Archived Paranoid about getting fired or written up ... help please?

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This may be because Target (at least my store) does not always do a good job of communicating with its TMs, and/or because I am a super anxious person, but I am always paranoid that I am going to make a mistake that will land me in serious trouble. I've only been working here for a few months, so I don't quite know how everything works yet. I always get help or flash my light if I am unsure, but then I worry that the supervisors might be annoyed because I flash my light too frequently. I worry that I might be messing up my drawer without knowing it, even though I count out change very carefully. My POS rating isn't always as green as I would like it. I also worry that I will do something (or not do something) that could get me in trouble because no one told me about it. For example, I didn't know for a while that we weren't supposed to be asking guests to sign up for red cards a while back, because my gsa/gstl didn't tell me and I don't think it was posted anywhere, either. I know that's not a big deal, but what if I didn't realize something that was important? I'm also worried that a guest will manage to slip something past me (like hiding stuff under a baby carriage) and then I will get in trouble for letting them do it.

My main concern is guests. Sometimes, guests can be really intimidating and pushy, and I worry that they will coerce me into doing something I know I shouldn't that could get me into trouble (I am usually really firm with guests who are trying to get me to take bad coupons or their friend's discount card or buy alcohol without a license, but it's not always easy to say no to those pushy, aggressive guests!).

I understand that as a retail employee, I am pretty disposable, and so I am hyper aware of my behavior. It makes it hard to relax.

Thanks for reading.
 

mrknownothing

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Sometimes, you just have to take a deep breath.

If you're concerned that you might've missed a policy change at the front end, check in with the GSTL at the start of your shift and ask them if there's anything you need to know before you start cashing. "I haven't been here since X day, have there been any changes I need to know about before I get on a lane?" It really comes in handy this time of this year because there are more policy changes than shifts in a week lately.
 

commiecorvus

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Main thing is to just breath.
It's not worth getting stressed out about and you're more likely to make mistakes if you're stressed.

Having an air of confidence also means that the customers will be less likely to try and push you around.
If you make a mistake, apologize and correct it.
There's nothing to panic about.
Ultimately if you work hard and care about the quality of your work, you should be fine.
 

paidtosmile

Former Team Leader
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From what you've posted, you're absolutely fine. Don't be afraid to ask for a GSA... One of our first core roles is to maintain a high level of visibility at the check lanes and ensure guests and cashiers know we're supporting a fast checkout (or something along those lines).
That means we are literally scheduled to answer your questions. Well, and their stuff to, but any guest/policy related question comes way before our other tasks..
 

Cel

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TBH the only things I can think of that would get you in serious trouble as a cashier without an informal correction first is something pretty major like having your hand in the till (figuratively speaking) or spontaneously disappearing on your 15.

Ignoring red card prompts can be a big no-no as well, although most GSTLs I've known will let that slide a bit for newbies as they get more comfortable.
 
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There's a cart attendant who has been at my store for almost a year now I think and he's still always very anxious about trying to get everything done because he's being pulled in 50 different direction and there's never enough time to get things done in. He still hasn't really grasped the "screw it" mentality which is essential for survival.

I'm not saying deliberately slack off but don't be so anxious about things either. If you don't understand how to do something, feel free to ask. If you think someone is trying to pull one over on you with regards to a fake or unapplicable high-value coupon, call the GSTL for a second opinion. You don't have to (and shouldn't) accuse someone of being disingenuous but it's not going to hurt to ask. Nobody's going to fake $0.35 off of cat food but dubious looking ones worth several dollars (I've seen some pretty crazy ones, not through my lane but ones AP has taken, that are pretty bold). If someone gets aggressive about taking their stack of high-value coupons, it's a good sign they're fraudulent.

But coupon policy says to scan all coupons and now we're even taking expired coupons. I did that yesterday, the guest found her coupon but realized it was expired so I told her that we just started taking expired coupons for the time being. The coupon still popped up as expired so I just plugged it in as a manual coupon for the value ($5).

Don't flash your light unless the Help button complains that the LPDA isn't responding or nobody seems to be responding to the alert (alerts are really flakey and maybe the GSTL set their PDA down). If you flash your light, maybe you're just out of coupon ink but you've freaked out the other people in line into thinking it's now going to take a long time. So think of the light only as a backup when the Help button isn't getting you anywhere. In the same vein, if something is going to take a couple minutes, suspend the transaction (you can't suspend alcohol purchases though) so you can help the next guest.

At least at the Targets I've worked at, they've been the least picky about the drawer being off as any place I have worked. They're not worried about counting out pennies or going to take differences out of your paycheck or anything (and you don't have to take your drawer with you like some places). This is, of course, not to say that if you start pocketing $20s, they're not going to notice (you'll be fired, legally prosecuted and pretty much blackballed from retail -- don't do it). So don't worry there. Count people back their bills though, people appreciate it and I've caught myself wrong either direction a number of times (especially with new bills or when it's getting late).

