Wal-Mart – Podcast – Sept 7 – 2010
Hi there, Dr. Jeff here on this Labor Day, 2010. Lisa Marie is sitting on the couch reading American history and overhearing the recording of this podcast. As I noted, Lisa has returned to school to complete her degree. This is the start of her Sophomore year and American history is just one of her many classes this semester. So as she was reading her book, I made her some coffee and a “light and fluffy” blueberry pancake. Enough of that.
Yesterday, there was lots of excitement at the store. It seems that there was this group of young boys about nine years old. Well, one of them walked over to one of employees and said that there was smoke in the girls area; and then he started to laugh. As this employee turned to look, a clothing rack of young girls clothing was on fire. As she turned to talk with this boy, he was gone. Security of course got involved as well has the local fire and rescue. When all was settled, the police and security went in back to look at the store tapes. This tapes have been used successfully in the past so I can only hope that they catch these young idiots.
Next topic, the “little one who loves me” There are times when Lisa seems to have lots of problems with working her hours, studying for exams and classes and than just trying to live life in general. It can be trying and just outright frustrating. However. . .it’s those little things that keep you going. The other day, Lisa had just gotten home and I could see that she was both very tired but had one of those looks upon her face. One of her regulars’ (customers and while it is still mind-boggling that she has regular customers — those individuals or family who will get into her line regardless of how busy or long the line is — week after week;), a young man about the age of 18 but with a mind of only about 6 years old was so excited to see her working. After the mom had finishing checking out, this young man ran around the counter, and ask her if he could give her a hug. A truly very touching moment, one that is etched into her mind and others around them. It’s events like that that makes working worth it.
Happy Labor Day and until next week. . . . .
Yes we know it has been two weeks since our last posting but school just started back and all has been overly busy.
In just the last few days, Lisa has come home from work and just fit to be tied. There have been a few customers that she would like to just shoot. Here in our state of Oklahoma, we have what is known as the Wick system. It is a form of public assistance, just like the food stamps of yesteryear. Here, participants are provided with either a card (like a charge card) or a certificate. It is the ones with this certificate that have been providing her grief.
When the state issues these certificates, it not only provides names, numbers and denomiations (amount they can spend), but in many cases it will also list very specific food items. For example, milk. As I am sure that you are aware, there are many different types or grades of milk. These start with non-fat products to full milk. So when someone has one of these certificates, it might list that they has get up to three gallons of 2% milk. If what they buy does not match the list, Wal-Mart does not get reimbursed. It’s that simple.
Here is where the problem occurs. We are required to check each item on the list against what is being purchased. Where there is a mismatch, I have to remove the item from the line or belt and either have they replace it with the correct item or not make the purchase at all. Many times, I have even called a CS manager over and they helped by getting the correct item. Doing all that I can to make the purchase as easy as possible, why do some of the customers yell and get mad at me? Many times I will here them say, “well the last time I was here, the other cashier let me buy that item (i.e., the incorrect one). Stop wasting my time and just give me the item that I have placed on the belt.” Even when I explain to them that if I let the wrong item through, the State will not reimburse the company; and if that happens, I am the one who gets in trouble and could lose my job. They still get mad at me. Just the other day, this type of even just happened and they went to the CSM to file a formal complaint against me. After the CSM came over to my register and let me know about the complaint, that she saw the entire event and that I have nothing to worry about.
Can you explain this behavior to me!
Post — Audio — August 9
Hi and Dr. Jeff here. Looking at trying something new — The use of podcasts to tell our story. Attached is a simple podcast that I created just for this posting. I have also attached a copy of the script
On Saturday was Lisa’s anniversary. Now if you have read any of our prior posts, you will know that we are not married (although being exclusive for the past year and a half). You are probably asking “what anniversary?” It was the anniversary of her birthday. What???? We only have one wedding day and each year following we celebrate the “anniversary” of that day. So, we only have one birthday and each year following we should b e celebrating the “anniversary” of that day. OK, you can stop groaning now. No more on this subject.
On her birthday (or anniversary as I like to say), Lisa had to work and my middle daughter flew in for a two week summer stay from Michigan. The real reason for this post is to talk about those touching events that occurred while she was working that day.
It started about 11 AM when I stopped by the store to buy some things for the house in prep for my daughter coming in. Lisa was at Lane #4 and was just busy. She was told earlier that about 20 people called in that day and that they would be short on the registers. As I was checking out at Lane #9, I asked the CSM if I could tie up a birthday balloon by her register. I was informed “no” but that they would hold it behind the customer service counter until she leaves. I passed and after checking out, walked over, told her about the balloon and said goodbye. About an hour later, a young lady and her father came through her lane. Mary (Don’t know her real name) wished Lisa a Happy Birthday. Mary is about 23 years old but is mentally operating at about a 10 year old level. Lisa and Mary talked about birthdays two weeks prior when it was Mary’s birthday and Lisa shared that her birthday was coming up in two weeks. Seems that Mary remembered and pestered her dad to take her to the store so that she could wish Lisa birthday greetings. When asked if she could give Lisa a birthday balloon, Lisa said thanks but no and also shared her experience with me about the balloon. Lisa was touched that this young lady remembered her birthday, forced her dad to take her to the store and wanted to buy her a balloon. Mary was not going to end it here!
After going home, Mary made Lisa a large pin noted “birthday Girl” and filled in all the spaces with drawings of balloons. Making her dad driver her back to the store (they only live a few miles away). Mary ran into the store and pinned it on Lisa. So started the daily birthday greetings.
