Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stop Bucking the Trend

Why can't customers just be reliable? OK, so I know they're going to moan, complain, cause complications and, generally, make my life hell. But why can't they co-ordinate themselves to do it?

What I'm alluding to are our store trading patterns. It goes without saying that Monday and Tuesday tend to be relatively quiet. Wednesday is usually very busy due to the town market dragging people from far and wide. Thursday is steady, Friday is similar to Wednesdays and Saturday and Sunday are hell on earth. Wednesday, Friday and weekends are easy to staff. It's simply a case of tapering the staff in until all the tills are full by 11am. Keep them full until 7pm and then taper everyone off until 10pm. Except Saturdays, when the trade declines to a mere trickle from 6pm onwards.

But just lately, stupid customers have been bucking all the trends of a normal Monday trade. Take yesterday. The entire population of the surrounding area decided to come shopping at 7pm, when we only had three till staff. I was the first person to end up sitting down and serving, followed closely by Steven being dragged, kicking and screaming, from dairy. This still didn't improve matters and Michaela had to be taken from the deli and Kieran had to abandon the shop-floor. When the queues still raged, Sean, who was managing the store, had no option but to hop on himself. So there we were. Virtually everybody in the store, all sat on checkouts.

And, it's not just me, but the customers are getting slowly snottier. I served at least five people yesterday who where too far up their own backsides to even respond to my friendly greeting. I took great delight in, totally overtly, pulling faces at them when they weren't looking. Got some chuckles from the people behind.

The whole store has an air of boring blandness about it because Kate is on holiday this week. I rely on her hilarious outbursts and comments to keep me going. And I don't have anybody's accent to mock. Kate is Scottish and I could spend all day imitating everything she says - badly. But she isn't much better at impersonating my broad south Wales accent (and I don't live there anymore before the Security Mafia teams of several supermarket chains narrow my location down to Pontypridd). Still, it keeps us amused.

Had a bizarre moment yesterday evening. I went into the cash office, and the sensor that normally triggers the lights to come on, failed. I went in and door closed behind me. Leaving me standing there in pitch darkness. For some reason, I was afraid to move - an action that would have solved the problem immediately. I think I was just wondering how close I was to smacking my face into the lock-box.


Alan said...

I hate those motion sensitive light switches. What's wrong with a proper light switch?

Al said...

That last one was me.

Pizza Hut Team Member said...

Our RGM says he wants to fit one of those sensors in our store room to save money. Yet, for the entire store we have ONE light switch, and for some unknown reason the menu boards and signs (which are inside a locked shopping centre) stay on all night regardless of the switch. It is quite spooky at night though...just the glows of pizza photographs.

AggressiveAdmin said...

They can't trust us to turn lights off you see. When they made the switch to auto-lights utility bills were halved - so they say, but I don't think the results would have been THAT drastic.

The lights on the shop floor, obviously, aren't automated. We go very quiet on Saturday evenings, so there would be a risk of customers being plunged into darkness. Even when you turn them all off, several ones remain on and the window posters remain lit.

Al said...

We have them in all of the staff areas apart from the stairways and warehouses. If you're sitting in the canteen on your own minding your own business you're periodically plunged into darkness (if it's dark outside obviously) until you wave at the ceiling.

All of our tills, computers and the photo lab equipment is left on 24/7/365 and the main store lights are on most of the time since we're 24 hours.

Pizza Hut Team Member said...

On a side note, is it just me that finds it very rude if you're in a shop, and about 15 minutes before they close, they turn off half the lights? I deliberately go slower if they do that.

AggressiveAdmin said...

We don't turn lights off on customers - yes, that would be extremely rude. We just put an announcement over at the closing time and wait for everybody to leave.

The only exception is Sunday when we MUST close at smack-on 4pm. We close the shutters on the windows and only leave one door open on exit-only mode until everybody is gone.

I was in our local big Tesco just after midnight one day last week. It's a 24 hour store and they had half of the lights off.

Al said...

I don't know what we do on Sundays but when we close for a bank holiday or something like that, they wait until about 10 minutes past closing before they switch the main lights off. If any customers are still around they have to find their way by the emergency lighting.

I know that on a Monday morning when I go in they only have half the lights on for the night fill team to work by, but every other morning it's full lights. I start at 7:30am so it could be different overnight.

I would find it rude if they turned most of the lights off before they are actually closed, but I can understand why they would want to do it (shows people outside that they are about to close and that they shouldn't come in unless it's very quick). They should wait at least until they are actually closed for the day.