Archived GSA Help?

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I think I have a unique situation at my store and I would like some feedback on it. About six months ago when we lost two gstl's and one gsa kind of back to back they started looking for replacements and they got one from outside and promoted the rest from within.

I was a guest service/fitting room operator and I would often be responsible for watching the lanes during breaks and the higher ups consider me to be very knowledgeable about guest service so they basically offered me the gsa position but since I was on the fence about it, they offered it to another sales floor team member who was knowledgeable like myself. Anyway they decided to hire both of us as gsa.

Which was fine with me because it wasn't as scary because were kind of sharing the work. But that's not really how the scheduling went. The other gsa is a more louder extroverted personality than me and she can get redcards more easily than most. I am pretty low key and I am definitely not the team member you want to depend on for redcards and I warned them about that when they wanted to hire me. That was a major concern of mine going into this promotion but I digress.

They gave me a crash course in cash office because our co person had been let go. And I was scheduled primarily as cash office and fitting room, hardly any gsa shifts. Which was fine but about two, three months ago the other gsa scaled back on her hours and basically now only works on the weekends so they have been putting me on as gsa fairly regularly.

Which I don't have a problem with. My problem stems from the fact that they act like I have had all this time being gsa and they can't understand why I'm not as good as the other gsa's and gstl's. I haven't had as much time as everyone else. I wasn't even really trained as a gsa because they assumed that I knew how to do everything already because I've been here a long time.

So now I always feel like I'm struggling. In my other roles in the store I knew what I was doing. I could be confident that there would be no problem with my performance because I had the right training and experience to back me up and I don't have that now and I am struggling to find it during my two or three gsa shifts every week and I am always getting dinged for something at the end of the day.

I got coached yesterday for example for loafing and not calling for back up enough. I struggle with calling for backup because I've been on the other side of someone calling for back up when it wasn't needed. So my first instinct is to hop on and try to get the line down but somehow an etl is always walking by and just sees that we have lines and I haven't called for backup.

So I guess I just want some tips from other gsa's and gstls's on how to improve.
 

Sanzano

GSTL
Joined
Jun 28, 2013
Messages
282
Best thing to do is anticipate the 'waves' of guests. Start paying attention to daily trends with regards to time; as well as how many cashiers you have when you usually back up. For instance, at my store there is basically always a 10pm backup/rush without fail. If you know these patterns you can schedule or place cashiers accordingly. Keep your fastest cashiers on the lines at these times while assigning slower ones to branding tasks if need be.

Speed weave as much as possible, can help the lines a lot if you can convince guests to move to shorter lines. Look off in the distance and notice when a big wave of guests is about to come and as soon as you see them start calling for backup so the TMs arrive as the guests do. As soon as you call TMs over tell them what lane you want them on and turn that line's light on so you can immediately start directing guests into them. Even if they have to wait for the actual cashier for a little bit it still looks a hell of a lot better to the ETLs and unclogs the lanes.

Good luck!
 
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Barcode

Guest
I think I have a unique situation at my store and I would like some feedback on it. About six months ago when we lost two gstl's and one gsa kind of back to back they started looking for replacements and they got one from outside and promoted the rest from within.

I was a guest service/fitting room operator and I would often be responsible for watching the lanes during breaks and the higher ups consider me to be very knowledgeable about guest service so they basically offered me the gsa position but since I was on the fence about it, they offered it to another sales floor team member who was knowledgeable like myself. Anyway they decided to hire both of us as gsa.

Which was fine with me because it wasn't as scary because were kind of sharing the work. But that's not really how the scheduling went. The other gsa is a more louder extroverted personality than me and she can get redcards more easily than most. I am pretty low key and I am definitely not the team member you want to depend on for redcards and I warned them about that when they wanted to hire me. That was a major concern of mine going into this promotion but I digress.

They gave me a crash course in cash office because our co person had been let go. And I was scheduled primarily as cash office and fitting room, hardly any gsa shifts. Which was fine but about two, three months ago the other gsa scaled back on her hours and basically now only works on the weekends so they have been putting me on as gsa fairly regularly.

Which I don't have a problem with. My problem stems from the fact that they act like I have had all this time being gsa and they can't understand why I'm not as good as the other gsa's and gstl's. I haven't had as much time as everyone else. I wasn't even really trained as a gsa because they assumed that I knew how to do everything already because I've been here a long time.

So now I always feel like I'm struggling. In my other roles in the store I knew what I was doing. I could be confident that there would be no problem with my performance because I had the right training and experience to back me up and I don't have that now and I am struggling to find it during my two or three gsa shifts every week and I am always getting dinged for something at the end of the day.

I got coached yesterday for example for loafing and not calling for back up enough. I struggle with calling for backup because I've been on the other side of someone calling for back up when it wasn't needed. So my first instinct is to hop on and try to get the line down but somehow an etl is always walking by and just sees that we have lines and I haven't called for backup.

So I guess I just want some tips from other gsa's and gstls's on how to improve.

Are you getting paid higher for the GSA position you work? You probably should if they're coaching you on performance in that area.

In all honesty though, just call for the backup if you even think you MIGHT need one. I've long learned to not give a shit what the sales floor thinks, its their job to backup. When I work Hardlines I don't mind backing up, usually makes the night go faster than just zoning nonstop. Better safe than sorry for calling backups.
 
