Life In Retail The Week Before Inventory

Today's offering is, I fear, probably going to be a rambling rant. 
In the last four days, I have worked 37 hours, not my record for hours worked in a short span, mind you, but possibly the most frustrating.  Of that 37 hours, I have worked a total of 5 hours in the four departments for which I am to be held responsible. Again, I am used to being pulled from my area to help others.  This is one of the pitfalls of having experience in more than half of the areas of the store and being able to see the big picture and develop a mental plan on the fly.  However, I have my limits of flexibility. 
It actually started two weeks ago. As the area I was initially responsible for tends to take me about half my day to deal with, I have always been asked to assist the frozen/dairy manager with his/her duties (logical, since I was the frozen manager for several years before moving on to slightly warmer pastures).  After only being back from a recent surgical leave for a week, I was called to the office and asked to adopt two more departments into my fold.  I say asked, because that is how the assistant manager phrased the whole deal, although it was clear that I did not have a choice.  I was told that since I would have so much more work to do that I would no longer be expected to work in the dairy and freezer but that they, management, would appreciate it if I would continue to mentor the very new frozen/dairy manager.  "Not a problem," I say, because I truly have no problem helping other people learn the ropes (Hello, former teacher here).
The next day, I delve into my new responsibilities with a fervor.  I finish my old duties before lunch and spend my last four hours of the day trying to wrap my arms around the sprawl of my new assignment.  I love change and a challenge.  This joy was to be short lived.  The very next day, the swirling vortex of the freezer sucks me back in, I thought for just the day.  I leave at the end of the day, a little frustrated because I am annal in that if there is something that needs to be done, I want to get it done today.  I had to leave many things in my new departments undone and the next day was the start of my weekend.  Okay, time off, come back refreshed and ready to tackle the world, right.  NOT!
This brings us to Tuesday.  The grand swirling vortex, has become a cavernous black whole to which I am sacrificed by an very well meaning assistant manager.  She says not to worry about my other areas for today, frozen is in a world of hurt.  Okay, I think, I am a team player.  I am more than happy to tackle the biggest guy in the oppositions line in order for the team to score.  So, off I go into the frozen tundra.  By the end of this day, again, a little frustrated with the work left undone, but feeling good about the work I got done.
Onto Wednesday, better known as the day from Hell.  I am again asked to ignore my primary assignment to attend to the icy vortex.  My feeling of impending doom aside, I agree to go forth and tackle the ice bound.  This time, all does not go smoothly, it seems in my new departments, Wednesday is the day for all vendors to descend upon the area.  To those of you who do not work in retail, the word vendor is a synonym for he/she of little/no brain and even less maturity.  The first vendor met me as I walked up the back aisle to the freezer doors.  Yes, his presence meant I got to stay warm a little while longer, but it also meant 15 completely unproductive minutes of my life which I will never get back have now been spent.  I no sooner escape his ever so polite clutches when Mr. Needy arrives.  "I am here to make your job easier." he says.  UmmHmmm.....every time I walked past the aisle he was in, he needed something.  This succeeded in another 30 minutes minimum of my life, GONE.  Then comes the icing.  ""BD Writer" line one." CRAP!!!!!!  This is "BD" may I help you." "Yes, this is Jane Doe of Xtabbacco. I am supposed to service your store every other week....Blah, blah, blah, .....I ran into some issues in Timbuktu.......(15 minutes later) basically, what I called to tell you is that I won't make it into your store until the 17th."  GREAT!  Next time send me a letter, it would have been faster!!!!!!!  Needless to say, my mild level of frustration with not getting done what I needed to has increased to nearly max load by the end of the day, but I am a big girl.  I go home, get some sleep, awake the next day ready to tackle the world.'s plan, deal with your own departments.  This I can deal with with a smile on my face and a spring in my step (ignore lingering feeling of impending doom about the swirling vortex of icy).  First mission, build colossal mother's day display.  CHECK!  No,wait, change display. Got it. CHECK!  Begin dealing with the issues you have ignored the last two days......wait, hold on, change display, again.  OOKAAY!   CHECK!   Back to dealing with the issues you were ASKED to ignore the last two days.  (Cue the foreboding music) Enter the Big Boss.....Your areas look terrible....."Well, I was asked to put these issues on the back burner to deal with the vortex, sir."...You should have done both! he says. You need to stay until this is done.  "Okay, sir."  I get the feeling I need a clone.  Finish the day with a good feeling about half of my areas of responsibility,at least. Unfortunately, I have just been informed that they have promised my soul to the vortex for the next day.
Which brings us to today. 7am.- I have just finished my cappuccino (my reward for surviving the previous three days).....enter the frantic assistant manager, "I know you were planning to go into the freezers this morning, but I need you to fill produce A.S.A.P......(long string of expletive filled tyrade about evening shift failure)....please."
Of course I agree, I am pretty sure I did not have a choice.  So I spend the next two hours filling fruits and veggies....I am still on a cappuccino high so all is good.  9am.-morning meeting...Big Boss, smiling, making jokes, thanking people for stepping in and helping in other areas....I am feeling pretty good about the day, should have known better.  We found a whole pallet of mother's day product hidden that you need to deal with...OKAY....and we need you to take care of this paperwork....OKAY......oh, but first can you find a solution for this.....SURE............STOP!!!!....this BIG BIG Boss is here and.....wait for it.....he demands your sacrifice to guessed it....swirling vortex of ice.....GREAT!!!!!
But I fooled them all.....this time, I allowed myself to be sucked into the far depths of the swirling vortex where they could not reach a result....I actually got more done than they expected....ha! take that!!!!!  CRAP!!! I still have three more days of this until the crew comes into count everything......If anyone knows of a job out there outside the realm of retail, CALL ME!!!!!!!!!!! 
bdwriter bdwriter
36-40, F
2 Responses May 17, 2011

We had Inventory 3 weeks ago. It was my first time counting due to my fear of heights. Other managers refuse to put me on a ladder repeatedly. This one didn't seem to give a rat's behind.

They told me to go here and count X and Y. Said nothing about Z. Z is technically a different department from X and Y, so I didn't count it.

Oh my, when they figured it out, they were pissed off. "Why didn't you count this?"

"You didn't tell me to."

I got glared at the rest of the week. I had to get my boss to go knock Mr. Inventory down a notch.

What's funny is - I have worked for our company longer than any of the managers. And thanks to the fact that I'm intelligent and have a degree, I'll be their boss one day :D (My boss is ready for it - he loves that idea.)

I worked a 56 hour week once - there was only four people running our store Me, another key holder, a 16 year old and a girl who could only work one day a week. No manager. I know your pain tbh. Retail life is a *****.