This story was originally posted on: August 22, 2010
Hello RHU! This is yet another long-time-reader-first-time-poster.
Personally, I'm not in retail myself, but I might end up there soon because I really need a job... anyways, I'll go by Tsuki; the name I use everywhere.
This story is about something I witnessed the last time I was visiting my father in Spain, and was down at the local Mercadona to buy some snacks.
Now, I'll begin by explaining that (at least at this location) it's very common to chat with the cashier as they're ringing you up. I don't mean the polite, "How are you?”, I mean actual, long conversations (even with me, who only know very basic Spanish). This sometimes leads to a line of about 3 people actually taking a quite long time, but no one really seems to mind.
This story, however, does not as it might seem, revolve around an entitled custy who has ”waited for half an hour!”: it's about an older man who didn't seem to grasp the limitations of the conveyor belt.
As I was standing with two people before me in line, the woman who was currently being checked out was having a quite lively discussion with the cashier; laughing and talking rapidly in Spanish.
The man next in line was unloading his cartful of stuff on the conveyor belt, one item at a time, slowly building a literal MOUNTAIN of things.
I watched as he placed a couple of wine bottles next to the edge of the belt, and began fearing the worst; but before I could do anything, the cashier started the belt, (she probably couldn't see the dangerous situation behind his mountain), and one of the bottles fell. Glass and wine went everywhere, and the cashier jumped up and started to shout something to another employee.
The man looked at the mess, and said something to the cashier, who replied (sorry, didn't understand...) and the man started walking back into the store.
I assumed that he had asked how he could help or something; meanwhile, the cashier was trying to get someone else to open another register (I think?).
A few minutes passed as the employees were rapidly talking to one another, and started cleaning up the mess... the man returns:
With two new bottles of wine, and a bag of chips.
AND expected to be rung up right then.
My mouth just fell open; I couldn't believe it. He actually LOOKED at the mess HE caused by being impatient, and left it and all his groceries and cart (effectively blocking both other custys and the employees who were trying to clean), to go back into the store to SHOP SOME MORE.
(Hopefully?) I'll be back with another story when I have one! Live long and prosper!
From Russian Blue:
So, I have to work Thanksgiving Day.
At Red Crafts.
AT 4 PM. I specifically volunteered for the 10PM-4AM shift in order to spend some time with both families in my life. (My boyfriend and I plan to get married in the summer, and this is the last chance for some of his out of state relatives to meet me before that happens.) WHO THE HELL NEEDS SOMETHING FROM RED CRAFTS AT 4 PM ON THE DAY YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE?!?!
I have a manger that revenge-schedules me, too. When I asked her to not schedule me during church, where I already had that time marked as "UNAVAILABLE" in our scheduling system, my hours dropped drastically. I have less than ten hours a week, and it's more stress than it's worth.
My parents are guilting me into keeping this job right now and I'm taking so many credits at a well-known and very difficult university next semester that I had to petition for an overload. I'm going to keep this job till after this semester, get lower-than-usual grades, and hopefully get their blessing to take out a small student loan to support my few expenses next semester. My soon-to-be-husband has already agreed to support me through my last year of college, so I can start translating to get a portfolio. I hope to get out of Retail Hell forever. I'm just so tired, guys, and my scholarship depends on my grades.
Happy Black Fucking Thursday! Let's all join in the middle-fingered solidarity salute....
Kmart is reportedly giving some of its employees a tough choice for the upcoming holiday — either come in to work on Thanksgiving or be fired.
The retail chain is one of many coming under fire for creeping the traditional Black Friday 2014 sales into Thanksgiving itself. The store will open at 6 a.m. on Thursday and remain open for 42 hours, leaving stores strapped for employees and often denying requests for time off.
The controversy over Kmart’s Thanksgiving hours was made public thanks to Jillian Fisher, who started a petition on Coworker.org calling on Kmart to give its employees time off to spend with family.
