[ADVENTURES IN RETAILING] Stomach Churning Annoying Days

For some reason, I’ve been feeling sick at work. I don’t know if I’m actually sick or if my mind realizes I have about a trillion other things I want to do and feel like spending 7 or 8 hours cashing people out isn’t worth the time (4 or 5 hours would definitely be worth my time right now though). I was miserable yesterday and the day before, although both days did have their up and down points.

I was feeling utterly tired on Sunday – I really wanted to sleep more. I was starting to feel sick. There wasn’t much I could do about it. While customers didn’t bother me all that much, just the mundane task of ringing out everybody was terrible (not to mention, I didn’t go to self checkout at all). I think the highlight of that day was when one of the CSMs, who I shall refer to as DY, threw me over to Site-to-Store. He seemed pretty annoyed that day in general with his CSM duties and asked me if I still wanted to become a CSM, which I said yes. At some point he told me to shut off the light at my cash register and ended up bringing me over to Site-to-Store (giving me some reason that since I want to be a CSM, I need to learn Site-to-Store), barely gave me an explanation, and left. I’ve done Site-To-Store only once and I couldn’t really remember much of it. I got the hang of it pretty quickly once I asked for guidance from another manager during an actual order pick up. I felt pretty bad about not getting it right away, but I managed to pull through. I know I definitely need to be put onto Site-to-Store more often to remember it.

Then came yesterday, Monday. My body naturally woke me up at around 8 AM, which annoyed me since I only had 5 hours of sleep then, so I forced myself back to sleep and woke up at around noon. I can’t really remember what I spent the afternoon hours doing…I remember talking to Hurricane360 on Skype again, eating lunch, and that’s about it. I was super tired still though, so I took a nap for about an hour. It was wonderful.

Work seemed pretty good today, at first. I was smiling, friendly, it felt like it was going to be a good day. While I was ringing out a customer who was buying a bunch of My Little Pony toys (presumably Christmas gifts), another customer, a short, plump woman with dark hair, bright skin, and a voice that sounds like a high pitched cat whine (which might have been cute coming from a cat), called out to me saying “ma’am, ma’am, I need a price check on this”. I’m pretty sure I glared at her. I hate being called my name by customers at work in the first place. I think the only thing worse is calling me “ma’am”. It not only makes me sound old, but as someone who is gender fluid and primarily identifies as a soft guy, I find this degrading.

While I was finishing ringing out the My Little Pony toys customer, I was told to go over to Self Check Out to cover somebody’s break (or did they leave? I can’t remember). I was fine with this and more than happy to do so, considering I was thinking on how I hadn’t been at Self Checkout recently. Of course, I got to the cat whine customer who decided to take her PRETTY LITTLE TIME deciding what she was getting and what she wasn’t getting. She was apologizing to the lady behind her (who eventually left) and was like “I’m on a budget, you know? You know how that is. I’m sorry I’m taking so long”. She constantly kept calling me “ma’am”, had me price checking items, and was being partially scatterbrained. She was possibly one of the most grating customers I’ve ever had!

One of the things I absolutely HATE that customers do is bring ALL the items they wanted to the register, then decide at the register whether or not to get the items. This is okay when they have two or three items, but when you decide not to get 20 items that you put in your cart, it is NOT. It is a waste of your time, it is a waste of my time, and it’s a waste of time for the customers behind you. It doesn’t matter if I’m ringing at lightning speed – I can’t ring if you don’t decide.

I feel that it’s one thing when there’s a customer who forgets their card at home or finds that they had less cash on them (and don’t carry around a card) and they end up having to leave more than 5 items behind. I don’t feel annoyed at this. What I feel annoyed at is when customers KNOW their budget, but still bring up a hundred items, then decides at the register to not get 80 of them because they don’t have enough money.

Oh geez. I really don’t get it. Why don’t these people take the time to plan BEFORE hand? Like, if you know you do NOT have the money, why can’t you approximate total the items in your cart before hand? Perhaps it’s because when I go to a store, I always make sure I know I have enough money and if I’m willing to spend the approximate total. I don’t want to waste anybody’s time. I just want to go, pay, and leave.

From then on, my mood was TERRIBLE.

I went over to Self Check Out after I completed that cat whine customer’s order, only to have another cashier show up. We didn’t know who should stay, but I decided to hop back onto the register because I could feel myself wanting to scream and with all the stupid issues that happen at self checkout, I need to keep a distance of some sort.

