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.