Recycling My Tribute To Santa’s e-Commerce Mutants…An Annual Holiday Classic?…

As a driver delivering packages for Federal Express, this particular Saturday was always among my least favorite. In all the boroughs and townships that my route 9588D292-8E1D-4386-A09B-51FA9C508A65consisted of, it was fire truck Santa Clause day…I despised it…so much so that last year I wrote my own fantasy / true life tribute to my fellow drivers at FedEx Home Delivery and all they deal with during the busy holiday season…all they have to work around on fire truck Santa day…I’ve included it below…give it a read if you have some time…

 

Santa And the e-Commerce Mutants

Today…down at the grocery store…things come full-circle as the bearded wonder makes a visit to my new workplace…but unlike all those years as one of Santa’s e-Commerce mutants…happily…thanks to my quirky schedule…I won’t have to deal with all of the craziness that comes with a Saturday morning with Santa and kids all hopped up on candy canes and Hershey Bars…and today I can look on…Silent…from my front window as the fire truck Santa and his volunteer fire fighting elves…(thank you for your service boys)…make their way through my neighborhood blowing their siren…ringing the bell…honking their horn…all to let kids know that Santa and his helpers are just outside…blocking traffic…and handing out candy canes left over from last year’s Christmas ride…you don’t really think the townships and boroughs throw the leftovers out, do ya?…

To my former co-workers and friends at FedEx…be safe today and hang in there…it’s almost over…until January when everyone starts spending those gift cards they got for Christmas…during all those on-line after-Christmas sales…sometimes e-Commerce really sucks…

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The Best Worst Decision I’ve Ever Made?…

About three or four months ago I decided to leave my job delivering packages for Federal Express…I was actually working for a company that contracted with FedEx…it wasn’t an easy decision…I had been doing the same job for 16+ years and there was some comfort in knowing it would always be there unless I really screwed up…the man I worked for was also one of the few people who could tolerate me for more than 15 minutes at a time…but, the job was kicking my @$$ pretty much every day…

If you’ve read any of my other drivel, you know I ended up working at a large regional grocery store chain…that’s right, I have become a grocer…and until this week I always had doubts about whether it was the right choice…I can now say without a doubt…maybe…

Other than the fact that I already have three weeks paid time off in my personal benefits bank…after all those years as a Legend behind the wheel delivering packages, I had none…(I also was no legend, just thought that was the easiest place to insert the Daily Post prompt)…but my family also has health insurance we can now afford…why is that important?…when I was looking at this job I was concerned about the salary…it was a pay cut I wasn’t sure we could afford..but my wife, who was covering our benefits in her job as a consultant, was paying $1700/month for our family benefits…that ain’t no misprint…but now with my new job as a grocer, we have full family coverage for a paltry $65/week…again, not a misprint…we will save almost $1500/month just in our health insurance benefits cost..that was a number I could really get behind…

But as usually is the case in my family drama…reality roared its ugly head again when the IT project my wife was managing ended earlier…much earlier…than we ever expected that it would…once again, self-doubt about how much I was making leaked back into my big bulbous head…I’m enjoying my new found profession…unfortunately I may have to sell the house…a car…a kidney…some blood…just to keep it…I will not however sell my Disney Vacation Club Membership…some bad decisions are non-negotiable…

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I’m No Potter Fanboy, But…

Years ago, when my kids were still in elementary school, I purchased the first Harry Potter book to read to them at night, but my daughter took the book after the first night and chapter and I never saw it again…I also did deliver the second book in the series to many excited kids during my days with FedEx, not that that has anything to do with this post…oh!, and I have been dragged, kicking and screaming, against  my will to some kind of Potter World at Universal Studios in Florida…kids spending money on magical sticks…what a scam…I hated the place by the way, but you should judge for yourself…

