Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cashier, In the Canteen, With the Lead Piping

Internet Woes
If you’d been wondering why I’ve been quiet over the past few days (not that long periods of time without posts is anything unusual for this blog), then please look to my internet ‘service provider’ for an explanation. What I mean by this, I’m sure you’ve already gathered, is that they haven’t been providing a service to me. At all. I’ve had green ‘LINK’ lights blinking at me for several days. I’d given up hope and was playing a game of Solitaire – face it, what other uses does a PC with no internet connection have? – when my anti-virus software unceremoniously launched it’s web-update function. A connection, at last.

Back to Food Place...It's probably not such a bad thing that my internet deserted me this week because, quite frankly, until today there was nothing to write about. Another week of everybody behaving themselves and no real problems emerging.

But today was something else.

Ringing Bells
Every now and then, the checkout staff at Food Place will take it upon themselves to have a bell ringing day. They ring for extra change, they ring for product replacements, they ring to say they've broken their till, they ring to say they can't send a pod, they ring to say they've dropped their pen on the floor and could I pick it up please. These days invariably coincide with days when I have a lot of other things to be getting on with.

There's nothing worse than trying to do the wages and being interupted every three seconds by a cashier ringing for your assistance. What could they possibly want? I ask myself. I've given them all change and left my keys with the front-end runner. How can they need me? Still, I'd better go down and see what they want...

"Andrew, I think I've just short-changed somebody," a dopey cashier informs me.


"A customer."

"NEVER! I mean, which customer?"

"Oh she's gone now."

So you really thought this was such a huge emergency that you needed to call me away from a very pressing task to tell me all about it!? As a matter of fact, you haven't even told me about it, all you've done is given me a vague outline of the events. Do you even know how much you've messed your till up by? Probably not. Because you're away with the fairies, as per bloody usual!

I tell the fool she'll have to wait until the end of her shift to find out. No way am I interrupting my long list of tasks to pull the drawer off and spot-count it.

The bells continued to ring in very much that fashion all day. Stupid questions, dumb mistakes, false alarms. By the time I'd finished the wages it was a miracle I had any hair left. More so that none of it had turned grey. I was seriously ready to batter the next idiotic cashier to ring a bell to death. Brutal murder at Food Place.

You may recall that some months ago - God it feels like yesterday - we got a new department manager. He immediately got on everybody's nerves, rattled cages left, right and centre and showed himself to be nothing but an arrogant fool.

Now, I can't remember whether I bothered to blog about the enormous improvement in his attitude and conduct. I probably didn't since this blog tends to focus on negative (more interesting) things. Basically, he was given a stern telling-off by Terry and he immediately bucked his ideas up. He started taking an interest in all of the store functions. Asking people about their jobs, watching them at work, asking for training and then, finally, offering to support us. It was actually beginning to become quite a pleasure to work with him.

Well he's gone and stamped over all of that now.

For the past week, he's done nothing but interfere, poke his nose in, complain and, generally, get in the way. Every corner I've turned he's been there, ready to criticise everything I'm doing. Most notably, he keeps banging on that I'm "relying too heavily" on his staff to cover checkouts at busy times.Well excuse me. I thought we were all a team here? Since when do any of us belong exclusively to one department? Since never. We're all there to run a supermarket - whatever that entails for us, be it serving on tills, baking bread or putting out stock.

Perhaps I should tell the checkout staff to stop filling and facing the cosmetics section? He forgets about things like that see. The cosmetics aisle is part of the grocery department, and should be replenished the same way. But no - "the lads on shopfloor" now don't do toothpaste and shampoo. When Terry came to Food Place, he put a lot of work into breaking down the old divide of "lads on the floor, lasses on the tills". Robert is now stamping all over that. He thinks fiddling around trying to balance tiny boxes of headache tablets is beneath the dignity of his "lads" (never mind the seven women who work primarily on grocery). If it's lighter than a 24 pack of lager, it's not hard enough 'graft' for them.

The man is just grating on me - badly. It was so bad on Sunday that I couldn't face getting him to sign off the weekly accounts. The duty manager has to do this - basically it's confirmation that a manager has viewed the cash sheet, checked for discrepancies and given it their approval. I just could not bear the thought of inviting him into the office. He'd stay there all day and droan away about a load of crap. And I'd end up killing him in cold blood.

Well that just about sums up Food Place at the moment. I'm preparing a post about the dumb things that customers do. Nothing fresh, I hear you saying. But I promise they'll all be hitherto unmentioned antics. Things that really make my blood boil. Stay tuned.


James UK said...


"A customer."

I love that. That's the funniest thing I've heard today! Got to admire the logic in that reply!

How did you get the accounts stuff signed off in the end? Did you just leave it somewhere he could see it?

I know where I'd have been tempted to stuff it if I was you and having read your post! ;-)

AggressiveAdmin said...

Unfortunately the accounts are all electronic. You have to view them from either the cash office PC or the console in the EPOS office. Either way, he'd need me there talking him through it. Otherwise he'd just invent a load of tripe to complain about. Last time he inspected the cash sheet, he said "£4 lottery discrepancy? I'm not agreeing to that - you'll have to go away and find it and put it right."

I spent nearly half an hour trying to explain to him that a lottery discrepancy happens when a customer is undercharged for the tickets they've bought. There is no correcting it. It's a loss - the same as a cashier giving out too much change. But no. I had to magically produce this £4 from somewhere.

GGGRRR he gets on my wick!

Pizza Hut Team Member said...

Sign it off? I can never understand the point in witness signatures or a managers signature because in the main, they just agree to whatever the first person says.

Although with main banking there has to be a witness and second person to count everything because if it is wrong it can be someones job or personal money on the line.

Sometimes our banking is about £20,000 so I imagine the figures are much much higher for supermarkets - maybe getting him to sign isn't such a bad thing?

Al said...

I dread to think how much money ends up in the cash office at the end of the day. Although most people pay by card now there are still enough cash transactions to make it add up.

When you started mentioning Robert I initally thought you were going to say that he had gone.

Robert sounds a lot like my last manager. There was no telling him anything either, he knew best and that was it. Thankfully they got rid of him altogether after a couple of months. Something to do with him having an affair with one of the customer service staff.

As much as I hate to admit it checkouts are one of the most important parts of the store. It'll often be the last stop of a customer unless they're of the complaining type and the cashier may be the only member of staff they come into contact with (especially when the football is on). Therefore it's important to provide them with help when they need it, as much as I moan about.

It can be annoying for other managers because they're constantly losing staff and for the staff because they're being dragged away from their own jobs. It sounds like he's just being a prat for the sake of it.

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