Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Wally World-Sunsets and one Sunrise


    **"They thrive on selling cheap disposable crap to a disposable nation..... :
"**---Professor Getty

    For those of you lucky enough to have not worked with me, or been my customer, I worked at Wally World for eight long years.  Even though it is a huge chunk of my job resume, it is still hard to explain at job interviews that the main reason I quit was job burnout, hard core.  Any of my friends still working there know what I am talking about.  I started in 1999, and every year since Mr Walton died, the company has dropped down hill fast.   Randomly I tell some stories about my time with the huge box store that has now takin over the United States, and is going for the world.  After that is some great sunset pictures.  To lighten the mood.  Most are takin in or near Bellingham, WA.  I greatly prefer sunsets because the sun rises way before anyone should be out of bed.  I tried to have some great new pictures last night while roaming around the bay and very close to Teddy Bear Cove, but the sunset really wasn't that pretty last night somehow.    On a side note completely---Star Bucks is celebrating 40 years of waking people up today! 


And one sunrise.  Not the best picture--but I am in it, and it was an awesome trip.  One night while star watching we decided to take a road trip to the grand canyon.  I had a nice pickup with a topper and a mattress in the back.   We drove all night and camped in a parking lot at the canyon.  Very cold night, but we had body heat.  We watched the sun rise over the canyon, something no picture cold even try and capture. 

                                                 Wedding at Wally World--
    Most white trash event ever. Even news crew making fun of, Extra bounus since we were all drunk by time it came on TV. MC d’s famed arches as the back drop. Puzzled customers coming in--right in front of store. Only funny part--ok it was all “funny” was the invite, something about how they had meet at the store, and if they could not live with each other till death did them part, they could try the returns desk. And that in the end they rode off on two electric carts. With just married on the back of them. Groom, falling in grease pit---pay anything to get copy of that video---
B.O.B. Every workplace has their own lingo. Like code names if you want someone to know what you are talking about, one must share. In retail Bob is not your uncle, it’s bottom of basket as in check it for un paid items. I had a crash course from heck right before X’mas as it was on the cash registers and than some suddenly some worker kept lingering around my register asking if I had seen Bob. What the hell, I barely knew my own name at that point. It wasn’t explained to me, and I was getting more flusterd as I asked the merchindise owners if any of their names were bob. Who was this mystery person, and why were we all looking for him? To make a short story, boring-I believe the customers got a free bag of dog food, that was down below the cart, and I got the first of many meetings with management. I say many, because my record was 9 in one month. I rarly got in actual trouble because if anything I learned how to talk my way outta the worst. Their were several keys to this. One was to never talk logic with the managers, unless you wanted to be in their extra long explaining things and drawing detailed pictures of what, say customer service really meant. You knew you were really in trouble when everyone was seated and the manager asked you to get up and close the door. Open door policy my ass. Seemed to mean for most people, if they spoke up all managers suddenly knew about it and you were out the main door very soon after. Or if their were 2 or more managers in the room. The more officals, the worse off you may be. Is much easier to keep one or 2 managers on their toes than say all the store managares. Another key was to call a witness or protector into the room basically. Whenever possible I would call someone that would have my back or was involed in the incident into the meeting. Managers would protest, but they had a witness, and than so did I. One store manager kept closing his eyes and looking at the ceilling when he was in deep thought. It was so long at one point, I believe I asked him his full name, that I thought he had fallen asleep. Was waiting for the snoring so I could walk out. Take at least 2o minutes for him to figure out I was gone.
One extra hard ass manager, she actually took over my first store soon after I left. Pitty on those that could not get out! She brought her own speciel office chair to each store. It was much higher up when you sat in it than any other chair in the office. I know this, because I grabbed it before she could one meeting. Freaking comfy! It actually was an issue that could have gotten me in a good deal of trouble, but I had the plush chair and was sitting above her. And she seemed flustered/thrown off from the start.

