Thursday, February 08, 2007

Constant Interruptions

I feel like I've been running around today with somebody elses brain inside my skull. I haven't been able to focus on one task for longer than thirty seconds today without either drifting off to Planet Cuckoo or being interrupted.

It started first thing this morning. I'd barely got my key in the cash office door before people started bothering me about swipe cards. We have to swipe on and off at the start and end of our shifts. Because I'm the personnel body, it's up to me to sort it out when people forget. But what I can't drum into their skulls, no matter how hard I try, is that they don't need to tell me about it every single time! I simply print a report that highlights missed swipes. But it doesn't get through to them. They still come tottering up to me: "I forgot to swipe in this morning, so could you sort it..." and they look at me as if to say, ""

Later, I'd barely got to step two of the morning cash office procedure before Lynette appeared to announce her wages were wrong. Just when I thought I'd got through payday without a single query.

"F*****g hell, could you look at these F*****g wages for me, 'cause it looks like they're F*****g wrong and the F*****g council will be down on me like a F*****g ton of F*****g bricks!"

So I spent the next fifteen minutes investigating. All I managed to turn up is that she had an unknown absence logged on 22 January. And suddenly she remembered. She had to take the day off because her son was off sick from school. So her wages were correct after all. Thank you very much for wasting my time you dozy bint!

Just when I was getting going with my morning workload, an engineer turned up to service the cash office console. So, once again, I had to stop what I was doing. I decided to abandon that task until later, since I was getting nowhere fast. I know! I'll order missing shelf-tickets!

But that wasn't to be either. I could barely manage to get one shelving bay checked without a customer boring me with their problems or asking me where they could find suet. God's sake will you all just bog off!

When I finally got round to attempting to carry out the cash office routine again, Terry, the General Manager, started throwing spanners into the works. It really bugs me. He can leave me alone for weeks on end, never once questioning what I'm doing or ordering me to do silly tasks. But on the morning when I left my brain in bed, he decides to pounce.

"What are you doing now, are you busy?"

Why is it, when people ask you that, you can never find a way of telling them what you're doing that actually makes you sound as busy as you are? By the time I'd finished telling him, I'd convinced myself that I was just wasting time.

It got to ten o'clock and it suddenly dawned on me. I hadn't done the morning change run for the tills. Precisely two and a half seconds later the bell rang and, upon my response, I discovered all the cashiers wanted change immediately.

Now, the company doesn't like to make the change-run task easy for us. They refuse point-blank to let us keep a small supply of change in the lock-safe on the service desk. They insist that we must write down the orders for each till, go up to the cash office and bag up what each till needs and then transport it down the chutes.

And while I'm talking about the chutes, can anybody think of a way of getting cashiers to regularly send bank notes to the cash office? They just don't seem to grasp that it is not permissable to have £3million sitting in a cash drawer. In fact, it's plain stupid. They needn't come crying to me when they get robbed! All they have to do is, at regular intervals, empty excess notes into a pod, put it in the chute and press 'send'. What is so hard about that?

By the time I got the change run done and dusted, after several thousand interruptions, it was almost time for me to go for lunch. And after coming back from that food-break it was time to sort the cash banking out. And then I realised I still hadn't done the morning cash office procedure. So by the time all that was done, it was nearly time for me to go home. And I'd done precisely nothing all day.

Yet, I'm absolutely shattered and ready for bed.


Al said...

Our entire pod chute system works for maybe three out of every seven days so we have an excuse.

We only empty the photo lab till at the end of the day but since we mainly take card payments there's never much in there. Most people who pay cash get about half back in change so the actual gain per customer is low anyway.

AggressiveAdmin said...

Being a local store, our average customer spend is low. Only about 25% of our customers buy trolley shops - the rest are topping up on what they've forgotten to buy on their big shops.

Last time I looked at the figures, 68% of our transactions were cash. It's not unusual for a till to accumulate £5000 in cash over the course of six hours or so.

And still, we have some cashiers who just won't empty down. There actually was a till snatch last year and the cashier was disciplined because they were able to get away with well over £100 in notes, when there shouldn't have been more than £100 in there for the taking. They STILL didn't learn their lesson.

AggressiveAdmin said...

Make that first figure £1000

Al said...

We're a big store and while I don't know the exact percentages I would estimate that most of our payment is taken by card, then cash and the occassional cheque.

Each till is emptied of all but £100 in notes whenever there is a change of cashier or if it is being left unmanned, £50. There is no requirement for them to be emptied at any other time unless the cashier wants to. Since the maximum time a till will be manned by one cashier is 4 hours it's not too much of an issue. It would be rare to have more than £500 even after this length of time.

The only exceptions to this are the PFS and kiosk tills which have to be emptied every 2 hours regardless.