Sunday, October 03, 2004

Working for Wal-Mart

I learned new words Saturday:

"Down-stack" - this means to take the freight (merchandise) off a pallet and put it in the aisle. Now, if I were the brilliant minds at Wal-Mart, I would make sure that ALL the stuff on the pallet goes to the same place, not having bake beans next to paper plates for instance, or mashed potatoes right next to bottled water, or salsa on top of popcorn. So help me god, if I ever get the chance to "improve" how this operation is actually run.

"Throw freight" - this is the lingo used to describe actually stocking the shelves, and it can be anything but pleasant. Try looking for a Disney princess tea kettle set in an entire aisle of Disney princess merchandise. Uh-huh.

"Overstock" - This one is simple. Too much merchandise to go on the shelf? It goes above, on a shelf known as a "riser." Still too much, the overstock from toys goes in ... wait for it ... on the risers in ... wait for it ... Health & Beauty. So the next time you visit Wal-Mart, look above the aisles in the Pharmacy section for toys. And look for these ugly stuffed cats, they are allegedly going to be the "HOT HOT HOT" toy this Christmas.

And who knew? Box cutters come in left-handed (orange) and right-handed (green) versions. The prissy risk control heifer got up last Thursday to give us a lecture on using the proper version, only the store doesn't have enough right-handed cutters, so I have been using the same left-handed one, with the same dull blade, since last freaking Saturday. So I'm thinking, "when you find me a right-handed one, I'll use it, bitch!"

And you can tell management is starting to scream at middle management. The happy faces everyone put on for the new associates are gone and everyone is starting to get all tense and drawn and the "let's pull together" speeches come out every two hours now. And everyone is asked to volunteer on Saturday where they can control you more because there are fewer people than on the during-the-week workdays.

And I know that I will NEVER work in a grocery store. Fuck stocking grocery shelves. I just pray I make it until I can just stand behind my cash register for 90 minutes at a time and smile and cash, credit or check?

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