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16 July 2003 @ 10:48 pm
National Leave-The-Customer-And-Laugh Day  
Many years ago when I was still actively involved in dance, wearing boxer shorts as part of your warmup gear became fashionable in the dance crowd. My family was not willing to go out and buy a pair of shorts for me, but I borrowed a pair from my father and was satisfied at the time.

Now, it seems that what little elastic remained in the waistband is totally shot. They have always been far too large, but I used to be able to roll the waistband down a few times and keep 'em on. This is no longer true - I roll them, and roll them, until I can roll them no more - and they still fall off my rear! Since the elastic has lost that which makes it elastic, I have to pin the shorts and even then they're not something I should be seen in. Heh.

I am somewhat amused by the fact that people seem to think that I can break anything, at any time. Given the amount that people spend ... in the afternoon/evening, I probably could. But in the morning, when I have just opened my register, I generally have around thirty dollars in cash and cannot break a $100 bill, even if I'm crazy enough to hand over all my quarters and dimes. The funny thing is I had to go through the process of calling a CSR over with change twice for this in less than an hour. (One customer thought that the CSR was taking her sweet time to come over, so she grabbed her $100 and walked over to the CSR to get change!)

Also, I was the only cashier available more than once. When I work, I get absorbed into the little world that is my register, my customers, and my counter - I rarely "look up" and beyond that, and so when someone alerted me to the fact that I was the only one working, I was honestly quite surprised. I had no clue that anyone had left their station, and I was wondering if there had been some meeting, firedrill, or National Leave-The-Customer-And-Laugh Day that I was unaware of. They were merely on their breaks/lunches, of course (I think).

This is my second week, right? I'm already training and helping new cashiers. o_O;

Apparently people respond to my perpetual cheer. I've had many people compliment me, and another coworker let me know that others had told her how good my customer service skills were. I feel somewhat vindicated. Yes, vindicated.

Things I have wanted to announce over the intercom system at work but have not:
"Attention, shoppers! Please leave the premises. Shoppers, please stop spending your money on things you don't need, and leave."
"CSR/MOD to register 6 for Associate assistance, please!"

You know, I really don't know what to do about work and Otakon. I can't seem to see if they're willing to be flexible or not, and it's worrying me. Lame as it may sound, my priorities and loyalties lie with the friends and promises I've had and made for this Otakon trip. I have been hoping and planning since last year. Yes, I want to go for social reasons. But there are other reasons too - I'm going to sell my artwork, I'm going to basically see for myself how fandom acts en masse, I want to make connections, and I want to see something new that I have not yet seen. I list one of my interests when schools/jobs ask as "contemporary Japanese animation as an expression of pop culture," and Otakon would be one of the best places for an American fan to go.

I was never planning on having this job. My manager said that if I had mentioned this on my application, they probably wouldn't have hired me (since they need people here for the back-to-school rush and they hire based on availability). But I didn't mention it on my application because by the time I filled out the Value City application, the entire process seemed pointless. I had filled out countless versions of the same form, spent over a month with no luck, hearing nothing from anyone (except for two places out of the bajillion that sent me turn-downs). What does it matter, I probably thought at the time. It's not like they're going to even look at my ap. They're not going to hire me. Then again, it might not even have occurred to me to mention something like that. At the museum, they would've shrugged and said "ok."

Here, I've gone through the "forms" they have you use to request time off, and I haven't heard anything. My direct manager gave a raised eyebrow, because the end of the Otakon trip coincides with the beginning of a "blackout" period where we cannot ask for time off because they need everybody there, and asking the manager of the store didn't get me much better of a response. I feel as though I can't claim that I need to go back to school early, because now they both know that I would be attending "a conference" instead. I am more than willing to come back after Otakon is done, before I go back to school. I would like to think that they need me. So what is this hesitation?

I don't really want to quit, because I like my coworkers, and though I am not fond of cashiering, I'm quite skilled at it. I also have to wonder how it looks on later applications to see that I worked at this place for less than a month.

I am going to Otakon no matter what, I think. I just want to make sure that I limit the negative repercussions ... but how? How do I get them to see that I must go, but that I will return? Why is it so impossible for them ...? If I am so easily discarded, then don't make it seem like I have to stay!

