Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finally I have someone to replace The Princess

I knew if I waited I'd get something good. We have a DIVA ! ! ! !

I'm not sure if that's what I'll call her yet, but it will do for now. This job is a step down in authority for her and now that she is settling in she's getting a little more . . . . . . . . pushy? assertive? not sure what you'd call it.

But she is rubbing lots of people the wrong way. She even had some kids asking her where she got her mouth from.

Now I am not a small person, I'll reluctantly, but truthfully admit. And the area behind the register is not what you'd call huge. When it comes time to switch out shifts and the other person actually shows up to relieve you on time, you have a cross over period where both of you are at the register at the same time.

What would make you think, when you're at least as 'tall' as I am, that you can come into the space before I have moved out???????

I was trying to get my tray and space sorted out for the next cashier when the Diva showed up. All polite and all, but basically squeezing me out of the space. Trust me, I love my job, but I am anxious to go home. Give me a second and I'll be out of your way.

She also has a habit of asking you something for help, so you go to the register to help her and then she does it correctly anyway. Not sure why she needs all the attention, but there is something that really rubs me the wrong way about her.

* * * * *

The thief lady was in again, not two days after her previous attempt at trying to openly steal.

Last week she was at my register and pushed the buggy through after unloading. I recognize her because when she unloads her buggy, she likes to toss her groceries on the counter. I get the impression that she is trying to act 'innocent' and not draw attention to herself. Problem is that the way she treats the food items is exactly what draws my attention to her.

I was working on her stuff and saw some potatoes in the buggy. She said that I had already rung them in. I said no, or they'd be in the bag.
"Well, I already paid for them"
"You told me that I just rang them in so if you had paid for them, why do I have all this money in my hands.?"

I asked her if she wanted them and she said they were hers. I said not until you've paid for them, do you still want them? She said no.

So not two days later she goes through one of the new girls registers two over from me. I heard a bit of ruckus about some can of tuna and the cashier resolved that. (customer decided not to 'buy' the tuna) Then cashier finds an apple and asks the customer if she wants it.

The cashier turns to me and says the lady says she brought it in with her. I asked the lady why she would do that and if she did why would you and why wasn't it eaten already? Or at least started? Or better yet why not have it in your purse when you come in.

I told the cashier that either the customer pays for the apple or we'll keep it. The customer stopped arguing.

I then told head cashier about it and asked if they could get a picture of her so we could show the other cashiers? She talked to the manager about it and they saw her on the tape, but didn't have a chance to print it off as we were so busy.

* * * * *

Our competition has a saying that they are the store with a heart. Well, I just finished four days in a row and not one day went by without at least one person mentioning to me how they like our store. They don't like the way they are treated at the other store. They make you pay for bags there and then don't even bag for you.

We, another few more mature people, and myself get comments about how well we bag groceries. The young girls are not very good at it at all.

My thought is: why don't we capitalize on the fact that we are a more caring store. Just saying.

That does it for now. I'll have something else tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

So, people actually DO listen ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Today was like old home week for me. I had a customer that when I asked if he wanted me to bag his stuff he started to say no. He then looked at me and said "I know you. You're the Tetris lady!!!!

I said oh, you mean the way I bag. He said yes, you can get so much in there. He said he was glad to have me pack his groceries for him.

Then I had a young lady that started to smile when I was getting ready to finish her order off. She started out by saying, "When I first moved to Hamilton, in 2008, I came into this store for the first time and I came through your register. I asked for some directions and you were so helpful to me. I've never forgotten that. Thank you." She thinks of that every time she comes in the store.

* * * * *

I had a young lady whose credit card wasn't working for some reason. Behind her was a man with two pies, each about $7.99. After the second time, I told her it wasn't working. She asked if she could try again. I said you can but its been declined twice. It was a card from China and I've had them work before but for some reason her's wouldn't. Anyway, she said to me, "so I can't get this?" I hated to tell her no, but what else could I do? Then the man behind her, with the pies, said "I'll pay for it. Put it on my order."

I said "are you sure?" And he said "yes, I believe in Karma". She was flabbergasted (there is no other word to describe it) and you could tell she just didn't know what to say. She was so touched.

As a matter of fact, so was I. I actually got the warm fuzzies because of what he did. I felt my face flush with pride for him. What a wonderful thing to do!

* * * * *

We had some major flooding in the store couple of days ago. What a M E S S !!! It was just gushing in at the top of the front window. They had a WetVac, some mops, paper towels and finally they found some (lots) buckets. Of course I heard a rumour that the school next to us could really put our real estate to good use. I would HATE to see something happen to our store.

I have written to the people at their head office in Montreal to ask about opening a brand new store in Burlington. There is such a definite need for one there and I want to see my store in there before some other schmuk gets the space. It is a perfect place for a store. Nothing near it but a ton of apartments, so where can the customers go?

It has a good age range of people.
There is not another grocery store for miles around there.
It has a school behind it.
There are retirement living buildings.

* * * * *

Anyway, its late. I'm off to bed.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What do YOU think?

Do you think it is important for customers, some not all, to have a sort of relationship with their cashiers?

I do.

I'll tell you why from a customer point of view first.

I like to go into a store and see a familiar face and know that my products will be bagged properly, or that I will be served in a polite and timely manner or that some one will be, if nothing else, civil to me. I like to see a familiar face in case I have to come back for some reason.

And now from a cashier point of view.

I have several elderly customers that can't carry heavy bags. They really appreciate having the weight split up between two bags if that is what they are getting. Or among several bags if they have to carry them up stairs. They also like having their cold items together, their produce together, their meat in plastic bags. Those are all things I was taught when trained to be a cashier back in 1968. One customer I have ALWAYS wants double bags and not much in them. Another wants very few items in each of several bags. They seem to be very pleased that I remember that.

An awful lot of my customers seem to wait in my line to see me. Whether its the service, the personality or the never knowing what I will say next I don't know. I think at the end of the day they like to see a happy face and someone that recognizes them in the line up. I couldn't tell you how many people I have had that have told me I made their day better.

* * * * *
I know I haven't got all the story straight but I will get it and amend this. 

