Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And Furthermore . . . .

Also at work yesterday I had one of my regular customers come in and we started talking. She was telling me about going to 'the enemy' across the highway. We got to talking about cashiers and things and she told me about the attitude they have there. Being one who is concerned about customer service I had to hear more.

Turns out she was in there, with her own bags, and a fairly large order, the cashier rings stuff up, barely acknowledges her and just keeps piling groceries up at the end. My customer was trying to bag it, but is used to us doing it.

Sidebar: When we started charging for bags and accepting customer supplied bags it was, and still is, our policy to pack the customers groceries. Unless they don't want us to. Nothing changed because we were charging or because they supplied bags.

Back to the story:

My customer was falling behind and then the cashier turns to her and asks if its debit or credit. Arms folded across her chest, looking at her like how come she's not finished already. Then after the cashier processes the order, she is making it clear that the customer is now in her way. After all, there is another customer she can be rude to.  ZING !

The cashier did not even ask if she could help her at all. I do that when customers are bagging their own groceries. I also try hard to be polite to people that insist on doing it themselves and are holding me up. In that situation I try to move their groceries to the side so I can continue on. But I always offer to help.

I can not believe that they do not bag your groceries. And yet people still go there. I hear comments about how rude they are. I know from experience that they don't treat you very well when you bring returns. Granted that could have changed in the many years since I stopped shopping there. But none the less, its kept me from going back there.

Oh, I have occasionally stopped in when i am looking for a certain product or something. But 99% of the time I can not find what I want. They seem to have a lot of groceries and products etc, but they do not have a variety of sizes. I have often looked for a large size of peanut butter or the large decaffeinated tea. Never find it. They have a lot of their store brand stuff. A LOT of it. I have yet to be impressed with any of them.

And, I've had customers tell me that we are more expensive than them. Maybe that's true on what they buy, but on what I buy, sorry. Wrong.

There are two things that will tick me off, though. People that ask me to bag for them,  then proceed to rearrange everything when I'm done.

AND, people that are packed and ready to leave but hold up my job because they have to get their mittens on, or a scarf just so, or yap on the phone. Get out of my way. Have you no consideration? There is usually an empty register next to me, and if not there are always the cases of water along the front. You could actually put your stuff there and get ready to leave. That way you aren't holding anyone up.

Who the hell is in charge down there

We have these plastic triangle shaped dividers that we use between customers orders. We then know where theirs ends and the next one begins. Pretty simple design. As I said its a triangle and closed on all sides. That 's good, because as you start an order you need to be able to get that picked up, put in the slot and give it a quick push for the next customer to grab.

The slot is just a small, long tray, I guess, just wide enough for the divider. The slot also has two walls on it of about 3/8" in height.

Sooooo. Someone at the divider making company sold some advertising to an online bank and we got these terrible open bottomed dividers. Plus they have some kind of cut out shapes in the top. You can sort of see it in the first photo, to the left of the black one. Anyway, when you grab it and try to put it away it usually catches on one of the outsides of the slot's tray. You have to stop and fiddle with it to make sure you can get it in there.

The more savvy of us last week, tried them for a little while and determined what a dumb idea that was. They were slowing us up so much that we traded them out for the old ones.

I show up at work yesterday, and we have the first ones back and some other new ones, again open bottomed, cut out tops, and our old ones are in hiding somewhere. These second ones came from the OLG, Ontario Lottery And Gaming Corporation. They are NOT provided by our store. The OLG can come in with their signs etc and change the advertising, as we are a selling agent for them. I think the bank had to ask us to put them up but NOT the OLG. I kept two of them, even though I would have preferred to not use them at all. But customers really do like to have them. A few hours into the shift, there was a gap between two people and I got a good look down my belt. I mean the dividers are annoying and all but I didn't study  them when I got to work. Anyway, in front of the second order is this new divider and it suddenly hit me what was wrong about the thing.  Have a look at this:

It was the second picture that made the image show so bright in my mind. What were these people thinking? Have they never heard of World War 2? Hitler? Nazis? Auschwitz?

For a stupid lottery?

I don't know which is worse. The person that designed this or the person that approved it.

If I was the schmuck that had anything to do with this campaign, I'd make sure I had somewhere else to be for the next several months.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What ? ? ? ? ?

Okay, I was on express the other day. That means you pretty well deal with just customers. You also keep an eye on customer service and page for lottery or Western Union or what ever. But you don't wander away and do baskets or things like that.

