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5/15/05

1:00 PM - 8:45 PM Courtesy Clerk

The most interesting thing I did today was see the security room. At a little after 7, HH told me to go to security--"just knock on the door and they'll let you in." I sat down in a chair while one secuirty guy, sitting, and the other one, standing at the door, spoke to a woman who was also sitting. She was caught shoplifting band-aids (value: $1.99.) She had bought some things, including bandaids, but didn't have enough to get another package. The one security guy, at a computer, was filling in a form--her name and address (her only ID was a EBT card). After a few moments, they told me I was a witness. After the form was filled out, he printed it out and went through it with her. She wasn't going to be arrested, because "she was cooperative and the item was so small," but they were going to fine her $75. There is a law in which stores can sue people for 5 times the worth of a item, maximum $500, or minimum $75. If she doesn't pay it in fifteen days, they will take her to court for $500. She can call a number to set up a payment plan. I felt bad for her. I thought the guys were more or less nice to her, but they also kept on commenting on stealing bandaids, and that she stole the cheap brand, wasn't very good at it, etc. Their last comment to her was that they didn't expect to see her in the store anymore. I then signed two forms, as a witness. They said this was just so I could testify that they didn't beat her up or anything. I said all they did was make bad jokes, and the manager ( who had come in at some point during all of this) said that they really shouldn't have done that. I then asked the security guy how often he catched people. He said this was the second person they caught today, which was usual. His record was 10 in one day, and usually they catch an employee every week or two as well.

The room is small--closet-sized, with a computer and four big monitors, and two control boards. There is a map of the store with all the camera placements (I think there are around 25-30 cameras) The security guy showed me the cameras a little--he switched to the one that is outside and showed how he could zoom in down the street or even into some of the houses on the hill (which he didn't do, but joked about). He then zoomed into a cashier and her screen, and said he could read the serial number on a bill if he wanted to. He said the cops told him these cameras were better than what they have.

After this, I was sort of just helping out when needed--covering people's breaks on the EZ Scan, and bagging a little. I had been bagging all day long and was glad to have a break from it--I was getting tired. There was a lot of regular, weekly shopping--families and kids and lots of big orders. Several people today mistook me for a manger, which hasn't happened in a while. One woman in another line was trying to get my attention to complain about something, and AE, who was the cashier I was working with told her "She ain't a manager." We got HH to come over and talk to her.

I did get a lot of shoppig lists for my collection--about 8 today.

 
5/14/05

3:30 PM -11:15 PM Regular Cashier

It seems like it's been forever since I was just cashiering. It was more or less busy in the store today, and the time went by a lot faster than my shifts recently. People were buying regular groceries: meat, pasta, Ragu spaghetti sauce, coffee creamer, sugar, Pepsi, frozen chicken wings, red grapes, bananas, Popsicles, ice cream, canned corn, green beans, peas, pet food-- many of these things were on sale. Star Wars is appearing on a lot of products--cereal, fruit roll up snacks, soda.

I has one woman buying groceries for her son, who just graduated from Newhouse at SU; an older man who bought a lot of the same things-- 6 half gallons of orange juice, 8 packages of American cheese slices, I can't remember what else. There were several groups of women doing their grocery shopping together. In the early evening, I had several people who just seemed tired and wanted to be done doing errands for the day. I also had a least two people who had trouble paying for things--both had their credit cards rejected--one because her paycheck hadn't cleared yet at the bank, so she ended up writing a check, the other's credit card wouldn't work and so she ended up having to leave her stuff behind. For a while in the evening, there were people buying smaller orders--dinner things, and then around 9-9:30, people were doing more grocery shopping again (full carts). There were several younger people who bought a lot of frozen food. I also had two people from school come through my line.