The other day we had a wack job customer. Luckily I didn't get her. She was two registers down from me. Apparently she was buying some food items for a funeral so wasn't in the best of minds at the time. But that is still no reason to be rude to the cashier.

She bought a bunch of tuna and said it was on sale. Turns out she had picked out the sodium reduced or something and that one was NOT on sale. The regular was. Cashier offers to get the other kind and the customer was not impressed with having to wait. She was also PO'd that we didn't have the flour she needed. The quote was "and of course you don't have the flour I need."

Then she starts in on how we charge 3% for using debit, (????) and we don't give that back. (again, ?????). Its something to do with credit cards charging some amount somewhere for the pleasure of using their cards.

She also started to tell the cashier how she wasn't very smart and should know these things, etc. The cashier even had a second customer come through and even though she was finished with 'crabby pants', she hung around, still haranguing her. Finally I called over and asked if she had a key, to give her a chance to get away.

She was relieved and told me she was about to go down this woman's throat.

I know I haven't got all the story straight but I will get it and amend this. 

* * * * *

I am on my way in this afternoon for 4 hours. I hope I am on express but I don't think so. I'm starting a 1/2 hour too soon. That mean's I will be working a  regular register, so I hope I am working with people that know how to work.

Something else I'll tell you.

I really want to talk to our manager about whether we can work on manners and packing a little bit with some of our employees. It seems to have been forgotten that with competition what it is, the difference comes down to service and perception.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Where have I been ? ? ? ? ! ! ! ! !

Wow, I sure took a long time off. What up with that?

Its now coming into the time of year where we get our huge influx of students. Should be at its worst this weekend. Thank goodness I'm not working. I would rather work three Christmases back to back than work the week prior to the 'RETURN OF THE STUDENTS'.

But to be fair I'd rather work student return time than work Easter. Now THAT is some holiday. The orders are always over $300.00, sometimes over $400.00. And so many people. And stressed???!!!. It is such an important time of the year and so many people get together. More so, than at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I just realized SO busy because of being closed on Good Friday AND Easter Sunday. So everyone has to cram their shopping into those few days. And, because a lot of what they want has to be fresh, they are left with Saturday!!!

Wow it only took me four years to figure that out.

* * * * *

We have a few new cashiers in. One has worked at a grocery store before and has five years experience. So she just has to learn the finer points of our 'system'. She's good with customers which is important to me.  Bagging...??? not so sure on. I'll have to watch a little longer.

* * * * *

Okay now to the part where I bitch. (might as well. I get told this is more of a complaint forum than anything).

We had this bus that we apparently rented to bring elderly people to the store to shop. I think it was once a month, but I don't know. (I'll check and add the info later).

Anyway, I had an early shift yesterday so was there for these people to come in. I was told to remind them that this was the last day for the bus.


Turns out, we can't afford it anymore. It doesn't bring in enough money. Okay, I understand that. One of the patrons asked how they could keep the bus going and was told "fill the bus". Its a friggin big city transit bus! ! ! ! ! !

How about looking into renting a smaller one? We have a rest home near us that has a bus supplied by a local business owner. Could we maybe rent that? How about a DARTS bus? They are small buses that will deliver people door to door for the same price as the regular bus. What about even approaching a car dealer and asking them if they would want to volunteer their services once a month?

Granted, there are maybe only ten or twelve people using this service, but at least they were using it. SO now we gain the money we were spending on the bus, but lose the money the customers spent in our store. Not to mention the bad publicity of them losing this service. Which do you think will cause more of an image issue????

Oh, by the way, we had coffee and cake out for them. Sorry, but to me you might as well have thrown a pie in their faces.

* * * * *

And last, but not least, there is still no sign that they will put one of our stores in the place I suggested. I KNOW they can make money there. There is N O T H I N G else along that length of roadway.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Do they seriously think customers will stay?????? (or, WTF)

Today was another pleasant day at the grocery store.

I had a customer before I even had my tray set up. That's okay. Things were quiet for a little while then the students came in for lunch. Well, they must have brought their friends with them!!

There must have been a hundred of them. Only about 75% spent money, but apparently, when you're a teenager you MUST shop with an entourage. They are quite talkative as well. It gets pretty loud, I'll tell you.

Now, when the students are in we also tend to have some adult customers who have chosen lunch time to get their grocery shopping done. Its usually people that work in the area and run over on the lunch hour. That's fine. I like to be busy.

Notice I said busy!! Not run off my friggin' feet! At one point I looked up and the line up was halfway down the aisle!

I called for another cashier. No one came. Now, we had one on express and two that were on regular cash, plus one person in the office. The Express girl had to take a lunch so, the girl on 4 moves to one and I stay where I am.

Great. Now all the people that have more than 8 items are stuck in my big line. This is NOT the first time that I have not had support while I was being rushed off my feet. I HATE to have customers waiting. I still did not get another cashier. So I called again. Well, now I get a page pick up the white phone. I am very busy and don't really have the time to answer the freakin' phone, but I do. As I grab it, I end up pushing the speaker button. Unfortunately the words that came over the whole store intercom were "what you see is what you get."


I knew that it was meant as 'the hours have been cut so much that we don't HAVE anyone else', but that is NOT the way it sounded to the customers. I was not aware it went over the speaker until my next customer mentioned what a good job I was doing and that 'what you see is what you get' seemed rather harsh.

I agree.

I know people have to take their breaks and lunches, but why in heaven's name would you have 50% of the available cashiers on lunch  ? ? ? ? ? ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! NO ONE available for back up.

I kept apologizing to my customers and explained to them that they should fill out a customer comment card. I told them it would be appreciated. The management does NOT appear to want to listen to us, but they sure as hell better start listening to customers.

We are not just chasing them away but are going after them with a big burning club. Also we are pissing a lot of people off with this buggy crap. First off they sprung the 25 cent deposit on them overnight. No warning that we were switching or anything. No signs outside, just suddenly a gadget that you have to stick  a quarter in to unlock your buggy. THEN, we have three different SIZES of buggies. They are a bugger to put away as they will only nest with another buggy of equal size.