Meetings could be about anything at all. From taking to long with a customer *even though we put customers first Always, to taking to short a time with a customer. IE telling them to go to hell! The following are a few of my favorite examples. Hope you enjoy them more than the managers didn’t. Each year some toy was on the must have list for every kid in the country. About my 2nd year with the company the toy to kill for was those stupid Furbies. My mother even wanted one, and she didn’t know what they were. I tried to buy one, teach it cuss words, and than mail it out. I didn’t work anywere close to toys and was being asked by every other customer were the Furbies were. We had been out for 2 weeks so non angering answers were not going to happen. I was wishing I had a trunk full of them out in the parking lot because I am sure I could have named my price. 2 weeks before Christmas the rush was on, to buy cheap disposable crap for everyone and make them fell bad if they didn’t buy you anything. Rushing to Wal-greens *many open 24 hrs and buying you a twinkie and a 40 of beer Actually I think that’s what I want this year! Anyways, you are letting me ramble again. Sevral of us were tired of the hundreds of customers, whom had lost ther holiday spirit months ago. And were in the back of the store looking for other product we did not have. This was another commen practice. If a customer was told, than shown by the handheld computer that we were out of something , many would still not believe it . Because of receiving. I think many thought we had an entire store of goods back their just for them. In all actuality if the product was back their, it was deeply deeply burried. And wasn’t coming out till next Christmas. One irate customer was sure we had extra fish stored back their for pets. I went into a deep explination of how they were not freeze dried and could not be stored. Wich actually resulted in a co worker thinking they were shipped freeze dried. Just add water. She believed it for 2 weeks telling everyone. One guy from sporting goods finelly ruined the story when he broke up laughing in her face. If the customer, confronted with all the facts still wanted us to just take a look in the back. I would go back their, sit on a pallet and stare at the ceiling for about 5 minutes. We would see how many other associates would join suit and help look for the important product by staring at the ceiling. On that day we never found the extra brown panty hose but we did find an entire pallet of Furbies! After a quick meeting of the minds, minus the minds of the 4 workers helping me examine the roof for cracks. We decided that the best move with this was to broadcast the shipment over the pa and move tha pallet to sporting goods. By the time we got out their though we had several hundred shoppers at the desk. Myself and another jumped up on the sporting goods counter and started tossing the toys into the crowd. It was great fun watching them fall and fight over themselves. Kind of like when you go the fish hatery and throw bread crums into the overly full baby fish pond. Somehow this got us into a meeting.
At one store condom packages were always getting opened and the ones that wernt stolen were tossed around the store. Several workers had found an adnormally large amount of them around the store one day and it was decided---still have no idea why, that they should be taped to the barbies in toys. We were in the middle of the extra pink isle, each with tape in hand, when we noticed a loss prevention worker on both sides of the isle, arms crossed glaring down on us. They just said come, I believe because any more words and they would have busted up laughing. We soon had four managers asking us what the heck we were doing, and what our chain of thought was. I personally shut my brain off each day before punching in. It made things so much easier. If you were just above the stage of drooling all over the floor when a customer asked you a question, it was time to clock in for work. I somehow became the spoks person for our group and decided that our deffense was that it was almost back to school time and we were promoting back to school safety! That’s the cliff notes anyway. Somehow, I still believe it’s because the managers actually thought it was funny we walked away with just a slap on the wrist and another story to tell.
Another slap on the wrist involved code yellow. Not the drink. All stores had different colored codes for different emerginceys. Red was fire, Brown was storm, Blue was invassion of smrfs. No matter how many times you looked at the chart their was no code yellow. I was still playing cashier at that time and had a large amount of coffee before work. Even for me. My break was now exactly 45 minutes late. And I was still a very new worker. Later on I would have just turned off my light and went to the restroom, back room, break room, outside, garden center than back to my register--If it wasn’t now break time. I had a few customers and was doing the pee pee dance. Like many things at the time, it seemed like a great idea to grab the store pa and say “code yellow on register 10. 4 managers almost instantly surrounded my registers asking what the hell a code yellow was. I have never to this day, seen managers move this fast. Like I said I was still very new, and seeing that many managers was far from what I wanted. I stutured something about their being a code yellow if I couldn’t use the restroom very soon. All of the managers had shock in their eyes, and one jumped on my register as I scurried away. Sure I was now jobless, but also emptied of pee! Each manager was also holding back laughter. They said that their was proably better ways we could handle similar situations in the future.

   Soon to come:
Loss prevention meeting
Paging in sleep
Dreams bout work, time to move on
Never say stat! on pa

                                               ** Now stare at the calming sunsets, yo!  **

Few more great ones---In my eyes------At this link: 

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