told me he always looks for me in the store, when he comes in. I gave him a big hug and a kiss before he left. His face just lit up.

* *

THAT makes the job all worth it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Well, this has been an interesting few weeks . . .

It sure has. I still can't get over the number of people who have asked where I've been because they haven't seen me in a long time. I am working only three shifts a week now, and it sure has made an impact on the number of people I see or that see me.
It is so nice to be missed! ! ! ! ! Hopefully, can add another shift sometime soon.

* * * * *

Lets see. What's been going on?

Oh, I know! ! ! !

1) We are losing our fresh seafood section. Not profitable.

IDEA: Why not have seafood day be one day a week, say a Friday, and publicize that date so people know when to come. It works for the Market downtown!

2) We are losing money because we are seeing people get there groceries through another source that delivers!

IDEA: If we had a delivery service, it would get used quite a lot, I'm sure. We have an elderly population near us and a lot of time their grown up children are getting items for them. I've mentioned a delivery idea and it has been met with great enthusiasm by the customers.

3) We hardly have any buggies left. Again.
Rather than going with getting a buggy for a quarter it needs to be a steeper price or more of a consequence.

IDEA: We either charge a hefty deposit which you get back upon return of the buggy, or for minimum wage we have some one sitting in the parking lot keeping an eye on people that leave with buggies. They can then be gently reminded that they can't remove the buggy from the lot as it amounts to theft. Even if we had someone doing that once a week, maybe they'd (the customers) start to get the hint.

4) Since they have been cutting hours all over the place, we seem to be losing more customers and more food. I don't know how many times I have gone to buy fruit especially and find that I must really pick through 8 to 10 packages before I get a good product. There aren't enough people to keep it straight.

* * * * *

So I get to work today and by the second customer I have this weird Karma all over the machine and myself.

Second customer!!! She has a chip card and I tell her to put it in the machine. She does so and I instruct her to enter her 'PIN'. She tells me she doesn't have one. I tell her its probably the same as her debit card. "I don't have a debit card" says she. Well, I don't know what to do and we try it a few times, different ways, and finally it turns out that she HAS the chip, but no pin and all she had do was hit the 'okay' button. It worked! ! ! ! ! The customer behind was 'helping' by saying that you don't need a pin with credit cards. I started to say that that wasn't true but thought it easier to just let her see how it works.

Sure enough, it worked just by her hitting the okay button and signing the slip!!?????

* * * * *

Then I had someone who wanted to buy some bread and other bakery items that all have discount coupons on them. Okay, so I ring in six loaves of various breads each with a coupon. Then there are some danish, also with a coupon. I ring them in but the machine registers it three times! (^%%*&%$$%#%). I go to cancel it and the machine says I have to reverse the coupon first? WHAT coupon? So I try to remove a coupon and then scan the item to remove it, but it doesn't work. I try it a few times different ways, and nothing. I call HC and she comes over and it turns out I have to remove ALL the coupons (6), the 2 extra items that were scanned, then put all the coupons back ON, THEN I can proceed with my job. Thank heaven the next people were patient.

Oh, by the way, when you remove an item, you first hit 'void' then scan the item, then put the paper in the printer, hit the button and it prints; that ONE item. You have to do that each time for each coupon. And you can't leave the paper in the printer. You must re-insert it each time as the printer, very kindly, shoves the paper out the top when it has printed its ONE item.

* * * * *

Later on I had a man with a wife (?) and child, that were from another country, and were buying about $30.00 worth of groceries. He hands me his credit card and I said that it had a chip so he has to put it in the bottom of the machine. He does and then I said you have to hit okay and then enter your pin. "I don't have a pin number." Well its not going to work then. He says he used it yesterday and didn't have to use a pin. I said i don't know how that could happen yesterday and then not allow it today. He kept insisting that he had done it. Finally, I call HC over, again, and she tries to explain to him that it is NOT going to work. He has to call his credit card company and get the pin. He keeps grumbling and finally says, "fine, put all that stuff back."

Okay by me. The couple next in line.... he wanted to pay for their groceries and the wife said no. I talk with him all the time and he asked what I thought. I said for him not to do it. He seemed surprised and the wife says "she works here, listen to her." There was just something a little strange about him trying to say the card worked the day before.


Not an hour later a coworker comes in and I'm telling him about the day and when I get to the last story he says he had someone doing that last night. I said really, what did they look like. He described my customers to a 'T'.

So . . . . . turns out the gut instincts were right.

* * * * *

This post was actually written on Tuesday September 7th, 2010.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where have YOU been?

I guess its not until you're gone for a while and come back that you realize how much you are missed.

How's that for an opening sentence?

Anyway, as you know I've had to cut back on hours and as a result I am only working two to three shifts a week. I wish it could be more because I really love my customers. But I can't right now. Too hard on the knees. I could ask for a chair, but that would be like admitting defeat and I've never been one to give in to pain.

So I don't ask and don't want one. The main reason being is that, because my knees only bend so far, the constant getting up and down would probably wear me out faster. Besides which there isn't enough room for a recliner behind the register, anyway. :-)

* * * * *

Things that make it hard to work in our store:

  • Flowers: We sell some plants and bouquets and lately there have been some absolutely beautiful arrangements come through. You get to enjoy them, if only for a few minutes. And you can speculate why that gorgeous dozen roses is going home with someone.
  • Customers: They are some of the best people around. How cool is it that you can come in on your day off to get a few items and people are genuinely pleased to see you?
  • Fellow employees: While there are still a couple of rotten apples, for the most part those we have now are wonderful. There are a couple of girls that I will miss terribly, when they go back to school. AND another couple that I will miss dearly when they graduate and go into their chosen fields.
  • Food: Do you know how tempting it is to work in a grocery store? Well try working over the late afternoon rush hour. People are on their way home to make dinner and its fun to guess what they are having that night. Best of all is when they come through with a hot chicken or pizza. The aromas are enough to make you crazy.
  • Variety: I will give this store credit where credit is due. I don't think there are many places where you can see such a cross section of humanity. We have everything from beggars to kings. And several obscure categories in between.
* * * * *
Now about that last one. I have NEVER worked anywhere where people were so forthcoming about their lives etc. The stories I have heard!!!!!