Where am I going with all this?…the grocery store of course, and my job as no longer the most junior Service Team Leader…as I’ve mentioned in other posts, there is a lot of training that goes with this job since I could on any given day be opening or closing the store…I get to have contact with almost every department in the store…the most important and well-guarded being the area where they keep the register tills and count the money…a couple of weeks ago I was given access to this place…codes, fingerprints, employee classification…stopping just short of the whole nine yards…which, as it turns out is really important, really, really important…

I had the opening this past Monday…since the store never closes it involves just following through on a checklist of tasks and ignoring any phone calls from employees who may be calling out sick or customers calling to find out which aisle the canned peas are in…except this past Monday something came up I quickly learned I wasn’t prepared to handle…getting a fresh register till from that department I had that access code…the required fingerprint scan…and the special employee classification for. After obtaining all of the aforementioned clearances…they neglected to tell me there was an additional alarm inside the room which…and here’s the funny part…WHICH MUST BE DISARMED AS SOON AS YOU ENTER THE ROOM…a code was never provided to me…

The phone call from the alarm company was almost instantaneous…I considered not answering it and just grabbing a till and making a run for it…the third Degree  I received from the alarm company guy came just as fast…Who? What? Where? When?How?…this guy had obviously been fully trained at his job…and I deserved a thorough grilling too…I thought I was some kind of big shot who, because I had that access code, that fingerprint scan, that special employee classification could do whatever I wanted to do…lesson learned… Continue reading “I’m No Potter Fanboy, But…”

Giving Thanks At the Market?…Well, Maybe Not So Much For Everyone…

Yes, this is but another in a close-Knit  and endless stream of posts about my new job at the grocery store…if you want the latest on Number 45 and his Cabinet of Horrors you clicked on the wrong post…it’s also not a very imaginative use of the Daily Prompt Word knit…

Anywho, in my position as the most junior of all of the Front End Service Team Leaders, this has been a good week to work with other Front End employees and managers…and unfortunately also get my rear end handed to me…it was one thing learning HOW to work as a cashier…but something totally different learning how to work WITH the cashiers and help them through their hang-ups…their register issues…not their emotional hang-ups, for those they can use the Employee Assistance Program or their favorite bartender…if their over 21 of course…sorry if that sounds cold…

this week they issued to me several cards…with printing barely legible because of the amazing amount of information…department numbers, phone numbers…all printed so small even with glasses on it was difficult to make out the numbers…add the pressure of a line of customers waiting for me to fix things…to figure out product codes or pricing when the item has none…why their credit or debit card was denied…the difference between in-date and out-of-date coupons…like I said…rear end?…meet front end…

I did learn some things the hard way, however my performance was not what you could call one of a seasoned professional in the grocery industry…I unfortunately maybe inadvertently ticked off a few customers with my new found incompetence?…not because that was my goal…however, I think I also showed great patience with some customers…I find it amazing that a customer can come running into the store and without even attempting to look around, ask…

“Where are the cranberries?”…

”Well…what kind would you like mam?…fresh cranberries, frozen, or canned?”…

”Oh, never mind. I’ll just wander around the store!”…

Uh?…Okay then, Happy Thanksgiving to you, mam?”…

Sorry…but that’s just not shopping to me…and no, I don’t know the precise location of every  item in the store…we have an phone app for that…she could have looked it up before she even left home…saving us both from that uncomfortable exchange… 

…even in the face of a really irate customer who wanted to buy two turkeys…who didn’t read the dates on the sales flyer and who came to the register with two frozen turkeys EA164E10-C2FD-4190-A954-F50535481935and enough attitude to stuff both those birds…she might have gotten her price too…if only she hadn’t been verbally abusive to the employee at the register…a 17-year old…tell me we suck and then threaten me you have a blog?…

WHO IN THE NAME OF SAM HILL DOESN’T HAVE A BLOG?…And let me guess?…she added it on your Facebook timeline too?…hopefully for her and her family, Chinese food restaurants are open on Thanksgiving…am I right?