* * * * *

And I know prices are going up, but seriously, a 15% increase overnight?? They are starting to sound like the oil companies. A lot of items that are on sale are coming off the sale with a higher price tag on them. Do they really think people won't notice? I hear it at the counter all the time.

Now, I have heard from my customers that the cashiers at the 'enemy' have pretty much a rude lot of cashiers. BUT the difference is, that they have enough cashiers.

Most people want to get home after work. So where do you think they will go? They actually spend more for lots of items at the other store but they do NOT wait in long line-ups.

They had better turn this around pretty soon.  And they are going to miss out on the opportunity to open a store where I suggested.

Apparently they prefer to sit on their butts and wait for the world to revolve around them.

Good Night ! ! ! ! ? ? ? ? ? ?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why is management so STUPID ?

Remember a couple of weeks ago that there was a late afternoon shift I worked where they had the girl on express and myself working? No other 'regular' cashiers. Sure there were the head cashier and the customer service girl but they have lots of other stuff to do besides help us out.

What had happened is that a girl who was supposed to come in called in sick and the powers that be decided not to replace her. It being summer and all, hours are being cut.

Okay, but how stupid do you have to be to cut them over the supper rush????

Anyway, I get a phone call yesterday afternoon, could I come in ASAP? I told them the earliest I could make it and that was okay. I show up and it was just like the last time. They had, only two cashiers, a snobby girl on express, and a newbie on regular cash. So I was called in for backup. When I get there and am talking to head cashier, come to find out that they will probably be in trouble for even calling me in.

One customer was smart enough to see me heading for the register so he was already there, waiting. So I get to my register, open up, and .... it starts. In no time the customers caught on and from then until three hours later it was nuts. Customer after customer.

I had said at the beginning of the shift that I would prefer to only stay until I wasn't 'needed' any more. That was fine as long as it was my choice. Legally they have to offer me 4 hours minimum. But I was okay with just staying as long as needed. After two hours or so, even though I am only staying three I was 'supposed' to take a break. I looked up and there were so many customers lined up, I asked if I could stay. I didn't need a break for that short of a time and I really, really can't leave with all those people waiting. It is part of my work ethic I guess.

So, in spite of me staying, we actually had two people leave. Two lost customers ! ! ! ? ?  They only have to do the 'tell two people, who'll tell two people' thing before management kills off our customer base. Its freaking summer time. We need every customer we can get. The university and high schools and college near us have pretty much closed down for the summer. That represents a huge amount of customers.

I am not there many hours anymore but I have actually in the past two shifts talked to three people who were in our store for the first time, two of them last night ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

So what kind of an impression do they get if they have to wait a lllloooonnnngggg time to be served?
What kind of impression do they get if the cashiers are so overworked that they are rude, frustrated, and slow?
What kind of impression do they get if there are mistakes at the register and we call to have a price check and no one answers?
What kind of impression do they get when they want to find something, or ask a question or, for that matter, just get customer service and they can't because she is on a register with a huge line up?

A bad one, that's what.

I was able to talk to several people and explained that they need to fill out customer comment cards in order for the management to listen. We can tell them all we want but they don't put any value to our input. Bottom line is the big thing. That is what they care about and apparently all they care about. No wonder more and more people are going to the store over the highway and paying more for the same products and having to deal with rude cashiers as well.

I really wish I could get somewhere there to listen to me. And this stupid place has still not made a move to build a store in the area I told them would be a sure winner. (a vacant lot and no grocery stores for a long stretch of road)

 * * * * *
And the answer to the question is: I just don't know.
* * * * *
After all, I am ONLY an employee. What could I know? 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Karma's a BITCH ! ! ! ! !

So there I am, minding my own business, checking through groceries and talking to the customer. Things are pretty good until . . . . .

 An older lady comes through and, as is typical, had her purse in the spot you'd put a child in. Down below her purse is an envelope, just sitting there. We are asked to clean out flyers etc, from the buggies as they go through our lanes, in order that the papers don't blow all over the parking lot. I picked up the envelope and asked the lady if it was hers. She said no, double checked her purse and again said no. I am about to throw the envelope out when I think maybe I should look inside. WOW ! ! !  $100.00 bill.

I asked the woman again if she was sure. I even showed her what was in the envelope, Again she said no. Very honest!

So I call over head cashier dujour and tell her what happened. She asked me a couple of times how it "went down" and then said that I should be getting it back if no one claimed it within two weeks. I thought that was good timing as I have been wondering why I even work anymore.

Sidebar: It used to be that what I made paid for the insurance, fuel and groceries for us. Now it is barely enough to pay for fuel only 

I mean where and when the hell does it stop.! ! ! ! ! ! ! Its at the point where, if I quit, we don't really lose anything other than transportation for me. 

So anyway, that happened one evening. The next shift I worked I was told that the money would not come to me. That it was considered 'found' money and belonged to the store.


I don't think that is fair or a very good idea. I think it will just teach people to keep their mouth shut and pocket it. That's what I plan on doing. I STILL get paid minimum wage after over 4 years working there. And now, because I was HONEST, you tell me I don't even get that little reward!!!!!????

If it happens again, in the pocket it goes. If its a large amount like I found this time I will tell someone and then take it to the police station and give it to them along with the story.

* * * * * 

Not two days later on, one of the young cashiers took a P H O N Y  $100.00 bill. I had a chance to touch it and knew right away that it was a fake. Then I did my eye ball test. There is some very finely written words at the very bottom of the swirl that goes across the bill. Now they are very, very tiny but can be read with the naked eye. That is one of the first things to deteriorate when they photo shop it. That line was just a blotch of ink when you looked at it closely. Plus the paper did not feel the way it should. It was too soft, like old, old blue jeans.

So I'm not sure what happened to that cashier. Whether they'll be red-boxed, (audit for next time you work) or green boxed (you are audited every shift you work for two weeks), will be interesting.

Anyway, I think it is really great that the company that made over eighty MILLION last year is losing their $100.00 'gain'. And I still make minimum wage ! ! ! And WE are unionized! ! ! !

Karma IS a BITCH.

