Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cincigal Grocery Store Clerk - JUST A THOUGHT!

There are times when you, as a grocery clerk, wish that the customers could witness what you see every day.  I believe that some would find certain practices shocking.

Among certain things that raise red flags, there is one thing that can rile a clerk more than anything else - discarded food.

Since coming to work as a grocery clerk, I have noticed that food is the most abused and discarded item in society.  Simply put, it is the one thing that we, the public, take for granted; just walk down any aisle on a busy shopping day.

A package of fresh cut Salmon sitting next to the paper towels, a gallon of ice cream placed with the cookies, hot dogs with the chips and the list goes on.  Then there are the abandoned carts with meats and dairy products.  And let us not forget the returns.

Granted there are times when the perishable product might not meet satisfaction and must be returned and the store is always apologetic and eager to please the customer with either a refund or a replacement. 

But, it is amazing how many times perishable items are returned just because a customer decides they do not want it.  Again, the store policy is upheld and the cost is refunded.  And this, along with discarded perishables, is what will rile a clerk.

The reason being is that all perishables, upon being returned, must be discarded; perfectly good food being thrown into the dumpster.

As we should know, by now, the price of food has gone up anywhere from 2% to 10% worldwide.  The factors that cause this increase are out of our control; cost of maintaining livestock, droughts, weather conditions.  And yet, with this knowledge, the public still takes food for granted.

So I wonder, what will we, as a public, do if our food supply should become limited?

Just a thought!

Talk at ya later!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cincigal Grocery Store Clerk - MY INSPIRATIONS

Recently, I received an email from an artist that wanted to know if they could interview me for their website.   Well, gee, didn't I feel privileged.  After all, I hadn't been asked that question in years - 1995 to be exact.  Been awhile.

So, once I got over my short ego trip, I responded with a, "Sure!"

Within days the questions, for the interview, were emailed to me.  I quickly scanned the questions and mentally provided the answers and decided to give the piece my full concentration on my next day off.  But in the meantime, my mind continued to review the emailed questions and my responses flooded my brain.

One of the questions asked was 'what inspires' me.

Naturally, as an artist, one would expect responses such as, 'the sun streaking through the trees, fluffy clouds sailing across the sky, shadows cast in midafternoon', and the list goes on.  But while I was trying hard to think of what inspires me, I found that it had nothing to do with art at all.

It's where I work, where I live, and the people I encounter day after day.  For even though I may encounter some people that are real, YOU KNOW WHATS, I find more people that are generous, caring and kind.

It's the smile on a parent's face as they hug their child, the laughter from a person as they share a story, a smile that a person shares with a passerby or the kindness one shows as they help someone.

It's the sense of security one finds in a friendship, the warmth of a hug and a 'thankyou', the gratitude we feel when someone cares and the awesome feeling one gets when a family member says, "I love you."

And last, but not least, the smile that's brought to my face as Miss Gizzy curls up beside me as I sit here typing this post.

Years ago, when I started to paint, I would walk through the mountains that surrounded my home to find inspiration.  Today, I go to a store and clock in for work.

So, what is the answer to that question?

My inspiration is what surrounds me - it is life.

Talk at ya later!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cincigal Grocery Store Clerk - PET PEEVES!

No matter how many times I hear a customer say, that they shop a business according to the sales and have no concern on how they are treated by the establishment - I will notice that there are more customers that do care.  It is a never ending cycle.

And for every ten compliments I hear from customers, I find that there will be one customer that will find something that is not quite right; and, it has nothing to do with the service provided by the employees.

Instead, it is the outlook that companies have and the changes that are implemented into their businesses;  changes that companies expect customers to accept and cannot understand when customers do not.

First, and foremost, on the list is the downsizing.  Be it selection, department or staff when downsizing occurs, so do sales.

For instance;  "Where is the ________?"  "I use to always buy it here."  "Now I will have to go to ________ to get it." 

And then you have the customer that is looking for assistance;  "Excuse me, I need some help but I can't find anyone."   "There is never anyone over there when I need to find something, can you help me?"  and  "Is there anyone working this department or do I have to find someone?"

"Hey, what happened?" "There use to be more of a selection."

Now the second thing that customers do not like, is when the products get moved around.  "Where is the ___________, it was here last week?" 

When customers come in to shop, a lot of times they are in a hurry and like to be able to run in, pick up what they are looking for and get out; as quickly as possible.  But when the products get shifted around, shopping becomes more like a treasure hunt, instead of  an errand.

These are problems that seem to plague most retail businesses.  But this is what happens, when businesses are looking at the bottom number; customers are left to fend for themselves.

And even we, who are retail employees, are faced with it when we venture out to shop.

But even though we are faced with these dilemmas, on a daily basis, there is one thing that I hear a lot;  "Thank you, I appreciate your help."

So downsizing staff, departments and moving product around comes at a cost - sales.

But these business moves have provided us with a lesson;  we, as consumers, are creatures of habit.

And when it comes down to the bottom line, no matter what, we want that personal touch.

Just by chance, at our store, that is something that we are very good at.

Talk at ya later!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cincigal Grocery Store Clerk - LOOKING GOOD!

So, I'm on the floor stocking an endcap when I hear a lady ask, "Why does your produce always look so much better than ____________?"  I stop and say, "Thank you."

The customer grabbed two lemons, waved and off she went.

There is a reason as to why the produce may look better in our store then it does in other stores, but it really has nothing to do with the produce itself.  It has to do with the employees that  stock it.

From the time the produce is delivered to the time that it is stocked on the tables, the guys have a keen eye and take the time to sort through the produce that they stock.  This is  what makes the difference.

I have seen the guys go through case after case of strawberries that may look too ripe in order to make sure that all of the berries are good.  And when restocking the produce, they try to keep an eye on the freshness of what is already out.  Not an easy task when you consider all of the varieties that are handled in this department.  And once in awhile, something does get overlooked.

But a good staff is what it takes to work a perishable department.  You can always tell what kind of employees work in a perishable department, just by it's appearance.

So, the next time you go shopping in a grocery store take a moment and look around.  If the produce department is neat, the stock looks good and enticing then that means that there is a staff that takes pride in their job and they want customers to shop there.

If, on the other hand, it is just the opposite - well, there is probably a staff that just works at the store in order to get a paycheck. 

Big difference.

Talk at ya later!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cincigal Grocery Store Clerk - WHEN IT'S TIME TO SAY GOODBYE

There have been many times when I have witnessed employees take leave and I have often wondered, when does one know when it is time to go?  When does that one moment come when an employee knows that it is time to say, 'good bye'?

The other day, one of our employee decided it was time.  After more than seven years with the company, he had decided that it was time to move on.

While listening to the reasons given for his departure, this employee also spoke of what he was leaving behind;  "Good people,'  he said.  And even though he said he would miss these people, he was ready to go.

Companies lose out when good employees take leave. 

With their departure goes dedication, dependability, work ethic, knowledge, pride and creativity.  Most of these employees have the ability to work more than one department so when they leave, so goes the much needed extra hand. 

But if they should stay, what would be their gain? 

Talk at ya later!