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.
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.
"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.