Work Rant

So, you all know I work in a retail store. Its a big franchise company. The store I work in is located in a shopping mall, has 3 levels. I work in the men’s department which is 3/4 of a whole level . The other fourth of the floor is Women’s Plus Size and Lingerie. Anyways, that’s not that important. What is, as you all know I only got hired a few months, in November during the seasonal hire.

So, at work, I am still considered  a newbie. I will be considered  a newbie until next year if I am still there when they do another round of seasonal hire.

I hope I am. It’s not my dream to work retail forever but once you make  a year you can be bumped to full time or at least be eligible for benefits and pto and 401k and all that lovely stuff even as a part timer. Plus, they’ll work around your availability. So the goal is to find a morning job and keep my retail for nights and weekends.

But, there are workers there that are considered the veterans. While we all have the same job description and we have to learn how to do everything, it’s their unofficial duty to hold the fort down. They make sure everyone takes their breaks on time and everyone has an assigned area to look after. They manage the money too. Check the registers. Request change. Sure, we’re all supposed to know how to do these things and do them too. We aren’t supposed to NOT do them. But, it’s the order of things. The vet workers always do it.

Well, I was never one to wait around for things to get done. I would just do it myself. So it was a hard balance for me to learn not to step on toes.
There has been times when i politely ask ” have you checked for change yet? ” They would respond no, i’ll do it later. They never did. We had problems closing out the registers. Or some people wait to long and the till runs out of money. And sometimes the supervisors are busy and don’t have time  to run to the cash room to get it or it’s simply too late in the game.

When I work closing, I make sure to check for change and do all those closing preps…early and before the supervisor leaves( sometimes the supervisor has to cover other floors as well) I inquire about the other sections too. Like tonight,  the supervisor was leaving at 730pm. So I informed all the sections if they needed anything to get it done before he left. I did take heed too. Requested money for the registers and inquired about some menial tasks.

When I work opening, I check not only my section but all the section to make sure the registers are open. I check to see who showed up and who is working where. My supervisor is always so relieved when i work openings cause he can go ahead and worry less because I do those little extra helping out things.  I dont just stay in my section and say the hell with every one else. In the morning i would do the stuff others don’t like , like stand in the front entrance and when he opens the gate I greet the horde of zombies stampeding in the door and they all trip over each other to be the first in line to pay their minimum payments on their credit cards. I help knock out the line fast. When I work mornings i”m usually assigned to the back section where a special old lady is assigned too. She is smart and nice and all. But she talks to herself. Aloud. Animatedly. Most of the time i think she is talking to an invisible person. She can’t handle stress or pressure and so I always stop what I’m doing to assist her and she has had less arguments with “her friend” since i started working there.
But, with change in management and loss of old managers and bringing in of new ones… things are a mess.

We all have our official schedule, what’s on our  time sheet and in the system. However we have paper schedules posted in all the sections for the day. It lists who is assigned to what section , what time our meal break is  ( if we get one) and what time our 15 minute break ( we all get one).  So we always know where and when we work and also who is supposed to be with us.

Thursday when I worked, one of the new supervisors didnt come in in the morning like she was supposed to. We had no schedules. No one knew where they were assigned to work for that day so went to whatever section they liked more. We have some kind of pattern in which sections we work, but it’s liable to change with call outs, no shows, lateness and also at the supervisors digression. Sometimes people get to comfortable together and become less productive. Or just sometimes its bad scheduling and so the paper schedule is modified to address everything. To optimize people and their time. So if three people are working one section it is because they have alternating break times. Say person a goes at 1pm, person b at 2pm and person c are 3pm. so no one is left alone, we always have back up.

So Thursday, I volunteered to work in a section i knew i wouldnt be schedule in because someone left and someone called out.  Then i got a customer who wanted to return two pants. My store has a liberal return policy. They would take back pretty much everything, but we have to get authorization to stuff that is questionable, worn, without tags, or if they dont have receipt. I check everything. ALot of employee don’t, they just do the return because the supervisors would come over and literally glance at the items and say okay. So most dont even waste their time to page them. But, i say fuck that. Let them be liable for it.

Anwyways, so i open the pair of jeans and give it a quick glance over and it was unzipped and unbutton so I zip it up and button it to make sure it works. If it didnt , I would call the supervisor over to authorize. It worked. SO i quick folded the jeans and the customer starts saying OMG can you fix it after you return it. I calmly tell her I am checking the garments and she goes off ” WTH you need to check it for. It got the tags!” I calmly tell her we have to check all return items in order to categorize it. And she just keeps going on and says you don’t need to check it several times. So i smile and very  a deliberately and slowly I unfold the next pair of pants and check it over, very slowly and thoroughly.  You telling me not to check something is only going to make me check it more.

Sometimes certain sections get more traffic than others so they’ll move people about. That’s all cool and dandy.