With regards to things hiding under carts or under baby carriages, most people aren't trying to steal stuff but when you're dealing with three kids, the kitty litter gets forgotten. Just try to notice if something's there. You can ask people if the soda or Goldfish crackers or whatever are already theirs or if they still have to pay for them. The training manual says to make sure you look inside boxes (such as big opaque Sterilite totes or coolers), make sure you catch two-piece things which are stacked together (such as a lamp and shade which are sold separately) and check the bottom of the cart. Also try to notice things that have fallen down next to the baby seat in the cart, makeup and things fall down there all the time (and sometimes it's even from the previous guest).

Try to avoid Paid and Left, make sure people grab their things before you turn your attention to the next guest and feel free to run after people if you remember what they looked like. But it happens so make sure you take it to the Guest Services desk when you get a chance and they can show you how to file it.

With regards to REDcards, we weren't asking for a month anyway but it seems to be back in full force now (or almost there). Sell people on the debit one if they're paying with cash or debit. If they're paying with credit, I ask them about the credit one and if they say "no," I tell them about the debit one. People are also happy that you can now do the debit (or credit) application online with just routing information rather than having to bring in a check. It doesn't help your conversion score but there is another metric that says what percentage of REDcards were used in your lane and anyway, few people carry their checkbook with them. So always specify "debit card" (when people are writing a check, I use the old "check card" name) because if you just say "REDcard," people assume you're talking about a credit card. Anyway, don't worry about your conversion scores, especially right now.

At least at Target, you don't have a choice when it comes to carding for alcohol. So it's far more likely that you'll get a 70 year old that's peeved that they have to show ID to buy beer than a 17 year old (although plenty of older women are happy to be carded). If anybody complains, just explain that we have to card everyone. So you don't have to worry about getting caught not carding someone who turns out to be underage.

With regards to employee discount cards, obviously there are rules and Target doesn't want you passing it around but if someone pays in cash, there's no way that anybody's going to know. So I don't think that's something that you should be worried about.

"Hardlinesmaster" is right though: "You will be okay." How many tens of thousands of guests will come through your lane this year? Way more than you want to think about. So while there's a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong, any single transaction is pretty insignificant.
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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With regards to things hiding under carts or under baby carriages, most people aren't trying to steal stuff but when you're dealing with three kids, the kitty litter gets forgotten. Just try to notice if something's there. You can ask people if the soda or Goldfish crackers or whatever are already theirs or if they still have to pay for them. The training manual says to make sure you look inside boxes (such as big opaque Sterilite totes or coolers), make sure you catch two-piece things which are stacked together (such as a lamp and shade which are sold separately) and check the bottom of the cart. Also try to notice things that have fallen down next to the baby seat in the cart, makeup and things fall down there all the time (and sometimes it's even from the previous guest).

Don't forget about BOB and LISA!
 

Wave Ballerino

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I have taken the advice of a trucker I once spoke to, to apply to many cases outside of trucking, upon telling him that I would be afraid that I would run over something if I became a trucker. He told me that when you get to the point that you're not worried about running over something, you'll start running over things. As long as you have that worry, then your caution will be that very prevention.. I think asking about special circumstances shows you're genuinely interested in the job -- attentive to things, rather than dismissive, and being a very worthwhile hire =3
 

commiecorvus

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I have taken the advice of a trucker I once spoke to, to apply to many cases outside of trucking, upon telling him that I would be afraid that I would run over something if I became a trucker. He told me that when you get to the point that you're not worried about running over something, you'll start running over things. As long as you have that worry, then your caution will be that very prevention.. I think asking about special circumstances shows you're genuinely interested in the job -- attentive to things, rather than dismissive, and being a very worthwhile hire =3

Good advice indeed.
I was told something along the same lines by a butcher about the stages of the job.

Stage one, you don't know what you're doing and you know it.
You'll cut yourself but it won't be bad.

Stage two, you think you know what you're doing but you don't.
This is where you'll really cut the hell out of yourself.

Stage three, you know your limitations but what you can do you do well.
You don't cut yourself very often but when you do, it's really nasty.

Stage four, you know what you're doing.
You can stop the knife at the first layer of skin.

Love your sig about the fixture room
 
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It sounds like you really want to be there which makes you a valuable employee so I'll reiterate others advice. Take a breath and dont take it seriously. Don't fear the blinker, it is your friend. That's the job of the GSA/GSTL to assist you. im a GSA and id rather you ask me a silly question than make a silly mistake because you were afraid to ask. We do a one minute huddle with our cashiers at the start of each cashiers shift. This allows us to check in, go over break times discuss scores and let you know if there are any changes in policy. Communication is important, don't be afraid to instigate it. Often my cashiers will ask a question I don't have an answer for and it turns into a learning opportunity for us all. Also let your GSTL know what worries you and how much you want to be there and always volunteer to assist with a task if you see something that needs to be done. This will make you stand out and be considered for cross training in other areas.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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Something I used to stress to newbies is to come around & put the bags in the guest's cart.
It gives you a "chance to glance" in blind spots (underneath the kiddie seat, bottom rack of the cart, etc); it gives you a chance to flex your legs after standing in the same spot; it eliminates paid & left; guests (esp those with kids) appreciate the extra step as good service.
 
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I have a question. Because someone in my store got fired but they fired her after her shift. can they do that? I think i read here somewhere that if they will fire you they have to do it before you start your shift. correct me if im wrong.
thanks
 
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