Anyway, this lady comes over to me with a small soup container and says she wants a large soup. I said that if there aren't any there we are probably out of them. I  also said I don't have any containers but if you ask at hot foods they should be able to assist you. She looks at me like I am totally weird and extremely rude for not helping her RIGHT NOW. And why the hell DON'T I have the containers at my register?

She goes over to the counter and asks and is told that we are indeed out of the large. So she takes two small ones and complains to me that her friend asked her to pick up a large. I said well at least this way she has more soup and I'm sure she'll appreciate you getting it for her. I asked if she needed a bag and she said no. So I finished her order and she then says 'I need a bag.' All righty then. You have a great day.

* * * * *
Two days in a row I had the same register. That doesn't happen often but it was nice because it was still set up the way I like it.  It means I was able to get down to business right away.

The second day the Diva was already there. She is annoying in that she seems to me that she can really set people's teeth on edge. I don't know how to describe it, other than she seems to ask questions in an argumentative (?) sort of way. One customer was obviously hard of hearing and had a hearing aid that you could see.  She asks him, quietly, if he needs bags. He didn't hear her. So she asks him again, but also spots the bag he's carrying in his hand. At the same time he had turned and asked her what she said.  She says 'never mind.'  He said 'what'  in a surprised tone. Again she says 'never mind'. He looks a little surprised so she tells him 'I asked you if you needed bags, but now I can see you don't.'

Maybe you had to be there, but it just seemed kind of rude, somehow. I just don't think that is the way to address an older person, whether they tick you off or not.


A little while later she sees that this customer has their own bags. She asks if they would like her to bag for them. They say no thanks and she proceeds with the order. Within a few minutes she is telling them that she'd be happy to bag. They, again say no, but she now tells them that she can do a better job. Well, maybe you can, but you don't imply that a customer is doing a lousy job when they think that they are being helpful or that they just want to do their own packing. I will wait and if I think they could have done it better I'll ask if I can give them a little suggestion.

Some people are not aware that even though we have switched to bags you pay for or that they bring themselves, we are still expected to do the packing for them. It doesn't absolve us of our duty as cashiers. The customer is spending good money. They are entitled to good service.

Another store in our area, from what I've been told by customers, just put the bags at the end for you and proceed to the next order. I think our store has an opportunity to capitalize on the fact that we still do the bagging. We need to go back to some of the old values.


The last thing The Diva did was, in my opinion, childish. There had been some kind of words between her and the customer and it was the tone that made me tune in. I hear her telling the customer that she has to scratch the 'thank you' sticker off the bag she just bought. She's making it very clear that this is a chore. She then asked me what my nails were like so maybe I could peel this label off. Yet, she doesn't offer me the bag to work on.  She also has another customer in line. I said to her what's wrong? She said 'I have to void it off'.
Okay, just void off a different one and move on. I offered her one of my not sold yet bags to just scan the code. 'No it has to be this one. I just can't get the sticker off enough' . When I again said I have a bag you could use, she just glared at me. Then why am I even being brought into this?

She finally gets that done and then at payment time, waits until the woman inserts the card too soon before telling her she had to wait for the message. The procedure of setting the machine up now has to be repeated. And she tells her customer that in a condescending tone.

She, The Diva, gave me the impression she was cruising for a fight. Later she told me she was trying to make a point with this lady. While she was doing all this the customer was  fiddling around in her purse, or checking her phone or otherwise occupied and not the least concerned with her grocery purchase. So the customer was totally unaware of the 'lesson' she was being taught, anyway.

The result was a confused cashier, (me), a customer made to wait unnecessarily, (next one in line), an oblivious to the world customer, (purse fiddler) and a cashier leaving a bad impression, (Diva).

Pick your battles, Diva!

* * * * *

And lastly, seeing that I worked New Years Eve, (yeah I know it was only the four hours over lunch, but it was New Years Eve,) I stopped at the dollar store and treated myself to some foil hats PLUS noisy horns. I started out the day with the hat on, but it was held with an elastic and by the second customer it let go at one end and smacked me hard right under my eye. In the garbage with the BAD hat.

So I just used my horn. Not on every customer, but almost. As they came to the register I wished them a Happy New Year and tooted the horn. I got a smile from nearly every customer and a laugh from several. I had such a fun time at work Saturday. Most of my customers did as well. I even, at one point, had three people in line while the cashiers on either side had none.I guess they just want to experience the party that is me sometimes.

Makes you glad to do your job and think that you are worth something.