But today, we didnt have  a night supervisor. And I was left alone with a girl who is assigned to work the floor but has recently been trained on the registers. She hides in the furthest back rack of the store most of her shift. I mean she folds like a machine. But she always disappears when you need her. The other person working in my section, i call him the robot. He talks so slow. he moves so slow. He literally takes a minute to ring up one item and several minutes to fold one piece of cloth.  If he even folds. He stands at the registers and doesn’t move.

And 3 people from my section called out today ( 2 associates like myself, and one floor person). So, I had to do everything. Greet and assist every customer, running around the stock room, answering the phone, restocking, folding and hanging, fixing the displays, and be cashier so every two seconds I had to stop what  I was fixing and run back to the register. Not to mention I had to do all the put backs ( clothes that go to other sections) on my own.

And I had asshat customers today. Because we had a sale. On Flip Flops. For a dollar.

One customer was throwing a fit because they didn’t have their own 20% off coupon. We stopped giving out coupons the other day and for the remainder of the week the customer has to bring in the coupon themselves. It’s on the internet. We tell the customer that. We tell them if they have a smart phone look it up and we’ll use it. We tell them to buy what they want and go home and print the coupon out and come back return everything and then buy it back with the coupon. We really do everything we can to help them.

But someone today threw a titty fit because he couldn’t  get 20% off for his dollar flip flops. He finally got the coupon on his phone and saved himself  a whopping 20 cents.

I had another customer who wanted to exchange one tank top for a different size. I made adjustments so it was an even exchange( he bought the shirt on a sale with a coupon so he would have had to pay the difference but i got authorization from my supervisor to okay the even exchange and adjust the prices) He also wanted to return a belt. He also used a coupon for that so the return value was cheaper. He was going to get back 2o bucks for the belt but the way our systems work i could continue on to ring up his purchases and it would deduct from the amount he is getting back  But, he wanted to buy a 15 dollar fashion scarf. But he wanted to use the 20% coupon. i told him  the registers don’t allow coupons on returns. I told him i could do the return and ring up the scarf after it and he can use his coupon.

He didn’t have the coupon.

He got so angry and upset.  He said someone this morning did it for him on his phone. I told him, take his time, pull it up on his phone, and I’ll use it.

He didn’t know how to use his phone .

He got so angry he said he doesn’t want to buy anything anymore. He started to walk away when i saw my manager so called the guy back so my manager can explain to him ( cause obviously I wasn’t speaking english). The dude started yelling at my supervisor. Yelling. My supervisor looked at me like  he wanted to punch this guy in the face.

Then we find out, someone this morning pulled up the coupon for him on his phone. That’s a no no.  We aren’t allowed to do it for them. Sounds stupid I know. We can instruct them verbally, but physically we can’t access the phone for them. But, it makes sense.  My store is strict with security. We have a whole wicked security staff. Cameras, Convert Ops, walkie talkies, the whole nine yards.

SO my manager told him no employee is ever allowed to handle a customer’s phone. He gets so mad I thought he was going to burst and I wondered if it was part of my job description to clean up the mess if he exploded.

We are allowed to accept email and text message codes and coupons. And even official coupons off the store’s website via phone. As long as they personally pull it up themselves. We can then enter the code or sequence into the register. But, if your too dumb to go to a website with me instructing you how is that my fault??

Then we had people trying to buy 40, 50 flip flops. HOW MANY FEET DO YOU HAVE?!

We have an operator in my store. 30 minutes before closing she starts announcing the time and what time the store closes. So, 15 minutes after officially being closed I’m watching a group of 4 men toss up a whole rack of shirts I just fixed and 3 ladies toss up a bunch of jeans. The ladies at-least had the decency to stroll over to the registers and I cashed them out. The dudes however seem oblivious and even turning off half the lights in the store ( it’s on a timer, it wasnt dark dark or anything just dimmed)  they still were parading around checking themselves out in the mirror. Security literally had to escort them off the floor.  Then a random lady managed to sneak back down to my department and she was literally carrying 30 or so flip flops.  We tried to tell her the limit is five but she wouldn’t let go of anything, even one of the store leaders ( they are like interactive HR people) informed her of the 5 rule and she was still trying to pick up more. Security eventually escorted her out too, she was still clutching dozens of flip flops while they took her up to the top level to check out ( those registers are the last to close) and I guess they would have to deal with her flip flop determination.

THEN the team leader talked far to much and far to long about nothing of substance. Finally we we allowed to close out the registers.

And the bags were missing.

We have special bags that seal  and the money take goes inside it with a a print out from the register of the tally. We have to fill out a  little form on the bag.

So if anything is missing or inaccurate, they know who to blame.

Some kid who was specially placed there for the day to man the flip flops went to get some bags for us ( the whole floor was missing their bags).

And he never came back.

So that made us waste time waiting for no damn reason. Then i said fuck it and went around to the other sections to check on everyone else and we all went up. And had to fill out the form on the bags while all bottled necked trying to turn everything in to the cash room

Oh and some one triggered the cash room alarm .It was the loudest and shrillest sound I ever hear. Never heard an alarm like it before. We literally had to plug our ears.
My ears still ring.

Retail. Gotta love it.


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