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Things that tick me off and things I like

 
master gardener
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Maybe it is just me, but I really get ticked off when I am looking for a cashier, and there maybe one lane open and operating and a bunch of employees standing around.  I was Just at a large home improvement store with maybe $1000.00 of electrical supplies in my cart.  One checkout lane was probably 10 carts deep.  I saw a light on above another checkout lane across the store, no one was behind the counter.  Yes, there was an employee nearby leaning against something playing with his cell phone. I parked my full cart and walked. Hopefully they don’t mind restocking.

I went to another store with working employees and bought what I needed.
 
gardener
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YESSSSS! OMG!!!

Our Home Depot and Lowe's both give military discounts. Lowe's gives their military members a little key chain fob thing that we can scan at checkout for our discount. Home Despot Depot requires us to track down an employee to put in the special discount code. Finding an employee is quite the challenge.

Our superstore has like 20 cash registers. No more than 2 are open at any given time. The rest is self-checkout only. And now several of those machines are out of order. And one frazzled employee running around trying to help all the customers who need help with the self checkout.
 
master steward
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FYI, not every employee is a cashier.  

And yes, I know it is frustrating.

Maybe take your business to the local much small hardware store and give them your business.

Call ahead and speak with the manager, give the manager your order, and then the manager will tell you when the items will be there and what they will cost.

Just a suggestion.

 
gardener
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Cue teenage job trauma from working retail:
anyone caught slacking would cue the manager to yell across the store, "IF YOU HAVE TIME TO LEAN, YOU HAVE TIME TO CLEAN!!!" You'd be taken off register and sent to break down boxes, haul dog food sacks, clean the greasetrap, whatever was most likely to make you quit. Ah, minimum wage...

Cell phones are a hard one, spoken as an employer. You don't want to be a dictator (because you never know what the people who work for you are going through), but many folks seem to have a hard time using a phone without being addicted to it. I think a call to a manager might be an idea if it bothered you and you'd like to go back- it is my experience that when you hope someone will notice something, they generally don't.

Another observation, from someone who goes to the US every year or so: I was there in May and have never seen so few employees in stores. Ever. Big stores, small stores, it was everywhere. The few cashiers are losing their sanity, and the self-checkouts are all always on the fritz, of course.
 
pollinator
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I wish they would admit it and take away the register lanes that they won't staff. OR focus on customer service and staff the checkouts. I understand that they need capacity for heavy traffic days, but there's hardly ever more than one register staffed most days.

And while we're piling onto the BIG home improvement stores... I find it super frustrating that the aisles with all of the small stuff, like hardware (nuts and bolts in bins), plumbing (pipe fittings in bins), and electrical (more small devices in bins) are allowed to get SO disorganized. I used to try to fix it, my OCD and desire for it to be correct would compel me to sort things back into the correct bins. One store tried, in vain, to provide a few buckets saying "If you don't want to put it back in the correct place, please leave it in here". That did not last long as an experiment. These days I have to fight the urge to just make a pile of these misfiled items on the floor (...and I don't always win) .

At our local Whole Foods Market, there's a checkout lane with a non-functioning touch screen facing the customer, so it is not possible to enter your own information, you have to dictate to the cashier. It is the 3rd register (service desk, express checkout, then this one...) and so they keep using it!!! Now, I've been aware of the problem for two months, and curse myself for having chosen this lane, again... (either getting a few too many things? or forgetting, or no other choice). The managers MUST know, right?!?! SO, why not OPEN A DIFFERENT REGISTER with functional equipment!!! (Or, have Jeff fix it. C'mon, Jeff, really now, this is the kind of space race you're running?)
 
Anne Miller
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Self-checkout charges you for two of the item when you only got one.  

Being in a hurry and you don't notice.  Then you live 200 miles away so you can get your refund.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Teresa,

You hit on one of my core complaints.  I would love to see employees leaning behind a cash register.  At least I would know there was someone to operate the cash register.   It is when I see a so called open register with the open light on above it and no employee to operate it that I get ticked off.  And, each time this happens, I walk out the door leaving my cart behind.  Maybe one of those managers you speak of will wise up.  

