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3/26/05

8:00 AM -1:00 PM regular cashier

The store was expecting to be busy today, so every line was open, but it was intermittently busy. AU, a cashier next to me, said it was really busy this time last year. It seemed to be busier when I left. For most of the day, LL was on the register next to me, and PP was bagging for her (both Front End Supervisors). They were both talking about cooking dinner tomorrow for their families, and then talking about their kids. AT was my bagger all day-- I think he is the slowest bagger in the store. I told myself not to care, realizing that I am obsessed with being fast.

As I expected, there was a lot of Easter stuff being bought. I also noticed that it seemed that people weren't saving as much with their Advantage card. I don't know if this was because there were less sales, or else people weren't buying things for sales so much as for the holiday. I did have a woman who was sort of a stickler-- I started to ring her up, but then she noticed that the soda she bought wasn't what was on sale, and so wanted to go back and get what was. I offered to start ringing up the rest of her groceries while she did this, but she said she wanted to watch me. I had to have the order voided. She did come back through my line, but was busying putting her groceries on the belt for most of the time I was ringing her up, so I didn't think she was watching. A few minutes after I had finished with her, I noticed she was in the customer service line, so I wonder if there was a problem with something on her receipt.

Another customer had several coupons that required you buy 2 of each item. While my bagger was out picking up things for her, because she only had one of each thing, I struck up a conversation with her. I had noticed she had purchased many things from the new health food section, and asked her if she liked it. She said she did, but that she never saw anyone in that area. The woman behind her said that it was busier other places, like Wegmans, and that she didn't think people in Syracuse were so into it. She said Florida was more so --they had Whole Foods there. She also said that it was more expensive, even though you didn't have to eat as much of it, but that it is hard with kids, because it took longer to prepare natural foods. She seemed to like Whole Foods, though, because you could get meat without all the junk in it. The woman ahead of her was a vegetarian, though, so this didn't seem to interest her. Actually, I think she was just shy and felt awkward waiting.

There also seemed to be more families shopping together, or else people from out of town. In general, though, most people seemed to be picking up a few things they needed, not doing major shopping.

My break was uneventful-- there were two other women in the breakroom, but we all sat a different tables and didn't talk to each other. I did get my schedule for next week, and I am not working Friday (as I had requested), and actually my hours are good because it doesn't conflict with 2 meetings I have next week.

 
3/25/05

8:00 AM -3:45 PM courtesy clerk

Today, in contrast to yesterday, was interesting. I started by just bagging for AE, but when I went to the line next to us to help, AS took my place, and so I started my day of wandering from different tasks--usually between bagging and running a register. I bagged for AQ for a while -- she is very fast, and would also bag as well. A customer commented that we were a fast team. I said I was just trying to keep up with AQ, which was true. When AQ went on her break, I did re-shops for a short time--putting things back on the shelf--and of course customers kept on asking me where things were. There are usually two carts full of reshops, so whenever I was without something to do, I would offer to go out with a cart--but I only did this twice. When I got back the first time, I ended up bagging for NN. Everyone was surprised he was on the register. He commented that he didn't know why we were short-handed today--someone (AB?) must have messed up the schedule. At the break he told me that AB asked him if he would consider working overnights on the register, because she noticed he was pretty good, considering he isn't on the register much. He felt flattered that she noticed, but he wasn't sure if he wanted to do this, he felt like the customers at night are sort of jerks.

It seemed like everyone was working on the front end-- all the supervisors ran registers for a while, and even AA and one of the co-mangers were down helping. AB started putting me on registers when needed--sometimes to cover for a break for someone, other times just to have all the registers open. I think I was on 4 different registers throughout the day. For a while, I was on a register and I had PP, AA and then the co-manager bagging for me. I said that I felt like I was having an audition with all the senior staff rotating through as my bagger.

I was on register 14 for a while, and had QQ bagging for me. When I was sliding groceries down the belt, a middle fingernail got caught on the metal bar at the end of the belt and I tore it halfway down and across. I noticed my finger was bleeding and wrapped it in a paper towel, and asked QQ if she knew if there were band-aids anywhere. She said she usually had some, because her fingertips were always splitting, but today she didn't. QQ ended up getting a pack off the shelf and AB was going to ring it up, but then it was left. I eventually got one after QQ asked again and PP got one for me.

