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No Reprieve On New Year’s Eve

, , , , | Working | December 31, 2015

(We have two fairly recent hires who both started as stockers, but were shifted to cashier because of their unreliability and laziness. Both are 18, still in high school, and not easy to work with. They have generally negative attitudes. For instance, Coworker #1 throws change at people when he’s mad. Coworker #2 makes fun of people constantly, but gets totally offended at jokes or sarcasm directed at him. I am on register with both of them on New Year’s Eve, along with a decent-working Coworker #3. It’s so busy the managers want four people on register at all times, so a fifth person is putting their cash drawer in as each cashier goes on break. Coworker #1 takes his break first, and this exchange happens during the last cashier’s break.)

Break Person: “Hey, where’s [Coworker #1]!?”

(It’d been so busy nobody had noticed him put up his ‘closed’ sign, turn off his light, and sneak away. Now there’s only three of us, with me and the break person doing most of the work. Coworker #2’s register isn’t always open, and you often have to yell for customers to come over. Coworker #2 is just sitting behind his register and texting, only ringing up the people who realize he’s open.)

Me: “I don’t know where [Coworker #1] is; I didn’t see him leave.”

(We only get a 15-minute break for a six-hour shift. Coworker #1 had taken his already. The break person calls the manager to figure out where he is, but the manager is running around trying to keep things stocked because it is so busy with people buying last-minute stuff for their New Year’s Eve parties. A solid 20 minutes goes by before Coworker #1 comes back, acting like nothing happened. The break person leaves, fuming. Coworker #1 proceeds to spend the rest of the night with his light off, reading a magazine. He only offers to ring up attractive females, and only begrudgingly rings anyone else who realizes he is open despite the light being off. Other than that, he flips through magazines and plays with his phone.)

Coworker #2: *muttering under his breath about something*

Me: *in a light, joking manner* “What are you complaining about?”

Coworker #2: “WOAH. ATTITUDE.”

Me: *sighs*

(Not 15 minutes later, Coworker #2, despite making no effort to ring up customers, complained to the manager about ‘having no one to ring up’ and demanded to go home, holiday pay or not. The manager said fine and he gleefully left. After that, Coworker #1 put up his closed sign and disappeared twice more before the night was over, all while Coworker #3 and I scrambled to get through the New Year’s Eve crowd. On the plus side, after completing a transaction, a friendly customer threw a $5 bill on my counter and yelled HAPPY NEW YEAR before bolting out the store. I don’t know who you are, but you made a stressful night that much better. Thank you.)

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