Why Have The Rule In the First Place? (Retail Rant 2)

The cart pusher is a motorized device that is guided by a remote control. It can push up to twenty-five carts which can be extremely helpful during busy weekends, school vacations, and holiday rushes. We finally have to working cart pushers at the store that both have their own remote. Cart pusher 1 cannot be controlled by the remote to cart pusher 2. Because I actually used to have fun with this job, I once lovingly named the cart pushers Wally and Magwyn respectively and for the purposes of this and future entries the will hence be referred to as such. For now, please keep in mind that Wally’s remote cannot be used on Magwyn. With me so far? Perfect.

There is another piece of equipment called a cart key. This is what we use to unlock the shopping carts that have made it out of the parking lot, past the “super effective” barrier that is supposed to make them lock up in the first place but is about fifty/fifty at best. Because of this “fool proof” method of keeping our shopping carts in our parking lot (Which apparently now includes the Petco at the corner of Sylvan Street one quarter of a mile from the Generimart parking lot, myself and the other cart jockeys must routinely perform a mall run in order to get the carts that have made it to other areas of the mall parking lot.

A couple months ago the only cart key in the store went missing. We used to have two, then there was one, then where was none. And because this didn’t directly affect any of the store management we went weeks without having any way to unlock shopping carts. This wasn’t so bad at first, until the front end manager finally noticed two things.

1: We were running suspiciously low on useable carts, mainly due to the volume that was leaving the parking lot and locking up clear across creation.

2: A lot of those locked carts were gathering in large numbers near customer service and in Generimart’s own parking lot.

You may ask me why I didn’t make an effort to point all of these things out to the front end manager and I would flip you off. Of course I mentioned it. Time and again to everyone who would listen to me and was capable of doing something that I did not have the authority to do, namely, order new cart keys. But the management of Generimart has such a complete inability to see five minutes past the end of their noses that I am convinced that I could show up to the store wearing a fake handlebar moustache and successfully apply for a job as my own twin brother.

We eventually got a new cart key, but now there is a stipulation. The cart remotes and the cart key must be locked up behind customer service and whatever we take we must sign out so that we are accountable for these items if they go missing. Seems like a reasonable rule, right?

Well let me just point out the first inconvenience. I already have to sign out a walky talky and a set of keys at the equipment office. It would be reasonable to lock up the cart remotes and cart key in the equipment office where all of the, duh, equipment is located like walky talkies and label machines and pricing guns. This is something I have pointed out but, the front end manager does not want this to be so and the other managers will not overstep her position. This brings me to the second inconvenience.

The person who has they key to the drawer in which the remotes are kept is the front end supervisor. If a manager just happens to be there, sure, I can call on them. But on a busy morning when we are short staffed I can typically only count on one person with one set of keys to be there to help. And if this person gets distracted on their way to get me my equipment, I could be standing there for a while waiting to get my oh so necessary cart remote and singular cart key.

That brings me to this morning.

I’m going to call the Front End Supervisor Adric after the 4th and 5th Doctor’s companion. The alleged boy genius who became a third wheel after the two superior-in-every-way companions Nyssa and Tegan climbed aboard the TARDIS. The cashier at customer service will be called Roberta after the secretary in the Star Trek: TOS episode Assignment Earth.

I go through the motions now of signing out the cart remote. But I won’t sign anything out until I have it physically in my hand because I want to know where it is at all times if I’m going to be held accountable for it. Seems reasonable, right? Well because it was a typical Sunday, I was stuck waiting for Adric to get his ass over to the customer service desk, but he got sidetracked trying to help a customer at one of the registers.

Rather than just stand there doing nothing, I noticed that the hanger bins needed to be emptied. So I took those to the backroom and of course, we’re out of the large cardboard bins that are specially made for hangers. So I have to find some boxes tape them up and fill these with hangers. This process takes an uncomfortably long thirty minutes but I did the task and when I returned to the front end, Adric had pulled out both cart remotes and the cart key.

I took Wally’s remote, which is clearly labeled “Cart Remote 1” and asked Adric to lock up the other one. Makes sense right? There’s no point in taking responsibility for two cart remotes when I can only, realistically, use one cart pusher. Because if I had the skills to use both cart pushers simultaneously then I sure as shit would have fought harder for a much better raise than the measly 14 cents I got at the employee evaluation survey. (That’s okay, because the Employee Satisfaction Survey is coming up and if you’re slow on the draw, I’m not satisfied)

As I walked I away, I heard this exchange.

Roberta: *Sotto voice* What’s the difference.

Adric, The Trained Front End Supervisor Who: I don’t know.

Yes, this is what happened. Adric isn’t the only person who works as a front end supervisor, but can’t tell what remote does what to which cart pusher. To top it off, he seems to not understand why I would not want to take responsibility for a remote I’m not using when the rule is clearly set by the management in that we are supposed to lock up the remote we aren’t using.

So not only do you have a rule that isn’t going to do shit to keep equipment from going missing, because no one enforces it to begin with, but you already have people cutting corners with this just as they do with so many other no duh rules. Thus ends the second retail rant.

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