Dear People of my Workplace, or To Whom it May Concern at my Workplace, or Hey, You, at my Workplace
1: When you remove an extra bag or seven off the turntable, could you take three seconds out of your time to put it/them back on? Instead of passing it to me while I’m scanning your assload of items, saying with a shrug, “They fell off”?
The problem: Imagine this being done DOZENS of times a day. That means bags can (and do) amass everywhere around my space. One might think that I should quickly use that one or seven different bags as quickly as possible, but there’s a reason the bags hang on the hooks. It’s friggin’ hard to neatly place items in a loose bag, much less a batch of them.
My solution: Immediately upon seeing a bag floating around, I place it on the hook. I think this annoys some people for me to stop scanning and do this (or finish doing this when they come up), but they really should try to understand that a pile of bags is not fun to contend with.
2. The phrase “I only work here” means something at my workplace. I’m not going to say it, because it’s rude, but that should be in the back of your mind whenever you ask me, a cashier, out of the blue, “Where is your wooden stakes?” or something similar.
The problem: I am a person that is part of an entity. Yes, you and my workplace would have me believe that we are one big happy family, but the fact of the matter is that I stay at the register or go to the back for break and lunches. I have the layout and inventory knowledge of the average person. I don’t know if we sell cookie-flavored peanut butter or where the perennials are exactly located, so don’t expect me to have an answer.
My solution: I offer to call a manager. This usually has the customer saying never mind, or getting profoundly irritated, where I would still call a manager. Still, managers have this awful habit of actually doing things for you instead of telling me how to do it. So things that I have asked to learn (like, what number do I call to contact a department), I still don’t know how to do. And since it’s all about being on a register and off, there isn’t really opportunity to sit out and be taught.
3. Are you really going to nevermind this load of items? Are you seriously going to leave them here?
The problem: Imagine this happening WITH EVERY CUSTOMER. I cannot leave my spot to put it away, so for at most two hours, these tomatoes or this doll or this fucking watermelon will be in my way. THANKS. And if you nevermind more than four items, I HATE YOUR GUTS. When we go on break or lunch, we have to put away these items, so this could cut in to our resting time.
My solution: I don’t have a real solution to this, but some good deterrents: Sometimes coworkers come around and take the stuff away, which is nice- I don’t know how they do it, but they do; I have a face that hides nothing, and sometimes that guilts people into putting back this or that (not often); I’ve noticed people putting things in random places, so long as they don’t add to the mess at my spot; sometimes I’m able to convince them to keep the item.
4. NO YOU CANNOT JUST LEAVE YOUR BUGGY THERE. YOU’RE ABOUT TO LEAVE OUT A DOOR WITH A WALL FULL OF BUGGIES. IF YOU LEAVE THAT THERE, I WILL HARM YOU BODILY.
The problem: If you cannot see the problem inherent in this, I feel for you. Apparently a lot of people cannot see the problem of this. Of course I’m not going to say no, but are you seriously asking me that. Is it okay for you to leave your buggy in the middle of the aisle or even off to the side in front of those snacks? While a bunch of people are maneuvering around with their buggies? Are you about to pass a wall full of buggies, where you got your buggy from? You’re literally walking the exact same place its going to go.
My solution: “We prefer if you put them by the doors.” Dumbass.
5. “I have change” people.
The problem: I admit this is really just a pet peeve of mine of rich people problems. Not only do I not want your change, when you actually DON’T have change (e.g. The change is twenty-two cents. To avoid the three quarters and three pennies I’m about to give you, you count out twenty-two from your coinpurse, find out you don’t have enough, so you give me a quarter. I give you three pennies), that’s annoying. You already have a little bag of pennies, what’s a couple extra more? Roll them thangs up in those almost cardboard things. Or better, to avoid change altogether, let me keep the change. We have a charity you can donate to.
The solution: The look on my face is extremely effective in this case. I don’t know why, but it makes people swallow when I stare at them as they attempt to find change. I also use this as an opportunity to put bags on hooks or rearrange the stuff neverminded at my station. That seems to get people even more frustrated and they abort their attempt to get change. I never directly tackle this problem, though.
6. COME CLOSER. You’re the first person in line and the conveyor belt’s not that fast. If there is no conveyor belt (the speedy checkout line), are you really going to make me reach over and get your things?
The problem: For the regular conveyor belts, people come up to my empty stall and put their groceries on the very end of the conveyor belt, so I have to wait for the belt to bring them to me. The customer cannot take just a few more steps to be nearer my register? Or even when they are behind someone, put the separator bar in between their groceries and the next person’s, and then put their stuff at the end of the conveyor belt. ALL THAT SPACE. Then they look at me up side my head because the current customer’s stuff has stopped the belt, and I have to remove it in order for the next customer’s stuff comes forward. Ten times more annoying is the speedy checkout, where there is no belt, so people put their stuff on the SHINY METAL of the counter and watch me reach for it.
My solution: I usually wait for the conveyor belt, but I have (accidentally) formed this habit of growling whenever I have to, and so the person picks up their stuff and moves it closer. I growl even more deeply at the speedy checkout line, and they sometimes say, “Oh, I forget there’s no belt here.” And I hold my tongue when I really, really, really want to say, Don’t do that with the goddamn belt either!
Well, here I go, back to my part-time job full of fun. If I say, I need the money a millions times, will it fasten to my heart and sway the hatred that fills it to the brim and makes it want to quit? I seriously want to quit because I don’t like it. And, of course, sometimes you do what you don’t want to do. 32 hours a week. I have to ride the bus though, so I often wake up and spend the entire day doing what I don’t want to do.
For money. I need the money. I need the money. I need the money.
P.S. I cannot pretend to enjoy your company. Sorry about that.