When Life Gives You Lemons, Don’t Hire Them

, , , , | Working | September 6, 2017

(I’m a supervisor in a store and we hire a new employee. I agree to train her on the tills as I often operate them myself, have previously trained other new staff successfully, and will be working the same shift as the new employee most weeks. I am also shift manager the day she comes in for her first training session, and have been given instructions to arrange a second and maybe even third training shift the following week, as the cashier she is replacing leaves the week after. After two hours on the till with her, she’s struggling, but no more than some of the others.)

Me: “You did really well today, so I just need to know when you can come in next week for your next training shift.”

Employee: “I can’t. I’m on holiday next week. I was under the impression that I started the week after.”

Me: “We really need you to do more training, since you’re expected to be able to work independently by your first official shift.”

Employee: “Well, I can’t. I’m sure I’ll be fine. I have to go now; my flight is this evening, so I’ll see you when I get back.”

(I call the managers who, as suspected, were unaware that she wasn’t available to train. But there’s nothing we can do. A week later I’m shift manager for her first full shift. An hour after start…)

Employee: “My back hurts, I need to go home.”

(I have to let her. The next day she comes in again when my manager is in. I spend another hour going through everything with her. Ten minutes after I leave to get in with a job, the bell rings for a supervisor to the till.)

Employee: “How do I ring up lemons?”

Me: “Well, the easiest way is if you press this button that I showed you earlier, type in ‘l-e’ for lemons, and select it from there, but there’s also this list printed by the till with the common produce codes, see?

Employee: “Okay, got it.”

(Five minutes later, the bell rings again.)

Employee: “How do I ring up limes?”

Me: “Same way as the lemons.”

Employee: “And how do I do that?”

(I showed her again. Five minutes later, the bell rang and she needed help with something else I had already shown her. Then ten minutes passed before she needed help with the same thing again. This continued the rest of the shift and for my next three shifts; I really struggled to keep my patience. The managers, another supervisor, and another cashier all tried explaining things to her as well. At the end of the week, I left for a booked week off, and when I got back, she wasn’t there anymore.)

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