By the way, why did I not even receive a thank you from SOMEone???? Not really a nice way to treat your employees. Also, I know for a fact that several customers have told the boss how much they think of me as a cashier, mainly because they tell me they talked to him. So why is it that I have not heard a word about this; but you accidentally forget to give a customer their money for cash back, the powers that be are calling you in to the office for 'counseling'.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Update on The Possible Thief

This is about the guy from last week that looked suspicious around our salad bar.

Appears he wandered around the store for quite a while collecting items. But, then he went through a register and paid for every single thing!

Head Cashier told me he still made everyone nervous and  that they were very surprised when he paid. The feeling is he may have been checking the store out and decided to be honest. This time.

* * * * *

When I go to work, I get in a zone. I sit in my car for a few minutes to get my mind in the game and then I head in for my shift. I get into customer/performing mode. I am especially like that when I actually have a customer. I ease off a little between customers but when there is one at my register they are my priority. I try to tune out everything else.

We have a few new people, again, and I was lucky enough to have one next to me the other day. I was to sort of keep an eye on him and help when needed. Problem was that he was at the next register to my left, which meant that when we were working his back was to me. I have difficulty hearing when I can't see a person's face. Its probably from all those years working under a huge fan. Anyway, every once in a while he'd ask me to help him with a code or a procedure.

Now, I tend to get involved in my job and am not really good at trying to do my work and someone else's at the same time. Add in the hearing disability, the background muzac, the ambient sounds and noises, and its no wonder I forgot to give someone their cash back.

CRAP ! ! ! ! ! !

This means, I am once again, green boxed.

Side note: If you make a mistake of under $10.00 on your tray you are red boxed. That means you are audited, whether scheduled to be or not, the next day you come in to work .

If you make a mistake of over $10.00 then you are green boxed. That means you are on audit for the next two weeks, starting the day after the mistake.

Don't you think that the red box should be the longer sentence?

Anyway, what I don't like is that now I have to be 'counseled.' That means I get called into the office by the boss and told I have to be more careful, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.

I can beat myself up pretty darn good without being told that I should. I HATE to make a mistake. I have very high standards for my work and accidentally cheating a customer out of money is a BIG one.

I also don't like the fact that the reason this happened was because I couldn't seem to handle the kid asking me question after question and for me allowing it to disrupt my work.

To be fair he had some pretty odd things to ask me, but I find that when I get into my work I can't just switch to the other person's problem. I have to stop for a second, think of what I am being asked, answer or explain, then get back to where I was with my own customer.

I think with all the back and forth and the fact that I had to have him repeat himself, plus he would turn his back to look at his own computer and I couldn't hear him clearly, I just plain forgot to give the money.

This happened last Wednesday. I was in Saturday and the boss was walking around behind me with his clipboard. Way to make me nervous guy!!

I am not sure what he was doing but I was half way expecting the old "So and So" wants to see you.  I hate walking over to that office.

You already feel bad enough about making a mistake, and letting yourself down. Why do I have to be reprimanded about it? That is why it is called a mistake!! If I'd known I was doing it then it would be called an "on purpose".

I am going in this afternoon, and will probably be 'counseled' today. I would prefer to just say "Look, I know I made a mistake. I was being yapped at by another cashier and it distracted me. I had a little trouble getting back to my own mind set. Can I go back to work now?"

We'll see.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Talk about a FULL service grocery store ! ! ! ! !


As is typical, the day I am NOT there something really weird happens.

It was later in the evening and it involved one of our head cashiers. She was busy working away on a register when this sketchy looking guy comes through. He had very intense looking eyes and made her nervous right off the bat. He doesn't have any groceries but he is REALLY looking at her. Now, she is very attractive but he didn't seem to be looking at her in that way.

Then he says:

"I'm homeless."

She says that she's very sorry but at this time of the night there is nothing she can do to help. He can't really stay in the store. Then she says she doesn't have the authority to give him any food and the hot foods counter is closed down already or she would buy him something.

He says:

"You're not listening to me. I'm homeless."

Now she says, well we don't have any money. It is all in the safe and I can't get to it.

He says: "That's not what I meant."

Now she begins to suspect the worst. She is very pretty. She is basically alone in the store as it is down to a skeleton staff for overnight and they are still upstairs getting ready for their shift.

So she says: "Well, I'm not here by myself. There are other people here."

Then he says:

"I want to turn myself in!"

She is not sure at first what he means by this.

As he grabs her around the fore arm, he says, almost right in her face, and very seriously:

"You're not listening to me. I want to turn myself in!"

Taken aback, she sort of stumbles a bit and says "oh, OH!!
Well, you wait here and I'll go take care of that."

She gets the stand-in manager for the evening and tells him. They call the police, go to look for him and at first they think he has left. As they get to the front of the store again, they see he is sitting very patiently on the bags of rock salt at the front window, waiting quietly.

Within minutes, three police cruisers arrive and they take him away. Unfortunately, we don't know what his problem was or whether he was unbalanced, or really wanted, or any number of other things that cross your mind as you regain your composure.

* * * * *

Then not three days later, just as I am signing my audit slip at the front service desk, I spot this guy walking around by our salad bar. INSTANTLY, the 'nutbar' alarm goes off and I start to watch him. He sees me and says 'hi" and has this big goofy grin on his face.

I mention it to my head cashier, who happened to be the same young lady as in the previous incident. We are both watching now and he looks over, again, and walks towards us. He asks if, with the salad bar, can you just pick the things you want to eat?

Yes, she says, it is charged by the weight. With that he starts to walk back towards the salad bar and then makes a left turn towards the back of the store. Then he reverses himself, says he needs something to carry the salad in and goes to get a basket (?) at the front of the store.

We think he is leaving as he gets near the door, but no he comes back and heads towards the back of the store. HC calls for the manager in charge and tells him, and they alert everyone (meaning floor staff) to keep an eye on this guy.

I had to go punch out and when I come back I am walking beside the lady manager of the hot foods counter. Now she tells me that he went by her and said something that she couldn't quite understand and then made some guttural sounds at her. She left because he gave her the creeps, and it was the best thing to do.

Unfortunately, I had to leave for home so I don't know what happened next.

Part of me hopes something happened, even if it is just that he left the store without anything. I'd be disappointed if my 'spidey senses' were OFF. Relieved that nothing happened, but still a little concerned that my radar may have been out of whack.

