Snow Chicken

Went yesterday to the Ex’s to have him replace the two wheel studs that had broken off my tire when he put the snow tire on the rear driver side and my plug to plug the car in. Yes, Saturday, despite years of constant checking, I drove off with my car plugged in. The cord remained plugged into the outlet and the plug ripped free from the car. Ah yes, the shades of red my face was Saturday night when I arrived home from work, was hidden by the darkness.  The ‘Are you f***ing kidding me?’ as I shook my head and ground my teeth in frustration, was pure comedy.

This is also my week with T so I killed two birds with one stone and he came home with me once the Ex was all done with the repairs.  We also discussed a few things with regards to T, and how we were going to go together and help T out with a purchase of a gaming system that he wants. I am the lesser of the idiots when it comes to gaming platforms so I shall be the one doing the research and looking around for the best deal. T wants an Xbox 360 except I have discovered that Xbox has its next generation Xbox One out. There was also a discussion with regards to language.

Remember how T dropped the f bomb on me? Well apparently he has been really vulgar at his dad’s. Yesterday he was asked if he was allowed to swear at my place and obviously his answer was no. So they wanted to know why he thought he could swear while at his dad’s? I am sure that T is going to long for the days when his dad and me did not talk for no sooner was he in the car with his seatbelt on than the question was asked: I understand that you have been swearing a lot what is that all about? I don’t know, as he looks at his lap.

Look I am not an idiot. I know that he swears. I am not so far removed from my own vulgarity and the recalled horror of the one time I dropped the ‘f’ bomb on mom, but there is a place and a time. The place and time right now is not within hearing distance of any adult and only with your friends. As I said, I know it happens, I do not need to hear it too.

We talked all the way home with a few laughs. Found out how far he was in his Call of Duty game. Learned that a new one was coming out and soon all his on-line friends would be playing that and not the one he had. Which lead to a discussion about how he would have to earn money to purchase said game, that they were not free. I do believe that he is beginning to understand that money is not something that grows on trees.

Although it is only the beginning of winter, there is already a snow pile in both the parking lot of the gas station next door and a wee one next to the building. We were going over the rules of snow hills. No sliding down snow hills that are piled up at the street corners. No sliding down hills in parking lots. The one on the side of the building is okay as now no one can park there. (It is our visitor parking)

We are sitting at the red light discussing the rules. I look over and read the sign for a local restaurant: 9 pc Chester Chicken with fries and 2 liter pop $5 off.

‘And T I really do not want you to be run over by a chicken.’

I knew as soon as it came out of my mouth. And I howled. T looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted wings and repeated ‘a chicken mom’?

I pointed over to the sign and he read it and looked at me. I am giggling uncontrollably because I totally know what happened. I was saying the standard ‘I don’t want you to get hit by a car’ at the same time as I was processing the sign about the sale on chicken and those wires crossed.  This is not the first time nor will it be the last time it happens. I am the Queen of wires crossing and the weirdest things coming out of my mouth. I have asked people if they would like milk for their bags? Would they like cereal in boxes? Some days I think it might be better for me to keep my mouth shut, but the comedy is gold I tell you.

The start of our week was awesome. What with the laughing and snow hills and all. Just remember folks to watch out for those deadly snow chickens, you never know when they will appear.

Rules for Customers

I have been working in Customer Service for 28 years. That is a long time to work with the public. I do not even know how I ended up in a career that deals with actually serving and talking to people on a daily basis, for 40+ hours a week.  And it does not even stop there.

I live in a city of approximately 15,000 or so. It still has a small town feel to it, and the grocery store where I work is one of three.  There are multiple times that I have been in doing my own grocery shopping, dressed in street clothes (as opposed to the uniform that graces my body all week long) and will be stopped in the aisles. And asked for help finding items. They all say the same thing ‘Oh I know that you are not working but it would save me time.’

Sure. Alright. I will smile and send you off in the right direction because it is the appropriate thing to do.

But I wonder what makes someone think that it is okay to ask me a question about work when I am clearly not working?

It is one thing when my staff do so, I understand and even applaud them for asking me questions when I am in shopping so we are all working from the same page. But customers? That would be like me expecting the gas attendant to pump my gas solely because he is there and it is his job. This, despite the fact that he is clearly putting gas into his own vehicle and wearing street clothes.

Working the Front End and being the last line of defense before our customers leave the store is not an easy job. We are the last ones that can turn around a bad experience. We are the ones who make sure that you have found everything that you are looking for. If you haven’t, we will do our best to find out if it is in stock and on the shelf. We are always smiling and laughing and even if our day is crap, you will never know.

But there are things, things that all customers do and they must stop. For the sanity of all cashiers please please stop.

Rules all customers need to follow (in no particular order):

  1. Do not ever say to your cashier when an item does not scan: Well if it does not scan it must be free . Than chortle like you are three and just discovered knock knock jokes. Not funny. We hear this statement over and over again. Have you ever looked up and your cashier is staring at you unblinkingly? That is because he or she is trying to summon up enough energy to smile as though it is the first time ever hearing that. Usually you get a grin full of teeth, gritted together so any smartass comments are kept in the vault.
  2. Please make full use of the conveyor belt on the till. Once the person in front of you has moved forward, please to unload your groceries. Believe it or not, but I am the one who is going to be yelled at by the five customers behind you because now they are late for some appointment or other. Also if tap is available on your card, use it. It makes life faster and easier for us all.
  3. When you are asked how your are paying, we actually need to be informed of the card type. I do not want to play guess my card type with you.
  4. I can understand your concern with how your groceries are packed. Bread and eggs should not be squashed. Pizzas should not be turned upside down. I know that cold stuff goes with cold stuff. I have been bagging groceries for 30+ years having done so when I went shopping as a kid with my mom.  (I know that there are going to be those of you who think that I am exaggerating. Here is one example: A gentleman came through my till and I was trying to talk to him. I get to the pizza and he yells at me ‘put that pizza in a bag upright will you!’ My eyes blinked rapidly and out shot: ‘Oh I am sorry sir but the only way I know how to bag pizza is upside down so all the toppings fall off.’ Yes he still shops in the store. And he still comes through my till when I am in one. But now he smiles and talks to me.)
  5. In reference to #4 please also refrain from saying to me ‘oh you do know what you are doing.’ I do believe that you might think that this is a compliment but it is not. As well I have been bagging your groceries for well over five years on a weekly basis.
  6. When using your own bags, please have them out before your order. Do not hand them to me at the end of your order and expect me to repack them from the plastic that I just put everything into.
  7. I know that you are in a hurry. And so are the other 20 people who are patiently waiting in the line ups. We are working as hard as possible to get you through. Please do not now by-pass everyone waiting in the express line up and think that I am going to serve you because you can not manage your time. You will be sent to the back of the line up and made to wait. (Again you think I exaggerate, I wish. I have customers who throw tantrums because they have to wait. And we work very quickly to get through the line ups. I have had more than one customer also thank me for the way that we handle our express lines and the fairness rule. LOL)

I spend a lot of time censoring what comes out of my mouth at work. And despite the above rules I absolutely love my job. The company I work for is wonderful. My boss whom I have written about in regards to my depression is fabulous. He makes me a better manager to my staff. I may be a little biased, but I believe I have the best staff ever. And I am always laughing and smiling.

Honestly, I love my customers too. I have so many regulars. I cannot walk through the store without someone saying hello and wanting a chat. Those are the people who make my job a pleasure to do.

My rules are really for that 1% who labor under the delusion that they are the most important people around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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