I have shared happiness, joy, sorrow, surgery, break ups, loss, life changing events and most of all friendship.

I love to see the smiles on peoples faces when they come through my line. Or, as I said, when I am in the store to shop and someone spots me and wants to talk. And people actually asking me for advice because they value my opinion!!!????

Even more amazing is to see someone in an entirely different place and have their faces light up when they recognize me and they seemed so thrilled to have run into me?????!!!!!

* * * * *

I know that I am negative a lot on here, but I try to call it like it is, when it is.

That being said, there may be better places to work but there are a LOT more worse ones. And I'm still proud to say that I work for - - - - -.

Now YOU go figure it out. :-)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apparently, I'm too 'negative'

I am trying not to be, but it happens. Most people will tell you that it is like that where ever you go/ I know that, better the devil you know than the one you don't.


It's not fair to change the rules of the game part way through. This used to be a great place to work. Wonderful. Not too much stress, lovely customers, and great people to work with that really care about their jobs and doing it well.

I won't go on, again about some of the basically useless young people we have as cashiers, but suffice it to say I hope the batch that starts applying in the fall have some sort of work ethic.

Most of us are part-time and as such get paid minimum or, as you collect more and more hours. your pay rate goes up infinitesimally. That's okay, for me, as I can't make too much money or I have to give some back. And, the customers and work ethic used to make up for that. Well, it seems since we went to new ownership a couple years ago, that things are just not as nice.

Unfortunately, because it is a business, they really are only concerned with bottom line. I just wish it didn't have to be so.

* * * * *

The other day I was on express, and I was enjoying it as always, because you are almost constantly busy. You get to deal with a lot of people, and even though about 15% can't seem to count, what the heck. If you're lucky a customer will point it out for you.

Anyway, I'm working away and earlier that day I had been thinking of my elderly gentleman friend who lost his wife last year. I hadn't seen him in a while. I happened to look up and he was going by. He was really smiling. I said hi, and then I had to excuse myself from my customers and just go give him a hug and a kiss. He returned the gestures and it made my day and REALLY made several customers smile. I again apologized for leaving them standing there and every one of them didn't mind and seemed genuinely happy that I took the time to do that.

And, THAT, is one of the reasons I love my store and customers.


(So, management, don't screw that up.)


Monday, July 26, 2010

So what is going on in the minds of management? ? ? ?

I am not sure what they are trying to do at my store. It seems that they may be trying their hardest to make every one, and I MEAN EVERYone, angry or fed up with the store. The workers are having hours cut like crazy and having to work harder and harder to keep the few customers that the store tries to chase away.

What do you accomplish when you keep cutting hours?

Well, you may save on wages, but..... the workers are getting tired and frustrated because they just see a line of angry people and take the brunt of the complaints.

Let me walk you through a customer experience as even I have experienced it at my store:

The customers are on their way home for supper and they stop in, quickly, at the store. They stop at produce, where, because hours are cut, they have to dig through the strawberry containers to find some that are nice looking and not moldy. (No one is there to take out the packages with bad berries in them)

They go to deli but there is no one there because they are covering hot foods. Another frustrating situation. Next stop is bakery and they have to wait for the one person working there to get back from her break because that's the only time she could take it as she's been running her a** off doing two people's work.

The customers end up waiting in longer and longer lines because there aren't enough cashiers to serve them. One regular and one on express??? And a customer service person that can help, only as long as they aren't selling lottery, doing money transfers, answering the phones, renting Rug Doctors, handling complaints, writing rain checks, auditing trays, or paging for a carry out, which can't happen any too quickly, anyway as the grocery clerk is out collecting the few buggies we have left.

So they wait in the line, some patiently, some not so much, and finally get to you and you scan an item that the price is questioned. You page the dept., and they don't answer because they are chasing buggies, having their break, covering somebody else's station, or don't like to speak on the phone. If you can, you run and check the price or in most cases you are lucky enough that the other cashier knows the price and can holler it to you. Or, you have to make an educated guess because you don't want to lose the sale and you don't want to hold people up. You are also handling question from customers because you are in one spot and they can't find any one else.

* * * * *

I have had several customers tell me that they come to our store because they DO NOT like the competition. So why do we try to chase them away?
  • Why are we getting some strange manufacturers that haven't been heard from before and making the store look more and more like a bargain basement with out the bargain prices?
  • And a lot of our prices are the same as our low price sister stores? Lets drive the customers to the competition there as well ! ! ! ! !
  • Why aren't we listening to customers when they ask for a certain item to be carried in the store?
  • Why do we insist that they put up with being treated so badly? They are NOT going to keep doing that. Sure the customers that walk to the store will, but the ones with cars? Its just a short drive down the street for them.
Anyway, I am really concerned about the future of our stores. I have even gone so far as to personally write to them with a location that would be ideal for them to open a new store. It is in a section of town where there are new apartments going up next to already established ones. The area has money. There is not another store along that stretch of roadway until you get to the next part of town. More than 5 KMS.

* * * * *

Well that's the rant for the day. Just wanted people to know why work has not been fun anymore. Also it doesn't help when some of the few people we have are kept on when they are constantly late for work or show no consideration for their fellow employees, by being late for work or late back from break.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Look, New Stuff

What do you think of the new look? I felt it might be time to change it up a little. As I was looking around I saw this little gadget for my blog that shows how many countries have looked at my blog. It's to the right and down a bit. It might be interesting to see how many people read me.

* * * * *

Still haven't heard from the police re: The Stalking. Doesn't that make that incident even more of a threatening action from the Red Light Runner?

