Queen of Cool

I admire people who have the ability to stay cool under pressure. I like the way they don't let anything frazzle them. I don't really like dealing with them though when I'm doing the grocery shopping on a cold morning at 7.30am. Then I just want them to hurry the hell up.

I came across a girl like that this morning. She was working on the checkout at woolies. She was the only girl working at that time and there were three of us customers lined up waiting. I was number three of course. And as you do I peered in the other two trolleys and they were almost bloody full.

Anyway the girl was getting all set up for the day. So she counted her money out, really slowly and carefully. I thought for a moment she may actually go back and do it again. Just to be sure. Then she got a stack of plastic bags and put them on the hooks. Oops, they don't line up very well do they. Better just put them on a few at a time.

Then she had to put on her cap. They're having some promotional thing. So she put her cap on and fixed her fringe and fiddled about a bit. Hang on though, the velcro got caught in her ponytail. Better take the whole thing off, fix up the hair and start again.

At no time throughout this procedure was she at all concerned that we were all waiting and maybe might like to be somewhere else. Soon.

I myself am able to remain pretty cool so I managed to watch her without rolling my eyes or breathing out loudly like the women in front of me did a few times. I was expecting that we may still have to wait for The Very Important Person Who Holds The Key to come and do something before we got started. You know the one. She storms about woolies looking very important and busy but not really doing anything. Except when she has to take the key to one of the checkouts and do something Very Important with it. Our Very Important Person Who Holds The Key has a Very Important Looking Fringe to go with it. It gets a big roller put in it in the morning I think so it comes out and around like a verandah for her forehead.

Ah well what can you do but laugh.


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27 thoughts on “Queen of Cool

  1. LOL! You would hate it here where they count out dozens of coupons when they get to the register! There are even special little coupon purses! Makes me laugh to get behind someone who has to go through a hundred coupons to find ONE that will save them 10 cents!The self serve lanes are funny too because I always get behind someone who has never used it before. Or someone who hasn't read the sign which says you can't buy alcohol in that lane (because you might not be 21) and then we all have to wait while that key person comes to check their ID and scan it with a key!

  2. Yes we don't have the coupons – the only danger is when you get behind someone who also works there and has to get the staff discount – that takes some time.
    The one thing that does piss me off and get me eye rolling is when my checkout chick is having a conversation with the next one in line about their enthralling lives.

  3. lol – she was a funny girl. When she was putting my things through she saw something that interested her and she stopped and read the can.

  4. Oh well, as a former checkout chick, I must say I support in principle the idea of not letting impatient customers faze you too much. Also not really her fault that the employer TOO TIGHT to have multiple checkouts open. Our local Coles terrible for that. I used to try and beat the rush by shoppign there at 9am on Sat morning but then realised they don't start most of their staff until 10am so there is always a huge queue to pay for things at 9:30am. I try and avoid supermarkets as much as I can these days (ie, take it as a personal challenge to get as much stuff as I can from the butcher, greengrocer, Asian grocery, corner store etc etc).

  5. Theres a difference between not being fazed and being totally zoned out though. I ususally go to Franklins because they always open another check out if another one is busy. But they don't open until 8am and that cuts getting home, unpacking the car and getting out again by 9am a bit fine. lol – especially if I have to go to the chicken shop where the girl is REALLY slow.

  6. "Theres a difference between not being fazed and being totally zoned out though." I totally agree. Customer service mentality has dwindled so radically, clerks and cashiers take their own sweet time and customers tolerate it (half of 'em don't even notice the poor customer service, they're too busy talkin' on their damn cell phones!!) …

  7. as a former important person with the key lol, mornings sucked first person there set up the tills for the chashiers put them where they needed to be check the schedule plan out the breaks ahead of time and lock up the office in 30 minutes not a piece of cake. Worse was on days when i only had one cashier and me. In my store only one register could take returns and if i had only one cashier that had to be me. This key holder worked her ass off lol

  8. my god – I think you must have been doing someone elses job as well as being the key holder. Unless there are different rules for key holders of the world because ours does bugger all! But she looks important while she does it.

  9. when we were completely staffed i mean with three key holders at one time, then we were struggling to look for somthing to do. but usually we were and they still are understaffed

  10. Motivation not really all that high on $3 ph. The place where I used to work specialised in ripping off teenagers, ie, would generally sack them or cut their hours as soon as they were old enough to get adult wages. This still happens, ie, young people employed as "trainees" and paid an absolute pittance while not getting any special "training" – just a way for the employer to save on labour costs.

  11. oh don't get me started on the trainee thing. My daughter was looking at trying for a business traineship but they don't want to train you – as you say, just want to pay crap rates. You look at the desired criteria for a business traineeship and they want you to be already skilled in office, excel and publisher. Very annoying. Plus you are only guaranteed 12 months work. Must say thought that the RTA pay well for their traineeships.

  12. Well being government, the RTA would be offering proper traineeships, not the kind generally offered by the fast food and retail and some other sectors. Would also be highly likely to transition into a proper job. We have an IT guy here who came in on one of those and is still here several years on.
    I really don't buy the argt that young people have no manners and work ethic. We employ a lot of young people here and they are usually brimming with enthusiasm and put a lot of the older workers to shame.

  13. I hear alot of people on the mainland (continental US) who get worked full time (40 hours) for 3 weeks then almost no hours the last week so that employers dont have to pay health care for them. fortunatly in Hawaii we have a comprehensive health care policy that if you work over 20 hours you are entitled to at the very least partial payment of your health insurance

  14. There are a lot of dodgy employers out there. My 15 year old daughter works at the local video store and they are fantastic and it has given her a very optimistic attitude about working. My older daughter had a terrible experience with the local pizza shop and as a 15 year old it gave her a really bad opinion of working.

  15. Hi Cat. How are things?
    Tried to leave a comment, then had to sign in, then lost the comment. Odd.
    The perils of working (and shopping) retail. I would have opened another checkout for you, even if it meant serving you myself. As A Very Important Person With Keys, my staff are well aware of the gravity of the situation if I have to operate a register. Oh yes. There shall be hellfire and burning debris, and screaming employees dashing about clutching at thier hair. But then, I'm one of the few retail workers that value customer service above most other aspects of the business. Like merchandising. More than four people waiting to be served at a register? Not in my store. Instant noodles in the hardware department? Maybe.
    Hope all is well in Cat Land!

  16. Hey Rinny – one of the downfalls of vox that you have to sign in/register to comment. I'd like to shop in your store then. I don't eat noodles or have an interest in hardware so thats ok. I wonder do you have an Important Hairstyle as well as The Keys. I find most retail workers where I am to be pretty helpful and friendly. I'm sure they have to deal with some pretty awful customers.
    I am still catless in cat land but Betty is still powering on.
    Catch you later.

  17. That's something I've never understood … wages dictating work ethic and motivation. Far as I'm concerned, I give 10,000 percent whether I'm flipping fries for a buck an hour and being treated like shit or running a country at a $10 million salary.

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