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[personal profile] kotoshin
Lala - it's been AGES since I've posted.

First, what's been happening - I've been been a) too tired to go online (trust me, a 5am waking routine to a 6pm cleanup from working in parents' store leave you energy for little more than a desire to see the pillow rather than the comp screen), b) sick and in bed and c) working at Edward Jones and suffering cram sessions to make sure I still remember how to do everything.

And it's THAT time of the year again, getting xmas prezzies and parcels ready, since I'll be returning to Taiwan to visit my maternal grandfather and uncles and cousins. I'll probably elaborate on that more, few weeks before I go - planned ETA is Dec. 21st and return on Jan 2nd.


A little background. My parents' bagel cafe is more a little station inside a food court underground of an office building + hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto, a very metropolitan city. Our position's weird, since we're at a a recess OFF of the main food court, with neighbouring stores like an American Backrub and souvenir and jewellery and electronics and gift boutiques nearby.

Our closest and most visible neighbour across the hallway is a franchise souvenir/convenience store/gift boutique. They had a new owner two years ago, an ex-cabbie. And they are absolutely INCOMPETENT in running the store.

Why do I say this? They FAIL at following the franchise training. (we were on pretty good terms with an ex-employee, Ms. P, who worked regular F/T shifts. She's good with the store and her only fault professionally is her constant [albeit justified] complaints about her current boss - both the ex-owner and the current ex-cabbie)
Employees are supposed to make sure everything is restocked - and if not, let the next shift know what needs restocking. They're not supposed to be only CHATTING on the phone. I've seen them argue loudly for over half an hour while serving customers for the same time! IT's not that the franchise (a big name, so I won't name names for fear of libel) doesn't provide proper training, it's that they DON'T follow their training. Nearly EVERY TIME there's a franchise inspection, the manager's making them resort and reshelve everything. I have no idea how they're making any money because they don't ever check dates of their inventory - a lot of their food/beverage inventory just sits there until expiry date to be thrown out, since they just keep piling new inventory on top.

They RARELY keep enough change on hand. HONESTLY. Running your own small business means you have to keep at least $200-300 small bills AND change on hand, since our location is close enough to tourist attractions for there to be influxes. PLUS our hotel location means that we do get a lot of convention/conference crowds when they have them in the hotel above. EVERY other business nearby has now taken to denying them the favour of changing money, since they 1) don't learn and just keep coming back the next day; and 2) don't make a list and change all the $ they need at once.

One occasion this .... p/t employee (we'll call her T) had come over three times in the same half hour for DIFFERENT denominations of change. First she wanted two rolls of pennies. Then nickels. Then dimes - we put a stop after the third time.

T demonstrated her particular incompetence to us previously already. While we do provide a discount to our neighbours and hotel staff, it is not to the degree where ANY SINGLE item she orders is only ONE DOLLAR. Especially not when it's a SANDWICH. If the rationale operating her TOFU MUSH of a brain makes sense to you after hearing this incident, please tell me HOW it works. I would dearly like to know. On second thought, maybe not. -_-;;;

T's degenerating incoherence today:
Me: *manning the cash register*
T: *runs over" Bot'o Beh!!! <-EXACTLY what it sounds like.
Me: *pause* Eh? Er, bottle? Bottle of water?
T: NONONO! Bot'o BUH! Bot'o!
Me: .... *trying to figure it out* Not water? Okay, a pat of butter? (we have small packets of butter, 25 cents for two @ customer request)
T: NONONO! Bot'o BUH! BUH! BAH! *thumping the plastic bagel display shelving*
Me: Oh, buttered bagel!
T: YES! *giving me this 'what are you, stupid? how come you can't just read my mind' look* BAGEL!
Me: .... on which bagel would you like butter? *headache, we have over a DOZEN kinds*
T: SE! SEH SEH SEH! *thumping plastic display again*
Me: *trying not to scream back at her* Okay, sesame bagel. *holds up to show her to make doubly sure*
T: YES! SESAME!
Me: [... what the hell.] Okay, that'll be a dollar - *notices T now has a customer thumping HER counter* - hey, you've got a customer. I'll go toast your bagel now, you go check on your customer. [She's usually not this much of a stuttering ditz, I'll go easy on her and let her handle her customer.]
T: SEH! BUH! BAH!
Me: *trying to be patient* You've got a customer over there waiting. I'll go toast your bagel now.
T: *"OH!" look, FINALLY turning and seeing her customer* !!!! *runs off to tend to customer*

minutes later:
Me: *buttering the bagel*
T: *THUMPS plastic shield protecting the sandwich bar* BUH! Light! LIGHT! NOT so much!
Me: >_O *stops* This okay? *only buttered 1 1/2 sides*
T: ... FINE. THAT'S okay.
Me: *watching her pay and leave, taking the bagel* ........... [At least she's forming sentences now. Well, almost-sentences.]

half an hour later:
Me: *at sandwich bar, in the middle of taking an order from a customer*
T: *out of nowhere* COME! You come with me!
Me: .... excuse me?
T: You come! I need ... bank machine!
Me: [... what, you guys run out of change AGAIN? HELL NO.] Sorry, we can't give you any change today. [IT's SUNDAY and bank's closed, you should've been prepared or told your idiot boss to be prepared, and if you're REALLY out of change, call HIM to come and take care of it!]
T: *interrupts me trying to get customer's order* NONONO! AT BACK! Machine need fix! I need you come fix!
Me: ... what? Sorry, no, I don't know how to fix your ... machine. [WTF is this? Do I look like a mechanic?]
Dad: *joins in, seeing me APPARENTLY neglecting a customer* What? Why aren't you helping her?
Me: Dad, she's asking me to go with her to fix a machine in her store. Do you want to go in my place? [I know you're mechanically inclined, but are you an IDIOT too? >.>; STOP jumping in when I'm trying to handle a situation and act it's like all my fault when you don't know what's going on! Not that I know either ...]
Dad: .... NO! *firmly to T* I can't. Sorry! *flees scene*
T: ..... ....... back! But, machine! I just need you to come look! Fix!
Me: *ignores her and takes customer order from patiently waiting customer*
T: *walks off finally after realizing no one understand or cares what she's trying to say*

WHAT the hell is in her brain? From my GUESS after finally handling all the customers, she apparently thinks we can spare someone to help her watch the store while she restocks everything in HER fridges and display shelves. Why do I think that? Unlike her usual "I'm so bored" half falling asleep over HER cash register counter, or gabbing away at a handset - she actually kept running in and out of their storage area and made rounds of the whole store.

HELLO, T, are you an utter imbecile? I'm not going to be doing what you get PAID for to do! It's your job to run that store, you're not going to pay me by the hour just for DOING your job - which is keeping an eye out for customers DESPITE your need to restock you EMPTY DISPLAYS. Some people. Just... I don't know what to say.
And her FIRST sentence was for me to GO WITH HER without any coherent explanation what so ever. Even if you NEEDED help, aren't you supposed to ask politely and not like a slave recruitment drive?
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November 2009

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