Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Day 81

There's this lady at work who's always wearing bells. I call her the freaking stupid bell lady, because she is freaking stupid, a lady, and she wear bells.

They're everywhere. On her shoes. On her wrists. On her shirt. On her belt. It's her thing, I guess. You know, what makes her special. Which probably means that without her bells she is boring and bored. I hope that's noy the case, but why else with the bells?

I am such a jerk. But I'm not taking it back. Because she's the freaking stupid bell lady. And someone needs to let her know. But not me. Because not only am I a jerk, I am also a coward.

The end.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Day 80

I'm thinking of quitting.

What keeps me in this job is two-fold. One, I love the people I work with. They are the best, and they are amazing. It should be noted that I don't know 1/10 of everyone that works here, but those I do know are roger's park, i.e., awesome.

Two, I have huge college loans to pay. And no other means of income.

So I'm casually looking around at the moment. I applied to Borders on Friday after work. And might apply some other places. Wal-Mart is nearer to home than any other place I work, so that's always a plus. But I'd gladly work someplace that's a drive away just to get away from a company that encourages suppliers to make everything in China because the labor is dirt cheap.

In effect, that's what we sell: Sweat, slavery and cheap plastic toys.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Day 77

So "blitz" day was pretty anti-climatic. I had to be there at 8:00 this morning. By 9:00 it was dead; just another day at Wal-Mart.

The general consensus was that we didn't have the right blitz items to bring the people through our doors. Other stores, like Best Buy or Kohls did. I heard rumors we were getting beat by the other Wal-Marts around us in sales, even those that weren't Super Wal-Marts.

Woe is we, I guess. I got my hours in though; no matter how much I sell, I still get the same 7-odd dollars an hour. I don't get a piece of profit-sharing stock-optioning until I've worked here for a year. Something they might want to reconsider. Cause right now, I couldn't care less about our lackluster sales.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Day 73

Tonight I got my third pink slip. So much for the joy of a job well done.

p.s. They never responded to my request in writing last time for an explanation of how pink slips work. I might try it again, but I'm not sure I have the energy. Bastards.

p.p.s. Maybe it's time to think of other forms of income, like selling kidneys.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Day 72

This evening I had my 90 day review. It hasn't been ninety days, in case you were wondering, and I didn't expect this either. But my assistant manager Edith took me aside near the end of my shift, and went over my evaluation. Suffice to say, I was a bit nervous.

But it came out roses. She had nothing but good things to say. I do alot of different jobs, without complaining, and she singled me out for that. This is a quote, that had me smiling: "No tardies, one sick day. I've seen you zoning, cleaning, doing carts....We wish we had a hundred of you."

I got a 45 cent raise to boot! That puts me at $7.15 an hour.

I'm not sure whether to feel like a whore or a saint. What a job!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Day 70

Another cart pusher quit today. Then it rained. I had the pleasure of doing carts.

Tonight was the first night I let loose anything resembling a complaint about doing carts, and all three CSMs got incredibly defensive. I wasn't critizing them at all; in fact, I didn't criticize anyone. I just used body language and unethusiasm to express how I wasn't enjoying this "other job." I guess they took that as a persoanl attack. I was too sopping wet to care or correct them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Day 69

While I was cleaning the registers tonight (it was slow), a customer started verbally attacking another cashier about how much Wal-Mart marks up their merchandise from China and how they're putting people out of business and how they are the devil. Thank God for PBS. You're story's only maybe 10 years too late.

Myself and this other cashier know these things. To be honest, we don't like Wal-Mart very much. But it's our job. They pay us to work, and we do. What that customer didn't realize was twofold. 1) We don't run Wal-Mart. We operate cash machines and get yelled out when we're $10 short after an eight hour day. We push carts when we don't have enough stockmen because they all quit due to low pay and little encouragement. We bag your groceries, because 2) YOU decide to shop here. YOU decide to buy Chinese products, made in sweat shops, that make them cheaper than American made goods. If you really cared enough to shout at us, you would have bought the more expensive cabinets from Souder rather than the cheap foreign-produced piece of trash you had in your cart.

Wal-Mart exists because, like it or not, people want it. We are capitalists, who answer to stockholders, who want money, money, money. And we answer by selling crap from foreign countries who don't have our labor laws. Don't yell at the cashier. Be constructive. Support union products and services. Vote Democrat. Pass around petitions in your local communities. Use your wallet to show your loyalty to your country.

Or be a whore like us and shop at our store. It's your choice, asshole.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Day 68

I worked in electronics tonight again. One of our co-managers jumped down the throat of a customer. It was interesting to watch.

So this apparently eccentric lady bought an LCD TV from us once before. It didn't work. So she brought it back and was looking for a replacement. She wanted a similar one, but asked if we could hook it up to a feed just to make sure it worked. In co-manager Ed's defense, she was a bitchy kind of eccentric. She treated everyone like trash, mostly because I guess she was pissed that her TV didn't work. (p.s. go shop at Best Buy for TVs people; our prices are cheaper because WE DON'T CARE!)

Ed lost it, interupting and telling her we don't do installment services. It's not Wal-Mart policy. Blah, blah, blah....Big face off. Ed relents, jacks the TV into the Wal-Mart TV feed, and it works perfectly. No one leaves happy. We all need a vacation.

