A Wasted Effort ~ A Retail Rant

There’s an unfair double standard that says if you have a job, you shouldn’t complain. You should be grateful to have any kind of employment in this economy. I agree to an extent.

I’m happy to have a job in this economy in the way that I am happy a headache isn’t a tumor. I would just as soon not have it but it can’t be understated how glad I am that it isn’t going to kill me. People who don’t vent about their jobs wind up venting shotguns into crowded parking lots, so this is the healthier alternative. Your best bet if you don’t like it is to locate the unsubscribe/unfriend button and let nature take it’s course.

Yesterday morning, I had to fill the bag wells. That’s the space below the register where the extra bags are placed, in case you were wondering. Being the morning following a major holiday you can imagine that the bag wells were quite tapped for plastic bags. So I spent the first two hours of Monday morning emptying the bag closet of the remaining boxes of medium bags and filling the bag wells of half the registers. This does not usually take me more than forty-five minutes even on the busiest morning. The reason it took me so long was because I had to run the back room to see if there was another pallet of medium bags so I could stock the remaining registers.

What ensued was another forty five minutes of, “Nope not here. But they’re definitely in the building. They must be at the front end, even though a whole pallet full of bags is pretty distinctive and Helen Keller herself wouldn’t have had trouble finding it if it were there. Oh now I know where it is.”

This runaround was courtesy of the managing bodies of the store who, I’m quite convinced frequently apply toilet paper to holes in the ground and wonder why their asses aren’t getting any cleaner. So the registers were filled and I felt a morbid sense of satisfaction for seeing the job through to the end until this morning when the opening front end supervisor had spent the first hour of his shift emptying those registers of all of the bags I spent the previous morning filling the registers with.

We were now supposed to use the new bags which are allegedly made out of a stronger material and have little distinction from the older bags except for an additional advertisement. Let me just take a moment to do some math.

Each box of bags contains 1500 bags. I know this because the number is printed on the box itself. There’s twenty registers at the front end, not counting customer service, the pharmacy and electronics, which all use bags. That means if I used one box per register, that’s 30,000 bags.

The weight of each box is 21.5 pounds. So 430 pounds of bags are very likely going to waste in the allegedly green company that I currently work for. (By the way, if through sheer triangulation you’ve managed to guess where I work, then keep it to yourself. One day I will reveal where I work but that is going to be on my terms and only I am safely ensconced in a cushion of financial security from which said company cannot reach me with it’s legal department)

Aside from the effort which was both unappreciated and apparently completely wasted (as per usual) I got to see more of the general short sightedness in action later in the afternoon.

Part of my job is to empty the large hanger bins near customer service. As I was getting ready to wheel them to the back a customer came up with a ball he had purchased for his daughter. It had rung up wrong and he didn’t realize it until a few seconds later when he looked at his receipt.

The woman on the register at customer service, (whom I’ll call Jo after the Third Doctor’s airheaded companion) did a test scan of the ball and it indeed came out to twelve dollars and forty seven cents. As this ball was not made from a particular type of rubber harvested only from trees grown on Mars, that was a little steep. So she refunded the difference and the man and his daughter were both happy.

If it were me, I would have called the manager on duty to show him the receipt. Because obviously this was a glitch in the system with that particular product and if it happened once, you know it would have happened again. Instead, Jo just crumples up the receipt and throws it in the trash. Never to be heard from again.

What continues to amaze me is that of the four cashiers currently on one of the registers, I’m not sure which wrung the gentleman out though I have a theory that seem unfair if you don’t personally know the person I’m thinking of, but of those four, neither one could be bothered to actually pay attention to the screen as the prices were coming up. The whole thing could have been avoided and a customer would not have had his time wasted.

Some days I feel like I should just bash my head against a brick wall before the start of each shift, just so I can start the day on the same page as everyone else.


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