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.