Real Ladder Versus Corporate Ladder

| Working | September 4, 2013

(I work on the parking lot at a well known retailer. My head cashier has been pushing on me hard, trying to get me to snap. A customer approaches me as I’m pushing carts.)

Customer: “Excuse me. I need your help. I can’t find anyone else.”

Me: “Of course. What do you need help with?”

Customer: “I need to get an item off the shelf, but it’s too high and too far back.”

Me: “Of course, sir. Show me where it is, and I’ll get a ladder for you and retrieve it.”

(I go and get the ladder, and start getting the item down from the shelf. The head cashier comes up.)

Head Cashier: *very rudely in front of the customer* “You can’t be in here. Get back out on the lot; I need you to push carts.”

(Instead of listening to the head cashier, I decide to take care of my customer first. I finish fishing out the item, climb down, and then speak to the customer.)

Me: “Thank you for waiting, sir. I apologize for the lack of help and I’m glad I was able to help.”

Head Cashier: *to me* “Did you hear me?”

Customer: *also to me* “Oh, it’s no problem.”

Me: *to the customer* “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Head Cashier: *to me* “Answer me!”

Customer: *still to me* “Oh no. You’ve done enough.”

Me: *to the customer* “Thank you for shopping with us today, sir. Have a nice day.”

(I turn and go to put the ladder away. The head cashier is obviously not happy.)

Head Cashier: “You should not have done that. Now I’m going to have to write you up.”

Me: “I was helping a customer. You should not have acted in such a way in front of him. You’re so worried about what I’m doing, that you fail to notice that [coworker] is still inside the store as well, and has been for the last 45 minutes. And trust me; I’ve only been in here for two minutes. If you want to be a good head cashier, stop playing favorites, back off and let me do my job! Are we clear?”

Head Cashier: “Y-you can’t talk to me that way!”

(Suddenly, the manager walks over from around the corner.)

Manager: “Actually, they can. They have valid reasons for saying it, and did what they were supposed to. Putting customers first is our motto. Telling them otherwise is like telling you not to manage your cashiers, or telling me not to manage the store. Even telling one employee not to help customers is like telling all our employees not to help customers. He went to great risks, even out of his work zone, to give a customer much needed help when there was no one else to help. So [my name] come with me up to the service desk and we’ll write up an incident report. [Head cashier], I’ll see you in my office in 10 minutes.”

(I go up with the manager who writes up the entire incident.)

Manager: “In the future, be careful about what you say. Don’t rely too much on a manager nearby and them hearing everything. I’m sure [head cashier] will stay out of your way from now on.”

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