Working the holidays is no picnic, nor is it something that I enjoy, but when you are low man on the totem pole, choice is nothing but a dream. So, in this post I will tell it like it is, with my own spin of course; and I get to frame the question too, and answer it, as I wish. Okay where to start…
Well, let us back up to about four weeks ago when I was first asked to cover for holiday relief for the Receiving Department at my work. Normally I work as part of the night-shift crew, stocking the shelves full of merchandise, and preparing the store for the daily rush of customers during the day time. It is very simple work, and sometimes it can be back breaking, depending on what department you are working in. So, I was asked to cover for the boys in Receiving: Yay! Awesome! A change from the routine that I was doing. Something to look forward to.
Now, fast forward to Monday, working in the Receiving Department, and everything seems to be going smoothly. That is, up until a truck showed up with a huge, monster load of light-bulbs. Normally when a load of light bulbs like this arrive, the receiving goods process is pretty straight forward: you sign the Bill of Ladding, and truck driver is happy, mission accomplish; then we start the receiving of goods, going over the paper work, and checking our Purchase Order numbers versus what we have in received merchandise. Under normal circumstance, each Purchase Order number does something we like to call, “certifies,” when it is the pick-and-packers who affirm the count of each item, and we can then take it directly to the night-shift crew for stocking without us having to count everything. Well, this shipment of light-bulbs did not certify! So my senior associate said that we will leave it for the Department Supervisor to decide how we shall receive it–and we left it.
That afternoon, as my shift overlaps the evening crew, they looked at the load of light-bulbs, and, well, there is nothing like watching grown men shedding tears, and getting frustrated. I was told that the NEW rule is, all items must be counted once received, and that this was unfair for the evening crew to now take on the task of counting it all. Release the God of Despair, here comes the flood of tears!
From that point on, the situation escalated, and boiled down to, he said-she said, and that the day crew were not doing their fair share of the work load. As the fingers were pointed and accusations made, so too were my start times for the next two days. Now I was asked to start later, so that I could add relief to the afternoon crew as they cleared the bottleneck from the light-bulbs order.
Yesterday, I did a twelve noon start, finishing off at eight-thirty at night. Today, I started at eight in the morning, and finished a little early, around three. But the day was chocked full of adventure in itself.
Setting aside the light-bulb boondoggle, everyone was generally happy–only becuase this was a long weekend. I was going to close the Receiving Department, so the last load of good was mine alone to do. The plan was, get out at soon as the one-O’clock appointment was unloaded, and do a “Hard Close.” for the Holidays. The Gods had other plans for me!
First, the driver was late. He did not arrive until two-thirty. Second, he had a flat tire, and could not back up to the loading ramp. Third, the store was starting to shut down for the holidays, and I was feeling the pressure from the department manager to get everything done. Last, it was almost three-O’clock when the driver rolled the truck up to the loading ramp, on his tire rim. I rushed to unload him. His purchase order number certified–YAY! I burned out of their as fast as I could.
On my way home I stopped in at one of the Big Box Stores (that do not require a membership fee) and did a top-up on some food items. It was weird when I saw that the store was packed, yet the cashiers (or most of them) were standing at their tills without customers. Now, that is weird. Then I noticed that most of the customers were only buying small amounts of items, but still, with so many people, and no line-ups–it is just weird. My Dooms Day Prophet voice says that this could be the beginning of the huge monster market crash that everyone is predicting. You just wait and see! It all started with sixteen skids of light-bulbs!