* * * * *

Its quiet at the store lately. Well, other than irate nutbars threatening to punch me in the face. The students are mostly all gone so with the teachers off and the kids gone it is pretty much just the regulars. That's okay. It will be insane again in September.

* * * * *

I know what I forgot to put in here!!! Canada Day (July 1st, to anyone outside the country) the store was closed. I had taken the dog for a walk and the way I went I was going to pass within a block of the store. I decided to add the block and just drive by to see if anyone was banging on the doors trying to get in. As I approach I notice the parking lot looks messy. So I pulled into the lot and some schmuck(s) had been by during the night and thrown several of the 33 pound bags of soil around. Many had been stomped on so as to break them open, but luckily they were not spilled. Also, our garbage pail had been tipped and dumped. What kind of useless person does that? Why, just because we were closed? What did it accomplish?

I couldn't leave it looking like that. I don't know why I couldn't just drive by and let someone else worry about it themselves.

Its where I work!! I care about the look of the store. So I spent 1/2 an hour carrying them all back and piling the damaged ones to one side. Carrying 15 or so HEAVY bags was not easy. It was close to 500 pounds by the time I was done. And I was done. I didn't have it in me to pick up the garbage and I was hoping someone else would. Don't know if they did.

It was one of those things where I thought afterward maybe I shouldn't have done anything because the police might need to see it or whatever. Anyway, when I mentioned it at work no one really seemed to care so..... at least I did what I felt was right.

* * * * *

I've been taking a lot of pictures lately. I love to practice composing photos. I like to have pictures that make you say 'wow'. Hope you like this one:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It just kept getting better. (a long post)

Sorry this is so long, but with all the excitement it caused I promised I would post the story.

Yesterday my snake died. I really didn’t want to go to work because I knew I wouldn’t be thinking about just the job.

Anyway, I started in to work, and I go to Cathedral Park to sit in the shade a little. When it comes time to leave I pull up to the entranceway and wait until it looks like the way is clear. Also, I have to get across about three lanes to get to where I want to be. I pull out, and a car that was quite a way back comes up behind me pretty fast.

One of those “you’re not filling in my spot” people. He speeds up so that he’s right at the back end of my car and has to slow down hard. He then determines that I am going too slow and pulls out around me. He lays on the gas and promptly drives through a red light.

I get to the store parking lot and I’m about to turn in when I see his car sitting at the corner of Longwood and King. Being the impulsive person I sometimes can be I decided to go and see what an idiot looks like. I pulled up behind him and put my right signal on. He turns and starts to speed up Longwood, I sped up a little but then slow again as the speed is 40kmh on that street. He pulls away from me as I come to the stop sign that he just coasted through. I make a proper stop and look in all directions. Clear to go. I look up and he’s gone and I have to get to work anyway so I turn at the intersection. He’s sitting in the middle of the road at the other end of the street. I pulled past him, smiled and waved and stopped at the corner. I then turned right up Paradise and I hear a screeching of tires behind me. He has come around the corner very fast and is now right on my bumper. He stays there even as I slow down to a crawl. I make my proper stops and he follows me through. (apparently, my stop covered us both)

When I get back to King I turn right again then make the left into our parking lot. I have just got backed in when there is another screeching of tires and he has parked across the front of me. I look up and I smiled and waved because I didn’t know what to say to him. He yells at me “so you like f***** following cars do you?” With that he pulls away and goes back down Longwood.

One of my fellow employees came over and asked what that was all about. I briefly told him and he said the guy was an idiot.

We are still talking when I see the car again. He parks at the other entrance to the store, across the parking lot, and motions his fingers to me like “bring it on”. I just look at him so he points and indicates I come here again.

It’s almost time to go in to work but I still have a few minutes so I take my time. As I approach the store I can see one of the head cashiers looking out the door at me. By now my fellow employee has entered the store and is at my defense telling the guy to leave the store. I have now clocked in and got to the customer service desk where he is waiting for the manager. They are busy. Another person comes out and he proceeds to tell her what ever. I think he wanted me fired, killed, stoned, set on fire and other wise disposed of.

Because nothing happened on store property, they tell him there is nothing they can or would do.

He left and then came back again later to again speak to a manager. He thought I had left because my car was moved. (He appeared to me to be irrational enough to do something to my car, so I thought it best to move it where I could see it.)

After my break I heard that he came back and told them that he had got my license number and reported me to the police. They would be talking to me.I start to hear what his complaints were from what he has told people, All the things he says I did are what he did to me.

I cut him off, I tail gated him, I forced him through a yellow (it was red) light and the only reason I thought it was red was because I didn't have the guts to go through it?????

Now, I try to be a good driver. I really follow the speed limits and signs on the city streets. I have had my car rear-ended three times; two times by people that didn't think they should slow down or stop, plus one time on the highway by someone following too closely.


The next morning I drove over to the store to get some items that were on sale and as I am driving through downtown I see a white car out the corner of my eye. I glance over and son of a gun if it isn't the same guy. This was at 5:10 AM.

He never looked over at me and as soon as the light changed he went speeding off and left me in his dust. Within seconds he was several blocks ahead of me and crossing lanes without signaling. I wonder what he would have done if he'd seen me?


I am not sure whether I should contact the police myself. He has told lies about the situation. He has told people in MY store that he would punch me in the face. He has tried to scare me by telling fellow employees that he has my information.

He has basically threatened me.

* * * * *

While this was going on at work, no one from management asked if I was okay. They DID call me and tell me to "do something" and then later sent out a printout from a transaction I performed where I where I keyed in a quantity instead of a ten digit number six times. "You only use the quantity button for produce and bakery."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I know people think I'm weird but...

I am extremely sad today. A pet I have had since it was 14 inches long and 1 month old, died last night. This was a beautiful animal. She has been at show and tell (so to speak) at the store a few times and always drew a crowd in the parking lot.