Here's the thing. If myself or anyone else had talked to or treated a customer like that, we would probably be fired. But Ed has his little fun and gets away with it. Yadda, yadda, yadda...some old management sucks story. You've heard (and experienced) it before. No one is immune to it.

Not even at Mr. Sam's Wal-Mart.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Day 64

I worked in electronics tonight. And I fell in love.

Okay, not really. But I have my first Wal-Mart workplace crush. Her name is Emma (again, not really, because I don't use real names), and she is sarcastic and quiet and the funniest person here. She wears glasses, and I couldn't be more smitten.

I think we even exchanged words once or twice (she doesn't say much). I will win her over. We won't get married; we won't ever see each other outide of work. But we will be friends. Because I need a friend who hates this job as much as I do. And I think she is a kindred spirit in that respect.

Keep you fingers crossed, America.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Day 63

A funny thing happened at work today. A man refused to pay slaes tax on his free pop.

So this customer, let's call him Gunther, come into my lane with two small food itmes, and two 24 pack cases of pop. He had two coupons, that made each case of pop (valued at $6.00 or so) free for his consumption. I totlaed up the merchandise, then scanned the coupons. The price came up a bit high, and he asked why. I printed off a slip and we noticed there was alot of tax for his two food products. Me, being the college educated genius that I am, realized right away that it charger him the tax for his pop even though it was free. This is usually not pronounced enough for a customer to question (especially when most people we use coupons are famlies who buy $200 worth of groceris). But on such a small pruchase, it stood out.

I patiently explained to him why he had to pay the tax:

Me: You see, even though these coupons made the soda free, we still have to charge you tax because you're still purchasing the pop.

Gunther: No I'm not. It's free.

Me: Alright, I didn't choose my words carefully. The pop appears free, but it's really not. The soda compnay is paying us for you, but you still have to pay the tax.

Gunther: So you're telling me they're not free?

Me: Yes, all you have to pay is the 50 cents or so in tax.

Gunther: I just don't know why I have to pay tax on it when it's free.

Me: But it's not really free. These coupons are like cash. They're tender, like a check. They don't mean you can walk out of here with the pop. You still have to purchase them, you just don't have to pay cash for them. You pay with these coupons.

Gunther: But why can't you just pay the tax? The coupon says it's good for up to $6.50. Just ring it up.

Me: I wouldn't know that deifnitively why I can't do that. I could call a manager. [no response] I suppose it depends on what state you buy your pop in. In Michigan, you'd stil have to pay for deposit. In Montana, you wouldn't have sales tax, so you wouldn't pay anything.

Gunther: But that's a ways to drive.

Me: [half smiling at his lame sarcastic remark] I realize that, but what I mean is that because we live in Colorado [not really] we have a sales tax. And the soda company won't reimburse us for sales tax. So the customer ends up paying for it.

Gunther: I just don't see why I have to pay the tax if they're free.

This went on for a while. He was big, so I was very polite. Two more times I asked him if he'd like to speak with a manager. He said no. We went back and forth. He was a moron. I was the most patient motherfucker on the planet. Cool as a cucumber. He got fed up with his inability to convince me to pay his tax for him and decided he didn't want his two 24 pack cases of pop that were only going to cost him 20-some cents each. He took his food products and left, after holding up my line for six or seven minutes.

Gunther, you cheap bastard. I feel sorry for your family and their pop-free lives.

All in a days work.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Day 61

Tonight, I got a tip.

I was pushing carts (again), when a CSM asked if I could help a young lady with brand new stitches with her groceries. I obliged, and received $2 for my services. I know I'm not supposed to accept tips as a Wal-Mart employee, but it was so sudden and unexpected that I didn't know what to do! I just slipped it into my pocket and smiled embarrassed like (because I was).

Take that Lee Scott! You're empire is crumbling from within....

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Days 55-56

I do carts now. Carts in the cold.

I'm still a cashier, but for the last two nights, I've been out in the cold after 8 o'clock, because most of the cart pushers have quit. They don't get much encouragement or respect, cleaning up that parking lot rain or shine, all they get is an ass-crack wage and the satisfaction of a job well done. Which really just amounts to an ass-crack wage (1+0 still equals 1).

I can't say I get paid great ($6.70), but starting wage for a cart pusher (or "stockman" as they're euphemistically called round here) is probably hovers around $6.00. It's mostly young guys, who can find better jobs just by walking out there front door and yawning. In other words, we don't offer them much incentive to stay, let alone apply in the first place.

So they make the young male cashier do it at night sometimes. But as far as I'm concerned, it's not a bad job. I get paid for being a cashier, and I get out of the hypocritical world of fake "hellos" and "how ya doings?" I get some time to think and walk around and get paid. The best part is that I don't have a supervisor, which is more like most job I've had. I work best when I know I'm not being watched. When it's up to me and myself to do a good job.

Plus, you get to use the electric cart-stacking thingy, which pushes the carts for you. It's even got a remote control.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Day 53

For as divided as the country is supposed to be about the election tomorrow, the general consensus among my co-workers is that they can't trust either candidate. What I've heard most is how disgusted they are with all the bickering and bad-mouthing going on between the candidates. It scares some of the them how partisan this country has become. You won't find many fanatics among this group. They just want it to all be over.

Problem is, no matter who's elected, it's not going to be over. There will be losers, and they will not be happy.