As you’ll recall, the last time I posted, I was wondering if I should transfer to a cashier position to try and get more hours. Well, as I was pondering that, a 12 hour a week position opened up in the store office. I figured, I’d take that and another part time job, make some decent money.
Little was I aware I was descending into a special circle of retail hell. The job has been a lot of ups and downs, and I average 30 hours a week, now, working six days a week as basically the only person counting the money for this store.
There’s one other lady, but she clearly just wants to get out of there ASAP, and she only works Sundays, so I only see her for the big count at the end of the month. Luckily, while my boss is coarse, he’s fair and seems to have a bit of a soft spot for me, and tosses bones my way when he can. I’m pretty much responsible now for the counting of the money, filing the papers indicating how much money I deposited, and sorting various reports for the store. My access level is fairly strange, higher than a slave but lower than a manager, so I’ve pretty much become the oddjobs person around the store, fixing registers, getting in touch with the help desk, ordering certain supplies. It’s hard, invisible work, but I didn’t mind it until recently, and this day has just brought it to a cap.
About the time I transferred to the office, our Store Manager got transferred to another store, and they brought in another guy. He was completely new to the company, but he was an exceptional manager. He kept things together without bugging people, and did his best to learn from the staff we had on hand how to run the store. He also was super friendly, and actually told me once he knew if he handed something off to me, it would be taken care of.
About two months ago, he was promoted to a District Position, and we had a new manager come in. We’ll call him Narm. Narm is a micromanager, and treats the staff like we’re children. It’s almost fine with the main store staff, who more or less doesn’t care, but it’s clear he doesn’t trust or respect us. Which brings me to today.
Today I was supposed to have a three hour shift; even though it means less money, it’s a welcome break when I work nearly every day. I pulled the morning reports, sent them to their departments, and set aside the office papers to work after I counted the money. I started up the office register and checked the callout line.
One of our three cashiers called out, so I notified the Assistant Store Manager, who asked if I could cover the breaks of the remaining two. I told her sure, but it would mean punching out an hour late or so because doing all the office work took me about three hours. We had our store meeting, and I went back into the cash cage and started counting the money.
By the time the store had been open 30-45 minutes, I was finished counting the cash, but there was a large shortage in one of the registers. Sometimes bills would get stuck inside one of the registers, or the money would be counted improperly (since we leave the register funds in the registers, shut off and locked, of course, overnight), so I went out to double count it. I didn’t see anything there, so I started back to input the totals when I noticed the cashier struggling with a return. The sale had just been rung, so I assumed that it simply hadn’t gotten into our server yet, but it soon became clear the register was down.
I tried another, same thing. I called over to another register, who reported theirs were down, too, along with all the registers in the store. I went back to the office to inform the managers, who were already aware of the issue, and asked me to call the support desk for help. I did so, and once the ticket was in, I assumed that’d be the last I heard of it.
Before I could head into my office again, Narm had the Assistant Manager call each of the registers and ask the cashiers if they knew how to ring when the servers were down. One of the selling associates (Lazyasses) said they couldn’t figure it out, so I said I’d go down there and have a look at their procedure. Once I had shown them how to manually input the item number and price, I went back and resumed my work.
I had just finished verifying that the money had been correctly input when the Assistant Manager asked me if I was comfortable enough with computers to work with the tech over the phone on fixing the server. I said sure, figured it might be fun, and put the money in the safe to deposit later. Well, I got in there, and it was broiling, which means the server likely overheated.
I got the tech on the phone, and he asked me to do some basic checks to see if the server was frozen, which it was, so he had me shut down and start up the server again. He told us it takes 10-20 minutes for that to occur, and he’d call us back when we were on the grid again. As I was doing this, Narm was hanging over my shoulder, poking around and trying to fix the issue as well as telling me to tell the tech we had a cooling malfunction but it was being fixed.
I figure okay, whatever. I finished the deposit, set the papers off to the side to work on tomorrow when I had time, and prepared the sheet that showed the deposit, now about half an hour behind. Not great, but not too bad. Before I could finish my papers, I got a call from a register asking for change. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to get to the register, take the money, and get back with the change, so by the time I returned, I was coming close to an hour behind, and in the store for four hours.