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Cel

Jack of All Trades
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
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What barcode said. I'd rather have my sales floor TMs (who I get along with very well anyway) a little peeved at me for a long walk they're getting paid for than have to explain to my ETL why survey scores take a dip as far as wait times on nights I work.

Also good to know when you should and shouldn't get on a lane yourself. 1 guest past 1+1? Ring em up yourself. Covering guest services with a minor cashiering? Last resort and make sure you take the lane next to theirs. Also at my store the LODs tend to appreciate being communicative, i.e. "LOD I am hopping on a lane and I need at least 2 for backup," that kind of thing. Lets them know they may need to cover speedweaving or guest services. I know it can be hard if you're introverted, I myself am introverted and have anxiety issues (to the level of taking psych meds) but you kind of need to work on that to succeed as a GSA because most of your team excluding the higher ups are going to treat you the same as a GSTL (even if you're not getting paid like one) even though you don't coach. Sort of a case of talk the talk to walk the walk like you belong until you feel like you do and so does everyone else.
 

thecleaner

"stuff" specialist
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
26
I am very introverted by nature as well but being in the GSA role has helped me speak up more (at work anyway). The position kind of forces it on you in regards to getting results for the guests. If I call the sales floor in my nice voice and don't get an answer within 30 seconds I ask again a little louder. You don't want me to ask a third time.

The backup thing was difficult for me as well. I'm the fastest cashier our store has, so I find it hard to wait for someone to come from the floor when I can knock the line down in the same amount of time (not counting when grocery carts are involved). You can always cancel backup if the lines go quickly or you're able to speedweave them properly to save the sales floor some time.

One thing that really helped me was knowing who was up front cashiering or running service desk and what they were good at. They're the ones that have experience working with the other GSAs/GSTLs and would probably be willing to point you in the right direction if you get lost.

And if you can help it, get on at the service desk if you yourself help with backup. There are less prompts there for red cards which will help your conversion, as well as it's easier to hop off if you're needed for keys/override/questions/etc.

That was awfully long winded, but I hope any of it was helpful.
 
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Thanks for all the replies. I had a Gsa shift last night and it was a lot better. I will definitely put all your tips to use in my upcoming shifts which is ironically back down to once a week.
 
Joined
May 29, 2012
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GSA is a hard position to step into. I am also an introvert, and was also struggling majorly with depression and anxiety when I got the position last year (in fact, I had just gotten out of the hospital for it)...needless to say, it really took some pushing. What has helped me is to think of myself as being "on stage" (the term "offstage" that the LODs use has been helpful for this). It reminds me that it doesn't have to be who I am, necessarily, but it needs to be a role I play when I am on the floor. Really visualizing that and living into that has helped it become more natural to me so it isn't quite the stretch it used to be.

Really become allies with the other GSAs. They are the ones that really know what your position is like...you aren't a TM, you aren't a TL, and thus you get pushed and pulled in both directions while simultaneously being reminded that you are neither. If you are solid with each other and have your backs, even if you don't work together often, that can be a huge confidence boost for all of you.

Ask questions of the LOD about how you are doing. At the start of the shift, ask them what you need to focus on (they will always say REDCards) and what they have in mind for you. Then give them a run down of what you have planned for your breaks, lunches, and any concerns you have. For instance, I am having physical problems right now and cannot get carts...so if my cart attendant hours may leave me needing help, I tell the LOD right away. Or if I foresee a time when my coverage might be thin, I tell the LOD that as well.

When doing cash office at the end of the night to put everything away, when I was new, I would take that time to ask the LOD how the night went...what I did well, how I could improve. They loved me taking that initiative.

Call for back up. I work sales floor on occasion, so I get it. As ULV, the expectation is that the GSA jumps on first, unless there is a reason we foresee that we cannot (covering service desk break, dealing with a TM or guest, etc). Let the salesfloor TMs worry about their own work load. I promise you they aren't worried about yours. If the salesfloor TM has a line of guests waiting for assistance (generally an electronics issue) they are supposed to call for back up, so this is no different. But in the end, you need to cover your area first....and your area is guest service.

Get to know your cashier's strengths and weaknesses, and play off of their strengths, and compensate for their weaknesses. I can give examples of this if you need me to, but this post is already getting long.
 

xxTheDudexx

Front of Store Attendant
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
289
Question. I was asked to become a GSA a couple months ago. I said I would be happy to do it. I understand what is expected. We are a ULV store. As of right now, they are letting our other Team Leads handle a GSTL shift when needed, but we only have one GSA right now. I asked our GSTL the other day if I'd still be doing cart duty (which I like the most because I like being outside). She said she wasn't sure but she thought I probably wouldn't be. Has anybody heard of a GSA that also functions as a cart attendant? If not, I'll still take the position for the raise when/if offered, but I was just curious.
 

Cel

Jack of All Trades
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
585
At a ULV store you'll have plenty of time doing carts. We usually only have cart attendant hours Saturday and Sunday afternoons right now, with the occasional cart-certified cashier sometimes. Hard to do the job from the parking lot though.
 
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we had a GSA who would have a cart attendant shift about once a week. we are high volume though so that might be different.
 

thecleaner

"stuff" specialist
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
26
I'm at a ULV store and other than 4th quarter we never have a cart attendant. The ETLs don't love having the GSA away from the front, but sometimes I'm the only one that is physically able to get carts. I don't love it. Carts is probably my least favorite part of working the front end.
 
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