I was also invited to do a kid's birthday party and one person who was petrified of snakes actually ended up with the snake around her neck. THAT is how gentle this snake was.

I'd like to think that her and I enlightened a few people about how amazing these beautiful creatures are. I am going to miss Feather very much. Yes, I know they don't come when you call, or show any kind of recognition or emotion towards you, but they are very interesting anyway. When she died she was 8 1/2 feet long and twelve years old.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You say its your birthday

Well it is.

Today I turned 59.


When the hell did that happen? I don't feel like I'm 59.
Although, I must be if I have been knitting for just over 50 years.

Anyway, I should have taken the day off. I am down today for some reason, whether its the age or the rainy day. I don't know.

* * * * *

I still like most of my customers. I say most because there are still some whack jobs out there. Two ladies the other day. One putting the groceries up and the other wandering away doing more shopping. I ask the first lady if she want's bags. "Sure". Okay, I start to bag and ring through and am minding my own business, when the first one returns.


For a second I had to stop and think who she was because I didn't realize they had switched positions. With the tone of voice she used you'd have thought I just licked her packages or something. I take the stuff out and then I asked her if she wanted me to take the bags off the meat as well. Now THAT took a while to decide. Finally I just put them down and figured I'd continue with the rest of the order while she worked through her dilemma.

* * * * *

I have this lady who I know for a fact has a smoking machine for a husband and she may smoke as well. She never looks healthy and almost has a gray colour to her face. Anyway, she's friendly enough, but I absolutely hate having her come through the register because of the stench coming off her clothes. Its like an ashtray that has never been emptied. And for some reason she likes me so goes out of her way to come through my register. oh, yay!

* * * * *

Had to be 'talked' to the other day. I was over $50.00 on the tray which means there was a cash back that I didn't give. I think I know who it was but I also had two 'new' girls on either side of me that night and both had problems they needed help with. I am sure that it was during that time that my customer asked for the money. I rang it through and with the questions and the customer chatting with me I forgot to give it to her.

I was almost certain they'd come back for it. Too bad I can't remember the actual customer, just the situation. (damn)

* * * * *

I was away on vacation three weeks ago. Went to Gettysburg, PA again and just loved it. It was a nice rest and when I got back my knees weren't hurting at all. I was actually able to go up my stairs with ease. That has prompted me to cut my hours down to 16 - 17 per week. I also don't intend to work both days of a weekend anymore. That's what the young kids are for. I'd prefer not to work any weekends but that isn't practical. When I was a teenager working in a grocery store, I used to get the real early morning shifts and the evenings etc. All the stuff that the more mature people didn't want.

Well, now I'm one of those mature older people.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Rabbi and a Priest go into a grocery store...

Seriously, yesterday I drew the first cashier shift so it put me at work for 7 AM!!! Only had to go until 1:30 but its a longer shift than I like to do, mainly because its hard on the knees. Also, being on cash one there is no place to put a foot up to take some pressure off the back.

Anyway, about 3/4 of an hour into the shift comes the Rabbi. I really like this man. He is so sweet and he does a lot of cooking for his synagogue. He was buying a bunch of interesting stuff. I asked him what was going on and he said he was getting ready to cook a brunch for 120 people he doesn't even know. Then he said they probably won't appreciate it either. I had to chuckle. He is sometimes very serious and you can't kid with him but this time he started the fun. We ended up agreeing to arrange to get arrested and go to the jail my brothers work at in order to get preferential treatment. He was okay with that as long as they kept him for the weekend and confiscated his cell phone.

Not two hours later my line up is as noisy as usual when it suddenly gets sort of quiet. I look up to see a Priest standing there. What I also noticed is that everyone sort of changed attitude. They were subdued and polite, like they were afraid to say anything. Amazing what a white collar can do to a crowd.

It wasn't until I got home last night that I realized how close I was to hitting the trifecta and having the perfect joke. Where is a minister when you need one?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

People are weird and ...? Yeah, just weird.

We had boneless, skinless chicken breast on special a week ago. Had a lady come through and as I go to put the chicken in a small plastic bag (so as to prevent any transfer from chicken to other products) I notice a slight tear in the package. I mentioned it to her and asked if she wanted to get another one. She said it may have ripped on the buggy but she'll take it and repack it at home.

I thought, okay, I wouldn't but what the heck. So I go to put it down to get a little bag and notice as its sitting on the scale that it doesn't weigh what the label says it should weigh. I tell her and she says well I won't take it then.

I put it aside and continue with her order making small talk about how someone may have ripped it open and stolen one. Weird???? Yes but I have learned to expect anything when it comes to stealing. Just in my general conversation as I was bagging I commented on how we've had people stealing all sorts of things. She asked me if that happens a lot. I told her yeah, that we've had people steal pay for a tube of toothpaste and then walk out with two more 99 cent tubes in their jacket and get caught. As I get to the end of her order, she says she'll take it anyway. I asked if she was sure and she said she was. So I packed it up for her to take and charged her what the label said.

I am still wondering what the story was behind that chicken breast. There is no way in hell I would have taken that package. It looked suspicious. The lady behind her commented that her package also had the same number of breasts in it but I pointed out that hers was also a couple of dollars cheaper and didn't have a hole in the packaging.

Do you think maybe my customer was silly enough to think she was paying less by taking the breast out and just paying for 4 instead of five? And that the fifth one was in a small bag in her purse? HMMmmmmm

* * * * *

Had a new customer that told me it was his first time in the store today. I said "wow, and you got stuck with me for a cashier!!" He said he liked the store but it was me that will bring him back. :-)

* * * * *

As I walked in the store the other day a lady looked at me and my name tag and she says "YOU!!!".
I said "I didn't do it."
She says yes you did.

"Then, I hope I was supposed to do it."

She said yes, that it was her son that was always talking about this cashier and that she had been in the store and gone through my register. She remembered my name and asked her son if that was me. He said "Yes, she's my favourite cashier and I always go through her line. She always comments about how healthy I eat!"