Fisher also collected information from Kmart workers nationwide, who told her that management was forcing them to work on the holiday. One employee claimed that the store’s human resources department told employees, “if you do not come to work on Thanksgiving, you will automatically be fired … I made the request to work a split shift on Thanksgiving and was denied.”
“I am a lead at a Kmart and it is mandatory for me to work on Thanksgiving,” another Kmart worker noted. “If I were to call out I would be terminated, and requesting off is not allowed.”
Fisher said she understands that some employees need the money the will make from working on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but said Kmart should give the ones who want to stay home with family the option to do so.
“Kmart covers its shameless act of greed by stating that it is giving its employees more time to make money,” she wrote. “Kmart: have you even talked to your employees about your holiday hours and what they will be required to work? The answer is no. We are almost 2 weeks away from Kmart stores being open 42 hours straight, and employees — even after asking management about what hours they will be required to work — still have not received information about their schedules during this time.”
Like other retailers, Kmart is falling back on an excuse that the extended holiday hours are simply a response to consumer demand.
“This holiday season is all about giving more to our members and because many like to start shopping well before Black Friday, we’re excited to open our doors early on Thanksgiving and offer other early access opportunities for them to shop and save,” said Leena Munjal, senior vice president of Sears Holdings, the parent company of both Kmart and Sears, which merged in 2005.
Fisher said she plans to keep up the protest against Kmart until the retailer agrees to give employees the option to take off on Thanksgiving without being fired.
From Huff Po:
By Carol Joyner
As a student at University of Minnesota-Duluth, Cantare Davunt graduated with a bachelor's degree in international studies. As a Walmart associate, she's an activist fighting for decent wages, full-time hours, predictable schedules and dignity at work.
Like many college graduates working in the new "Walmart Economy," Cantare earns $10.10 per hour -- about $322 a week. She lives paycheck to paycheck, and has to make near-impossible choices each month between buying enough food, covering her share of rent, or paying off her student loans. In the summer, she forgoes electricity. Other months, it's her cellphone bill. This August, her car was repossessed. "Minnesota's a hard place to get ahead without a car," she said recently.
Cantare told her story at a recent Senate briefing hosted by Senator Warren (D-MA) and Representative Miller (D-CA), where elected officials described the growing crisis of inequality in the U.S. and offered different solutions to turn the tide. As Sen. Warren said: "We need to give workers this chance by raising the minimum wage, providing some basic fairness in scheduling, and fighting for equal pay for equal work."
Why did the briefing single out Walmart?
Because as one of the richest corporations in the world, with profits of $16 billion annually and 1.4 million employees, it represents a class of corporations that earn record sums while their employees can't make ends meet. By shear volume and wealth, Walmart sets a standard in our society. The workers who help Walmart make unimaginable profits in turn receive poverty wages, unaffordable health care and irregular schedules, including hours kept at part-time as a way of denying access to paid sick days.
Consumers should not have to subsidize Walmart and the "Walmart Economy" either. But we do -- to the tune of nearly $8 billion a year in taxpayer-funded assistance for food, health care, and housing for Walmart employees. The Walton's -- the richest family in the country who own and run Walmart -- add $8.6 million to their $150 billion wealth every day. And yet hundreds of millions of Americans subsidize their luxuries while the family robs workers of a decent living.
OUR Walmart leaders are standing up for all American families who are struggling to do more with less, and ar
Or the Schedules That Work Act, which would help give all of us a greater voice on the job. Walmart associates -- like many others -- are victims to last minute, unpredictable schedules; are punished or terminated when they request more hours; and find it nearly impossible to secure childcare, attend classes to better themselves and find time to organize their lives -- all while frequently juggling multiple jobs. This legislation would establish a process for discussing work schedules between employees and employers, and protect workers from retaliation when they request a different schedule.
Lastly, there's the Paycheck Fairness Act. Like most women, it pains me to talk about continuing pay discrimination across gender and racial lines, something that should have been resolved decades ago. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help close the gaps that exist from the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and if passed, bring an end to pay secrecy and protect workers who discuss their wages on the job.
