Saturday, March 17, 2007

Omnibus Edition

The past week has been living hell. Due to a certain ex-line manager (cough, Nick) signing off holidays willy nilly before he departed from Food Places employment, we've been left chronically short staffed this week. I haven't had a day off for 13 days now and I've still got tomorrow to work. Obviously, being tired and ratty (I've done two 13-hour days), I haven't found the time to sit down and blog about work. There's been plenty of things to blog about however.

Four, yes four, members of staff from the checkouts all decided to be ill. How dare they. Have they no consideration at all? Here's me working all the hours God sends to keep the place running and they're all busy conspiring to make my working day hell. As a result of this synchronised lead-swinging, when the store opened on Monday morning there was one cashier on the kiosk and me in the cash office - with nobody else due to arrive until 10.00am.

Several frantic phone calls later, I'd managed to get some staff on the scene but the day wasn't finished with me yet. The safe key decided to leap from my pocket and conceal itself underneath the worktop in the office. Cue 45 minutes of frantic searching, conducted to chants of "I've lost the bloody key. I'm doomed."

So, all in all, a day of absolute torture.

Things were going too well. By 10.00am, I'd done everything I needed to do and thought it would be a good idea to get ahead with the checkout rotas. I came to wish I hadn't bothered. After an hour and a half of trying to perfect it, problems began to arise. One after the other. It emerged that I'd given two people shifts on days they'd specifically asked for as holiday. I'd overlooked kiosk cover on two afternoons. I'd overlooked front-end cover on one morning. So another job done to the worst of my abilities.

More frustrations arose when, in the process of correcting these careless oversights, I unwittingly smeared my hand with Tippex before running my hands through my hair (my usual deep-in-thought-subconscious-action). You've never seen anything like it - I looked like Cruella DeVille.

One haircut later, I was all set for more mishaps. When I set about the morning cash office duties, I immediately discovered that Deborah, who was on the cash office close the previous night, had obviously been having an off-day. Five of the till floats were counted incorrectly, the safe had been miscounted by £540, the cash office stock was short by £59. It took me HOURS to sort it all out.

And then some stupid customer steps on a grape and skids three-quarters of the way down the produce aisle. They didn't actually lose their footing but, probably seeing the pound signs floating before their eyes, invented a neck injury that had resulted from this slight trip. This resulted in a good two hours of interviews, witness statements, CCTV trawling and form-filling.

Linda, who works on Legality Maintenance, went swanning off to a funeral for the day meaning that Jacqueline needed my help to make sure the workload got done. This meant I spent the day darting between the cash office, covering front-end supervision, and checking price tickets and putting out POS. I have never been so stressed in all my life and, by the end of the day, people around me were walking on eggshells.

There is nothing so mind numbing as conducting a category check. It basically involves using a handheld computer to scan every single product in a particular category and checking that the price on the computer matches the one on the shelf-ticket. Jacqueline obviously seen me coming and landed me with doing Beers, Wines and Spirits - the largest single product category in the store. It took me nearly two hours to complete this task and I was clinically brain dead by the end of it.

Whichever Godforsaken company it is that sends us our change made a complete cock-up of it. The failed to send us the ordered amount of pound coins, £5 notes and 50ps - the most vital coins. They did, however, compensate with lots of pennies and 5ps (which hardly get used). Thanks to this, my safe is now stuffed to the gills with useless coin and it'll take weeks to run it all down again.

Other than that, a reasonably good day, however.

There's not a lot to say about today other than that it was horrendously busy. And we didn't have enough staff due to more malingerers, but that's nothing fresh.

It's a shame I haven't been able to write full-length dedicated blog entries for some of the events of the past week as I'm sure they'd have made amusing reading. It is, however, back to business as usual this coming week.


Pizza Hut Team Member said...

It is weird how 5ps never get used. I just thought it was Pizza Hut because of the pricing...but obviously not. I would say on an average shift I'll use 3 5ps.

I find the most used is £1 coin and £5 note.

AggressiveAdmin said...

You get a lot of 5ps from the customers in the change they give you. So even when you use them, you get as many back. We use approx. 2 bags per till per week.

Food Place is very big on working change at the tills. They never shut up about how much it costs to order it, so the cashiers are used to asking most cash paying customers for odd change.

Al said...

Due to our pricing (are lot of our services are £x.x5) we use quite a few 5ps. I would estimate about a bag every day.

We also use a load of £5 notes but we do tend to get a few from customers as well so it balances out. We don't usually need to use that many £1 or 50p unless there are no £5 notes.

James said...

Dear Andrew,

As you may know already I have an interest in blogs about work.

I started to look at such blogs two years, but for reasons I won’t bore you with, prevented me from developing the project beyond a questionnaire exercise.

I am now, finally, at a stage where I can spend enough time researching a phenomenon I find very interesting and expect others to do so when I get around to telling them!

So, why I am telling you this?

Well, I’m looking for some input into a research project that investigates work-related blogs – something that hardly anyone has written about before.

I have no intention of ‘outing’, or indicating in any way, any blogger.

The paper is not about sensationalising blogs.

It’s more to do with exploring the significance of a wider emerging trend of ‘ordinary’ people exploiting the web for any number of reasons.

At this stage I would like to first of all request your permission to use excerpts from your blog for my paper.

If you do allow me to do this I promise to consult with you on what I intend to use and how I intend to use it.

Any other feedback or direction from you would be welcomed.

To be more specific, and based on what several sources have said out such blogs in the past (newspapers, trade journals and academics), I’m looking for blog entries that cover the following themes:

1) Postings that would be viewed by your employer, or any other employer, as some sort of nuisance to them.

2) Postings that you believe could lead to disciplinary action if your employer knew about what you were doing (especially if you post anonymously).

3) Postings that offer an ‘honest’ review of how you are expected to work (e.g. outlining ridiculous practices or expectations from management, etc.).

4) Postings that could be viewed as being news from the workplace or ‘spilling the beans’ on a certain work-related matter that you feel should be in the public domain.

5) Postings that you feel could shape public opinion about what you do or how your job has an impact on others, even if your blog is read by a small number of people.

6) Postings that are about you, whether you intended at the onset to do it or not, revealing aspects of your job that others could learn from, i.e. tricks of the trade or tacit knowledge.

7) Postings that reflect the possibility of loneliness at work, i.e. writing in a manner that indicates you wish you had more support or chance to discuss matters with others at work.

8) Postings that are clearly about trying to get one over on management, i.e. resistance.

Some of these requests may appear similar or vague and it’s unlikely that you will be able to provide examples of all of the above, but any examples of any category will be appreciated.

Like I said I before, posting can (and will be) changed in a manner that protects your or anyone else’s identity.

I should also say while I’m at it that I am looking for bloggers to make a contribution to another project that I intend to get started on very soon.

It would be an edited book (many contributors) that would a) cover research on work-related blogs, b) allow bloggers to tell their story of what blogging about work has done for them.

For bloggers this could mean anything and I mean anything. For example, if blogging has won you an audience and adulation then write about that. If blogging has helped you meet people who have helped you in some way that would be excellent too. If blogging just ended up being a burden that has brought no advantages then write about that.

Again, I’m not sure how I want this to go and would appreciate any ideas from you. For example, you could write this all yourself or I could interview you and take it from there.

Anyway, these are my ideas and I’d really appreciated any input from yourself.

Please free to contact me about this.

We can speak on the telephone if this would help.

In total confidence and sincerity.

James Richards
Lecturer in HRM
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, UK.

Feel free to delete my message!