Saturday, June 10, 2006

On the other side of the counter again

I know you all like to hear about my adventures at the Wal-Mart. However, I do have the tiniest smidgen of a life. What's more, I absolutely refuse to buy fresh food at my store or any other Wal-Mart. Cans are fine. Anything fresh is not. I KNOW how it gets treated!

So I'm trying to beat the closing bell at the Albertson's this week. There are probably 4 other shoppers in the store. Everyone wants to just grab some stuff and get out.

They've got four self-checkouts, but I've only ever seen one open. And only two cashiers, one of whom is counting her money. I'm like a mile away from the checkouts, when I hear them start calling "Cashier xxx, red line." And they kept paging her. For like five minutes.

I get some bread, some cheese and some ice cream and then TRY to check out. Here's what's been happening. All the time, they're paging this missing cashier.

One checker was going to leave at 10:30 p.m., I assume. She was counting her money. Some guy had come up and the other girl, the one that was missing, still hadn't shown up. So the girl trying to go home had checked this guy out. Her supervisor was standing behind her holding the cash drawer in one hand, and the phone in the other, calling for this missing cashier.

I stand there, and they tell me to go to the other register. They're very polite to me, but I can sense that the one supervisor is getting REALLY hacked off at this cashier. She starts running through pages now, and finally calls "Manager, red line" which must be some code.

She starts yelling into the phone about how "XXXX" has been gone for ten minutes now and there are customers waiting and where the hell is this girl. It is really quite a funny show.

And then here comes the girl. She sails up like nothing was ever wrong, gets behind her register and starts scanning my stuff. She didn't even apologize to me for making me wait. And she just gave the other girl, the one who'd been calling her for 10 minutes, a dirty look.

Nobody offered any excuses, although I did try to linger. There were people behind me, so I couldn't just stand around.

I do know that once someone has money in a register, someone else can't just get on and start checking. The money belongs to a particular cashier. If they're short for the day, that is there problem. But is two people used the same cash, then how do you pinpoint the blame?

And I think Albertson's operates different than Wal-Mart, where mid-level supervisors hand out cashier money. I think there it is locked in an office and only a manager could have asked someone else to open up another register.

Still, I would like to know what (or who) this chick was doing.


FARfetched said...

No, sometimes it's interesting to hear your take on the other side... besides, it's your blog. :-)

Interesting that only one self-checkout is ever open — aren't those designed so one cashier can run four at once? Ah well. This is a great example of the problems you run into when you don't keep an extra person around. It's fine to run lean & efficient, but if someone steps out for a smoke or to take a dump, the whole thing comes apart.

Russell said...

How does the "fresh" food at Wal-Mart get treated?

my mother cant get enough of the crap

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the prepackaged may be 10-15% cheaper, but the label says it contains 10-15% water solution. This water solution supposedly increases the shelf life from 3 days (for butcher meat) to two weeks! Yikes!

Tyler said...

I worked at Kroger when I was in high school. We had a "red line" and a "green line" there too. Basically it was an internal phone line that any phone in the store could connect to. If you needed to talk to someone else anywhere in the store, you'd just page "so-and-so red line, please" and then switch yourself to that line. They'd pick up and voila, you're connected.

Anonymous said...

We have the same internal phone system at the grocery store I work at, there are 4 lines and 4 colors which correspond to those lines. on the hand set theres is a button that you press with you index finer and it pages. Normally I page by the line number(CSR Airphone line X please) and some ppl who came from other stores use color. I dont know why they call it an "Airphone" since the brand is actually "AIPhone"