I should get some news today.

I hope.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

HOLY CARP ! ! ! ! !

Walked into the store the other day to get my schedule and a couple of items that were still on sale.

Surprise, surprise!!!

It now costs a quarter to rent one of our buggies. We have had a continuing problem of students (mostly foreign) walking off the lot with our buggies. Great but when you come back the next time you can't bring the damn thing back????!!!!

This has gotten a lot worse since we started charging for bags. The won't give you the 5 cents for a bag, but they feel perfectly fine about walking away with a $100.00 - $200.00 buggy ? ?

You can tell who is going to take off with them, though. For the first few years I never really said or did anything, but now that I am confident, or maybe over confident, about keeping my job I will ask them if they are driving. If they say yes I say "that's good, 'cause I'd hate to see you trying to get this stuff home like that." Now this is assuming that they even answer, because they are notoriously rude about making any conversation. I know you are uncomfortable with the language, but why did you come here to study then? I'm not being rude to you.

If they say no, then I ask them if they are aware that they can't take the buggy off the property. They get this 'deer in the headlights' look and tell me that they weren't going to do that.

Yeah??? Then how come if I am watch you out the front window I see you taking the thing across the road and down to the apartments???

Huh?? Tell me the answer to that one, you buggy thief !

* * * * *

I actually got like this because I really don't like theft. Really, really don't. I stole something as a child because I HAD to have this little, white plastic horse. After I got home, the guilt set in. I didn't enjoy my horse. I couldn't play with him. Whenever I was in that same store I was POSITIVE they were watching me. It scared the bejeebers out of me that they may catch me! ! ! I was sure I would do LIFE ! !

That little horse taught me how bad it is to steal. Probably it was really my conscience, but EVERY single time I looked at my little horse, I felt G U I L T Y.

Anyway, I don't like stealing. It is a horrible thing to do. I once had someone that I thought was a friend, steal a whole collection of miniature collie statues from my house when I wasn't there. It was one of the most impotent moments of my life.

You can't call any one. They're only priceless to me.
You can't confront the thieves, because they have suddenly disappeared from your life.
You can't replace the statues because they were something that is not made any more.
You have lost the enjoyment you had from knowing that you had either bought them all with your own 'little girl' money or your Mom had bought them for you.

And worst of all was the fact that they had all come from an area of my childhood that I hold most dear. It was the spot we went for many summer vacations and stayed in a housekeeping cottage by the Atlantic Ocean.

* * * * *

Back to the buggy story.

Where I think our store made a huge mistake was in not telling the customers, or at the very least putting up a sign, before hand. It was just one day you're getting a buggy for free, the next day you have to have a quarter. The reason this is a big deal is that most of our customers are either parents or grandparents. Parents almost always use a credit or debit card, and grandparents don't have any change because they have taken it out at home for the grandkids ! ! It would have been so much easier to have put up signs saying 'effective such and such we regret that we will have to charge for buggies'.

SSSSSSOOOOOOOO, we have had a fair number of angry customers. We have asked them to fill out a comment card that will go to head office, rather than to tell us. The powers that be will listen to customers before they will ever listen to employees telling them what the customers say.

* * * * *

The problem as I see it, is that 25 cents isn't a lot of money to pay for a buggy to get your groceries home.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Some people are just ornery for the sake of it

I was working one day about a week and a half ago and this man comes up and asks if he could use one of my Purell sheets (disinfectant wash cloths). I had just finished serving a customer and I let him use one. He then asks if I'm going to use one. I said "no" and he asked me why not. I told him I had just washed my hands a few minutes ago. He said "but you touched her money". I told him that it was part of my job.

Then a young man comes and stands behind him. So he tells the kid that the next register is open, why doesn't he go there.

The young man reluctantly moved. He looked at how much stuff there was left to go (maybe three articles) and it was obvious he felt like he was being chased away. I guess the rudeness made him wonder. He had just come to my register because there was someone there and the next one had a light on, but the cashier was elsewhere at the time. (We are supposed to do baskets and fix the shelves and tidy up a little if we have spare time)

Anyway Mr. Clean starts to mumble about people who can't think and people who don't wash their hands.

I said "Just a minute. I find it insulting for you to tell me I don't wash!"
He backtracks, or at least tries to and says "Oh. I didn't mean you."

I said " well, how am I supposed to take it when you're standing in my line saying things like that."

Then he starts to tell me how the hospitals are the worst places, and you watch, you people will all have to wear gloves one day, and doctors should know better. Then he tries to pull a co-worker into it, but she explains to him that all the products on the shelf have been touched by countless people but we do the best we can. We use our wipes after handling meat and vegetables or anything that appears to be dirty.

He didn't like that. He was all miserable looking as I'm packing his bags. I did notice that he didn't bring his own bags, but was happy to take the plastic ones that have been hanging there all morning. I went to hand him the slip and he said "I don't want that." I sort of heard him but the hands were still going for the bag to put the slip in it. He very crossly says "I told you I don't want that." I apologize, throw it out and he leaves.

I determine that I no longer wish to serve him and am hoping to refuse to the next time he's in.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How cool is this ????? !!!!!!

I just found another cashier blog! She has 207 followers ! ! ! !

She has had her blog a shorter time than I have but she has more than 4 times the followers.

I wonder if part of it is the fact that she doesn't pull any punches and seems just a tad more aggressive (?) than I am?

Here's a short, unedited quote:

"And before any of you say "But she's a paying customer too!", I've made it pretty clear before that I don't consider lottery customers real customers. Lottery sucks.

Anyways, for the past few weeks I've noticed that she will wait at the coffee counter until it starts to get busy in the store, and then will race up to the register to play her tickets. She does this

Now, since she's a fellow cashier, I don't want to be a bitch to her, but I can only come to the conclusion that she hates me for some reason. Either that or she reads this blog.

Which means that it will now be war. I may be lazy, but I'm not too lazy to go into her store and take up her precious cashiering time. And I'm sure I can be WAY more obnoxious than she is. I was born to annoy.

