Archived Photo Holiday Hours

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Former Front-End Guru
Staff member
Jun 12, 2011
Hi all,

I'm faced with a little dilemma. Our photo hours were 12-6 in Q3. For Q4, we've been extended to 10-9 M-Sa, and 10-8 on Sunday. My HR is scheduling me 9-3 on weekends, and nobody to close. In addition, on the latest schedule, the weekday person is only getting 1030-4, and there is a Hardlines TM being scheduled 4-9 in photo and then 9-1130 on the floor. HR is saying she has been directed by corporate to only schedule a photo TM during "peak traffic" times. Is this happening anywhere else? I didn't have this problem last year. Is there any action I can take?

I have many regulars who are becoming more and more fed up with a lack of support in the photo lab, as well as inconsistent hours, and untrained TMs working there.
First of all, it sounds like there is some confusion as to what variety of lab you are. There are four tiers for payroll. With 12-6pm shifts, it sounds like your lab is a third tier. It seems for some reason they've bumped you up a second tier lab (Congratulations! :)). Usually when they do that though, your DTL allocates a ton of training hours to get at least 4 people up to speed, as a lab without operators is useless.

My best guess as to whats happening is that your ETL-GE has misread their holiday hours breakout, or simply doesn't know what tier you were and took a wild guess. Another explanation is that you may have received the wrong holiday hours signage and your management decided to run with it. From experience, I know my store received a 46 hour lab's holiday hour sign that I had to replace manually.

In any case, get with your ETLs. Tell them straight up that untrained help in the photo lab will end badly, especially when operating a machine worth thousands of dollars (I pray you do not have a wet lab, as that could be a safety risk as well). Also, ask them to confirm they are operating under the right payroll tier for your lab.

Good luck my friend, hopefully they will get you some stability in there soon!
Until black friday, we were operating 12-6. With us being in holiday mode, we're doing extended hours. A long time ago, we used to be a top-tier. As we've decreased in sales due to changing times and trends, we've been bumped. Last year, our store went from an A to B volume, and we lost photo hours in the process. I'm going to ask my GSTL to pull up MAX tomorrow, so hopefully I can see our allocated hours compared to scheduled hours. My store has a chronic problem of mis-using photo hours. There are only two people at a time, typically, assigned to work in the photo workcenter. Total, there are 4 people "trained", but only two of us really know what we're doing. I'm only available during school break times, but when I'm back from my LOA I am the primary person. Anyways, so now it's myself and the other smart TM. As we're on the holiday schedule, it now takes 3-4 people scheduled in the workcenter to fulfill all of the lab hours. Q4 is an especially fun time, between other workcenters being cut and the addition of seasonal hires. Here's my lineup.

The one person is a plano TM. They don't have hours, so the plano team is split up and I'm lucky enough to get this one. This TM used to be a photo TM back in the day when we were a wetlab. They were kicked out of the lab by my then-specialist because he got tired of their nonsense. Nothing has changed and they are extremely lazy and spend their time reading magazines and isn't computer literate. Did I mention how rude and inconsiderate this person is? I digress... (this person works m-f 1030-4pm)

The other person is a seasonal hire cashier. They also do not know anything about photography, aesthetics, or anything. This TM has no sense of empowerment, and is typically dragged away by the GSTL to become an additional cashier. (this person works 1 or 2 photo shifts a week, typically)

Meanwhile, I'm stuck on fri/sat/sun nights, and the only other intelligent person in my workcenter is only being given 1 or 2 shifts a week, total. HR isn't scheduling us properly, is giving hours to people without training and taking them from the lab, and neither HR nor my GE seem to care.

With the elimination of the weekly photo reports and the consolidation into the Front End Report, I no longer have a tool to show to my leadership how we're doing in terms of staffing, attachments, premium pics, etc. I do not have any effective tools to show any progress whatsoever. I've been limited to handing out Comment Cards.

I'm honestly ready to transfer to a different store and workcenter alltogether. I hear that backroom day is a quiet job...
I think your GE may be a bit confused. We are a 10-7 store normally and holiday is 10-9. We are effectively scheduling two people all day with a 3 hour overlap fri sat and Sunday.

They probably read it as only staffed during peak hours when in reality it should say FULLY staffed during peak hours which means more than the usual one lowly teAm member.
our hours are 10-7 normally and 10-9 holiday hours. Right now our staffing has been me 11-7 (i'm the photo assistant) and then guest services does the 10-11 and 7-9. They do make sure that when doing this there's at least one other person besides the gstm working (as a cashier) that knows photo and they will be pulled if needed. There hasn't been any problems that i know of YET. We had a gstl meeting a couple of weeks ago (i also consistently work at least one gstl shift a week) and was told that photo would be fully staffed at all hours during the holiday season so we will see what happens on the next schedule. I honestly think they way they're doing it is working for now but if they have the hours they should go ahead and use them. I'm more worried about the lack of staffing in Guest Service. Last week I didn't get my counts done until 10 minutes before i left for work because there was just no way to leave guest service. They need more staffing over there during this time of the year. I did talk to the TL who does our schedule so hopefully that will be taken into consideration.
I had a conversation with my ETL this morning, and it felt like she was actually listening to me for once. The HLTM on our schedule is a TM who is preggers - so she's been relegated to "light duty". Let's see how long this lasts, with all of the lifting we have to do... Anyways, we're doing 10-9, daily, with an hour of overlap between shifts. We don't have the luxury of utilizing guest service to do our bidding, as our store has the lab located in MMB.

Overall, a positive discussion regarding Q4 photo performance as well as my personal development.
sounds like it went well! Hopefully things will work out for you.
I think using gs is a pro and a con. I LOVE working in gs so i don't mind doing both but since they're together if i need to be doing things in photo but a guest walks up i'm expected to stop and help them. I don't normally care but sometimes it puts me behind if i'm doing other things. Plus we're expected to cover their breaks, tsc's breaks, and i usually cover the gstl breaks if there's only one there or someone is doing an interview. Even though I'm in photo for 8 hours a day sometimes i hardly spend any time actually doing anything over there.
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