I don’t understand how companies can build stores for millions of dollars, fill them with millions of dollars of merchandise, and yet forget how to take the customer’s money.  This has nothing to do with being short of staff. It has to do with not having staff behind the cash register when staff are clearly available.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Anne,

100% of the time I have used self checkout, it has messed up.  I don’t use it anymore.
 
gardener
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In my neck of the woods it's not the checkouts but the short trip from house to front door and back that I find the worst. Many of the big box stores are the only nearby option but are placed into sardine can of shopping centers, with bare minimum parking and long lines of cars threading their way about. I gave up on Costco shopping as it was in the same spot as Lowes, Ikea, and 15 other smaller stores all sharing one big parking area and constant traffic. I'd reach a certain spot and consciously notice my brain would suddenly start thinking about some game every time, I think as a coping mechanism for the mounting stress!  
 
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After I retired I got a job at Lowe’s as a weekend plant specialist. I’m unsure what has happened in the past thirty years but it’s bad. There were people there who were wonderful, smart and hard working making eleven to fourteen dollars per hour. I knew one of these hard workers who made almost fifteen but he’d been there for six years! I made good money in healthcare and knew I would be taking a giant pay cut. They started me out at 10.39. I laughed. Once they find out that you’re competent and reliable you start getting scheduled extra and given way more responsibilities with no more money. I retired because of my health and sought a low stress environment. Lowe’s is not that kind of place. After being there a few months offers of advancements start coming. There was no way they could have talked me into a supervisor role. When I started there every department had a supervisor. In six months they “restructured” and canned half of them. Several months later they changed their mind and sought to fill those positions again. This time it was with those making way less money. Sure they got a bump in pay but it was tiny.
I’m not sure about Home Labyrinth but Lowe’s is extremely top heavy with little chance of real advancement. From what I’ve seen if you’re a manager at another retailer you get the manager job there. Very few are promoted from within.
I know all of this is a bit off topic but I think it should be considered. I’ve heard about lazy generations for years and figured it was all true, it’s not. If there’s an issue at one of these giant retailers it’s almost always managements fault. Most likely it’s not even the store’s manager but cooperate.
Having said all that, it’s also drives me crazy when I can’t find help or check out.
 
gardener
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I thought this thread was going to be about ticks and I was going to agree with you, John! They're bad this year and I'm tired of them and all the extra work involved in avoiding long term parasites.

I live in a small enough town that I pretty much never get to the stores causing you all frustration. And I'm happy that the self checkout registers at our grocery stores work pretty well these days (they updated them yay).

I agree that in general good employees aren't paid enough and lazy ones are infuriating.
 
steward & bricolagier
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Something I do that startles management is I note helpful people, then find their manager and say 'I'd like to file a compliment on one of your employees!" They are so used to people complaining, that they always do a double take. But if they aren't told who is good, helpful, and knowledgeable, how will they know?  I also generally end my comments with "and they deserve a raise!"

I have had many employees in my life, and I always want to know who is good, I generally KNOW who is bad.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Pearl,

Great practice!  My gripe is with management.  This is clearly a policy issue. But it confounds me. ....how can a store stay in business if it doesn’t know how to Take the customer’s money?!
 
Sonja Draven
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Something I do that startles management is I note helpful people, then find their manager and say 'I'd like to file a compliment on one of your employees!" They are so used to people complaining, that they always do a double take. But if they aren't told who is good, helpful, and knowledgeable, how will they know?  I also generally end my comments with "and they deserve a raise!"

I have had many employees in my life, and I always want to know who is good, I generally KNOW who is bad.



Yes! I do this too. I recently went to the hardware store with an older male friend. He was getting some items for something he was building and our checker was probably half my age, so a lot younger than he was. She did such a great job asking about his project and then tactfully determining whether he knew what he was doing and what to use. I complimented her on how she handled it because I was so impressed at how she tread the line and didn't come across at all offensive or know it all, especially considering the age and gender difference. If he hadn't known what he was doing, he wouldn't have been offended by her humble suggestions... and she obviously knew what she was doing.

