cimorene: (gr arg)
Cimorene ([personal profile] cimorene) wrote2017-05-27 02:23 pm
Entry tags:

The kind of retail nightmare that wouldn't even have occurred to me before

So, when you print a pricetag at the Red Cross thrift store where I work, you have to navigate a hierarchical tree using arrows and Enter. An example would be "Apparel>Women's Clothing>Undergarments" or "Apparel>Accessories>Children's". Now the department is in the barcode, and the store/chain know what was sold, how long it was on the shelf first, what it cost, etc, and they use this to produce statistics.

And as a result of this, the cash registers can be programmed to automatically discount a whole department, like Women's Clothing or Furniture or Sport, all at once. This is useful for promotions like "ALL CLOTHING -50% THIS WEEK ONLY" - nothing for the cashier to do. (In contrast, with something like Buy Two X, Get the Cheaper ½ Off, the cashier has to check which it is and click 'Discount'.)

Well, this week, my department, Accessories, is on sale. The problem is, my department doesn't have a department in the store like the others. Socks, undergarments, and pajamas are in their respective clothing departments. Hats are there and also in sports. Scarves are in 4 different displays. Jewelry, wallets and sunglasses are in 3 displays unless they're designer or for special occasions. Swimsuits everyone just forgets about until the season. And most of the cashiers can't pass a test on whether all these items are part of the Accessories department or not.

Unfortunately, they need to know, because some (undergarments and swimwear) are officially categorized as clothing instead on the tag according to edicts from the chain level. So these have to be individually discounted anyway (and why not just leave them off the sale? Nobody asked me, that's why). BONUS: we just discovered my coworker in Accessories has been mistagging everything, up to and including jewelry, as clothing.

So that's hundreds of mistagged tiny items scattered throughout the store for the cashiers to (a) identify as accessories and (b) remember to check to make sure the discount rings up and individually discount it if not. Being a cashier here doesn't have any educational or experience prereqs, but it certainly requires certain abilities.

For bonus stress, I'm a cashier as well, and all week when I was at the register it meant I wasn't putting out stuff for the sale.