Starting A New Hire Fire

, , , , , , | Working | June 7, 2019

I work at a dollar store. I once hired a girl who had a second job at a big box store. She seemed to have plenty of experience and was upset that her hours were drastically cut at the other store. I soon found out why. She was dumb as a brick.

Her first day of work, she shows up early, before I am there to unlock the door. I know this because my 12-year-old daughter gets a nasty call from her demanding someone unlock the door. No clue how she got the number or figured that was the one to call. Okay, moving on.

Once we are all inside and clocked in I start to explain what I want everyone doing before the store opens. I tell the new girl I want her to do some facing and start explaining what facing is. She interrupts me saying she works in retail and already knows what facing is. I’m taken aback, but I let it go and tell her to face the toy aisle for me and leave her to it. Fifteen minutes later, I come by to check her progress and find her in a different aisle trying to rearrange a section of hooks with product.

I ask her what she’s doing. She says she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be doing. I remind her that she was meant to be facing the toy aisle. She tells me she doesn’t know what that means; it’s only her first day. I spend nearly ten minutes explaining to her how to pull items forward on the shelves, how to fill empty spots and reorganize messy spots. She spends most of her shift looking at the toys, and eventually, I send her home early.

Next shift, I try her on cash and promptly get reports from staff and other customers that she is skipping scanning certain items when she knows the person she is ringing out. I wait around the cash until I hear her greet a friend and stand back to watch. I can see the items she is scanning from the customer side on the screen, as does the customer. Immediately, she starts putting things in bags without scanning or only scanning an item once if they bought two or more. The customer actually mentions it first; my cashier winks and says she did, in fact, scan it. I chime in that no, she didn’t. I can clearly see her screen and what has been scanned. She apparently had no idea there was even a screen on the other side.

Next shift, she is late and I can’t find a single task she is capable of doing alone. By this point, I am ready to let her go, but my district manager is in town and thinks she is “young and charming” and says to “give her a chance.”

My DM decides I am not giving her the benefit of the doubt and takes me to where the employee is. My DM presents her with a shopping cart full of returns that need to go back and asks her sweetly to “empty the basket for us.” Not five minutes later, we are walking through the store looking at planograms when we see an empty shopping cart next to a shelf piled with random merchandise, the same merchandise that we asked her to put away. The new girl is standing nearby looking — yes, just looking — at a section of wall. My DM calls her over and asks if she put this merchandise there. She replies that, yes, she was told to “empty the cart.” She says this as though we are the dumb ones and walks away, shaking her head. My boss stands with her mouth open, at a loss for words. She tells me give her until the end of the week. If there is no improvement, I’m to let her go

The next day is Sunday. We are only open from noon to five pm on Sundays and have a skeleton staff. I am off that day but I advise my weekend supervisor to have the new girl do some cleaning around the store. Surely she can’t screw up cleaning, right? Boy, was I wrong.

I come in the next morning. My weekend supervisor can’t look at me. My other employees look like they are excitedly waiting for something to happen. I am personally running late this day and the store is due to open in about 15 minutes.

My supervisor takes me aside and says, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize I would have to babysit her through her shift.” I ask what happened. He tells me someone called out sick and he got caught up on cash and left the new girl alone from eleven am until the store closed at five. He then takes me to the toy aisle. Keep in mind, it is Christmas season and most of our sales are toy items from this huge section. I turn the corner and almost pass out.

The entire toy section is in shambles. My new girl apparently decided that the toy aisle was in need of rearranging. Toys are all over the floor. Hooks filled with merchandise are on the floors and sitting on shelves. Some shelves were removed and are either leaning against other shelves or simply laying on the floor. Merchandise was moved to all random spots, some shoved in too tight, others with massive gaps between them. Shelves are on crooked, and hooks are overfilled with heavy items and on the verge of snapping off. The floor is littered with hooks, shelf brackets, ladders, empty toy packages, and a ton of random toys.

This section is huge. It is two full aisles, as well as a quarter of the back wall. She has managed to disrupt the entire section.

Apparently, at five pm, she simply stopped what she was doing and clocked out. By the time they found her mess, it was too late and there was no way they were going to get it reset in time to clock out.

I end up having to take three employees off their duties for that day and shut down the section to customers due to safety concerns. From nine am to six pm, we work on resetting the section and get it pretty much back to a normal state. By this time, all the staff has heard about what happened and even those not working come in to shop so they can get a glimpse of the new girl’s work.

I send pictures to my DM so she can understand why I am not in the office, why our sales are down that day, and why other tasks aren’t done. She tells me to fire the girl and promises to never interfere again if I feel my staff isn’t working out.

Strangely, the new girl can’t understand what she did wrong, and really is surprised to be let go. Now I know why her hours were cut at her other job.

Worst week on the job I’ve ever had.

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