Oh yes, speaking of discard - I got warned today that we are not to let the customers keep the hangers, and this is something that I do not agree with. If, say, they explained to me that each hanger is worth X amount and that by giving away Y number of hangers, I am costing the company Z amount of damage, then I'd say "ok." But as it is, hangers are like water here. They're everywhere. We throw the all plastic ones away. We let the ones on baby clothes go. What the hell ...? It's not like we're saving plastic or the earth by keeping these hangers, and the customer could use them just as well as we could!

Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: Frank Zappa - Peaches en Regalia
Giang (yang): Diamondscometeoraine on July 17th, 2003 01:31 am (UTC)
I'm with the "customers should get the keep the hangers" ordeal. Unless the store is privately owned that desperately needs saving, I can understand, but I don't think it would be much of a problem to big businesses where profits come in the millions.

I like the illustration. It's cute and creative. It does, however, reminds me of oranges.
pixiesboy on July 17th, 2003 06:55 am (UTC)
Hmmm, in regards to your Otakon problem if things don't work out where you get the time off you could just call in everyday that you're supposed to be at work. That's a possibility but I would still try to go through proper channels if possible. Too bad you don't work at Home Depot because if you had put in the request at least three weeks in advance you would have gotten your time off not to mention that you wouldn't have to worry about a back to school rush :)
One Who Wanders: AAGH!abiona on July 17th, 2003 08:28 am (UTC)
Dude, I put the request in a little under a month in advance - they ask you do it at least two weeks in advance.

I don't think the calling in plan will work, because I get "points" added to my "record" for every time I do that, and if I accumulate enough, I get fired. XD;
pixiesboy on July 17th, 2003 11:55 am (UTC)
If I were you and I know you don't want to hear this, I would stick with the job unless you're absolutely sure that you're going to make a good chunk of change at Otakon.
jaekyu on July 17th, 2003 01:53 pm (UTC)
This isn't just about the money...she's gotta fight. For her right. To paaaaartyyyy
One Who Wanders: amusedabiona on July 17th, 2003 08:52 pm (UTC)
You should come to Otakon and show us how it's done. : P
One Who Wanders: contemplativeabiona on July 17th, 2003 08:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your opinion ... but frankly, no way in hell that I would consider Value City over Otakon. : D Otakon is not just about money to me - the trip and all the information it entails means much more. Otakon has more to offer me based on my current interests and future plans than retail does.

This is a summer job, but I am actually working full time. I'm probably going to make enough money to carry me through the school year (I don't spend much), it seems, and that is fine. I already have a job lined up for me at school with a boss who loves me, so working there isn't a problem. Plus no matter what, she'll always be my most current reference, so they'll call her instead of Value City. XD
livinghole on July 17th, 2003 02:16 pm (UTC)
Every now and then, you'll get an oportunity to make someone embarrassed, or to just try adn funny announcement.

"Andrew for a price check on flavored condoms. Andrew for a price check on flavored condoms."

As you probably know, you're not supposed to answer back over the PA. Andrew, however, caught on.

"I need type, size, and number. Repeat - type, size, and number."

The customer sauntered away before I could finish. That was the only time I ever saw my manager laugh. I probably wouldn't have done it if the guy hadn't asked for 6 other price checks. I have a low tolerance for customers like that. My thoughts on it were - "Deal with it or ditch it - you're probably wrong." But, if I was upset with K-Mart (which was a lot of time) I'd scan a different item for the price they wanted and hand the one that they were complaining about to them. I was a touchy cashier that managed 23 rings per minute - the customers that knew me would avoid or come to my lane based on my facial expression at the time.

Oh. 2 reasons why they don't want you to leave.
1 - You've been trained. They'll think they wasted time and money on you.
2 - You're a great cashier. People skills are extremely important in retail. They value you and would like to keep you around.

If you do quit, it wouldn't be cause for impedement for future hirings. Many places will likely attribute the leave due to college. Others may call Value City and ask about you as a person and how well you did your job. You really have nothing to fear.
One Who Wanders: tiredabiona on July 17th, 2003 08:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Announcements
This "great cashier" deal is actually becoming a bit freaky. I completely changed the attitude of several people going through my line for the happier, and one lady told me "You're a great gal!" and went off announcing the same thing to the store. Uhm. o_o

... hey, I could get an army this way ... but wait, I don't like retail that much, nevermind.
livinghole on July 18th, 2003 01:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Announcements
Doesn't matter. You can start building your army now. When you go away, you can have the people you've already recruited gather more people. By next summer, you should have a militia fit for taking over the world!