I managed to finish up the paperwork with just enough time to cover both breaks in the five hours I’m permitted to work without taking a break, and was feeling pretty good about myself. When I got to the first one, the cashier was struggling with a return, so I waited about five minutes, then sent her off on her break and took care of the return myself. Everything went fairly smoothly, and I got to the other cash wrap just in time to relieve the second cashier…and then the other cashier called for backup since she was getting slammed.
Narm told the cashier on her way to take her break to go help her, and since she’s a bit of a pushover, she did. He caught me, too, and asked me to cover that register, I guess forgetting he sent the other one there or not trusting her. I went there and saw her, and told him she was there, but that meant if I covered her now later break, I’d go over that five hours.
Narm says, “Well, what’s more important, helping customers, or staying in that five hours?”
So, I resign myself to working 5 and a half hours with no break, 2 and a half hours past my shift, but it turns out one of the selling associates could cover that cash register for the cashier when she did go on break, so I let the Narm know, then I went into my office to do some things before leaving, and Narm comes and tells me that he needs something else taken care of.
It’s important enough that it does need to be taken care of quickly, but I remind him I’m about to go over the five hour line, and he says, “Well, why not take your break and then do it?” When I let him know I’d pretty much be taking a half hour break to do a ten minute task he said “Well, that’s silly. Go ahead and stay past your five hours and I’ll approve it.”
First off, it’s not corporate policy that he can approve, it’s, as I recall, law that I don’t go past fifth hour without a break. If I happen to tip over because I was doing something and couldn’t get away, fine, but when it’s a completely new task, that’s a little more worrying. Still, since I am also a pushover, I stay the extra time, get it knocked out, and clock out.
I pass by Narm again, and let him know I took care of it, and he says “Okay, can you go and cover this wrap now?” and I let him know that I can’t, since I’m already clocked out, and he just gives me this look and carries on.
And I’m just fuming by this point, because I’ve done all this running around, stayed two hours and change, and the sum of my efforts comes to a look that says, “I can’t believe you did that.”
Maybe I’m overreacting, but I feel really and truly shat on. I was planning to request a transfer to another store in a place where I can afford to live, then looking for a fulltime, wellpaying job out there, but I was putting it off because I’m basically it for cash count and stuff. Now, though? I called the other store and they have an actual lead position open. I know I’ll be doing the same thankless work, but at least I’ll be getting hours and good pay, rather than minimum wage. I’m just…so mad right now.
So, here's my story.
Many moons ago I worked the tech support desk at a high school. I could fill volumes with the idiocy that happened there, but one incident sticks out for all the wrong reasons.
Our school district had recently begun to use software that allowed parents to view their students grades as the teachers posted them. Sounds like a good thing to allow mom and dad to keep their eyes on junior's grades during the semester. Until you realized that the parents were, to put it lightly, complete tools.
I get a call bright and surly one morning from an angry parent who is apparently having trouble logging into the website. Stupidity and rage follow...
Me: Good morning; technology department. What seems to be the problem?
Parent: There's something wrong with your godd*** website.
Me: Okay.....Um, what part of the website?
Parent: The part that lets me see my snowflake's grades. It's not f***** working.
Me: Are you having trouble logging in?
Parent: No godd*** it. I log in just fine.
Me: When you log in are you seeing all of your snowflake's classes?
Parent: Yeah, but your system's all f**** up!
Me: So what seems to be the problem?
Me: Okay...You do realize that I have nothing to do with your child's grades. My job is to make sure that the website is running, but I have no control over the grades the teachers post. Have you tried talking to his teachers about this?
Parent: Are you saying my kid isn't smart? Because my kid is real d*** smart. There's no way he's failing 4 classes. These grades are wrong, and I demand you change them!
Me: I can't do that ma'am. I don't have access to your child's grades and even if I did I cannot change them without losing my job. Perhaps you would like to speak to your snowflake's teachers about how he can pass his classes?
Parent: Aw h*** no I ain't speaking to his d*** teachers! My kid's a smart boy, and he's gonna pass every f***** class! Now you change those grades or I'll sue!
Me: Sue me for what ma'am?
Parent: For....something. I'll sue your a** for something and my kid will pass, and you'll lose your job!
Parent: F*** you!
I'm sad to say, I had many more conversations just like this from parents who were convinced their kids were not going to fail and that I somehow had the power to prevent that.