Fill-in for GSA?

So my store has attendance "opportunities" (meaning we're lucky if we get 75% of the people scheduled to actually show up!) and tonight happened to be a night when a GSA who was closing called out. Does anyone else's store grab people who work guest service and have them cover GSA shifts? That's what they did tonight here and I'm wondering if that's even allowed? The person filling in was a not a team lead, had no supervisory power, could not do any kind of override on the registers, and is unauthorized to close the registers due to no supervisor number! It seems to me they are getting a pretty good bargain replacing a GSA with someone who makes at least 50 cents an hour less.

In case you are wondering they had another GSA come in at closing time to close down the lanes. Other times the LOD has closed the lanes while the fill-in helps.

Am I just being nit-picky that this bothers me?


Yes you are.

It is fine. SDTM knows all the guest service policies and can for the most part fill the role just fine.


purveyor of things
One time at my store, our closing GSA called in, and the only TL in the building was our Consumables TL. Other than the CTL and LOD, the only TMs with supervisor privilege were the Brand TM in Softlines and two executive interns. Since the CTL and Softlines Brand TM were very busy, the LOD had the interns close the lanes. (This same night, I had to help zone in softlines despite my lack of sales floor training and the fact that I was one of two cashiers still working - we had almost no team that night.)

We've only had Guest Service TMs cover a GSA break on a quiet night, and if they needed an override, they would just call a nearby TL or LOD. Your Guest Service TM must be fairly trustworthy. If it's a quiet night, it shouldn't be a problem, as long as there are enough other TMs at Guest Service and someone is available for overrides and closing the registers (i.e. TL or LOD). But if it's busy, I can see why it might be a problem. GSTL/GSA callouts are the worst when it's busy.
At my store, I'm the Photo Lab assistant. I fill in 80% of the time while our GSA or GSTL disappears. It's really annoying because since I have supervisor functions, they are happy to take advantage of me.


Sr. Team Leader... FINALLY!
At our store we DO have Service Desk TMs that can fill in so I can take a break. We do not authorize them supervisor functions (the register won't allow it) so if they need anything they call another TL or an LOD. Not the most effective way but it works. If another GSTL/GSA calls out, we have a service desk TM keep an eye on the lanes as if they were covering a break, and any supervisory functions (i.e. overrides and closing the registers) falls under the TL on duty (or one of the other GSTLs comes in and closes the registers on rare occasions).
At my store, if a GSA/GSTL doesn't show up, leaves early, or has meetings or interviews or breaks or anything that makes them be off the floor, regular team members cover. There are a selected few that usually do it... maybe 4 or 5. We're given keys, the walkie, LPDA, etc. It's so rare that supervisor numbers are needed at the register that it's no big deal at all. I worked a 12 hour day as a GSA with no supervisor numbers and I did not have to call the LOD even once. It's all about "using the tools in your toolbox."
The only reason I even ask is that we have a new ETL HR who insists that the only people who can cover breaks/lunches at the front lanes is a TL or higher. He had an absolute fit when he found out that we often had the GS tm covering both the service desk and trying to watch the front lanes at the same time (we are a low volume store but do get pretty busy on weekends). I am one the of two or three GS tms that regularly cover GSA shifts/breaks/lunches. While I view it as a chance to show that I can handle the job and am ready for a promotion, I also feel a little taken advantage of. The first store where I worked never did this, so I just wondered how common this was. Thanks for the feedback!


Ho hum....I'm watching you!
Tonight at my store the GSA had to get his break and lunch in. When he goes to lunch he'll give me the front end keys. Sometimes I'm on the check lanes, but tonight I was at GS. So, while he was gone I had to watch the front lanes while working at GS. I do not have a supervisory number (although I've asked about it a number of times). When the GSA left tonight (for lunch & break) he tells people on the walkie that he's going and "......." is in charge. Usually we make sure that the LOD knows that if they get a call from GS that they need to come up to the front lanes.

We also have numerous times when the GSTL or the GSAs have to watch both areas (gs & lanes) most times it works out fine, but sometimes not.

I don't think that it is a requirement that a TL gives used to be that way in our store, but now a gstm or cashier can watch for awhile.


Ho hum....I'm watching you!
Also, if there is a shift that needs to be covered because there is no GSA nor GSTL then the front end is run by a cashier or gstm and at closing time the LOD come to close the drawers.


Former Team Member
Usually at my stores, it went from having another GSA/GSTL come in. If that didn't work, grab a TL off the floor or call one in. Then have the LOD or another ETL fill in.

I know there were times we couldn't get anyone to come in or fill in. The LOD told all the front to take breaks at their scheduled times. And to call the LOD when there was a need for change or guest service.
At our store no one can cover the front unless they are a gstl/gsa/tl/or Photo Assistant. None of ours really call in and even if they did someone would come in. I'm the Photo Assistant and while I do cover the front quite a bit I don't mind at all. I was told this is how it would be when interviewing and don't feel taken advantage of because of being told ahead of time. I'm really pretty much both a gsa/photo assistant. I usually have at least one gsa shift a week and then a lot of my shifts are split between photo and gsa.
It's an everyday occurrence in my store. There are veteran cashiers as I call them, myself included that are asked to cover breaks and whenever you work you know that you will be handed the keys when you walk in or sometime during your shift. Sometimes I don't mind it but it's not unheard of for the gsa/gstl you're covering to be gone for more than what was promised. And I hate that I'm basically doing a gsa job for cashier pay.
This sounds like business as usual at my store. We very rarely have double coverage at break times, so we count on certain gstms to cover the checklanes for us. I can only think of one time that I had to pull the softlines tl over to cover my meal. I'm surprised at all the handing off of gstl keys! Our aptl would have a fit. My keys stay with me. We have a magnetic key in one of the locked drawers at guest service and if anybody runs out of change while we're on break, they just move to a different register.
We actually sign over the keys when the gsa/gstl go on their breaks. Ap is all over making sure that keys are signed. It's just easier that way I think in the long run. It's not going to really help you if a cashier needs a override but it helps with everything else.


purveyor of things
I don't think that it is a requirement that a TL gives used to be that way in our store, but now a gstm or cashier can watch for awhile.
Usually, if there is no TL or ETL available to cover GSTL's break/lunch, we get a Brand TM from the floor (a few of ours have been cross-trained as GSA), an intern, or one of the Starbucks TMs who is also a GSA (if she's scheduled at Starbucks and she's not alone).