I'll first have to find out exactly which store she works at. Once I find that out, it's on. I'll just have to get some supplies together, some of which include a wrench and a midget blow-up doll. "

and another one:

"Every year my father plows some of the customer's driveways when the snow gets really bad. He does this because these people have been customers for years.

I don't understand why people get so pissy about needing their driveway snowplowed. Do it your fucking self. Don't call me at 3am and expect things to get done. And these are the same fucks that come in and cause me problems about the gas prices. They use the line that they "know the owner" thinking that will intimidate me.

I hope next year he quits snowplowing for these assholes. I'm tired of dealing with them."

I'm in love ! ! ! ! Maybe I should start talking like that?

* * * * *

So, do you remember the day I had the lady that was all pi$y because I didn't throw the lady in front of her out of my express line for having nine items? (see post:

YAY, I finally got one ! ! ! ! )


Thursday I stopped into the store to get my schedule and pick up a few items that were on sale. As I approach the bakery from the back of the store I hear this grating voice and knew instantly who it was. She's up front giving the cashier the business. Seems she had too many items for express and was sent to another line. There were only two cashiers at the time, express and regular.

She is bitching about the fact that she got turned out of the line for having too many. Then.... she sees me. She starts up with "And that's the one that let someone with nine items stay in the line the last time I was here." She says this at her usual annoying, loud voice and in front of several customers who looked at me and rolled their eyes.

I said: (and maybe this was poor judgment on my part, but, I was on my own time.) "Don't start with me."

She gets all pi$y again and starts going on about 'is that any way to talk to a customer?' And 'look at how I'm treated!' And 'I want to talk to the manager.'

Fine by me. (crazy old bat). Doesn't the manager come up and unfortunately I didn't hear what was said. I did end up having to be in the same line, fourth customer back. She starts to address me across the other customers and I just stared at her. When she finally left I talked to the cashier a bit about why she was so ticked.
She is probably going to be another one that I may not serve any more. Its either that or I tell her right off the bat to behave or I'll get her removed from the store.

Apparently, it wasn't okay for me to talk to her the way I did but its okay for her to harass my customers and myself?????????

* * * * *

So should I change up my way of writing or leave the real nasty stuff to "Confessions of a Cashier" ? ? ?

She sort of has the equivalent of a 'spitting in your coffee' attitude.

Next time: Mr Clean Freak

Friday, February 11, 2011

What the €%*+ is your problem???

I really like working in the beginning of the day. But not when a certain co-worker is on. Well, she was there today and it was okay. At first.

If you're one of the first cashiers in, the trays could still be in the office. So you stop at the office and check. I did that this morning and because I'm on audit I knew I had to sign something. I was told to go to 5. Knew that was okay. I stop at customer service to look for the slip to sign, (you sign when you take the tray and when you give it back) and there isn't one there. No biggie, I knew no one else had been on the register. So I start working and everything is good. I run out of customers and because I know they will jump on you if you're not 'busy', I grabbed my cloth and cleaner and started to clean some of the surfaces that don't get done often.

I then get a customer and while I'm doing his order, I notice that co-worker comes out and talks to another (superior to me) co-worker. Next thing I know 2nd co-worker is telling me that when I get done with that customer could I put some of the spices or candies out. (restock shelves) Sure, says I. I got so far as to pick up a box of Tic Tac and get all of three feet when a customer comes up. I serve him and then they just kept coming. The box made it all the way from register 7 to register 6.

I never did get back to it. I know who wanted me to do restock. I guess because I showed initiative and was making myself busy we had to find something else for me to do. WHATever!!

Time passes and its getting close to my break. Now, I like to have my break as far past halfway as I can. It makes the day go faster. They like you to have it halfway through, but I don't remind them unless I am really hurting and need to sit for a while. Or if its a time of the day when we have a few more cashiers in and break times have to be co-ordinated.

As I said I'm not too worried about it and I'm working along with about three items to scan when I hear the printer make a funny sort of noise. It tells me that its out of paper. I look inside and it has almost a full roll. So I reset the roll, close the lid and wait for the sound it makes when its ready. No sound!!??

I try it again and it is making a noise like the head is running back and forth. That's not normal. So I look inside, again, and think maybe its the roll. I tried a brand new roll and it made its happy sound. I thought we were up and running so I continue to scan but keeping an eye on it. Now it is taking a lllllooooonnnnngggg time to process each function. It would scan, then it would print part of the item, then the next part, then the total. These things usually happen within a second for each item. But now its taking more than ten seconds to do each step. I get through the gentleman's order and ask him if he needs his receipt. Thank heaven he says no. I finally get his receipt about two minutes later. I call head cashier and explain the problem, told her I did all the things necessary that should have got it working but that it isn't and its making a noise like I've never heard before.

She comes out and fiddles with it a minute and then tells me to try it again.

I start the next customer and and it is still sick. The printer head is running back and forth, again, for each step that the computer is making. Unfortunately it is not able to do more than one thing at a time. Head cashier told me I'd have to reboot it. I was hoping that it would remember the items if I scanned a few of them in a row. It wouldn't, so I have to do one item, wait, the next item, wait, etc. The lady is being very patient but says to me that she is on her lunch (but she realizes that its not my fault and just has a 'why did this have to happen now' look on her face).

I had already closed down because this wasn't going to be a fast fix. I went to the office and asked head cashier if I should take my break as there is downtime while it reboots. She tells me to move to number three for now, until the other cashier's break is done and they'll try to fix it. Other cashier says she'll be done in a few minutes. Fine by me; the more time that goes by before break is less time to work after.

Sure enough, get through a few customers and its break time. YAY ! ! ! ! !

Come back and its still not a happy computer even after a reboot. I get to stay on three and I'm working away having a good time with customers as always. Get to a blank spot for maybe five seconds, and then I see a customer at the entrance to my register. Suddenly, I am paged to pick up the white phone (like the bat phone but not as adventurous). I do so and I am told that "if I don't have a customer, can I do something?"

I said "I have a customer right now!!!!"

"well . . . . . . keep busy."


Which is what lead to the title of this entry.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Something I forgot

This is a continuation of 'Full Moon last week???? Don't THINK so!'

