Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Layaway Life

For an "overstaffed" store, we sure have some trouble covering critical posts. THREE TIMES in the past three days (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) I had to go back to Layaway to either cover a lunch, or in the case of Sunday night, actually work the Layaway desk.

OH MY GOD. Now I love layaway. There's a system and order and a linear way of doing things. It's not at all like the service desk, where you just sort of make it up as you go along to keep the idiot customers happy. Layaway has RULES!!!!!!

The 9-6 person left without telling us no one came into replace him. So at 6:30 p.m. we get the page "Customer assistance to Layaway." I go with a bag (i.e. money). Four customers were lined up waiting for me. One at the counter, two on the bench and another just pulling in with the cart.

And these were huge multi-item layaways. I had stuff coming out of my ears. I had two layaways on the side counter, another one spread out over half the back counter, a huge TV on the other half, some stuff stacked up on the TV, and then two Hispanic men rolled up with two tires that they wanted to put on layaway.

Tires. I near 'bout fell out. Of all things, two tires. They're still sitting under the counter where I rolled them with the bin labels on them.

The prize of the night was this skeevy woman who was getting a whole bunch of party stuff for her kid's birthday bash in August. She had multiple sets of Strawberry Shortcake stuff, but never the same multiple of anything, like plates, tablecloths, cups, streamers, etc.

She put it all on the counter. I opened her account and started scanning it. Then she started moving stuff around. The customers tend to do that when they're trying to scam you. They think you'll "forget" something or get confused.

So I would scan and the move the items to the back counter. Scan and move. Scan and move. She did almost get me though. She had eight packages of cups, but had set them out stacked together so it looked like four packages, with two racks on top of each other. I had seen her really skeezy brother stacking the cups, but it didn't cross my mind at the time.

It was just luck that I started putting all her stuff in the box right after she walked off and two packages of cups fell apart. I paged her right back to layaway and acted like I'd made the mistake. "Ma'am, I just don't want you to have any problems with your layaway when you pick it up." She paid me $.67 in nickels and pennies and flounced off.

That themed party supply stuff is expensive. She tried to scam four sets of cups off the store. That was almost eight dollars. That may not sound like a lot, but eight dollars here, eight dollars there, and pretty soon you're talking real money. And you'll never convince me she didn't know what she was doing, because she counted every other thing with me to make damned sure I didn't charge her for an extra plate or decoration. Some people ....


Anonymous said...

Hey I work in Wal-Mart layaway too! If I ever left without waiting for my relief, boy would I be in trouble. Hehe, I may just do that next time.

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Anonymous said...

So now what will you do that wal-mart is dropping their layaway program? Will they just put you elsewhere in the store or tell you "too bad" and boot you out the door. This has got to be one of the worst moves by the giant in a long time. After all, not everyone has credit cards these days.