My hubby is amazed that someone has a 'favourite' cashier.

The next day doesn't he see this story on CNN about a man who had a favourite cashier and always went through her line. One day he commented that she looked tired and it turned out she was on dialysis and she needed a kidney. He had the testing done and found he was compatible with her. They went ahead with it.

Just a little something for my customers to remember. Just in case, you know.

* * * * *

Today, was quiet at first and then started to pick up. The students in the area are moving. Some moving out, some in, some to another place down the street. So we had so much cleaning stuff leaving the store, today. I bet the shelves are nearly empty. PLUS, we had a "buy one, get one of equal or lesser value" sale on a LOT of stuff. One couple left with $180.00 (CDN) of groceries, etc. and EVERYTHING was a twofer. So she actually took home about $360.00 worth of stuff.

Those sales make for busy days. I just hope they never get the idea to have a sale like this over Easter weekend.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why don't Bosses learn !!!?????

1) Okay, so we're busy as the dickens, scanning our little fingers to the bone, all cashiers out front trying to deal with the line up, when head cashier gets paged to pick up the bat phone.
your light isn't on.
(WTF) She has a line up of customers and you've just paged her to make her stop and listen to your dumb observation while taking her time away from her customer. I think they had figured out that she was open.

Several days later:

2) We have one cashier, temporarily, on express (me), one doing office work (priority) who is also to handle customer service (CS) when the first CS person is busy on cash (which she was), one on a regular register and one (the express cashier) that is on lunch at the moment. The line ups are not long and we are doing pretty good. Then a product demonstrator asks me to scan a plastic table gadget set for a customer as the little old lady wanted to know how much it was. Okay, I'm not busy right now so I scan it and its not in our system. (This in itself is odd because the same question came up the other day and its not clarified yet?)

The demonstrator says there are all these prices over there but its hard to figure out which one it is. So I leave the register (no customers at the moment) to see if I can figure it out. I tell her a low price that looked like it could be the product and suddenly she can read the sign enough to point it out to me that it says something slightly different. All the time she is talking but not listening to me. I now have a line up again, so I tell her I have to go back to work and that I will call someone to help her.

In the meantime, Big Brother is watching on the cameras and decides that he will send out the office worker. He calls the regular cashier to tell her to tell a customer to go to register 3 and office worker will be out to help her. Office worker (OW) comes out to help at customer service (her other priority) and customer has gone to 3. Express girl is back now and I return to my register. Regular cashier comes to tell office worker that BB told her that she (OW) is to go to 3, whereupon office worker is confused and slightly angry and says she is already helping a customer at Customer Service. Regular cashier is taken aback by the slight anger as she is only doing what she was told. (Obviously, BB didn't tell OW which customer he wanted her to help.) When I return to 4, my spot for the day, I see this lady standing at 3 with her groceries all piled up. (at this point I was unaware of the BB call) I told her that no one was coming there but that I would help her on 4 and I start to take her groceries over. She says okay, but she had been perfectly fine waiting at the other register in the first place.

So.... We have a cashier who got spoken to harshly, because she thought she was doing what she was told to do.

We have the office worker confused about what she should have done, because she wasn't told what she was expected to do, so did what she thought was the priority.

We have a customer who was confused and inconvenienced because she had to move and then left standing there and only one person knowing why she was there.

We have same customer wondering why she had to move, when she had been perfectly fine waiting where she was. She didn't have a problem with it.

We have customers picking up on the slight tension because the flow was disrupted. They thought all was okay before the stone got thrown in the pond. (mob mentality)

Before that silly little phone call, everything was fine. We have been doing this a long time and can tell when we need extra help. In fact this all started to happen because the little old lady wanted to buy this stupid little plastic thing that should have had its information cleared up a few days previous.

We have two cashiers who are upset because they did what they were told to do and it turned out to be 'wrong'.

If it had just been left alone, there would have been no tension on the floor, the customers would have been served, and none of them would have known there was a 'problem'. In fact there wasn't even a problem until the customer asked about the plastic table thing.

That same product came up the other day and BB said, then, that it was $10.00 or whatever, but it was never added to the computer. When OW tells the customer what BB says it should cost she points out that that isn't one of the prices on the display. If BB had just come out and dealt with the customer himself and left us to do OUR jobs we wouldn't have had a little ripple turn into a big wave that took several minutes to dissipate.

In other words.......

Have faith in your employees to do their jobs and don't try to micro manage or to try and curry favour with customers by making announcements that can't be fulfilled. Most people don't know there is a problem until you paint it red and put a big arrow over it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Customers. Again.

So, over the past week, there have been interesting goings on.

First off, its now officially five weeks since I was the victim du jour. Kinda neat. Makes the job so much more enjoyable.

* * * * *

The rest of this is about various customers last week.

- Had a guy who I've seen quite regularly for a long time. Always basically nice. Anyway, today he was a little louder than normal and a little inappropriate with some of his language. Too boorish, and a little rude. Also some cursing involved; or at least curse words. I think he was a tad hungover but wasn't close enough to smell booze. Luckily another customer finally came and he cleared out.

- One of the cashiers was busy counting change out of her tray when this customer comes up quietly behind her and asks her, in a hushed tone, "Do you have a fifty dollar bill?" Not a good thing to do when someone is busy and unaware of someone creeping up behind them. She nearly jumped out of her skin. Turns out he wanted a 100 or a 50 so he could give it as a gift. Still, don't creep up behind people. At least clear your throat or something.

- Some of our buggies have a child seat that is positioned in such a way as to leave a small gap under it where the odd few items can slide. I've learned to check that because you never know what you'll find under there, that a customer has forgotten about. So, this lady puts her stuff on the belt and I ring it through. There are about five items under the seat of her cart. I took them out and put them on the belt and this is what followed:

I asked her if she wanted the little package of salad dressing. She says "it comes free with the salad." I said not that kind and besides you didn't buy a salad. "Oh, well, then I don't want it."

