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4/24/05

8:30 AM - 2:00 PM Express Cashier

When I first came in, it was pretty quiet, and the book with the day's schedule and register assignments wasn't at the desk, so I just went and bagged for BC and BM. I asked BC about bingo--she says its the only thing she does--work and go to bingo, and that she goes to the casino and different places around the city. BM is newer--had been working here about a month. She is 34 and had a 7 year old daughter. She told me she worked at the Post Office for 7 years and then was laid off. Almost as soon as she started at Price CHopper, they called her back, and now she's going through the drug tests and training again. She worked in the bar coding area in East Syracuse.She said you work 6 days a week, for 8-10 hours, and made $15 and hour. She said around Christmas, she worked 82 hours, and that it was nice to get a check for over a thousand dollars. BM then commented on BC's nails, which were long with airbrushed designs on them. BC said she could never wear them, because her nails get so torn up here. I agreed, but then said I supposed that BC was used to them, and BC said she was, that she's ad them for a while and in fact was getting them filled in tomorrow.

It started to get busy a little after 9:00, and we had two long lines. A woman from customer service came out to help bag, and then opened a register. LL, who seemed distracted all morning, finally came out of the little office by the front end desk and asked me if I knew I was supposed to be on register 12. I told her the book wasn't there, so I didn't, and after finishing bagging the customer we were ringing up, I went over and opened my register.

It seemed pretty busy for the rest of the day. AL was on a register across from me, and his voice really carries, so I heard him tell everyone about finishing his thesis, graduating, etc. When I wasn't listening very carefully to what he was saying, it almost sounded like crazy talk. The woman working on the other side of me came over and took my produce code chart, I guess she thought she needed it more than I did, and for the most part, I didn't (which sort of supervised me, but most people get similar things, so I've learned all the common produce codes).

My customers were a mix of everyone--old, young, black, white, grumpy, friendly. I had a group of women from Canada buying a lot of baked beans. They were just in a choral competition here--they were wearing sort of team jackets and a few of them had their second place ribbons pinned onto them. I wish I could remember the name of their group. I asked them how their stay was in Syracuse, and they said it was great. My next customer after them wondered if it was hard to get baked beans in Canada. He told me he was a radio operator during the St. Patrick's Day parade, and a lot of Canadians were here for it. Another woman who came through told me she was from Michigan, and here visiting her daughter, who is a student at SU studying fashion design, slowly making her way to NYC. Later, another woman came through my line who told me she worked at Wegman's. I asked her if it was a good place to work, since it is known as a good company. She said she supposed it was, but that the hours can be a little hard. She said they had good benefits, but she didn't need them because her husband worked at SU, and they got their health insurance through him, and her son has a scholarship.

I had several WIC checks, and, as has happened several times, the customer following a WIC check would ask what it was all about. I would try to briefly explain how the checks are itemized, etc. I sort of like when people comment to me about a preceding customer, although it's often to say that they thought that person odd in some way.

 
4/23/05

8:00 AM -3:45 PM Courtesy Clerk

I started by bagging for AC. It was off and on--we'd have a big order, and then nothing. We chatted for awhile--about clothes, actually, and stores, and then about bingo. A man came through our line whom AC seemed to know. She said that BC, who was cashiering a few lanes over, had won $1100 at bingo on Thursday. I congratulated BC. AC said she'd like to go sometime, that it's somewhere in Eastwood. I told her I'd go with her. Every once in a while, when it got busy, BB would ask me to open on register 14 and cashier for a while. A professor I know from school came through our line, which was sort of fun, but before I could say much, AC discovered a bag from our last customer and I had to run out to try to find her.

NN came by and said hi--he wasn't working, but was just buying a few things. He asked me if I had a sister, thinking maybe Lisa Spitz, the newscaster, was related to me--but I said we has different last names, although I did have a sister. He then said I didn't come to see him (while he worked at nights), and I told him last week was just really crazy. He said he really liked working nights--he didn't have to clean the bathrooms or run around. He did look happy. He left for a few minutes, but then returned and said that he wasn't going to see me. I asked what he meant. He said he wasn't going to see me on my birthday (which is Tuesday), and then gave me a yellow rose with a happy birthday card. I thanked him for it--I was sweet. I then thought of that stupid bulletin board which has my birthday listed on it.

After a few hours, I was sent out on reshops, but was quickly called back to the front end. PP asked me to bag for AK, who was new, and has just finished her two buddy days, but I could help her for an hour or so. AK was quiet, so we didn't chat much. I would mainly give her produce codes. We did have someone come through with a Price Chopper charge, so I was able to show her how to do that, even though I barely remembered. I was then sent back to register 14, where I stayed for the rest of the day. BL was bagging for me for a while. he may be new, I am not sure. I noticed that he would use a bag sort of as a glove when he handled pork, and so I wondered if perhaps he was Muslim. From then on, I tried to bag any pork that came through so he wouldn't have to touch it. I hope I'm not being stupid about this.