The CSMs took over an hour to get me a round of change (a round of change that the cashier before me on register 8 CLEARLY needed too, since the money was in the bag). I asked about three or four times before I finally got them to do so. Then I was an hour late for my break. When I came back, I switched with the other cashier at self check out since THEY didn’t get their break either and they were leaving in an hour. My mood was slightly better after that. I soon went to lunch, which was pretty dang great. The Broccoli & Cheddar Bake Bowl from Amy’s was DELICIOUS. I don’t recall it being so delicious before. I didn’t even know I had it.

When I returned, I briefly saw firefighters, police, and ambulance workers at the store. I didn’t see why, just that they were there. By the time I got back out front, they were gone. I can’t remember, but I think I was thrown onto Site-to-Store at this point, which made me SUPER happy.

I did the orders for a while until the other Site-to-Store person came back. When we started talking, CSM LA kind of snapped at me to go to register 8 (hahaha, back to the register I started at on that day). I went on and rang out customers for a while. Eventually I asked for my break because I was feeling anxious and miserable (actually, I was feeling anxious and miserable pretty much all day long), but she just told me to ask her when I didn’t have any customers and me and her can have a personal conversation. The customer I was serving said she didn’t have to talk to me like that after she left (which I wholeheartedly agree – I was asking for my break so I could shut off my light to let customers know my register was closed; if I have a constant flow of customers, which is what it seemed like I was going to have, I couldn’t talk to her – the CSMs are usually pretty terrible with giving out breaks, so I tend to remind them).

I ended up getting a break after 10 PM, but not the one where I sit in the backroom for 15 minutes, listening to my music. I had no customers at my register. A woman came up to me and said she had been waiting for a while (I think she might have said 20 minutes) at Site-to-Store to pick up an item and needed some help. I’m pretty sure my face lit up and I enthusiastically (I think) told her I would help. I shut off my light, logged off my register, and went over to Site-to-Store. Almost immediately, customers came pouring in. I think there was four or five of them at the time.

I helped the first woman rather quickly, then I moved onto the second one. If I recall correctly, the second one was the most rewarding one. I was looking up her orders for two TVs. I found one quickly in the storage room for all the Site-to-Store items, but the other one claimed to be at the warehouse on the computer. She became upset and frustrated due to the fact she needed them for Christmas and asked where the warehouse was and if I could check for shipments. I went up to CSM LA and asked about it. She told me she didn’t know, with a bit of a slanted lip, and told me to go look in the back to see if we received any. I told the customer I was going to check in the back, and that’s exactly what I did. The backroom was PACKED with boxes and it took me a bit to figure out where to go. I asked one of the backroom people where the TVs were and they brought me to a section of them. I looked at all the shipping labels, repeating the woman’s name in my head, hoping to find the TV. Much to my luck, it was there! I pulled it off the other TV it was sitting on with a huge smile on my face and brought it up front, telling the customer I found it. She thanked me for going out of my way to find the item for her. I started putting in the pick up order, but found I needed a manager key. I asked the CSM, but her numbers didn’t work, so she had to go and get somebody higher than herself. Both when the CSM and the manager came over, the woman complimented me and said I was “a keeper”. Positivity is awesome!

I can’t tell you how good it felt to help her out. I actually like when I have a chance to go above and beyond for people. It feels like most people don’t expect that, and really, they shouldn’t. Especially at my store. When I’m just a regular old cashier, I don’t feel like I can go an extra mile. I feel like if I was in a higher position or a more flexible one, I could go that extra mile.

I didn’t jump onto a regular register until after 11. I finished ringing everybody out by 11:24 if I remember correctly (24 minutes after the store closed) and was asked if I wanted to stay until midnight to help close down the registers. I decided I should, since I needed to wait until my younger sister and my mom went to bed and were well asleep (I had fabric to wash for their gifts). It was fun!

I guess the night, overall, ended on a positive note.

I hope I can get back onto Site-to-Store again.

Also, can someone remind me to go and take that CSM test? That’d be nice.

I’m sure, no, I KNOW I’ll be fantastic at it. At being a CSM.

It’s actually nice knowing some other people think I will be too. Hahaha, actually, there’s one sales floor associate who keeps asking if I’m a CSM yet.



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