Then you don't want the other one either? Looks at me a little wide eyed and says no.

Okay, do you want the blueberries.
"Aren't they free?"
Uh, no.

"Then I don't want them."

Same thing happened with a can of cat food, and two other smallish items.

Now she had paid for all the other stuff, it was bagged and she was going to leave with these items in her cart. She seemed quite surprised that I called her on them and that she couldn't just have them. I've never seen her before so I don't know if this is something she does all the time. I will give her credit for being the most brazen thief I've seen.

- Had a lady buying a giant watermelon for $4.99 and I asked if she wanted a bag. "Do you charge for them?" Yes, a nickel. She seemed a little perturbed that I wanted to charge her a nickel and she was NOT paying for a bag. Fine, thinks I. I'm not wearing a light coloured suit jacket and going to have to carry a dirty watermelon.

- A customer today told me that I was in the wrong business. I should be on an improv stage.

- A customer two nights ago said that her husband thinks I should be in a customer relations training position and that he wanted her to tell me that. That was nice.

- Two weeks ago a customer went out of her way to tell the big boss that we were wonderful cashiers and that she especially liked the way I treated her and her elderly mother, and that I bagged the items so carefully. I only know this as another cashier overheard her talking to him. None of the conversation was ever mentioned to me by management. In fact none of the good things customers say about us gets back to us. We no longer get an appreciation pin or certificate, either.

Sorry its been so long since the last post.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two Actual Customers and a Compilation

I had these two actual customers on Friday and forgot to mention them. The first one was this very elderly gentleman who came into the store for the first time last week. I don't mind helping BUT he expects us to load the groceries into his little bundle buggy ! He showed up again yesterday and it was clear that I was to get the buggy and again arrange everything in there so it would all fit.

In most ways not a big deal. BUT it would be so much nicer to be asked to do it than it be an expected service. It is further made difficult because the buggy is very low to the ground and my back just can't take being bent over like that.

* * * * *

The second customer is this woman yapping away on her cell phone who never said hello or even acknowledged me. She starts putting stuff up and I start to ring it in. I am waiting for her to say something to me about bags or whatever, and finally figured I should ask if she has bags. I didn't raise my voice, in fact I lowered it (my way of dealing with someone rude enough to be talking on the cell phone). She said she didn't need a bag so I finish putting stuff up on the end for her. She finally asks the person on the phone if she can call her back, "she's sort of busy".

Really?? What are you doing, besides being rude to me - the lowly wench ringing your groceries through.

She finally puts a bag at the end on top of everything and just leaves it there. I now have three more customers in line. I noticed she didn't seem to be doing anything so I asked if she needed me to bag for her, not expecting the answer I got.


The woman had no freaking manners! ! ! ! No consideration for any one else. She didn't care that she was holding other people up. And she never even tried to help. Just figured that is was her right to be waited on.

The other customers were shocked by what she did.

Just rude.

* * * * *

The third type of customer is again very inconsiderate. Or has no common sense, or something.

You ask if they want bags, they say "no." You ask would you like me to bag for you. "No, I'll do it myself."

Or they say they'll put it in their backpack or something.

Anyway, you put the items at the end and I arrange them by hot, cold, fragile, produce or whatever applies. I basically make a bagging 'kit' in that if you use common sense I have laid the groceries out in a way that makes bagging easier.

Here's where it gets good. One of three things happens:

1) they take their sweet ass time about getting the items in the bag, backpack, whatever and hold up your processing of the next customer.

2) they stand there, playing with a cell phone while everything is left sitting until they remember what they were doing. Again, leaving me no where to put the next customer's items.


3) they stand there, trying to find the keys or money or bags or common sense, FINALLY load their stuff and then struggling to carry everything will walk around the buggy and just leave it there to block other people.



More about buggy woes another day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Woo Hoo ! ! ! !

You know what was nice about today? I worked with three other people that know how to work. They got their jobs done, they didn't disappear on me, they were helpful and they were dependable. They actually only took 15 minute breaks too! ! ! !

What a PLEASURE! ! ! ! Thanks ladies! ! !

* * * * *

Guess what??!!!

I made it through a whole week without getting in trouble or doing something wrong. Correct that: being TOLD I did something wrong.

At one point I thought I was in for it. I was paged to pick up the white phone and I thought this is it. But turned out they wanted to know if I'd take a shift tomorrow (Saturday). I said no but afterward thought I should have said yes and given away a shift next week. I only have one day off next week. :-(

* * * * *

So yesterday, I'm working next to Molasses Girl, and talking to one of my customers about how we have to keep them moving through and the fact that I'm slow etc. Getting a chuckle out of it and some genuine surprise from the customer about the fact that I am SO SLOW !

Anyway, after the customer leaves MG turns and says "that's 'our' problem. We're too nice." NICE???? What in the hell has that got to do with how fast you do your job? I watched yesterday because I was behind her and saw that I do indeed scan at a much higher speed. Where I am losing speed, according to the way they time it, is that while I am waiting for customers to get their change or card or whatever, the timer on the keyboard is still running. So I am working hard at remembering to log out every time I am waiting more than two seconds for anything.
A N Y T H I N G! ! ! ! !

Lets see if that satisfies them.

There must be some other way you can judge how well the cashier is working.

Amount of money?
Number of customers?

I don't know.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Latest Stuff

Tuesday's drawer was over by 2 cents. Customer left a nickel in change and I used three pennies for customers who didn't have one.

I ended up taking yesterday (Wednesday) off. By Tuesday evening my knee was so sore I couldn't bend it to walk. Its rather hard to move around when your leg is straight. Anyway, I knew that if I was in on Wednesday morning, being second cashier in would have me in the position of having to put away the go-backs from the night before. (Those are items that people change their mind about and are left at the register.)