Thinking about it the next day, I decided to call the store and ask for a manager. Turns out her manager was the one I got. He was expecting a complaint, but I told him about the situation and how impressed I was. He was thrilled, not only because I took the time to call, but because they had just had training and role-playing around that exact thing and she had been feeling really nervous about her ability. So it totally made all of our days that I took the time to say something to him.
 
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Hi,  Things that tick me off.  Rude drivers in the city who cut me off and I have to slam on the brakes, endangering me and my bride.
The current state of affairs our government put us in. (Don't believe I can say which things as that should be for the cider press.)
People who drive by and throw their trash out the window.
When I make a mistake on a project because I should have known better. Especially cutting the wood wrong and the nearest lumber yard is 2 hrs away.
When traveling with an rv, noisy people and dogs, loud drunks in the park and on the road.


I hated my job so I quit and started my own business.
Then I found out I was working for a crazy person.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Sonja,

I live near a community of 3000. My closest large home improvement store is 30 miles.  I had over $1000 in wiring purchases plus our monthly grocery shopping, so it was worth the trip.   Yes, it cost me maybe an added $5 in gas, but the overall savings over local was well over $300 and probably more like $400.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Sonja,

Yes, my wife had to go to a large city for major surgery.  Needless to say, the morning of the surgery she was more than a little preoccupied as we headed to the hospital at 4 am.   She left her purse on the motel bed. In the purse had more than $500 in cash and 2 bottles of Oxytocin.  When I stepped off the elevator I realized our housekeeper was the one with four colors of hair and headphones playing so loud I could hear the music down the hall.   When I entered our room, the bed had been made. The purse was on it. And the cash and medication were all there.   Yes, I made sure the housekeeper got lots of credit.
 
pollinator
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This is maybe somewhat off topic but I'm reminded of a experience I had. I really don't like it when I buy something and it wears out before I think I got my monies worth form it.

I had a pair of hiking boots, actually I still have them, nailed to a gate post and currently inhabited by some wren birds. After wearing them for a while the sole of one came loose from the boot and they were ruined.

When that happened I wrote to the company, including attached photos of the boots. I explained that I had only had the boots for approximately 40 years. I doubt that I had walked much over a thousand miles in them. I had crossed  probably not more that 50 rivers and creeks and waded, in the edges of only two great lakes. I had never subjected them to rough terrain unless of course you count the Grand Teton and various other small hills from Colorado to Georgia, and I swear, only one active volcano.

I complained that after such light usage the boots were falling apart, to just ignore the chain saw gouge in the one that is still good because that was my own fault  and no, I don't have the receipt.

I forgot about till a couple weeks later when an email came that said only, "what size?" I answered that email and the next day a Fed X man brought me some new boots.

Staff note (John F Dean) :

Of course, I have to ask, “what brand?”

 
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To me, permaculture isn't just about growing food. It's also about acting in all ways to create a sustainable society in which all beings are able to live sustainably and fairly. Every economic decision you make with your purchases, what you buy, where and how it's manufactured, who is paid fairly and where the profits go, affect how not just our local economy but the world economy functions.  Your inconvenience in waiting for a cashier is nothing compared to the real suffering of underpaid laborers and workers. I buy  everything I can from locally owned businesses: the hardware store, lumber yard, farmer, nursery.  If they don't have it, I'll search online for the manufacturer or other independent dealer. . Under NO circumstances will I go into a Walmart or order from Amazon. I might pay a little more but I have the peace of mind that I'm resisting the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. It's necessary to Earth's survival, really. Those billionaire's and their corporations are the ones fueling climate disaster.  

Now, if you're thinking, "oh, but I can't afford to do that", I say you're not being honest. I'll be 70 within the month and survive on less than $500 a month social security. There's plenty I do without in order to buy North American made and local.  Maybe it's time to stop fixating on what inconveniences you and think more about how your choices affect others.
 
