Two steps forward...

One step back into Chemicals. Yesterday there was apparently a shortage of physical laborers, by which I mean truck unloaders. They paged me to GM receiving at least three times yesterday *before I clocked in* to help unload a truck. Then very shortly after I did clock in, one of the co-managers grabbed me back to Grocery receiving to start unloading pallets of chemicals into the aisle, since they needed the space and there's not exactly anybody else to be doing it. However, they did send me five truck unloaders to assist in my efforts, since they'd finished their first truck between the times I was paged and the time I was made to haul detergent. Of course, they were only there for about twenty minutes before the next truck came along and they had to go. So I was left just as before to do everything myself. Now, there's some things to keep in mind here. First, the reason I was allowed to switch to Pets was because it's a relatively important department that always needs somebody working it. I don't just mean the fish, either. Pets needs to be "zoned" every night. Zoning simply consists of making the aisles look pretty by removing empty boxes, and facing the shelves as much as possible, among a few other minor tasks. If I'm left to it, I can get that done in maybe two hours if I'm doing it myself, much quicker if I have a second set of hands. It wouldn;t even take that long solo except for all the cans of dog and cat food which get more or less turned on their heads through the day, and that's the most time-consuming part. Also all the chemical supplies, anything from shampoo to flea collars. Basically, all the little highly numerous, really little stuff takes a long time to zone properly. But the work that I would normally do in chunks over a whole shift had to go undone for a number of hours because I was emptying a pallet of chemicals all by myself. (there were actually two pallets, but since I didn't get the first finished until it was time for my dinner break, the second was just gonna sit anyway). So, I had decided once I came back from dinner that Pets would have to get done regardless of all else, so I started working on that. Part of which was also running the returns for three departments, which is more time consuming than you'd think sometimes. So, I run all the "local" returns, and have a box of aquarium salt to go over to the "fish aisle" on the other side of the store. Naturally when I get there someone turns up wanting fish (to say nothing of the ten minute diversionary trip to find the price of a toy for some little kid's grandmother when the aisle scanner won't work). Since I was there, I decided to go ahead and do a dead count. Any fish that die during the day have to be counted, logged, and then of course removed from the tank. It was a bit early, being probably not even 9:00 by then, but I figured it better to just be done with it. It's probably the most important part at night anyway, so...

Finished that, fed the fish, turned the lights off since that generally cuts down the number of fish calls, and took a couple minutes to talk to the cute hardware girl. Knowing the night stockers would be along at any moment, I started a mad dash of zoning, and was actually doing quite well for a bit there. I got all of the cat food aisle finished, which is something since it takes the most time to zone of any of my areas. I tried to get over to dog food, but that was immediately apparent as a lost cause, since a pallet had already been dropped in the aisle, which is a sure sign of the night crew making their way out. So I did what little I could and just collected all the empty boxes. At that point zoning stuff would just mean my getting in the way of the night stockers, so it's better to let it go. Besides, by then I had another damn cart of returns brought to me. Saturday is amazing for the amount of returns. Earlier that night I was helping sort through all the returns at the service desk, and a man getting a money order or something saw everything and asked incredulously, "Is this all from one day?" Silly, unknowing man. I quickly informed him that this was just a few hours worth at most, a remark that left Money Order Man near-speechless. If that didn't do it, the service desk associate correcting me that this had all turned up in the hour or so since she'd gone to and come back from lunch or break or whatever certainly broke that poor guy's mind. And really, it is amazing how much crap comes through there on the weekends, both actual returned mercandise, or things left in people's aisles as people change their minds or whatever. And it was slow last night, since we've got the World Series going. As of 7:00, there were at least ten shopping carts, most full to the top with returns waiting to be picked up, as well as several plastic bins behind the counter with grocery and things from other departments that we didn't have carts set up for. It's nuts.

I suppose the point I was getting at before is that I really hope they get someone hired into chemicals before too long, because I can see that I'm gonna get tapped in the meantime to move that stuff whenever they need space cleared in back. Though, if it happens again, I'm gonna have to say something to somebody. I can't keep getting pulled out of Pets like that, or stuff that *needs* to be done just isn't going to get done. Already yesterday there was conflict about my reassignment, since Co-Manager wanted me to move the chemicals, and Assistant Manager wanted me to go unload a truck. Fortunately, Co-Manager overrides, so I was able to get out of that, but it's totally obvious there's gonna be problems with getting my work done, since I don't think some of these people understand exactly what work has to be put into Pets to get it finished every night.


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