Thought the day, Lisa received many greetings based on the special birthday pin by Mary. One of the most memorable was Henry (another one whose name I don’t know). Henry is about 80ish in age and generally a very gentle in nature. Over the past month or so, Lisa has notices that he was been a bit more isolated (he is one of her regulars). When he noticed her pin, there was a slight smile on his face. Joking with him as she does with most of her customers, Lisa found out that he lost his wife of 39+ years about two months ago. Talking with her just made him smile and put some minor joy in his life. Saying good bye Lisa completed the next few hours uneventful. As she was clocking out, the CSM called her over to the counter and handed her a bag with a receipt on it. Henry had bought her a small bouquet of flowers for her birthday. The CSM stated that employees were not able to accept from customers. At that point, Henry stated that he was a friend and just leaving Lisa a small birthday gift since he would not be able to see her that evening. The CSM give the flowers to Lisa later that day.
Spreading joy is free and infectious. All it takes is a smile to make others feel special. Please take some time today or over the next few days, and just smile. Until next Monday.
Lisa: It was not that busy of an evening at work. I was working on one of the slower lanes and while the customers were arriving in a steady stream, there was no backup like when I am on Lanes 1 -5 (note: Lanes 1-4 are the quick, small number item lanes and #5 is the full lane right next to it — usually one of the busiest of them all!). In the event, about a few hours earlier, my baby (i.e., Shelby) stopped by to say hello. When I don’t see her approach she usually comes right behind me and puts her arms around me. It tends to give me a short scare but when I see who it is, my heart just bursts with joy. [Jump ahead a few hours, very close to my lane closing and me heading home for the balance of the evening.]
As the last few customers are being checked out in my lane, I notice a Native American young man as my last customer. As he placed his snacks, some soft drinks and a package of Huggies on the belt, I was being my typical self and just started talking with him. He shared that he had two young kids at home (about ages 2 and 5) and was about 25 or 26 years old. I shared that I had several kids of my own but they are all grown up. However I did remember those years of the young ones. We joked for a few minutes more, he paid his bill and I said “thanks for shopping here at Wal-Mart and have a great night”. At that point, I started the clean-up process of my register..
A few minutes later, this young man came back and suprised me with his arms around my waist me to give me a hug, I was a little startled, but I thought it was the embrace of my daughter coming back to see me. Turning quickly and remembering those immortal words of Mohammed Ali, “I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” However before I could reel back, he looked me right in the eye, had a big grin on his face and said “I just love you.” Between the look and the delivery, I just lost it. Smiling back, I shared that he just meet me, had a baby at home along with his wife, and that he should start moving before they throw him out the door . He than asked if he could call me sometime. “Thanks but it is time for you to go. Also I don’t think my boyfriend would not like it much.” Like a wounded puppy, he tucked his tail between his legs and heading out the door. Amusing. Sad. A compliment. Regardless, just another day in the life of this Wal-Mart cashier. I am glad that I can touch others heart.
In the last posting, I commented about the ring that Jeff surprised me with. Would like to tell you a bit about it and I don’t want to sound like I am gloating but I just love it. It is a 14K yellow gold band with three rows of stones. In the middle, is a row of rubies. All square cut and just a bit over 1/2 carat in total weight. Above and below this row are rows of square cut diamonds. Smaller in size but almost .7 carats in total weight. Since it was presented to me, I have not taken it off. I hope that give you a good description of it and that you can visualize it. It makes my heart just flutter!
OK, now you might understand why guys hit on ladies who don’t rings. Down south it is usually a sign that the lady is unattached or not married (hope that you noted that I did not say “available”). If you are on the “hunt” for lady, just check out her left hand and ring finger. No ring or naked, majority of the time it would indicate that she is not married. Up north, this naked finger indicated non-marriage only about 60% of the time. On the other hand (and no pun attended), wearing a ring on that finger means “I am married or in some major relationship.”
You would think that wearing a ring would tell guys that “I am not available.” For lots of guys, this would be accurate. However, for a large group of guys, it just says “she is more desirable since she is married. If I can get in her pants, well than it would be a no-strings attached good time.” I am not here to beat up on guys but feel that it is important that Jeff and I set the stage for some of the future posts.
Some of these posts will be about guys who are just flirting with me with no other intention. Some will be about guys who are truly trying to get me to go out with them. In all cases, I hope my stories will put a smile on your face just have they done for me.
In closing, I wear my ring proudly and with joy that my special guy loves me and me him. Off to spend the day having some fun.
Jeff here, what Lisa Marie has note is so very true. Not about all guys, just some. I want to thank them (unoffically) since they give us just materials for stories to tell. Working on some stories to share. New posts to be on Mondays and possibility on Thursdays. Please let others know about this blog and lets get lots of readers. It is my goal to also start collecting stories from others to share. More on this to follow later. By for now!
When I first started as a cashier at Wal-Mart, while Jeff and I were serious, I never wore anything on my ring finger. Little did we know the impact from the customer viewpoint. Many of my customers (and they are my customers) would look at my left hand, see the ring finger empty or naked and just make assumptions that I had no one in my life. If I got a dollar for each time I was asked about my relationship status in the first two weeks of work, gads, I could easily purchase a new car. Well, maybe just buy seat covers using my employee discount. At first, it felt very strange continually explaining my relationship situation to “strangers” going through my line. At first it was very flattering. Later, almost painful. Had to turn it into a game just to keep a smile on my face. I was also concerned how Jeff would take me getting all this attention. My ex would have blown a gasket over it (yep, that is one of the reasons he is an ex!!!). Jeff is and was very secure in our relationship and me, that he wanted to know about it and helped me worked through any issues I had about it. It become a source of this blog.
Separate of the Wal-Mart issues about my ring finger being naked, Jeff greatly surprised me with a special ring. Not an engagement or wedding ring. Rather a ring expressing his commitment to me and our relationship. More to follow.