Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Great balls of fire

The Wal-Mart almost burned down Tuesday. Some genius put the fitting room keys on top of the electrical outlet. At some point during the night, a key had slipped between the plug and the outlet. As a result, whenever the phone would ring, there would be this buzzing sound on the line.

This morning, the operator reached down to unplug the phone to see if that would fix the problem. The metal key, being in connection with a live electrical connection, started sparking and shocked the hell out of her. She fell out on the floor and started screaming.

Someone ran to get us, because our podium is just a few steps away from the fitting room. At this point, I can see the sparks and the key between the plug and the outlet. This is bad news. Every time the phone rings, more sparks. Great fun!

I yell for someone to find a manager. I'm sure as hell not going to unplug this phone. I AM NOT going to die in service to Wal-Mart, no matter how much (or how little) the death insurance may be.

Finally, a manager comes by and starts playing chicken with the phone cord. Grab, pull, spark. Grab, pull, spark. Repeat. Finally, after the smell of ozone is permeating the air and customers are gathering around to watch, the plug comes out and the very scorched keys fall onto the floor.

The two keys have black marks in three places. The keyring is crispy and burnt in two and the paper where "Fitting Room Keys" was written was literally burned up. If this had happened during the night without people around, the whole place may have gone up. That was Monday.

And let me tell you about Sunday, bloody Sunday. Sunday was pure and unadulturated HELL! Not enough cashiers and WAAAAAYYYYY too many customers. Two supervisors had to go on registers. When I came back from lunch, my manager was running the front end and the schedule was a mess. For the next two and a half hours, I was left holding down the fort all by myself, trying to cope with all 23 registers, plus the service desk, garden, jewelry, electronics and all the rest. Slamming busy!

No sooner than I got back from running to one end than I was called to the other. Back and forth and back and forth. WIC problems, check approvals, change requests, overrides, price checks, grumpy customers, gift cards. You name it, I had it and solved it. I felt so bad for all those poor cashiers. Some who needed a lunch at 7 p.m. didn't get it until nearly 8:30 p.m. Most of them got their 9 p.m. breaks at 10:15. It was that bad of a night.

We finally got relief when the night cashiers started coming in at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. I even had to put a girl from the jewelry counter on a register. My feet were literally throbbing. I slept all day Monday and could have slept all day Tuesday. I think I may step down and go back to part-time. The toll on my body is just too much.


Wench` said...

C'mon now, if my 65 yr old mom can do a 40 hour work week for Wally World I'm sure a strong young man like yourself can do it!

:> Good job, hope you get a raise.

Wench` said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i bet the day went by fast though!