Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guest Post: There is no 'back' - only the back of my hand

Another guest post here - and another one from the wilds of Canada. Original material from "Hello Me Ducky" - with editing and rewrites by Behind the Counter.

People. Please. The only "back" in a Wal-Mart is the back of my hand as I slap you across your face when you ask that I "go to the back" and find you something that isn't on the shelf. Comprendez vous?

One more time. Let's go over this. THIS IS NOT A SHOE STORE. WE DO NOT HAVE A MAGICAL DUPLICATING MACHINE IN THE BACK. IF IT DO NOT BE ON THE SHELF, IT DO NOT BE IN THE STORE.

Let's take it from the top. I work in Howler Monkey central, Department 26, otherwise known as Infants. I put things on the shelf. I can help you, but only if you're not to stupid to breathe. Of course, you’re shopping at the House of Wal …

Pop quiz:

There are six pallets of freight out on the floor. All of it needs to go on the shelves by the end of my shelf. Do you:
a) edge around the boxes to do your shopping?
b) dip your head into my aisle, see that I'm busy and move on?
c) start opening boxes and pawing through them looking for a pair of socks for your godforsaken baby that looks like a prune cross-bred with a shar-pei and then laid in the sun for thirty-eight years
d) ask me "Is there any more in the back?"

If I dealt with you last Saturday, you perpetrated BOTH options C & D.

Ma'am, go die in a fire.

If all this stuff is lying in piles around me, what makes you think there is yet MORE in the back?

Please. Do I come to your house and rifle through your drawers looking for a knife to stab you with? Even though the very thought of such murderous violence pleases me mightily!

Do you really know what’s “in the back” of a Wal-Mart? Not much actually.

On the GM (General Merchandise) side, there’s rows and rows of huge shelves about fifteen feet high with four levels each. Each department has so many rows – based on how big the department is.

Theoretically, all the “overstock” – more of the same from the floor – goes into this area. It is supposed to be labeled by the date it was received off the truck and type of merchandise it is. In reality, it is a huge jumbled junk drawer of out-of-season merchandise that a team of trained managers couldn’t wade through with a shovel and a pricing gun. Most stock comes straight off the trucks and onto the sales floor.

On the grocery side, there's a little bit of cold storage for fresh fruit & vegetables and a freezer. The trucks for the grocery side come every day.

29 comments:

Michelle said...

OK...I'm almost always on the side of the employee in the stories that get posted on this blog.

But seriously, asking if there's more stock in the back of the store is not that unreasonable of a request! How is the average customer supposed to know how stocking works in the store? And there have been times at other stores when I've asked the question, someone has gone to check and, lo and behold, there *was* more in the back.

Anonymous said...

Not to be rude, but most people who work retail and know what they're doing, know what is on the self in their back room without even having to look. Usually if there is an empty hole on the self, they're out of it. The only time I ran into there being more in the back was pool chemicals over the summer, when we could go through a pallet in less than a week

brspiritus said...

Nice job trying to rip off "In the Style of Behind the Counter"... NOT! Although the baby comment was borderline funny the rest of it, well I got some rotten vegetables to throw capice?

Anonymous said...

Your store sounds a lot more organized than the supercenter I service (as a vendor). They have so much grocery backstock, it's insane.

Recently, some genius decided to move the grocery backstock from the steel over to the moving sections of shelving (not sure of the Wal-speak for what they're called). Bright idea - let's put liquids and glass stuff on moving shelves!

And yet I get strange looks when we bring in extra stock for the weekends. Ugh.

wildweasel said...

I can safely say that Wal-Mart is the odd store out when it comes to not having a "back" - I work at a local chain of stores here in the Northwest (Bi-Mart) and every store has a "back" room that's actually two floors. If an employee-owned "mom and pop" store has a back room like that, then why doesn't Wal-Mart?

Anonymous said...

Don't ask me to check or get something from the back after 2pm--that's when ICS begins stuffing pallets down all the side aisles in preparation for unloading the evening trucks. There's no way in hell I can get to anything back there after that. Your best time to come to the store is between 7 and 11 in the morning.I can help you then...if I'm not at the morning meeting...