Rather than hurt my knee more I was able to find a young girl willing to take the shift for me. So, I gave it away. I don't like to do that. I prefer the early shifts as I am a morning person, but I just couldn't do it.

Plus the second shift in is not as pleasant as it used to be. Too much tension and watching to see if you'll make a mistake.

* * * * *

Its sad how something can be said between one employee and another, and then have that conversation overheard, partially, by a third person. The third person tells a fourth person and when you hear about it again the story is changed into you having tried to get something done wrong. And YOU did it to be snotty???!!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Quickie

Just a quick post as I am off to work in an hour.

Yesterday several of my regular customers came through and I proceeded to tell them that I have been told I'm too slow and too chatty. Were they EVER surprised by those comments!!

I will continue to tell my customers what happens to me.

I am trying to get the hang of logging out the terminal every time I stop for even a second. You then have to log back in which effectively takes time away from the customer and I'm sure by the end of the day/week/month/year those NANO seconds will all add up.

I worked with Slower then Molasses Girl and had two and a half orders through in the time she took to get one. And no it wasn't like my customers had two items and hers had a million. That must be why it takes her 20minutes to do a fifteen minute break. And why she is ALWAYS late for work.

I also had three different customers say how impressed they were with the fact that I got all their groceries into the bags they brought and did it so well.

* * * * *

Well, off to work now and we'll see how today's customers react. By the way, my cash drawer was over by three cents yesterday. The same three cents I found on the floor and did NOT put in my pocket.

Friday, March 12, 2010

NOW what ? ? ? ?

So I got told, at the end of my shift, that the boss wanted to see me. I'm thinking WTF have I done now?

I knock on the door and am told to enter. I asked if I need a union rep with me. I was told if you needed one I'd be sure to have one here.

Anyway . . . .

Turns out I am too slow. They have this scan per minute crap that we are judged on. That would be how many items you can scan through in an hour. You can log the machine into sleep mode between customers, but apparently doing that in the middle of an order is good too. All well and good, I guess, because I do tend to get the older customers and they do take a little longer to get their cards ready or their change or what have you.

Oh yeah, and I should spend less time talking. Apparently the customer I'm dealing with is okay about it, but the next customer in line is pissed because I am taking so long. Funny, I am pretty good at reading my customers and I don't remember having too many aggravated ones. What I do see are faces eager to be coming through my line and people that seem to be pleased with the personal attention they receive. I also see people very happy to have their groceries packed in a decent manner.

So, I think I'll put a sign up that says "Please have the answers to these questions ready as I don't have time to talk:

Do you want bags?
Do you want me to pack your bags?
Do you have an Air Miles card?
Are you paying with debit?

Then I need to wear a sign that says "No personal conversation allowed. I don't have time."

* * * * *

Why is it that, once again, it is pointed out how bad I am at something but never am I called in to be told how a customer has been pleased about something? I guess I haven't pleased any of them. Hmmm

* * * * *

Yesterday, this woman comes through the line and says "oh, I forgot my purse and don't have a credit card. " I said, "that's a shame" , and then I expected . . . . I don't really know what I expected. I didn't expect her to just walk away and leave everything on the belt and not say another word to me. I think an "I'm sorry" would have been nice, but . . . nothing.

She just left about ten items on the belt and walked off. Three of the items were perishable and had to get back to their appropriate departments immediately. But she just left!

* * * * *

So in the past month, I have been told about my shoes, the $20.00 missing from my tray, my (non-dress) pants, my talking and my slowness. I wonder what's left that I can screw up? ? ? ?

* * * * *

PS. I don't know if I wrote about the $20.00. but about three weeks ago, I came up over (so I was originally told) on my tray. The only thing I could think was that I had forgotten to give someone their cash back. Normally a customer will come back to get their money. I then happened to go into 2 days off. I come back and am about an hour and 15 into a five hour shift when I am called off register and told that the boss wants to see me. (When money goes missing they have to 'counsel' you and tell you to smarten up) I was asked what happened to the $20.00 and I said I think I must have not given some one their cash-back and that was when I found out that I was actually under $20.00.

Then I am asked what happened? What the hell kind of question is that? How the heck do I know? I didn't intentionally give someone too much. And if I mistakenly did that then how would I know? THAT'S why its called a 'mistake'. I can understand the being careful and stuff, but I am usually within 10 cents or so of a perfect tray, so for something like this to happen is strictly a MISTAKE. It wasn't carelessness on my part, evidenced by the fact that I am so close the rest of the time. It was just a mistake. Maybe two bills stuck together. I DON'T KNOW! ! ! ! !

I see where they have their rules and crap, but geeeeees!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why can't "Undercover Boss" (TV reality show) come to my store?

I've seen two of these programs and it has been very interesting. The first one was the boss for Waste Management in the US, and the second one I saw was for White Castle.

It is really great when the boss comes in and no one knows who he is. They find out what it is like with their 'rules' and 'regulations' and how it can actually negatively affect the employees.

For example: We, as cashiers, have to wear a 3/4 sleeve on a shirt that you can basically see through. So not only do the sleeves bug you but the fact that you are half naked isn't comfortable. I guess you don't mind too much when you are one of the pert young things that get to wear the really cute bras, but what about us old fogies that have to wear an industrial strength one just to keep everything controlled?

And the blouses are very short in the body as well. They can't be tucked in so they are worn outside the pants and as long as you don't move much they stay down. But when you're bagging groceries and leaning over to put stickers on things, and making change or just about anything else besides breathing . . . .you are showing skin. And I DON'T want to do that!!! Thank you very much.

Also, such a big deal is made about uniform, including shoes when the cashier's feet can't even be seen by a customer. We have to stand for as little as four hours a day and sometimes as much as eight and a half hours a day. We have a corrugated mat to stand on and that is all. So, shoes factor into your comfort A LOT!!!!

There is also not really a place to put a foot up comfortably unless you are my height. The shorter girls have it tougher and if you work express there is nothing at all for comfort. You need to put a foot up once in a while to take the stress off the back muscles.

