When There Is A Long Line-Of-Duty

, , , , , , | Working | January 23, 2020

(I work at a lumber box store as a cashier. I’m ringing at the returns desk and the line is almost out the door; the whole store is packed. If you have returned high-theft items to the store too many times, your license will be flagged, at which point the register will prompt for a manager approval. We have two head cashiers and two managers working, all of whom are able to do manager approvals. First, I try to call the head cashiers over the walkie and get no response. I try again. Nothing. Usually, the next step is to call for them on the speaker system, but it’s very busy and I’m trying to hurry so I start to call [Manager #1]. He is awesome and very quick, but as I’m about to call him I hear him say over the walkie that he is headed to another department to assist a customer, so I don’t bother. I call [Manager #2]. I’m already wary of doing this because she has a reputation for refusing to help because she says:)

Manager: #2: “I am not the manager on duty.”

(I guess when there are two managers, one is supposed to be off-duty doing paperwork. However, she is the only one to ever say that out of five managers because, at the end of the day, the customers are supposed to come first. Even the store manager will come help if he can. I call her office on the phone:)

Me: “Hey, [Manager #2], can you please come to returns for a manager approval?”

Manager: #2: “Did you call a head cashier?”

Me: “Yes, but they’re not answering.”

Manager: #2: “Did you call [Manager #1]?”

Me: “He’s helping a customer.”

(She sighs, hangs up, and comes to do the approval. A minute later, when I’m finally about to get in a fifteen-minute break, she asks me to come to her office. Mind you, it’s still super busy, and now she wants to take up time talking to me, and I sure as h*** am not going to dock that time from my break after hours and hours of ringing. I go to her office and she is there with another manager: [Manager #3], who I like. He is there as a witness to a “counseling.”)

Manager: #2: “I talked to your head cashier and they said they never received any calls.”

Me: “Okay…”

(I know she is waiting for an explanation but I’m not going to defend myself yet. Them not receiving the calls does not mean I didn’t make them. In my head, I’m saying, “If you’re going to call me a liar, then say it.”)

Manager: #2: “Did you really call them?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: #2: “And I spoke with [Manager #1] and he says you never called him, either.”

Me: “I didn’t say I called him. I said he was with a customer. I heard him say he was heading back to mill work over the walkie.”

Manager: #2: “Well, I’m not the manager on duty—” *I have to physically resist rolling my eyes* “—and protocol is that you go over the speaker system when you can’t get your head cashier, and then you call for a manager on duty. I have a lot of paperwork to do and I don’t have time for this.”

Manager #3: *trying not to laugh in the background because he knows me*

Me: *hungry, and taught by my father to not just back down* “[Manager #2], I was taught and trained that the customers come first. I’m not going to page, walkie, and call the same person over and over again with a customer waiting and a long line of people when there is a manager who can help immediately. And honestly, this conversation has taken a lot more time than walking to the front, punching in your numbers, and walking back. It’s very busy today and they need me up front as soon as possible, so I’d like to go on my break now.”

(Her eyes get a little beady but she lets me leave. She also has an attitude with every request I make of her EVER until she transfers from the store a few months later. Funny enough, her attitude made it more enjoyable for me to call her. I think she hated that she couldn’t write me up that day. What would she have said? How dare I call a manager to do a MANAGER approval?! Gasp! [Manager #3] never stops picking on me, either, but in the fun way. If I call him for an approval, he’ll ask me:)

Manager #3: “Did you call another manager? Did you call corporate first? Have you tried paging the CEO? Because I’m busy.”

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