Front End

Bait & Switch managers figured that I should undertake a day’s worth of front-end training.

In English, that means learning how to be a check-out chick.

Never was there a word of explanation as to why I was required to suffer this ordeal, nor whether there would be any follow-up or additional requirements. It was as if someone decided that it would be a good idea to be trained to the point of being useless.

The experience was as awful as you  might imagine. Customers at B&S are impatient and grouchy and there’s nothing to divert their attention while they wait. The queue management is spotty and arbitrary. And then there’s the POS system. This antiquated piece of Titanic-era junk takes absolutely no consideration for the work flow involved in checking out heavy, awkward, breakable items, nor for the apparently important business of applying loyalty points (which really don’t mean a helluva lot for 95% of customers). POS indeed.

With a combination of touch-screen prompts, Function-keys and scanning, I managed to work my way through the ordeal, but it was embarrassing and frustrating. Here’s another case where the “customer is everything” mantra falls completely on its face: If that were really the driving force, the process would look nothing like this.

We shall see. This is another example of treating people like idiots reinforces their idiotic tendencies, both customer and employee.

Daze Orff

Two days off with a five-hour shift in the middle; now that’s not a bad way to go.

At Bait & Switch today the place was busy as all heck, for a nothing-special Wednesday. Sweet supervisors yelling over the radio for us to meet customers, when I was already with two or three people. It doesn’t bug me except when a Bait Supervisor asked me if I could hear the radio.

Yes, butthole, I can hear it, but I am prioritizing by listening to my customers.

Again the problem is clear: not enough people.

Dear Fred, the mandatory non-English speaker in our midst isn’t really any help. He tries, and he knows the procedure when a specific type of bait isn’t readily available, but reverts to his first instinct which is to refer the person to me. When I’m already overloaded, it just make the system look worse.

In any case, the best path is to stay as unflappable as possible and not worry about the dumbass Canadians and the cheapass Americans. If they find their bait, great, if not, no-one dies.

Someone else makes the calculation about staffing levels and the resultant customer satisfaction; not me.