Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Shelf, meet my head

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. For a 220,000 sq. foot SuperCenter, the Customer Service bay is tiny. Probably the size of a modern living room, maybe less.

There's the counter, some space behind it, a wall and more space for return bins and another few feet behind the wall where the cashiers count their money, so they are away from customers and out of the crush.

The open space for customers is totally wasted. We have a HUGE open area in front of the counter that basically seems to collect things. The only things that are legit in that space are the public pay phone and the hiring center computer, and a bench for customers.

Now what usually winds up there are shopping carts filled with the detritus of things left on shelves that don't belong on the shelf it got left on, or things left at registers, or things just brought up to customer service and tossed into a cart. We fight a never-ending battle to keep the Service Desk area clean. WE ALWAYS LOSE, because everyone just thinks "they have time to deal with it." Um, no.

Just two of us were there today, and from 8 to five, we had more than 130 customers wanting returns, money orders, exchanges, etc. To put that in perspective, the average cashier has about 60 customers in a day on a register. Granted, they have to scan and bag, but only 60 people. I had 71 and I spent a half-hour in Layaway with only 1 customer. I've done Sundays on the service desk and had 120 customers all on my own.

All the while we're taking returns, we're answering questions, answering the phone when it rings up at the desk, giving directions to people, signing in vendors, vendor refunds (which don't count as customers), calling maintenance to the bathrooms etc. We DO NOT have time to sort out buggies, although we get the task of doing it all the same.

The point of all this is to say that Sunday, when I was exhausted, because I'd been on the desk for an hour by myself with this humongous line and a woman with four returns on four different credit cards and six different receipts (a nightmare to figure out), I slammed my head into the shelf behind the desk.

I bent down to put a tool kit that someone had left at a register into the Hardware bin (Depts. 11 & 12) and misjudged the distance and hit the corner square on. I bled. I fell to the floor. I had a hella headache for hours. I wanted to cry.

The girls at the desk made a huge fuss over me. They ran to get ice and held onto me when I stood up. Thank heaven it was almost time for me to go. I just counted my money (perfect for the night, thank you) and went home. My head still hurts!

But I still don't understand why, with the facility so large, the Customer Service area does not match the size of the store. And don't get me started on layaway -- they've started taking layaway bins to store merchandise! So the bins are absolutely crammed FULL. There's almost no room to put new layaways -- and we had to find room for tires last week!

1 comment:

Perdita said...

No concussion I can assume?