[ADVENTURES IN RETAILING] Last One Open

Ah, retail.

Back in January, we had what I called an “abundance of cashiers”. That means we had more than enough cashiers. We had most of the registers open throughout the day, lines remained short, returns were collected and sorted early throughout the day, and, perhaps most notably, we had MANY of them staying 30 minutes to an hour after closing. As a cashier who is normally the ONLY one scheduled until 30 minutes past closing, it was pretty nice.

Of course, we hit February and suddenly it’s October/November/December all over again.

I can’t tell if they cut back hours or if people now have money again and decide that, hey, they want to spend it at Walmart. My hours are honestly pretty much the same as before, so I’m guessing it’s the latter (otherwise, I’m lucky and the computer that makes the schedule is an idiot).

Regardless, in January, we had MANY cashiers (usually 4 or 5) stay past closing, with a few (including myself) until 30 minutes after, with the remainder until an hour after. There wasn’t much to do in January and probably felt like a waste – all we could do was ring out any remaining customers (which there was usually none in January), sort out returns, and put them back. Nobody likes doing returns, but hey, the store DOES look nicer when EVERYBODY works to sort them out and put them back where they should go.

Here in February, so far, well, somebody or something decided that, hey, let’s schedule ONLY TrainerKelly as the only cashier after closing. Now, this is sometimes fine, especially during one of the slowest months of the retail year. I just end up collecting returns at the cash registers and sorting them until I need to go home.

However, today, I could have really used that abundance of cashiers. Those overscheduled abundance of cashiers who really had nothing better to do but sort and collect returns.

At about 10:40, I had to head over to register 18 (a.k.a. Smoke Shop) because it’s the only register required to be open past closing until all the customers are out of the store and I was the only cashier scheduled until 11:30. I (and just about everybody else) pretty much hate register 18, but I went there anyway because I felt that it definitely was my job to be over there for after closing and I was asked to. I kept my eye on the clock as I was ringing out customers, thinking about how I couldn’t wait to get home so I could talk to my wonderful boyfriend and write some stories. In fact, I was going to take advantage of the fact we can leave 9 minutes early just so I could come home and write some stories!

Then it hits a few minutes before closing time and suddenly I have this STUPIDLY LONG LINE OF CUSTOMERS.

I seriously think I had 10 or so waiting to be cashed out by me.

I was so confused.

Where were the rest of the cashiers?

The line looked never ending.

I kept standing on my tip toes trying to see if it ended.

Not to mention, almost everybody had a TON of items. Most people definitely had over 30.

I rang people out the quickest I could do without risking hurting myself, which is pretty fast.

I have customers sometimes compliment me on how fast I am. I know there’s a girl at the fitting room too who says I’m fast and that’s why I should be a CSM.

I nearly wanted to ask people to help me bag so I could ring them out quicker.

We don’t have baggers at Walmart like the grocery stores do, so we have to bag all by ourselves. Which is fine…

…unless you have only one cashier and 10 customer with mountains of items.

I honestly was annoyed I couldn’t ring faster.

During one order, the computer kept switching between online and backup. WHICH WAS SO ANNOYING. I would scan an item, think it was scan, look at the screen, and then notice it says “ENTER AMOUNT”.

ENTER WHAT AMOUNT, COMPUTER.

WHY DID YOU NOT SCAN THE FIRST TIME.

ARGH.

Also, I kept freaking out whenever people used cash because I was almost out of everything but pennies. Because, you know, nobody likes those shiny bronze pennies. Luckily, I had enough money.

There was a woman in line who had pushed back another customer’s order to help differentiate between the two and the other customer was kind of nagging her, telling her that it wasn’t nice that she pushed his stuff. Then, when I asked for 11 cents, he offered to give it to her.

Like, whaaaat.

I don’t know about you, but if I was annoyed at somebody for doing something to my stuff, I would not offer to give the cents for their order, even if I was in a rush to get out of the store.

Then we get to the last person in line. I was a bit happy it was a customer I had assisted earlier in the day and her cart…oh boy. It was FULL. To the brim. Like, I’m pretty sure stuff would have fallen out of it if she had put the other stuff sitting on register 17 she was getting on top of it. She told me she wasn’t going to get most of the items in the cart and she essentially went overboard with her shopping. She picked up numerous items (which she told me was for her class that she’s a teacher for) and placed them on belt, with quite a bit of “oh, I’ll get this and this…nah, I won’t get this…and this”. She kept going back to the cart and picking up more items she supposedly didn’t want! She also placed a ton of stuff she did NOT want onto the belt because she needed the cart…but she had waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much stuff she didn’t want to be placed on the belt…

She ended up asking an overnight person for the cart they were using for the items she bought.

By the time I finished her order, it was 11:50 – TWENTY MINUTES AFTER MY SHIFT WAS SUPPOSE TO END.

Ha.

One of the CSMs kept apologizing to me because of the large amount of customers I had to deal with after we closed.

After I was done with the last customer, the CSM gave me a hug and she and an overnight manager both said to me that I have patience. And, indeed, did I have patience.

I knew when I got home, I would be able to make myself a nice bowl of pasta, maybe some bread, talk to Hurricane360, write two chapters of a story, maybe work on my art commission website a bit more, maybe read or play Pokémon. Also, totally helps knowing that they’re paying me a bit for staying later than I should have, especially since I’m pretty sure my paycheck is shot this time around because I was sick and I had to go to Florida for my grandfather’s birthday.

Also, “Roppongi Nights” by Dr. Money was waiting for me to listen to it again.

All of those made me have patience.

Yeeaaaah…

…I really want to write that Self Checkout blog entry at some point.

So, why was today so busy? I can think of two reasons: 1.) we have a snow storm coming and 2.) Valentine’s Day.

If the snow storm hits, people can’t go rushing out to get Valentine’s Day stuff the day before, so they have to do it today (or the day of because, for some reason, people want to celebrate that day…I don’t get it).

And people probably need food and whatnot for the snow storm, just in case.

Okay, I’m done with this post. Sorry it was so unorganized. I just wanted to write it quickly.