Ticked off Wife said...

becuase there is NO BACK at Walmart is EXACTLY why I refuse to shop there..I want to shop not have to WORK AROUND your STUFF you are stocking!! I deliberatly knocked over four boxes of "stuff" one time becuase I couldn't get too the socks for my husband. why the HELL are you open 24/7??? don't you have employees that could STOCK when I AM ASLEEP???
I don't care that you ahve to get a pallet done during your shift. I WANT TO SHOP not manuver around a frickin' pallet! that was the last time I was in a walmart by the way. I always shop at TARGET with the aisles fREEEEEEEEEEEE of chinacrap!!

powercat99 said...

We're one of the few Wal-Marts to actually have a halfway organized backroom. I work part-time in Infants, and our department manager has labeled each section in the back for each aisle's contents. So I actually can look in the back and see if we have something. In fact, I like doing it because it makes more room for the other crap Bentonville keeps sending us.

Jessica said...

ticked off wife:
How nice of you to come right out and admit you're exactly the kind of person that makes me want to get stabby.

Deliberately knocking merchandise over because pwechus hubby's sockies is on da odder side!!!!!! How fucking mature.

I realize that AT BEST Wal-Marts are poorly staffed... but that is NO excuse to be a total raging bitch and knock their shit over... making their job all that much harder and leaving that pallet in the way longer for every-fucking-body else.

Your entitlement bitch attitude could be done WELL without.

-The Not Psycho Bitch (But Seriously Pissed Off) Jess

Anonymous said...

Ticked off must live in upscale-soccer mom-trophy wife-suburbia U.S.A. because they are the self entitled type who think Target is Macy's little sister. I've been in Target many, many times when they were stocking during snot wife's waking hours with their made in china crap all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Macy's is about the same quality as Target, but way overpriced.

Brian said...

The writer of this blog, as you can all see, is a total bitch.

Instead of being rude about "checking in the back," she could have kindly explained why she can't check in the back. I have never EVER been to a store or a walmart that didn't have backstock, in fact, when I see people buying TV's as well as other items from walmart, sometimes the employees have to go TO THE BACK to get them.

Get off your high horse lady. Seriously, just because you choose to work at a dead end job doesn't mean we all do.

I am never rude to a walmart employee unless they are rude first, and by the sound of this post, you are a complete and total bitch. Almost as bad as the walmart employees who walk around with rap t-shirts under their vests who drive palet jacks around you when you're shopping and smash your cart into the shelves, then give you a dirty look. It's like "Look Mr. GED, you are the moron who can't control the $200 equipment that walmart entrusts you with, don't give me attitude when you fuck up."

And to be honest, those little credit card screens at the register.. If you notice, before you pay it says "Did your cashier greet you today?" If my cashier does not greet me, I click no, because if you can't be friendly to your customers, you should not have a customer service job.

I work in a field where I have to deal with customers and I have never once acted in a rude manner toward them just because I am having a "bad day", or because i "hate my job". If it's so terrible, get a REAL job, or better yet, GO TO COLLEGE!

Jessica said...

Hey Brian,
Do you always assume that you have the right to tell everyone else how to live their lives according to your exact specifications or is this a one time thing?

Pretty shitty of you to assume that your local Hell-Mart employees are uneducated misfits just because they may not have greeted you, or might be exhausted from being over worked and underpaid. Some of them actually HAVE their precious degrees, and haven't been able to find a 'real grown up' job with them yet. IMAGINE that.

Oh Heaven forbid their bad day overflow into their work life. Heaven forbid they forget to greet your fucking entitled ass.

Jessica said...

Oh and I almost forgot genius... some of them are putting up with shit like you give them (Never been rude unless they were rude first my fat white ass. Unless you have a very low tolerance bar for 'rudeness'.') at their dead end jobs because they're IN college getting that degree you obviously see them as worthless without.

Brian said...

I never once said I assume they're all un-educated. You obviously didn't read my comment at all. Try again ace. When you're trying to shop and an employee hits you and/or your cart with the pallet jack by being a lazy piece of shit (99% of the time I see this happen if im in a walmart after 10pm at LEAST once), you have a right to get bitchy.