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My tick is going to a restaurant, finishing the meal, then WAITING on someone to bring the check. WTF?  I am thru and I want to leave NOW. Why the hell do I have to wait until it is convenient for the server to notice that I am sitting and waiting? Pisses me off everytime.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Bruce,

I once had that experience in spades.   I am at this packed restaurant .... I can’t get the check .....the tables next to me can’t get their checks...AND .... there are dozens of people in line waiting to be seated.  It continues to amaze me how many businesses don’t know how to take money from their customers.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Things that tick me off today:
Machinery that needs cleaning that is not made to be cleanable.

Exhibits A and B are here today, two electric heaters. One of them I know from past experience I can open it's back, mess with wires etc, but there is no way to access the front part, where dust and crud builds up, or the fan that is currently complaining it needs cleaning. The other I took apart the other day for the first time. 10 screws later, and the whole outside covering is off, and if I want to get to the fan that needs cleaning, or the grille that needs cleaning, I have to start removing the wiring harnesses.

Exhibit C is my laptop, that has a nifty little panel on the back to access some of the memory, but no nifty little panel over the fan, which needs to be cleaned WAY more often than I need to mess with the memory. I can also eject the whole disk drive easily, but can't do basic maintenance on it without gutting it.

Contrast this with my sewing machine. Two screws and you can access the entire interior to clean it.

Some days I have had it with badly designed technology. It's not hard to design it well, it's REALLY not. Nifty little panels with screws holding them on are not complicated.
 
pollinator
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I'm doing my absolute very best not to think about things that tick me off.  It's hard, but it's a habit that I'm really working on, and I'm getting better at it.  I concentrate very much now on how lucky I am and all the things I have to be grateful for.  In the overall scheme of things, I have a great life.  I have a place to live that is warm and dry, I have people that love me, and that I love, I have animals, especially my dogs, that I adore, I have plenty to eat, I have clean water to drink, I have land that I love.  I have enough projects and interesting things to do and experiment with that I could be happy doing for the next ten lifetimes and there would still be things I hadn't gotten to, or learned, or experienced.  I'm very grateful for all of it.
 
pollinator
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I have developed an ability to change things around.
I have had to deal with anxiety and depression for about 45 years.
I dont suffer, I deal with things, i dont get hungry, angry or tired for a start.
When I see the sort of things you are all talking about I do something good .
I found when I left a trolley full of items I got resentful, and then I may have to go somewhere else and go through it again.

So I will call, "shop", cashier needed, service please, and maybe talk loudly to another customer about how great this place is, I even get to train my voice for sports barracking!
It always works, gets a smile from customers and another rebuke from my partner!
I always leave the scene feeling good instead of resentful.

Sometimes it is hard to keep calm, but I practise it for my own benefit, nobody elses.
Its got me through many years.

the local much small hardware store and give them your business.


I had one of these stores and the big boxes surrounded me in Melbourne, Australia and forced me to close.
There are none in Melbourne now. [ pop. 4 million ]
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Something I do that startles management is I note helpful people, then find their manager and say 'I'd like to file a compliment on one of your employees!" They are so used to people complaining, that they always do a double take. But if they aren't told who is good, helpful, and knowledgeable, how will they know?  I also generally end my comments with "and they deserve a raise!"

I have had many employees in my life, and I always want to know who is good, I generally KNOW who is bad.



John and I both do this, everywhere we go. We're more likely to track down management and pay a compliment, than to gripe. Whenever we say, "We'd like to speak with the manager, please." The managers always come out with this expression of, "ok, what are these folks upset about? Who am I going to have to chew on, this time?" They see our faces, smiling, and get even more nervous, until we lavish our praises on the establishment, the customer service, etc. We've had MANY tell us we've turned around what had been a really horrible day, and at least a couple who looked like they were about to tear up, and cry.

This is my 'ticks me off' part: the simple fact that so many people are so quick to shred someone for anything they possibly can, that management ends up feeling anxious, any time their presence is requested by a customer.

What I like is the relief and pleasure we can bring with a kind word.
 
John C Daley
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Carla, I am going to adopt that idea of yours, thanks for sharing it.
 
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