And while I'm at it, what ever happened to ergonomics in the workplace?? Huh?? That's what I want to know. How is it good for you to be crossing your body all day long while checking groceries? There were some things about the 'old days' that were better. You stood sideways to the groceries and passed your arm to the side of your body. You could also lean on one leg or the other to get some relief. But now, you cross everything in front of you and have to twist from side to side. Not good and NOT an improvement over the olden days.

* * * * * *

So, you may have got the idea from my posts that I am vehemently opposed to stealing. I absolutely HATE the notion of anyone stealing and sure as hell would NEVER steal anything myself.

So why am I being watched now because I "picked up a penny and put it in my pocket".

Yup, you got it. I am ripping the store off a penny at a time!!!

I pick up money sure. Then I put it on my register counter to be used when a customer doesn't have a penny or a nickel. I once found a $5.00 bill and turned it in and then got it after a month when no one showed up to claim it.

I AM NOT A THIEF and the thought that anyone where I work thinks I am is not only ludicrous but an insult of the highest kind.

They obviously don't remember the night I shorted myself $20.00 by thinking a customer had dropped the money and then when I realized it came out of my drawer immediately asked for a tray audit and then proceeded to cry uncontrollably because I was so upset.

I wrote about that in here previously.

The End. For now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Yesterday would have been my Dad's 93rd birthday.

I miss him and my Mom terribly.

Please hug your Mom and Dad today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Odd and Ends

I wasn't sure what to title this one. It covers a lot of little things.

* * * * *

We've hired a few new people lately. A total of about 6 or 7 I think. Anyway, its interesting to see what you get. I have had the pleasure of doing secondary training on two, a girl and a guy. Primary training is done by one of our head cashiers and then an experienced cashier will be assigned to watch them through a shift and to be there to offer help and advice as needed.

Its pretty 'easy' work but taxing because you aren't doing the job but have to be very alert to make sure mistakes don't happen.

I really like the young lady I worked with. Very smart, great with the customers and at ease with the job. The young man I trained, has worked one other job before. He didn't have to use his head as much as you do on this job and I wonder if he'll stick it out. I hope so. It is great training for the future for any young person.

Actually, I feel that EVERY one should have to work my side of a counter for at least a week just to know what it is like. Maybe they'd be better customers ! ! ! !

* * * * *

I have had more customers over the past few weeks comment about how nice it is to see me there. They like my attitude (always cheerful), they LOVE the way I pack their groceries, and they love that I treat them with respect. Conversely, I have also had several customers tell me they were wondering where I was as they hadn't seen me. That's strange because I have been there almost every day.

* * * * *

A week or so ago, I had a bit of a melt down at work. I have been working in pain for quite a while. I need my knees done and I shouldn't be standing for long periods of time. So I have myself to blame really. I could ask for a chair but then I think I'd be admitting defeat. (Yeah, I know . . . . stubborn).

So, I am working away, talking to a customer I deal with quite a lot, and putting his groceries at the back. He has bags, but hasn't given them to me yet. Okay. Then he puts them at the end and I just haven't grabbed them yet, when a superior comes over and tells me "the bags fit in here you know. (indicating the brackets we have). You are supposed to bag the groceries. " That implied to me that I wasn't doing my job. It was inappropriate and plain petty if you ask me.

Later that day I get told I have to go see the boss in his office. Immediately I wonder what I have done, because they have NEVER called any one into the office to tell them they did something good. So I close down when I can, go knock on the door, and get invited in. By now I am pretty upset. On the verge of tears, which really ticked me off. I guess I have been in more pain than I thought and more tired than normal because suddenly the stress got to me. When I am in the office I am 'counseled'. Apparently I forgot to write down the employees name after giving them a discount on their order. The silly thing about this rule is, that I, personally can't do a discount. I must call a head cashier person to come and key it in. So, it is NOT like I just arbitrarily did it.

Secondly, I am told that I am supposed to be wearing black dress pants and black shoes. I asked what these were that I was wearing and was told that they are jeans. That's odd, because when I bought them they were black dress pants. They even have a small stripe in them. I explained that and also said the reason I wore them was because "the arse is torn out of my other pants from all the jagged edges of metal on our registers." I further told him I had been promised new pants from the company over a year ago and still hadn't received them.

I said that I need to wear orthotics. My knees are bad enough without having to stand for long periods of time in dress shoes in a position where my shoes can not even be seen.

I then went on to explain that I thought it rather odd that we make a big deal about pants and shoes hidden behind a counter but nothing is done about people that show up late, don't show up at all because they were out drinking the night before they had a shift, leave early, don't stay at their register, take overly long breaks, etc, etc, etc.

All this was said by a blubbering cashier, who was fed up with being picked on about such trivial things when the service to customers is not even take into consideration.

I intend to talk to them again. The way people are treated there is getting to be a little much. For some reason every once in a while there is an "eat the weak one" attitude that pervades the place.

You know this job is a lot of work for very little money. When you get people that are good with the customers and do a decent job, then they should be given consideration and treated well.

It isn't right that we feel like we're walking on eggs sometimes.

* * * * *

My blog is international now (well, Canada AND The United States). I have a follower from California and one from Utah.

* * * * *

And last, but by no means least. I have met our customer who won the free groceries for a year. He is a really nice young man. He calls me by my name like he's known me forever and I saw him twice in three days. Yesterday, him and a friend were to be my last customers and they were goofing around while I served the person in front of them. I told him I saw what he was doing, and then when serving him and his friend I got yacking with him about all kinds of silly things. Just small talk stuff. I mentioned that he looked like he had party type stuff there, and he said" you want to come party with us?" I said sure, next thing I know he's asking me for my phone number. (Yeah !)

Anyway, we were just goofing and it was fun, but I told him that story would make it into the blog. So here it is.

Thanks for making me smile. :-)