There were lots of other inter-actions with customers…some good…some not so much…usually my fault…but I’m looking forward to the end of my first month…all the while realizing that delivering packages for FedEx for the last 16+ years has taught me almost nothing…it’s time to actually use my brain again…

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Can They Fire Me For This?…

In my new position as the junior Service Team Leader in training at the store, I’ve become concerned about a couple of things…other than Eagles football helmets packaged in Dallas Cowboys boxes…no, this Particular demon is about my vanity…and how my employer wants to hang a large oversized cell phone picture of me at the front of the store where customers checkout…

I am not a handsome man…I generally have bad haircuts…I’ve been told because of my grey hair I look sickly when I get a fresh haircut…I have a small scar on my forehead…a small thing under my eye that could probably be cut off by a dermatologist…my face tends to wrinkle a bit too much when I smile…and my teeth resemble an old picket fence in need of a whitewash…

Sorry if I just spoiled your breakfast with that verbal portrait of myself…but I hope that explains my aversion to being photographed…and why, after they hung up my new picture at the front of the store…we decided it would be best for all parties to take it down the next day…they said it was because I didn’t smile…I didn’t…they want their employees to portray a positive, cheerful appearance…to be engaging with the customers…to be knowledgeable about food and the benefits of eating healthy and enjoying fresh food…and that picture of me portrayed the extreme opposite…an unhealthy diet of pre-packaged foods and no fruits and vegetables…how the hell did I get this job anyway?…

So I have come up with my own simple plan to get a picture acceptable to  IMG_0142everyone…take a selfie with my phone and use an on-line editing app something like photoshop to get rid of all my facial and dental imperfections…or as many as possible since I’m not sure any one editing program can fix everything that’s wrong with my appearance…but at least my employer will be happy since they won’t have to hang a photo on the front wall that skeeves out their employees and customers… 

 

Are You Friggin’ Kidding Me!…

I can’t believe the display currently set up at the grocery store where my talents (?) are currently on display…it spits in the face of every Eagles fan and gives us just one more reason to hate the Dallas Cowboys…not that Eagles fans need any added incentive…this is Eagles-Cowboys week…the first of 2 games against the team Eagles fans LOATHE and DESPISE the most…maybe more than the Giants and the Redskins, the other 2 teams in the NFC East… combined!…at least I know I do…

So what is it that has my midnight green shorts in a bunch?…let me start at the retail level and my current employer…although if they keep displaying silly things like the one I’m going to get around to eventually describing, it may be not for long…but, how in thee name of “Concrete” Charlie Bednarik can any self-respecting manager allow this particular item to enter a store in SE Pennsylvania?…makes me wanna start throwing snowballs again (remember?…the whole throwing snowballs at Santa?…it’s supposed to be a joke?)…anyway, I tried to use all the leverage that a junior Front End Service Team Leader…in training…can muster up, and I demanded the store powers that be remove this insulting, ridiculous item immediately!…yeah?, so no, not gonna happen…

Okay, that having failed…I now have to rely on a groundswell of customer complaints to any retail business that chooses to stock this ridiculous item…what is it that some Droll employee over at NFL Marketing has decided every Eagle fan needs?…that Eagles-Cowboys week would be the best time to roll this abomination out?…take a look at this piece of NFL collectible garbage!…

That’s right Birds fans…don’t know how good you can see it, but that beloved Eagles helmet has been placed in a Dallas Cowboys box…where’s the outrage?…why isn’t Eagles owner Jeffrey Laurie demanding these be removed?…immediately…getting paid is probably why…but this thing sucks…I’ll bet money it isn’t sold at the Linc on gamedays…can you imagine the riot this thing would cause?..and before you fans of other NFL teams start thinking this is just an Eagles-Cowboys thing…check your local grocer..bet they have one for your squad too…and finally…please keep in mind…NFL helmets…even from official suppliers…do not prevent concussions…your kid would have just as good a chance if he/she wore the box it came in…that unfortunately is no joke…