That being said, working at walmart is customer service. Customers dont care if you're tired, if your twat is bleeding today, if you ate bad mexican, if your SO just left you, whatever, they want customer service, thats your job. Just because you are having a bad day does not mean you should take it out on customers.

As far as being overworked and under paid, thats your choice. You CHOOSE to stay at that job, instead of find one that pays better and will not overwork you. I'm sure target is always hiring, and I know for a fact they pay more than walmart. Using "Overworked and underpaid" as an excuse is just pathetic.

When I was younger I worked Tech Support for an ISP. I have a very high tolerance for rude people. Hell, I sometimes have to deal with customers today, and reguardless of how I feel, etc, I greet each and every person I speak to (albeit isn't a daily thing) with a smile and a nice opening. You are REQUIRED, by your job, to be a customer servent. you serve the customer. Remember that. You choose the job, coming here and complaining because someone asked you to go out of your way and look for some overstock in the back of the store is not at all unreasonable. Maybe its because you've got a "fat white ass", as you put it. It probably wouldn't hurt you to walk to the back of the store to check even if you knew it was pointless :)

The point is that you shouldn't just act a fool or complain about your job when you have the power to do something about it. In the time it took you to write this blog, im sure you could have hit up monster or career builder, and applied to at least 50 jobs. So, before you start to spew pointless and idiotic rantings about you being fat, lazy white trash, why dont you you try to do something to remedy your hate for working at walmart.

Enjoy.


PS: I think you need to hit up pharmacy for some Midol.

Anonymous said...

Brian's not only cranky and needs a nap, but needs spelling lessons. IT person when you were younger? How old are you? 70?
Servent? Regaurdless? I do hope spelling isn't a requirement for your job :)

Anonymous said...

Um... asking a WM employee to check for stock in the back of WM is NOT analogous to rifling through the drawers of a customer's home. How fucking dumb to even TRY to compare the two.

How are customers supposed to know that ALL of your stock is out in the middle of the floor waiting for you to stock it? WAH FUCKING WAH you have to stock it ALL on your shift. PART OF YOUR JOB! Why would get so angry over a question like that? Jeesus. Educate the customer so they know, then if they STILL ask you, you have reason to be frustrated.

Waaaah I had to do my job. Waaaah.

Jessica said...

And you obviously didn't read my comment, Brian dearest, because I never said I worked at Wal-Mart. Even if you do (or did) work with people, your standards are way too high to expect that people can or even should just magically put their bad aside, to put a smile on their face for YOU all day every day. I'm sorry you seem to only ever run into the people ARE having bad days or are just plain fucking up... the point is nobody's perfect and it's just plain rotten (and entitled) of you to expect ANYONE to be, no matter what position they hold in life. Give people the benefit of the doubt once in awhile.
Also, I love how you assume I'm not doing shit about finding a new job because I took fifteen minutes out of my day to read my favorite blog. A blog which - to use your own logic against you here - no one is MAKING you read. Go somewhere else for your jollies if the ventings of those of us in the 'servant' class irritates you so.

Get Over It said...

They weren't making the analogy about the twatrocket asking to check. They were making the analogy about the entitlement whore digging through their stock when they realized they'd have to wait two whole seconds for someone to help them.
Now... I know I can;t prove this, but from what I inferred of the post this moron was told there was no more in the back.
Yeah, they had to do their job. They did their job. Doesn't mean the BITCH was any less of one.
Waaah, I have nothing better to do than troll blogs. Waaaah

Anonymous said...

Digging through stock on the floor that's going to be FOR SALE in a PUBLIC PLACE, also NOT analagous to going to someone's home and rifling through their drawers.


This person is a total fucktard. There should be NO question as to why they are stuck in Wal-Hell and totally miserable.

What a stupid fucking post. Get a valid rant and then come back.

Anonymous said...

NEWS FLASH DUMB FUCK...If I'm "trolling" blogs, so are you. So "waaaah" right back at ya.