I still find it much easier to talk to the other employees--including several who I had seen before but never really talked to. AJ was bagging for me for a while, he had just finished a semester at OCC. He's been here about as long as I have, but is started to get bored with it. He said he liked how flexible the hours are and how easy it is to ask for time off, since he likes to go to shows, but that the pay isn't very good, and so he is going to start looking for another job. We both didn't really understand how they could pay so little. He asked me why I was working here if I had a job at SU--why not find more work there. I started to say that I wanted to work at a grocery store, but then we were interrupted before I could finish a good explanation. At one point, a customer asked him how long he had been bagging--we both thought she was going to complain--but instead she told him he did a good job, and that most people just throw things in bags.

AJ went to high school with the cashier working next to us (who is very pregnant)--they both graduated last year. She was asking him if he had seen certain people lately. On the other side of us, BX was cashiering. He is someone I have seen around a lot, but had never really talked with--he also seems just out of high school. He said lately he's had shifts no longer than six hours, and works about 33 hours a week. I told him this was my second job, so I only worked about 17 or 18 hours a week. He said he was too lazy to find another job. He's been here for about 8 months, and is looking forward to getting to one year, at which point you get one week (your average hours for a week) off paid. During my break I talked a little with BW, who seems like she is a year or two out of high school. She has a three-month old baby, and showed me a picture. A also saw BS briefly, and apologized to her for leaving her at the EZ Scans alone on Thursday, and explained how last week I ended up waiting for almost an hour for someone to take over for me and didn't want to do that again. She also told me she is on the EZ Scan all the time, and so I told her that I mentioned to PP that I didn't like it very much, and that she seemed to respond to that.

AO was supervising tonight. I'm starting to get a good sense of how the different supervisors work. AO is someone who likes to be in charge--he's not a jerk or anything, but he definitely wants you to do things his way.

 
5/12/05

8:00 AM - 1:00 PM EZ Scan

It seemed like there were a lot of senior citizens shopping today. I would generalize their shopping as not huge orders, and usually with coupons. I was, again, all over the place--I started by doing reshops, then cashiering a little, and for the last 2 hours I was on the EZ Scan. I was asked a lot by people where things were, and for the most part was able to tell them. But three times, I couldn't find what they were looking for, and assume that this means we don't have them: Alphabets cereal, Ragu Garden Sauce, and powered copper polish (we do have another kind of copper polish, but the man wanted a powdered form). I also couldn't find things I was trying to put back--some german mustard, beet flavored horseradish, neither which I could locate in the mustard/condiments section. I (happily) didn't get to a whole cart of toys to be put back-- I sort of imagine a lot of kids grabbing them to have their parent leave them at the register, but maybe everyone else did what I did and avoided them.

The store seemed busy, but not as busy as it was last weekend. I saw NN in the morning-- the time clock at the front end is broken, and he showed me where the one is in the deli. He didn't mention anything about dinner (whew). PP talks to me a lot more about stuff going on in the store--like having to come in at 6:30 to do something with the registers. She also seemed to try to give me things to keep interested--when I first came in she asked me to do the damaged reshops, which I really didn't know how to do-- I assume you bring them back to different departments in the back. I sorted through everything and pulled the damaged stuff, but then PP gave them to BV to do. Later while I was out reshopping, she called BV to the register, then cancelled that, and called me up. I feel like a brown nose. She also told me she is trying to get me off EZ Scan, but that they don't have enough people trained on it yet.

While I was on the small EZ Scan, it seemed like people needed a lot of help. There were only two produce code charts out, and twice I rang in coupons but messed up in some way, because the customer came back with their receipt and I just ended up giving them the difference. I think I was just distracted by having to handle other things at the same time. One woman came through who was quite embarrassed by her squeaky cart. I helped her a little, and she told me I was a "kind and elegant woman." I have to say that was the most elegant compliment I have received. The EZ Scans were getting busy right when it was time for me to leave--I went over to LL to tell her I was done at 1, and managed to punch out at 1:07 (one minute more I would have had a late punch). BS, who was one the other EZ Scan, wasn't too happy about this, because I ended up leaving her there alone with both. I apologized-- I didn't want to end up doing what I did last week and end up staying for an hour over waiting for someone.

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