It’s Not The Scanner That’s Broken

, , , | Working | February 16, 2020

(I do online shopping at a grocery store. Most store managers do not care at all about our department as long as we don’t have any late orders. They have to train in our department for two days before they’re officially managers, but after those two days, they usually never touch an online order again. We recently got a new store manager, and he doesn’t like that we have orders that go yellow — are due in less than an hour — all the time. We’ve been asking him to approve hiring another shopper, but he’s dragging his feet. Then, one day, someone from corporate comes down and says the manager has to do an online order by himself. We don’t know why, but we don’t care. And since this is a test, we aren’t supposed to help him like we would help someone we were training. We can only step in if he has a question or if we see him do something wrong. We give him a 35-piece order to do. This would take one of us 15 to 20 minutes to shop. He sits down at the computer.)

Manager: “[My Name], which cradle is connected to the computer?”

(There are five cradles/chargers for our handhelds.)

Me: “Second from the left.”

(He puts the handheld in the cradle and downloads the order, and then he grabs it and starts to head out the door.)

Me: “[Manager], wait! The order isn’t on there.”

Manager: “It’s not?”

Me: “No, you have to sync it. Put the handheld back in the cradle, then click on this diamond tab, and when the button turns green, click on it.”

(He does what I say and pulls the order up on the handheld. When you first see the order, all you see is the name. When you click on the name, it takes you to a screen where it gives you the name, time it’s due, order number, and any customer comments. You have to click a checkbox saying you read the customer comments, much like you click a checkbox saying you read the terms and agreements. Trainees are often confused the first time they see this screen, so we always make sure to tell them what to do. But again, since this is a test for the manager, I can’t tell him what to do unless he asks.)

Manager: “This handheld’s broken.”

Me: “What?”

Manager: “There’s no order.”

(He shows me the info screen.)

Me: “Click the little box, and then click on next.”

(He does.)

Manager: “Oh! It’s not broken.”

(He starts to shop. My coworkers and I laugh at “it’s broken” and then get back to work. Forty-five minutes later, the manager comes back. My coworker helps him upload his order, he calls the customer, and then I get him again to help him ring it through the register. He does a decent job overall. As he’s finishing his order, he says this:)

Manager: “Yeah, I’m going to approve hiring another shopper. This was horrible! I hope I never have to do it again! I don’t know how you girls stand it.”

(Hopefully, he won’t complain about yellow orders anymore.)

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