When I came back from my break, I glanced up at this board that lists "Fastest Cashier," "Best Customer Service Associates," etc. and saw that I was written in as the "Best Bagger." I asked PP when that was put up, but I think she thought I meant the board itself, not my name as "Best Bagger," because she said it's been there for a while and started to explain it. I was highly amused by this because while I suppose these things are well intentioned, they are really silly, and also I don't think I really do bagging all that much.

I got my schedule for next week and I am on the EZ Scan every shift.

 
4/21/05

1:00 PM -6:30 PM Regular Cashier

The stairs up to the breakroom/offices were decorated with green balloons and green paper, and new posters were hung (the sign explaining the 50/50 drawing was taken down) with an enlargement of "The Safe Path." Today was safety day. When I got up to the breakroom, there was cake with green frosting and soda, more balloons, and signs about cutting and lifting properly hanging from the ceiling. when I got onto the floor, some people (mostly managers) were wearing black polo shirts with green embroidery saying "The Safety Team #172" (172 is our store number) There was also a small booth by the entrance which AM was standing behind, with green balloons and ballots for people to make safety suggestions. These were also in the breakroom, along with copies of "The Safe Path," a one page newsletter-ish kind of thing with two columns--one on safety cutters and the other on Spring Cleaning and Ladder Use. After I as on the register for a few minutes, AA came by and handed me a pale green ribbon to pin to my vest. There was a contest in which the associate who gives the best safety suggestion gets a $25 gift certificate. While I was on my break, I saw QQ sitting at a table, wearing a black shirt. I sat down next to her and asked her if she was on the safety committee. She said she was, and that in the last meeting, she was sitting next to BB and so felt she had to volunteer when asked. QQ had to leave, and there were a few others left. I said that my suggestion would be to pay us better and we would work better. Another man, whom I had never seen before agreed, and said he thought that's what BJ had written on his ballot. As two more cakes were brought in--one half sheet, for the afternoon shift, and one quarter sheet, for the evening shift, this same man said that he'd like to see what they spent on all of this put into our salaries. I then got up to see what the cake said--the first one I saw was too decimated to read. It said, in black frosting, that "The Green Path is the Safe Path," and under it "Remember to give your safety suggestion." Later in the day, QQ came by and made sure every associate got a ballot. At the end of the day, when I was back up in the breakroom getting my jacket, QQ was trying to take down the signs and balloons and so I helped her with it. I really couldn't come up with a safety suggestion, so I didn't fill out a ballot.

After I had punched in, and as I was signing in on the alcohol-tobacco form, PP handed me a form " Associate Documentation Form Cashier/Office Clerk Notification - Overages/Shortages." I asked what this was, and PP said it was explained on the sheet-- my register had been over $10.01 on Saturday. I have to admit I was sort of bummed out by it. After I had been on the register for a while, I noticed 2 $5 bills in with the one dollar bills, and I got worried that maybe when the till was put together, the fives had been put in there and I would be over again, but I wasn't sure--maybe I had put them there by mistake. Anyway, now I'm worried I'll get another from on Saturday because my register will be over again. I guess I feel that people don't know me well (or at all), but I do feel they think I am a good worker, so making these mistakes diminishes that.

I saw more $100 bills today than I ever had-- a lot of people paid with them. I had a few people who thought their totals were wrong--but only said something after I had finished giving them their change, etc. So I asked them to look through the receipt and let me know if anything was wrong--but nothing was. As I was coming back from my break, a customer I remember going through my line earlier stopped me to tell me that she didn't' get a bag of some things she had bought, but that she had come back and gotten them.

Later in the day, I was switched to bagging. An older couple came through, and they seemed very picky. They hadn't put their items on the belt, and the next customer put a case of Pepsi on it as the belt was moving and so it moved to the end of the belt. The man turned to this customer and said something--I couldn't hear--but she picked up her Pepsi and went to another line. They bought 2 large bouquets (if that;s the right word--bunches?) of Gladiolas, and the woman told me she'd like them wrapped in paper, with something wet underneath, because they were driving for an hour. I took them over to the floral department. The woman there didn't didn't seem too happy to do this--we put wet paper towels at the ends of the plants, but she said it was too expensive to put paper on them, at the price they were getting them for ($5 each). I then went back towards my line, and to the floral paper stand near the front end desk. LL started to help me, she held the paper while I inserted the flowers--she said to let them go,the paper would hold them, but they fell through (a keystone kops moment). LL left to staple the ends of the papers and we got the flowers all set, just as the man was finishing with paying, etc. I am sure he tortured the cashier the entire time.

I did see two people I know, but i don't think they recognized or saw me. One came through my line while I was bagging-- I don't really know her, but I do remember being introduced to her at some art thing. I saw a professor from SU going through an express lane, but it seemed like he didn't see me.

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