When I was writing it I knew there was something I was forgetting.

This is from that blog:

"I end up sending the customer off with head cashier to do all the math again, with a calculator and see what is going on. Mainly it was to make sure the man got the correct bill. I move on to the next customer and every thing is fine for a the rest of the shift. Few odd people, but they are there all the time anyway."

That's actually wrong. The customer after the '2 for 1' guy was okay, but the next one was a wingnut AKA the crazy collie lady. Now mind you the dog is in beautiful condition and she hardly ever forgets to take him home with her. But she is a weird customer. She once came to the store on a very hot day and tied the dog up outside, in the shade, but still he shouldn't have been brought that far on a day like that. She bought some ice cream and a few other things and left the store.

One of the girls came in and mentioned the collie out front. I said "you're kidding, she left an hour ago! ! ! ! ! !

We were wondering what to do. We gave him water and then waited. She did return later. She said she went to get some ice cream and suddenly realized she left the dog at the store. I don't think she's a bad owner, but someone who is a little forgetful. One of the things she does that really drives me crazy is her way of just asking the weirdest questions. I'll still be dealing with another customer and she is already asking me to compare the prices of two items so she knows which one to get.

Anyway, this day she hears the problem I am having with the 2 for 1 customer, She says in a pretty loud tone "I'd better make sure to check my bill". I ignored her because I was still dealing with the customer in front of her. NOW, its her turn. I ask if she wants bags, she says "no", so I put the stuff on the back for her to bag.

She looks at the register and says " see, you did it again." WTF???!!!! I look and see that it is again something that is a buy one get one deal. I said "I didn't do it, the machine did. "

"Well, you scanned it."

So, what, I held my wrist funny??????

Anyway, we get it sorted out and she is talking about how many times this may have happened in the past. (insert a scream that would be me wringing her neck and her trying to breathe."

After HER, it was an okay shift.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Full moon continued.

Well, here comes the rest of the 'sorry-its-so-long' post.

Thursday January 27

Go to work. I am on # 6. That's the one I like to say is in the suburbs. You are the last cashier in the row and the way you stand your back is towards everyone so you don't see a lot. Good thing is that you are facing the bakery department and get to see them icing cakes and stuff.

First couple of customers, fine, then I have a lady buying two bags of the BOGO coffee. Scan the first then the second and it takes off, not $12.95, but something like $5.63. Still don't know what I was supposed to have done. I looked at the receipt as I did yesterday. If I had scanned another item there should be still be the proper negative right after the second bag. But there wasn't. Again I have:

+ $ 12.95
+ $ 12.95
- $ 5.63 Total $ 20.27

Should be:
+ $ 12.95
+ $ 12.95
- $ 12.95 Total $ 12.95 (difference of $7.32 too much for the customer)

$7.32 too much, for us (again). Head cashier comes when I call her and she can't see what I could have done so we scan the coffee off again. We at first discussed the fact that if we had six positives we needed three negatives to represent the three lesser priced items in each pair. HC says to just take the coffee off and we'll leave it at that. The customer was happy and this time the computer put back what it took off (the $5.63)

Half an hour goes by and there comes this one older lady I really don't like to deal with. I have a lot of patience, especially for the older customers, but she just bugs me. I think its her voice or something but I really didn't want her to come through my register. She does, and the first thing that comes out of her mouth is that we have gotten rid of the chairs for the elderly folk to sit on.

This goes back to before we renovated the store. We used to have a spare chair for people if they were tired or winded or otherwise indisposed. This lady would come in, demand the chair, be a little ticked that she had to wait while we got it, and then proceed to buy some scratch lottery tickets. She would then settle herself into the chair to scratch her tickets. I understand that she may not get out much, but can't you at least sit out of the way (and keep your knees together or wear something a little longer). My first introduction to her was about three years ago when she plopped herself down opposite the end of my register where all my customers couldn't help but see her.

Anyway, I ring her order through, have to talk her through the interac process, again, and it comes back declined. I think, well maybe I mistakenly hit the button for credit instead of debit. We do it again; and again it is declined. I asked her if she had used the card any where before here. No. Well I'm not sure what could have happened, then.

Head Cashier has come over and offers to help. She asks if the lady has any cash and we can take that off and maybe the card will work then. We do it again and this time I look at the message and it says daily limit exceeded. So, I think what has happened is that maybe a trustee or something has put a limit on her account to protect her. Now we have to start taking groceries off. She had about $87.00 worth of stuff and only $35.00 in cash. That meant we had to get $52.00 off. She did ask if she could pay us the next day and I know she would have, but we just can't do that.

In the meantime, there was a man and his son waiting in line after her and then another one of my elderly fans came to the line too. She understood but the father was trying very hard to keep his patience and the son wasn't too pleased. To give him credit, he never said anything, but he sure was sullen.

By the way, these were my last three people before I was to relieve the express cashier for her break and then take mine after. So by now, what normally will take me a few minutes is up to ten. Its not that I am anxious for my break, because I will always stay to help customers. The issue is that the breaks are set in such a way as to not leave any shortage of cashiers.

I get through the two and thanked them for their patience. I had a nice little chat with my lady fan while doing her groceries, and she was concerned about 'declined' customer. I told her what I thought, about the protection thing.

Finally it is break time. Not for the express cashier though, as the time frame is now wrong and she has to wait for the next cashier to show up for her job. I walk past customer service and there's the customer sitting on her chair. She sees me and tells me I didn't give her one of her chickens. "One of them was free you know." I said yes I did give it to her and that she had asked me to put it in a separate bag as she was giving it to her friend. She remembered then and I took off before she could take any more of my break. I went out and tried to unwind in my car.

I had my break, played my scratch and sniff Crossword game, (won $3.00) and came back in. The elderly lady is still sitting there. I head back to my register and it actually didn't hit me until I got home, that she was playing her lottery tickets. I'm glad that she could do that but I have to admit that it also ticked me off. We had to scan off so many items from her bill and make these people wait so long. I got myself bothered because I hate having customers waiting like that and because the express cashier had to wait longer to get her break. And express is a place where you really want your break. Its fast paced and there is a lot of turning back and forth in it.

