Monday, November 15, 2010

First Frantic Week at Work!

So I started my work at Walmart last Tuesday for a full day orientation from 12 - 9pm. And then they scheduled me for a 2 day training on the computer (they call it the CBLs computer-based learning) where I was to familiarize myself with the policies, health and safety regulations, cashier transactions and duties and so on. A total of 30 modules to be completed over two 8-hour days. 

I was, as what my mother would say, quite geh-kiang, which means I tried to be too smart, thereby completing my training in 1 and a half days. So by Thursday afternoon, I was out there at the cash registers. Now, when I studied the ways to ring up different transactions (cash, debit, credit, shopping card etc) the computer modules taught cashiers using the OLD cash registers. These old registers only had buttons and the yellowed screen that shows you your total. Unfortunately, when I got out there on Thursday, they sent me to the new system of cash registers - the swanky new computerized system, complete with touch screen computers.

Needless to say, I was stumped. 

Luckily, they put me on training with a more experienced cashier, Charlotte, a nice little old lady. She stood by me for the first hour, teaching me how to use the new system. However, at certain busy times, she would have to open up the next counter, just to keep the lines moving (yes, i was THAT slow). So at times, I was left to cope by myself. And in times of trouble, I would look over helplessly in her direction and she had to come running over to rescue me.  To make things worse, my counter was also the cigarettes and tobacco counter. Now, I thought I had seen it all, but the varieties stocked on the shelves behind me confounded me. The Marlboros don't just come in Reds, Menthols, Menthol Lights, Lights. They also come in 72s, 100s, ultra etc etc. Every time a customer comes up to buy some ciggies, I was like "Whaaaat?" And there's also tobacco in a tin, in a roll... The only fun bit about selling cigarettes is that I get to CARD customers. And because I am hopeless at guesstimating their ages, I card just about anyone who is not white on their heads. As a result, I get very pleased and amused customers. 

By the end of Thursday, I had gotten the hang of the new system and was actually looking forward to working the next day. It had been a steep learning curve, but interacting with so many people and punching out numbers with a flourish is quite fun!

Then on Friday, I went back to work with Charlotte at the cigarettes counter. The first half of the day went by without too much of a hitch, but after lunch, guess what? They put me at the old cash registers!!! AND I COMPLETELY FORGOT WHAT I HAD LEARNT!!! So for the rest of the day, I was really glad to get customers who use cash or debit cards (because those two were the EASIEST transactions to complete). There are some special transactions that completely bowls me over. The food stamps for example. There are so many steps to completing a food stamp, WIC, CVB transaction I almost cried whenever a customer placed them in my hands. And then there are coupons and vouchers to check, the produce SKU #s to key in and weigh, and a million plastic bags to pack. I beam the widest at customers who use their own recyclable grocery bags. 

So Friday was a disaster too.

On Saturday morning, I decided to take the initiative to take the first hour to go back on the computers and copy out the steps for the different transactions on the old system. I am now quite familiar with the new computer system (also because they're quite idiot proof to use) so all i needed to do was to get used to the old ones. By the end of Sunday, I had emerged more confident and doubly nice to my customers. Oh and in my last hour on Sunday, the supervisor pulled me out to help out at the apparel section, stocking the shelves and rearranging old stock. That was extremely therapeutic, standing there, folding clothes, neatening up topples, arranging clothes according to colours and size. I work best when I get to do things alone and at my own pace. And organizing and rearranging! The perfect job for someone as anal as I am.

So my work week came to a close on a high note. But I was completely wiped out. I had worked 6 days in a row, 9 hours everyday. I thought I was supposed to be a PART TIMER!!

And tomorrow I'm gonna meet the mom who wants me to babysit. I've already met her once and the family seems to like me very much, so tomorrow I'm going to get to know the little girl better and to discuss further details. That is a story for another time. Right now, it's time to relax and enjoy my weekly dose of Monday Night Football!! Wheeeeee!

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