So here we are. An economy still tepid in recovery, mired in precarious work situations and stagnant wages. Corporations and CEOs who enjoy record-breaking profits. Economists who continue to cite inequality as a hindrance to economic growth. And low-wage workers, emboldened and inspired by recent victories for working families, whose movement for $15 an hour and fair workplaces continues to grow at unprecedented pace.
Next week, Walmart workers will protest at more than 1,600 stores, marking the third consecutive year of Black Friday protests. We know these protests matter. They've captured the attention of lawmakers; they've gained the support of the American public; and they've forced Walmart to raise wages and improve policies, no matter how hard the company refuses to change.
That's why I'll be joining Walmart workers this Black Friday. I'll gather up my turkey-filled friends and relatives and visit my nearest Walmart. I'll stand outside in solidarity with workers, do some chanting and maybe take some selfies, deliver a memo to the store manager, and contribute to building a fair economy -- for us all.
For workers like Cantare, I encourage you to join as well.
I cannot understand how some people function on a day to day basis when they're giant morons.
Cue customer today, who will be referred to as Dense Bitch. Dense Bitch comes through my line and buys a couple random things, including a container of jewelry crimps (important) and uses a 5$ off 20$ coupon, because her total came to roughly 24$.
She comes back about an hour later, and decides she does not in fact want the crimps, and wants the full price back ($3.79). I explain to her that she won't get that amount back, because she used a coupon and thus the amount she actually paid and the return value was $2.95. I showed her where it said this on the receipt.
Dense Bitch: "I don't understand. I want the full $3.79 back because that's what I paid."
Me: "It's not though, see, it says here you only paid $2.95 so that's all you're going to get back because you used a coupon."
Dense Bitch: "But I paid $3.79 I want $3.79 back."
Me: *internally screaming*
MOD calls up a second MOD, one of higher status in the store, and since there's now a line of about six people forming behind her they move over to the next register. I proceed to check customers out, all while listening to BOTH of them try and explain to Dense Bitch exactly why she won't be getting that $3.79 back. She finally decided after 5 minutes of arguing (and rather huffy) that she was just going to return everything, then buy it all back minus the crimps and use the coupon again. MOD tries to tell her that the coupon will then not work because it won't quite be 20$ after tax at that point.
They argue for another five minutes before Dense Bitch FINALLY understands what they've been trying to get through her thick skull for the past ten minutes.
Dense Bitch apologizes profusely, pays for her shit and leaves.
I sincerely hope she doesn't come back when I'm working. She's exhausting.
I know for a fact cashiers look to match the signature on the card to the one the customer just made. If there is no signature on the card and they want you to check their I.D. then the cashier will check the signature on the I.D. to the one they just made.
The cashier does not check if the name on the card matches the I.D. So in theory your unsigned “See I.D.” card is more desired by thieves than one that’s signed.
Besides that huge common sense dump. So, explain to me how the unsigned “See I.D.” card is supposed to be more secure?
And every time I had a woman… (they all seem to be women) make me check their I.D. the get all happy like “tee hee, I’m a good little girl.”
It just cracks me up when a customer complains that we don’t ask for a signature anymore if the transaction is lower than $50.
When they ask why we do that, I will usually tell them the truth. "People are much more impatient than they are concerned with true security."
I’ve never had anyone get mad at me for saying that because then they think about it and realize I’m right. Everyone will throw a tantrum if they have to wait two more seconds, but let them go on their way, and they're mum.
I've seen the headaches of a product not scanning.
Type it in manually? Nope. Not recognizing it either. Check the SKU book? Fail.
This is why I’m extremely glad our computer system is set up with the ability to look through the inventory electronically and most of the time if you know what you’re doing and the customer knows the exact price, you can find something that’s close enough in description.
I cannot tell you how many times customers have been extremely grateful that I’m one of the few cashiers that doesn’t usually need to call the department to get the number off the tag.
Though if it’s something extremely inexpensive (I.e. one plumbing fitting that costs 58 cents or something like that) I will sometimes say “Merry Christmas” and just give it to them.