So, break is over and I have no more real incidents. Saw a few of my regulars and received compliments from most. (Not bragging, just saying).

* * * * *

This all brings me back to the original title of "Full moon last week???? Don't THINK so!"

I worked Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The weird mojo was there on the Tuesday. I even mentioned to a couple of customers about the weird things happening and that if I didn't know better I would think it was a full moon this week. So, here's the last example of weirdness for my work week.

Towards the end of my shift, there is an announcement for security to go to aisle C. That'll perk your ears up. Didn't see anything but apparently they stopped someone from taking off with a whole buggy of steaks. $400+ worth.

The really stupid thing the guy did, because someone was watching and saw him panic, was that when he heard the announcement, he actually started to throw more steaks in a lot faster.

Are you STUPID?????

How did he think he was going to get to the front of the store, out the doors, and away in the (rutted in places) parking lot, with a buggy full of meat????

See, we can't charge him until he has actually left the store with the product. Technically, even though he is walking through the door, he could still come back and pay.

Thank heaven for the weird ones.

Full Moon last week???? Don't THINK so!

I don't know if anyone of you have noticed but when there is a full moon the crazies and whack jobs come out of where ever it is they hide.

Except, the last full moon, which was January 19th, it stayed very quiet at the store. Suspiciously quiet.

Oh well, you take it as it goes and think 'great we escaped this month.'

Fast forward a week:

Wednesday January 26.

W E I R D ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Doing my job, minding my own business and scanning groceries. We had a 'buy one, get one sale free' going on. The way they have it set up in the computer is that you scan the more expensive item, then the other item and the computer takes the total of the lesser priced one off.

Been working fine until this nice man comes through. He has four steaks and two roasts (all bogo). I put the steaks through 1st price goes on, 2nd price goes on, and cheaper item immediately comes off again. It shows on the tape as a positive and a corresponding negative.

When I scan groceries I sort as I go and have my eye on what's coming next and where it will fit in the bag I'm working on. So, I had done his steaks and left the roasts till last. I scan the first one ($16.38), price goes on, scan the 2nd one($13.47), price goes on and a price goes off.

Yeah. Except that instead of taking off the price of the roast , it takes the cheapest steak ($2.79) off again. WTF ! ? ! ? ! ??? I look again to see if I may have accidentally scanned one of the steaks again, but I couldn't as they were already bagged. So I scanned the steak again to put it back on and it puts the $13.47 on but then takes $7.43 OFF.

Now, the tape looks like this:
+$16.38 (more costly roast)
+$13.47 (roast added to bill)
- $ 2.79 (price of roast taken off)(not)
-$13.47 (roast removed from bill)
+ $ 7.43 ($2.79 added) (not)

Total = + $21.01 for us. (Customer gets screwed)

Now, I am totally confused. I have been a cashier most of my life so I know how the math is supposed to work and this ain't it.

SO, what you should have is enough negatives to equal the positive cost of the lesser items in each pair. Nay nay!

I have no idea what happened. I call head cashier to show her. She has no idea either. She asks did I mistakenly scan the steak again. No.
Did I do the roasts in the wrong order. (no, and doesn't make a difference anyway. I've tried it with the cheap one first and it still takes the lesser amount off).
Are they for sure the right roasts, as in both Angus beef, both top round, etc. Yup, says I.
Call the computer input person then. So I do and she comes over and tells me she doesn't know what I did and that it must be something wrong with my computer. Call the computer room ? ? ? (she's the computer room)
I end up sending the customer off with head cashier to do all the math again, with a calculator and see what is going on. Mainly it was to make sure the man got the correct bill.

I move on to the next customer and every thing is fine for a the rest of the shift. Few odd people, but they are there all the time anyway.

* * * * *

You know, this is way longer than I planned and I have to go make some supper before the hubby passes out due to starvation.

I'll write the rest of it later today, or tomorrow.

Sorry for the length.

Friday, January 21, 2011

How are you? Where have you been?

First off, when you work express you are dealing with a lot of people for a short amount of time each. I always start by saying hi. They usually say hi back and ask how you are. Its an automatic response. I always have something to say (who'd have thunk?). Anyway, it is usually 'wonderful' or 'marvelous' or 'pretty darn good". this usually elicits some favourable response from the customer.

BUT, because I may say this 100 or so times a day, I like to change it up. So, I started using the alphabet and starting each answer with a new letter. Like, amazing, brave, cheerful, delightful, effervescent, funny..........

I sometimes am stumped for a word, and the customer will ask what I'm doing. I explain it to them and they get a real kick out of it. They will even suggest words when I'm stuck. It doesn't happen often but sometimes can't come up with a word. See I don't want to be boastful about myself, just descriptive. SO, finding the appropriate word can be a challenge. I find it makes the shift a go a little faster and takes my mind off the pain in my knees and back. It also keeps the brain sharp.

* * * * *

I am trying to keep to either three days a week or, hopefully, no more than 16 hours. Four hour shifts are great but even an extra half hour is harder and an extra hour is almost brutal. My knees really get to hurting and my back is not good either.

What would really help is if they had the work station set up in an ergonomic fashion. But I won't hold my breath on that one. It seems to be okay to use the older methods of a work space but it is just not good to be reaching back and forth across your body. The muscles in your back start to tighten. Shoulder muscles get sore, the weight of the groceries, (yes even lettuce gets heavy after a while) moving back and forth across your front is not good.

Plus the area behind the register is not meant for anyone over about 5 foot 5. I find myself always leaning forward. However, I take the chance when ever possible to put one foot up on the ledge to take the stress off my back and right knee.

* * * * *

So, it seems like I am missed sometimes. The past few weeks there is not one day goes by that at least one customer asks where I have been. "I haven't seen you in a while!!" I explain that I am only working three to four shifts a week and that I am moved all over the schedule. "Well, I always look for you when I come in the store. You're always so pleasant and nice." (pinch cheek).

I will admit there is hardly a day go by that I don't think about leaving and just being retired. But the thought of giving up my customers AND the possibility of giving up my car. Sorry, just can't do it. (the car part is because with the price of gas and insurance my pay just about covers both of those items)

That's it for now. I have to go make supper.