Today, since you are probably reading this tomorrow, was Sunday. Which means two things. One, it was the fourth day I worked in a row. So it’s really not the best of or for me. Second, it also happens to be our busiest day of the week. Well, some argue Saturday is just as busy. A few even argue that Saturday is indeed busier. And some weeks are indeed like that. But no, Sunday is our busiest day of the week.
Today was no exception. My first story will illustrate this point.
I was working fastlane (self-scan) 1 at the time. I notice the assistant store director walking towards me making eye contact. I momentarily freeze and run through this mental checklist:
- Name tag on
- In proper uniform
- Exactly where I’m supposed to be
- Doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing
- Crap! Water in plain sight!
- No, wait, doctor’s note… we’re cool
The possibility that he was on his way over to take over my spot so I could take my break, never entered my mind. Apparently, that was a fail on my part. Mind you, it isn’t unusual to find him helping out on fast lane. When he isn’t busy doing his own workload, and the store is slammed, he can sometimes be found acting as a third pair of hands down on fastlane 1/2, even though 2 people is usually all that is needed. But the words” I’m here to hop your break” are a sure sign that “holy crap we really must be busy.” When I left at 6:30 he was solo running fastlane 3, had been for well over an hour, and there were no signs of that changing anytime soon.
Another thing of note was that I was all over the place today. I’ve been working A LOT of fastlane because, well, the AC that controls the air in the front of the store is broken, it’s been documented to be 80 degrees at 8AM and it only gets worse, and I’m just not capable of running a lane for too long in that heat. I can’t keep currently regulate my body temp very well. So it’s fastlane, or leaving on a stretcher. But today, was, well, one of those days. I started on fastlane 1. Got sent to cover M’s 15 min break, then to cover A’s 30 min lunch, then to cover T’s 30 min lunch, then to my own lunch, then back to fastlane 1, then to open lane 22 because they needed another lane and the assistant store director could run fastlane 3, and the person from 3 got moved to cover me on 1, then I got sent back to fastlane 1, then my own break, then back to 1, then to cover D’s 30 minute lunch, then back to 1. Which honestly, was all kinda awesome. I was never really on lane long enough to get too overheated, and it made a good break from fastlane. (Note: self-scan (fastlane) has a bad habit of attracting stupid people. Which is far from saying all people who use self-scan are stupid. So it can get a bit frustrating. So 4 days in a row of nothing BUT self-scan… yeah.) So really, I was all over the place today. Never knew where I was going to be from one moment to the next and was actually quite ok with it.
Now for the funnies. Because while today was crazy busy and overwhelming for even the veterans, there were moments of comedy gold.
At around 11AM, I was running fastlane 1. Scanner 1 had a red light go up, meaning they had run into a problem of some sort. I walked over, greeted the customer, and moved in to fix the problem. “Oh! Do you work here?” she says, looking me in the eye. No, lady, I wear the uniform, name tag, greeted you, and moved in on the system purely for the fun of it. Really.
Later, I was on an actual lane and a customer came through with a live, pet fish. NORMALLY, the fish have a PLU (that 4 digit number you find on produce and bulk things) written on the bag. Only apparently the tag that this info can be found on had been destroyed so the coworker who got them the fish had nothing to offer in terms of ringing the fish out, aside from the price. So I had to key dump. Key dumping, for those who don’t know, is when you have no upc or anything so you basically turn it into random grocery (or whatever) item at a given price. It isn’t ideal, but it gets it on the order. It is also the last resort. But sometimes, it’s all you have. When we key dump, it brings up a list of possible departments. But not ALL departments are on that list. So sometimes you have to kind of fudge it. The pet department, not being one of the main departments, doesn’t happen to be on that given list. However, “seafood” was. I’m sure you can see where this is going… The customer found it HYSTERICAL that I listed the pet fish on her order as seafood @ 3.49. Made her freakin’ day. MY favorite part is that when she and the couple behind her, agreed that no one had to tell the poor fish. I laughed until I cried. Literally.
Then there was the 7yo girl, while I was hoping a random lunch, who when I asked her if I could go home with her and share her homemade lasagna, she informed me “only if her momma didn’t have to pay for their groceries”. Which I guess, if you weren’t there, sounds bad. But prior to that, she was stressing because they came in for like 4 things and were leaving with a cartload. It helped that her mother was openly mortified at her daughter’s response. I just laughed. It was cute. I have a kid that age. I know they are just starting to have a concept of money, and therefore she knew what the running total she could plainly see meant, but still had no concept of why stores can’t simply give 200$ worth of groceries away. So I called her adorable, explained if I could I would but couldn’t, and claimed any leftovers.
Anyway, those were the best moments of the day. There was a handful of not so great moments, but I’m choosing to focus on the ones that had me laughing until I cried.