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Efficiency

Went shopping at the Porter Square Star after midnight. Partly for the winter storm, but I also needed groceries in general. Seemed like lots of other people there stocking up for the storm too. When I got to the aisles, 3 had people in them, but one was closed; another was very slow due to payment problems. When the closed aisle finished, an employee moved from there to a second line; her whole job seemed be to stand there preventing people from getting in line -- as opposed to operating a line herself to process us faster.

There were lots of employees in the store, doing shelf stocking; none were called to speed up processing of a line that was close to 10 people deep at one point. I don't know if they can be; seemed like there might be a caste division between the burly and somewhat Hispanic men doing stocking and the women running the cash registers. Different uniforms, for one thing.

Made ma appreciate Trader Joe's, where all of the "crew" have interchangeable skills, and can switch between stocking and cash registers. Then again, TJ doesn't try to run 24 hours; maybe they have special late night stocking employees too.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/385632.html#comments

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
fellmama
Feb. 5th, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
In retail it's pretty common to have employees who aren't permitted to run registers for various reasons. Duration of employment, age (when I worked for Old Navy, the under-18 employees could operate registers taking credit only but weren't allowed to handle cash), limited English skills.
mindstalk
Feb. 5th, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC)
Makes sense, but still a shock given that I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe's.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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