But today, in the midst of reading week, I've decided to set aside some time to get something published on this blog. My archive is cluttered up with half-finished and barely-started posts that I've optimistically set about writing in study breaks and after Food Place shifts. I suppose I'll finish them off sooner or later, but for now you'll have to settle for a mish-mash of work-related ideas that I've got running through my mind.
Revenge on Customers
Whilst helping out on the kiosk yesterday, I got talking to Debbie about scoring cheap victories over nasty customers. The conversation made me realise what a fairy I've become. Since becoming a supervisor, I've forgotten how fun it is to be subtly, or even pointedly, rude to stroppy customers. I'm far too nice to them; maybe I should return to the glory-days of being a not-a-care-in-the-world-part-timer who didn't give a toss about pissing off the nasty people.
Here's just a couple of things the conversation turned up:
- When a customer places cash payment onto the desk rather than into your hand. These days, I think to myself "how rude" and proceed as normal. In the olden days, I'd get irate and slam their change onto the counter in return. Sometimes I'd even omit to thank them for their custom.
- When customers sneakily bring 50+ items through the '10 items or fewer' tills. Nowadays, you'd be very lucky if I so much as offered a polite reminder of the item-limit for next time. Too scared of causing offense. Back then, I'd get revenge for their deliberate ignorance by hurling their shopping through so fast that we'd run out of space in the packing well before giving them the smug "this is why it's a ten-items only till" lecture.
- When customers ask stupid questions. I've become far too patient and tolerant of their idiocy. In yesteryear, if a customer asked where the frozen chips were I'd have said "well you could try over there in the freezers." The fairy-queen me of today would say, "oh, frozen chips just over this way, follow me, are these the ones you want? There's crinkle cut ones here too!"
- When customers lie. They do this a lot. In the past, I'd have came out and called a shovel a shovel. "No, you didn't ask for x, I clearly heard you, and you asked for y" or "you did not pick this up from the Buy One Get One Free Display because I watched you take it from the shelf over there!" Now, I go for the easy life and kiss their ass. "Oh, I'm so sorry I must have misheard you."
See what being a supervisor has made me? It's turned me into a customer-is-always-right freak! Well, not exactly. It's turned me into the type of shop assistant that holds it all in and blogs about it.
Food Place Catch-up
I'm not seeing nearly as much of the place, and I already feel a little cut-off from 'the crack'. I never seem to find out what's going on anymore and I don't even manage to catch the nasty customers.
About the only interesting event to note is the music-system malfunction. It usually does a very good job of playing a nice variety of tunes and not looping them round too often. But last week it decided to start playing a particularly long version of 'Kelly Watch the Stars' on a loop. For five days. Just when I was one more play away from learning every single note of the song, it unceremoniously launched into 'Whatever Happened to Corey Haim' and hasn't gone back to old Kelly ever since. Perhaps the system was updating itself ready to start throwing Christmas songs at us next week? It's bound to happen. It's usually on or around November 1st. So the next post I write is likely to be titled 'Stick the bloody partridge and it's pear tree where the sun don't shine!'
The cash office politics have flared-up once more. I'm once again in the position of being afraid to make mistakes, lest somebody else go poking through the paperwork looking for them. That isn't the worst part - I freely admit to making mistakes. It's only natural that the odd procedure goes tits-up when I'm rushing to get back to supporting the checkouts. What really bothers me is that certain individuals are taking their findings back to Terry and trying to make me look incompetent. I know it's unlikely he'll think any less of me for it. He's told me numerous times that he likes having a cash office supervisor who would rather be on the shop floor than locked in a lime-green-cell upstairs. All my mistakes ever amount to is money being in one place when it should be in another. And it's usually a case of one till being £10 down and another till £10 over. It's not as though I'm losing hundreds of pounds!
For a long time I thought our store was different. Other Food Places have their cash offices staffed by old Margarets and Joans who bicker and argue all day long and spend hours doing what can be achieved in 20 minutes. I always liked the way the cash office was a small-job in our store. All it ever amounted to was a couple of hours a day following laid-down procedures and it was operated entirely by younger staff and -unusually - three out of four of them were male. But now, people have left and bickering old women are back on the scene. You can imagine the rest.
I'd probably feel a lot better about things if I'd taken the time to vent some steam by blogging about it. As it is, I've bottled it all up and feel pretty depressed about work again. I'm thinking about speaking to Terry to find out whether he'll allow me to work my hours just supervising the checkouts. I don't want any of this cash office hassle now. Either that or I wait until there's a vacancy for kiosk staff and ask to be demoted.