Most customers were buying stuff for Easter (although I did have one large order of Passover products), and everyone was saying happy holidays to one another. One cashier told people to have a "good friday." We had big orders full of hams, turkeys, a leg of lamb, vegetables, candy, eggs, flowers, easter lilies, cakes, pies, and lots of soda. I was actually getting hungry looking at all the food. The customers all seemed to notice how busy it was in the store, and many said they were trying to get all their shopping done today. One woman bought 12 frozen pizza dough bags. She said her kids live in North Carolina, and they can't find it anywhere there--that the only place to get it is in Syracuse, and that's what they wanted for Easter. I had another woman who needed 24 cans of Infamil formula, which I rang up with her WIC checks. She said I did the WIC check the fastest she'd ever had. I also saw the one customer I always recognize and like--she didn't go through my line, but walked by me on her way out, when I was bagging. She said hello and looked at my nametag to learn my name.

Towards the end of the day, someone said here comes the bigwig--someone from the main office in Schenectady was visiting the store. I noticed a man in a black suit talking with one of the co-managers near the bagel counter.

I am getting used to this work--I'm not nearly as sore or tired at the end of my shift as I have been.

 
3/24/05

3:15-7:30 PM regular cashier

Tonight seemed very mundane, I think because I am getting used to the job and so things repeat themselves. I was on register 15 tonight; HH was the front end supervisor, as well as AO, a supervisor I had never seen before. DD was also there, training new cashiers on the register next to me. It seemed like they were there for a least a hour, which was longer than my training. I wondered if DD talked as much to them about her life as she did with us. I somehow doubt it, and think that she was so talkative because of FF. It was convenient to have DD next to me-- I would ask her to enter in her Advantage card rather than wait for someone else. I tried to joke with her about it so I wouldn't be so annoying, but I suppose I still was. For a little while I also had a new person bagging for me, and HH stood by to show him how to do it. I did hear her say to not pack deli meat with the regular meat--that this drives her crazy when she catches someone doing this. I know I've done this occasionally, and wondered how many other things I do "wrong." I also had a customer ask if they were hiring, and I said that I thought they always were, and to go to the customer service desk to ask about it.

A woman came through my line who seemed to know both a trainee next to me and my bagger at the time--I figured out that she must be a teacher or someone at one of the schools. One of the trainees asked her if she was going to the dance later--she said she was.

I had a lot of men come through my line tonight, perhaps because I was picking up the after work crowd. One man was buying stuff for Easter dinner, and he said he did the cooking. "If you want plain macaroni, my wife could do that--boil water." Many people were buying things for Easter--lots of eggs, some easter grass, toys, and stuff for dinner (hams and turkeys). One woman went through with her daughter, about 10? Her daughter was making her own Easter basket, and had chosen hair and beauty products rather than candy for her basket. I also had a woman come through had a WIC check, but had never used one before, so I tried to show her how to do it--mainly that WIC items are rang up separately, and that, for some reason unknown to me, if your check says 2 juices, you can either get 2 canned juices or 2 frozen juice concentrates, but not one of each. She seemed slightly embarrassed by it all, but I tried to reassure her it was all fine.

I also had a person who knows me from my other life come through the line, for the first time. We had seen each other before in the store, at least twice. I just decided to play it straight, but we talked a little, too.

At the end of the night, I had AP as my bagger. She usually works in the deli, but wanted to pick up more hours and so asked to work at the front end also, and had switched with someone who wanted the night off. One of the co-managers stopped by and asked her something. She told me, with a pissed off look, that he had asked if she was going over 35 hours, which she didn't because she was only scheduled for 20 this week.

HH told me to go on break, around 5:30. I tried to finish up my line, and put the closed sign up. But one woman asked if she was the last person or the man in front of her. I said the man in front of her, but she seemed to be pissed off, and asked why I didn't put up the sign earlier, so I told her I she would be the last one. She was actually herself and her friend. But she did manage to thank me. When I came back from my break, HH seemed to think that I was back too soon. JJ was by the time clock too, so she joked that it must be that I actually came back on time, rather than late like most people. During my break, I picked up my paycheck, for $141.88, which I was happy about because this put me over $500 for the total funding.

 

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