Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's all about the Benjamins, baby!

I know, I know, you never expect a 38 year old, white-xican middle class mom of 2 to start quoting a rap song but you should know by now to expect the unexpected when it comes to the ol' mert. :P

I am of course referring to the fact that I got to train as a cashier at The T on Thursday. Let me just preface this whole post by saying that when Miss HR said that we would feel overwhelmed with all of the information that we received during orientation? Ummm yeah, just a smidge. Fortunately though, all of the fellow employees that I have worked with have been very nice and VERY patient.

Also,on a side note- we were informed for the 20th time during the 2 days of orientation that using the employee discount for anyone other than the people that are applicable is unacceptable. For me, that would be me and John will get his own discount card since he is considered a dependent. Once the girls are 16, if I am still working at The T, they will get their own cards. For the youngsters I'm orienting with, they can only use the discount for themselves. Using your discount for your family and friends will result in immediate termination. So, you can't purchase anything and let them pay you back, so that they will benefit from the discount basically. Keep this little tidbit stored away until the end of my post.

Anyway, after learning the basics and running drills with fake credit cards with my fellow orientees for about 1 1/2 hours, we were thrown to the wolves. I managed to get my first mistake out of the way on my very first live transaction, and it was a biggie. Yay me. *rolls eyes* HOWEVER, I was consciously anally retentive after that, but in a sweaty and nervous kind of way. ;) After that I made a few small fixable errors like the scanner picking up an item twice.

My newbie cohorts and I all got a few customers then had a lull for a few minutes, then I realized that I was first in line as far as customers coming from the back of the store. I realized that I should just plow ahead and take as many customers as possible to get more comfortable... and before I knew I was chit chatting with them like 7 years ago when I was a nurse. Talking to complete strangers came back with such an ease, and with the exception of 2 people talking with them was pleasant.

After about 40 minutes of checking out customers, I was in the groove and felt pretty comfortable... except when I remembered that the register times your transactions. Yes, you actually get "speed reports". You want to stay green, not yellow or red. I got a few reds, but for the most part green, but still when I heard that cashiers were timed, I was kind of floored. But I guess with more experience it shouldn't be a problem.

Overall though, it was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. The high school kid that was orienting with me jokingly complained that i was getting all of the customers being first in line at the registers, so I asked him if he wanted to switch registers. "NO," he held up his hands.

The night wasn't done after I got off work though, my MIL was nice enough to pick me from work. She needed to get Anna's birthday present yet so after I clocked out, I put on my coat to make sure I wouldn't be approached after hours (they suggest this), and I toodle'd around the curtain aisle while waiting for the MIL to get there. And waited , and waited. Some of the team looked at me questioningly and maybe even a little suspiciously.

Let me just say that I have this weird thing that even if I'm completely innocent, I get a little nervous (sometimes angry and indignant, but mostly nervous) when someone starts looking at me with narrowed or judging eyes. So, even if I'm not doing anything wrong, I probably look as if I'm doing something wrong. I'm a dork, sue me.

Anywho, I finally found the MIL, and we headed over to curtains. She had a cart full of stuff so I put my things on the bottom of the cart (pull ups, milk x2, cereal, and granola bars x2). After we picked out curtains that matched a Hannah Montana pillow case that I had ordered from, we headed up to the front.

As I walked to the front, I noticed the Team Leader that had been on my shift standing up at the register talking to the fella that was working the register... and then I noticed that her face fell from slight amusement to "Oh, NO she DI'INT!" ( and even possibly over to "B*tch, please!").

"Oh God," I thought to myself..."She actually thinks that I am retarded enough to try that- on the first day? Shoot, I know they are serious about firing... but I'm not that stupid. Maybe dumb, but not stupid." Completely innocent me, I practically implicate myself by nervously looking at the cart and trying to bring spit back into my dry mouth by licking my lips.

Then, as I neared the gallows register, I realized, "Hey, you have endured much worse than this... This is just a Pavlovian response to your upbringing, and the oh so familiar look she is giving you. You didn't do anything wrong. So, you were punished as child, despite whether or not you were guilty... get over it. You're not a kid anymore."

So I came to the register and calmly said," This is my stuff," as I put my things on the counter, 'And ALL of that," I made a pushing motion towards the 1/2 full cart," is my MIL's." I smiled reassuringly, and looked the Team Leader square in the eye.

I mean seriously, why would I agree to work so hard for such little pay and go through the agony of learning so much information in such little time... just to mess it up, all for a 10% discount? OK, maybe for a 40% discount, but 10% is hardly worth the effort. ;)

Turns out my discount card still wasn't working, so they owe me $2.20. Sons a biscuits.

Of course, after we were all done being rung up, I started to shake out of nervousness (Old habits die hard. Thanks mother). I realize that she was just doing her job, but man do I hate that feeling. I'm sure every new employee probably gets that "Sucka, PLEASE!" look the first time they approach the register with someone else, but it just makes me feel bad.

Oh well, I'm sure this will make a good story next year at the Christmas party. ;)


Sunshine said...

I think you got this job ONLY for the blogging material.
You're shameless....

Mert said...

ROFL!!!! Dern, ya caught me! SNORT. Yes, I have humiliated myself much more than this for blogging material... makes sense;)

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

The job with the big T will prove to be great blogging material, I agree with sunshine. I totally thought your story was going to end with MIL being peeved you wouldn't share that big 10% discount despite getting warned more times than you could count!

Glad to hear you did fine with some real customers, it comes back easier than you think it will! :)

I also get that totally guilty nervous feeling when people are giving me the look or if a cop gets behind me when I'm driving I get all jittery...haha, we're such dorks!

Karmyn R said...

So, the big question is - how will T know that sweet little 16 year old isn't buying stuff for her mama? She heads to work - mom asks "Oh, pick up some tampons and shampoo today".

Is the buying for yourself considered a "on your merit" policy?

Pamela said...

I thought I was going to read that MIL demanded you use your discount.

Mert said...

Karmyn, my girls can buy whatever they want when they are 16, for the household... they are my dependents so they get to use my discount.

On the other hand , the high school kid that just got hired cannot buy stuff for his parents, he can only buy for himself. He works there, not his parents so only he can benefit from the discount.

Kelly - PTT said...

Ahhh - the joy of learning curves, huh? I'm sure you'll work out all the kinks soon. Congrats on your new job!

I'm hosting book giveaway that I think you would love. The book is titled Your Child's Strengths and it's a great read. Please come over and enter!

~Virginia~ said...

i used to be insanely afraid of handling money, but i've done it at a few jobs now and once you get the basics down, it's a piece of cake. keep up the great learning! :)

Daddy Forever said...

I didn't know Target was so much like Helmart. My wife wanted to get a job at Target once. I'm glad she didn't.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, The T. I should get a job there so I can make back some of the money I've thrown their way over the years. In my opinion the whole family should get a discount. It wouldn't hurt them. I can just imagine the Nazi Team Leader staring you down.

wolfbaby said...

Gotta love those hard core idiots... and the working world.. so not fun.