Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's the Great Pumpkin Sam Walton

Every now and again, you get one of those unusual requests that sort of make you go "What?"

"Can you ring up 60 pumpkins?" is certainly one of the more interesting ones I've heard at Wal-Mart.

I still don't know what the pumpkins were for, especailly on a Monday night, but this woman had an assistant manager pulling around a six-foot-square cardboard box filled with pumpkins with a pallet jack.

I sort of goggled at that and then was like "What's the produce code for those pumpkins?" because, you know, I'm like NEVER actually running a register. And this genius assistant manager didn't know. What are they actually teaching in manager training now?

So I scratch around in the supply cabinet and eventually find an old produce sheet. I ring up 60 pumpkins and come up with the outrageous price of $238.80. The woman screeches and hollers "THAT CAN'T BE RIGHT."

"How much are they supposed to be?" and I look straight at this genius of an assistant manager. He says "Two for $6.00."

"So they're supposed to be $3.00 per pumpkin?" I ask again. "So what is the produce code for that? The one I have is for "Large Pumpkin" and that rings up at $3.98."

Genius Assistant Manager gives me that look that says "I don't know" and sort of shrugs. This is why the store lost more than TWO MILLION DOLLARS of inventory through shrink and other various reasons last year. You're the assistant manager for Grocery and you don't know your own produce codes.

I yell out to the cashier on register #14 and ask what the code for pumpkins is. She hollers back that it is the same one I've been using. Great. So now all the pumpkins that we have marked as a "Special Deal" have been ringing up wrong all day. No wonder people get so hacked off when they shop here.

So I hit PRICE OVERRIDE and then the produce code and 60 for the number of pumpkins and $3.00 for the correct price and voila, she's paying $180.00 for a bunch of pumpkins.

It should be noted that all management did in this situation was bring the pumpkins up, and then roll the pumpkins out. The mental heavy lifting I had to do on my own.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, you actually think Assistant Managers are supposed to know anything, or accomplish anything for themselves? I've been working at a Wal-Mart for just over two months now and I already know better than that. All they know (and are trained) to do is give instructions and once in a while offer token help in some task, in general. There's a couple of them at my store who are better. Both are willing to actually pitch in to a task if someone needs an extra hand, and at least the one actually seems to know stuff. But for the most part...

hockeyfrog said...

Long time reader, first time commenter, employee at a Walmart for four years.... your blog is a good read, reminding me of all the horrors that are working in retail.

This particular post made me think about how the store I worked at was a management training store. Most of us found it super frustrating to know more than the management did. Luckily I worked in jewelry which was that whole "store in a store" deal, so we didn't really listen anyway, but still. Its bad when I have to help one of the new assistant managers unfreeze one of the telxons, or call a code white on the member of management whose ears I just pierced caused her to pass out. I just really don't miss those days :)

Anonymous said...

Was the code "4736" Produce codes are universal no matter where you work. Keep up the blogs. I work in a grocery store at the customer service dept. You get a lot more crazies at Wal-Mart but I can relate to a lot of your blogs.

Red Stapler said...

Goes to show about some people's frame of mind... "Normal" people would think 60 pumpkins for decoration at a fall festival, or raw materiel for massive amounts of pie... I think ammunition for a homemade trebuchet... Which would be an interesting way to return 60 said pumpkins 2 weeks past their prime... Jesus, I shouldn't give your customers any ideas.

Rob the Webkahunah said...

Stapler has a point... my first thought was a cheap 'b' horror movie called "Attack of the Killer Pumpkins"

I guess it's all about perspective.

Alternative uses:

Spray paint them white, for easily compostable snowmen.

Impressive but cheap orange bricks to make a pyramid for a school production of "the ten commandments".

Festive way to smash windshields, so that the local glass companies get a much needed economic boost.

Let them rot in the crawl space under the house of someone you don't like.

Sandbags? who needs stinkin sandbags?

and of course... (my favorite), create instant high ground in the event of flooding.

Anonymous said...

jYou really expected a manager to help?? Shame on you--all they are good at is giving orders or telling you that you aren't doing your job.

erin said...

i actually purchased two pumpkins at wal-mart this year for my porch. they were supposed to be $4 each (according to the sign) but no one knew the produce code (including the managers) so they rang them up as "pumpkin pie - $1.38". i was happy, but what the hell? pie?