Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Reflections of the way life used to be

SUNDAY: Sunday was bad. I had the 11-8 shift, which means I had the worst of the morning rush, the lunch rush AND the evening rush. At times, I just felt like my head was going to explode. One of the girls was sick, so it was just three of us trying to keep a lid on this chaotic mess all day. The highlights, as best I can remember:
  • "I just want to make a complaint. I've been coming here for three weeks and you NEVER have club soda." I do apologize ma'am. "Well, that's not good enough. I want to talk to a manager. Sometimes it does good to complain."
  • Two associates nearly coming to blows because one is injured and can't go on a register. The other has been kidding her about it. The injured on takes it a bit too personally and finally blew up about it.
  • Some lady tries to scam a cashier for a $20 ceramic pot for $3. The girl ask me for a price check. I got back to the Garden Center, tell her it is $20 and the woman almost explodes when she realizes that I KNOW she tried to cheat. The worst part was the original one didn't have a barcode, so the cashier had already typed it into the register. We can't void those things off. The lady had to pay and then I had to refund her the money.
  • Two CODE WHITEs, which is a customer accident. One outside, one inside.
  • A customer paid for a flatscreen TV in twenties back in electronics, and people had been dropping big bills on them all morning, so they want a cash drop and a new bag. I go back, take them a new bag, give them a cash reading so they can count down at the end of the night and then realize I've got to walk back to the front of the store with more than $3000 in my hands inside this blue bag. Of course, customers stop me every other step of the way. Never again.

    MONDAY: Another 11-8 shift, which, once we realized that management had forgotten to plan for the President's Day holiday, turned into a nightmare of a day, was super-crappy. The highlights:
  • No one showed up for the Service Desk or Layaway, again. Me and two other supervisors spent all day at the Service Desk handling idiot customers and more idiot complaints. This left one other person and a manager to run the entire floor.
  • Who returns NINE pairs of shoes?
  • Who returns a live fish? (which we can't put back in the tank, because it has been contaminated with another kind of tank water)
  • Someone returned a two-month old bike "because they were done with it." This bike had been rode hard and put up wet for weeks. It was rusted and totally destroyed. They had the receipt and got more than $100 back.
  • A totally annoying man came in with a broken printer. No receipt. He demanded a new printer. Now, we can look up serial numbers on the computer and it tells us what to do. The computer told us that we could not return this printer without a receipt and that we couldn't return it anyway, because computer components can only be returned within 45 days of purchase. OH MY GOD! This man totally blew his stack. He accused all of us of giving him poor customer service. He said he was going to find his friend, who also worked there and this friend was going to make us return this computer. (Not likely, since we rank at the same level as his friend, and the friend later told me that this guy was full of it!). Finally, a manager asked him to leave. But when he left, he left that stupid broken printer sitting up on the counter!
  • Best of all Monday was this evil old woman who locked her keys in her car. She came up to our podium and asked us to call the police. We told her that the Sheriff's Office will only unlock the car if there is a baby inside, but that she was free to use our phone to call a locksmith. Some dumb man passing by overheard and said that if we had a coat hanger he would open the car for her. So then she demanded a coat hangar. We refused, because if the car is damaged with a coat hangar supplied by Wal-Mart, then she can sue. Well, that set her off. She slapped the podium and yelled, "Don't give me that crap, I need to get my car open." One of the girls piped up "We'll be glad to sell you one ma'am -- just down there in Housewares." We figured she'd come back and ask to buy just one out of the pack, but she didn't.

    TUESDAY: My day off. I slept until noon, had lunch with a friend, and went back home and slept some more. I also got some cheap frappuccino from the barrio boy at Starbucks.

    I just wanted to add something. Several people have commented that Wal-Mart seems to be making me go insane. I do dislike the evil customers, and they do seem to see me coming, but I do enjoy my job. The good moments, like when a little boy asked for my "Bambi" pin and his mother just thanked and thanked me, that makes me happy, or when I look down at the schedule and realize that we're all caught up on breaks/lunches. I would rather be busy than suicidally bored like I was back last fall. Although, the stress is something I could do without. And thank you for your concerns. And I do love comments!

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with your last point. I've had a really busy, stressful job at a restaurant before, and I've had a job doing next to nothing at HMV, and I would prefer the busy and stressful job over the mind-numbing one anytime. Boredom is so much worst, because you're essentially a zombie -- not human.


    bbcamerican said...

    Hey! I've bought CDs from HMV before. I even know what the HMV stands for! The zombie thing though -- most of the "associates" which is what Wal-Mart calls us, really are the walking dead. A couple of us were talking today, and like 15 cashiers just need to be shown the door like yesterday. Good help is SO hard to find!