Such a dumb fuck to not see the irony in that post.

Anonymous said...

I love Behind the Counter. I read it every day. But I'm beginning to be turned off by the "die in a fire" type comments. At first I was horrified that anyone would wish someone like this upon someone (joking or not, people who read here have had experience with friends/family members dying in fires, I konw this because I'm one of them) But now, it's just lame. Come up with some new insults. Witty is good. Die in a fire is not.

Anonymous said...

I too do not think it is unreasonable to ask if there is more in the back. However, the coment by the second blogger who says "but most people who work retail and know what they're doing, know what is on the self in their back room without even having to look. Usually if there is an empty hole on the self, they're out of it." I'd have to disagree with. There are many employees in retail, not all employees have the same jobs. I work in a retail store. Sometimes I am out on the floor doing something and I get asked a question. Well, I would love to help, but the sales floor is NOT my "specialty". I know where a lot of things are located ON the floor and will help someone find what they are looking floor, but the backroom, that's not my job. I don't have the equipment to search where or if an item is in the backroom. Never-the-less, I will help you find someone who does. Having said that, I can't tell you how many times customers would treat me like I'm an idiot because I don't KNOW something. As demanding, expecting, "I deserve", "I have rights", ME-ME-ME consumers that many of you ARE, have a little compassion on the people who have to work for a living serving YOU and show a little kindness and patience knowing if you yourself were in the same shoes as the person you are belittling and actually see how things work...you'd think of yourself as just as "incompetent". Hey, maybe I'll pick up where "behind the counter" left off and start my own blog for MY department store...TARGET! I'd love to share the in's and out's of both management and "guests".

Anonymous said...

If you consider Target to be a "department" store, then you are most certainly trashy.

Macy's is a department store. Target sells cheap (but slightly better quality) merch. This isn't rocket science people. Walmart/Target = cheap azn crap, department stores = overpriced mostly americanized goods.

Anonymous said...

Ah, if it has DEPARTMENTS, then it's a DEPARTMENT store. Sheesh, talk about rocket science. And to call someone "trashy" that you don't even know anything about is ludicrous.

Justin said...

I worked at a Walmart, and they would sometimes have stuff in the back that wasn't anywhere to be found out front (especially true of electronics). There was also a good bit more grocery stuff than is listed. When I worked pop and water everything almost always went out--and if it didn't fit somewhere, we were suppose to jam it in somewhere it wasn't suppose to go on the floor. When I worked cereal aisle, though, we always had dozens and dozens of cases of cereal in the back. And I would only have time maybe once a week to go back and pull the old stuff out. Most (over)nights I spent the last 1 1/2 hours zoning grocery and helping whoever else needed help.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you may want to call it, a department store, a retail store, it's splitting hairs to argue a point about it.

And to "ticked off wife" complaining about pallets being on the floor, well deal with it. If it's after 10pm and you are shopping, then it is to be expected. How else are the shelves suppose to be stocked? Shopping at Target because of it? By all means go ahead. But the last time I checked, Target was not an American company - but wants to make a profit like every other company out there. How do you do that? By getting the cheapest product from your source, and put the highest markup on it that you possible can so people will buy it, even if that means buying it from China.

Customer care should be the priority for any company. But we are humans, but sometimes I think that customers forget that. I don't think there are too many original questions a guest can ask that the employee of the store you are at haven't been asked at least a thousand times.

Green said...

I know what you mean about "the back." Who came up with that idea anyway? Why has everyone taken hold of it and carried it around with them to every store they visit? I worked for a few months in a women's clothing store and was asked on a daily basis if we had "any more in the back". No, ma'am, everything we have is out on the floor. "Could you just go check for me?" Ma'am, there IS no "back" for me to check. Just the break room and the employee bathroom.
Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brian, newsflash: a lot of us ARE in college, and we are working in retail to help pay for gas, tuition, and other bills. Most of us are DESPERATELY trying to escape from retail. By lumping most people in retail together as 'GED' folks, you are showing that you are an entitled prick who needs to get a f***ing life.
By the way, what 'field' do you work in? Are you a corporate CEO? I am curious now.