For several months from the end of last year we had been short staffed at work. Some positions had gone unfilled and we had a couple of departures. One woman went back to her old department after being offered a full time position and one recent hire leaving because she didn’t like hard work. To elaborate on that, “J” joined us to make up her hours after her hours in her regular department were cut, and as she needed the money it made sense for her to take a position with us. Great, she knew the culture, was a quick study and put in a full shift.
Not so my other coworker. I don’t know what she was expecting, but the job wasn’t what she’d expected. Deli work is pretty demanding, especially on the back due to the amount of time spent bending and lifting. It doesn’t help that you are on your feet the whole day, and even though the anti-fatigue mats help, my socks are like tourniquets by the end of the day. Her major problem, though, was that as someone who had been an Aesthetician in Las Vegas, she was obviously better than us and too good to work in a deli. A big part of the job is learning the products so you can answer questions and give advice to customers. She never really made any effort to do this, which just made it harder for the rest of us as we had to fill in the gaps in her knowledge. She also made no effort to learn how to distinguish one salami from another, leading to difficulties when she mislabeled products. Not to go into it too much, but imagine going into a furniture store and seeing a sofa labeled as a kitchen stool. That’s how bad she was, so it came as no surprise to learn that she’d be leaving before Christmas and surprise, surprise, she called in “sick” on her last day.
Another coworker leaving for a new job just made things worse, especially as she was a great worker, always pitched in, had a great sense of humour and was a genuinely nice person. So as you can see, having four empty slots ( one new hire failed the drug screening) made life a bit hectic for the rest of us. We adjusted, stretched ourselves further and worked harder to fill in, but all that takes it’s toll, so it was with great relief that we learned that we’d be having four, yes, count ’em, four new recruits joining us early in the new year. Not only that, but they were all recruited as closers, meaning that there was a chance that I’d get some mid shifts and hence 7pm finishes with all the attendant social life that entails.
Of course, any FNG creates drag as they get up to speed, but even that is an improvement over not having enough staff. They duly started and we worked them into our routine. One woman had been in food service since she left school, so she hit the ground running, which is always nice to see. The other three took to the job pretty well, but are all a bit anonymous. The lone male of the group looks like he’s lived his entire life in his parent’s basement, and it didn’t surprise me to overhear that he used to work at Gamestop. The other two women are pretty much ciphers. They seem decent enough but they don’t appear to have any personality and I know no more about them than I did the day they arrived. The guy, at least, seems keen to learn, and although he was very unsure at first, he was would ask for help when faced with a question he couldn’t answer or was unable to find a particular product.
One nice result of this is that I am now getting three or four 7 pm finishes a week which allows me to get out for a beer on quiz night and finish at a reasonable hour on weekends when I have the kids. I really think they’re going to work out, although one never knows. At least for the moment we are fully staffed and are able to start each shift without asking about the Crisis de Jour.