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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Dreaded Retail Schedule

Over the past two years I really got spoiled by working a very consistent shift within the retail environment and I never realized to what degree until recently when I took my promotion.

That being said - I really hate retail work hours.  You get rid of the huge inconsistency and I would really love my job a whole lot more.  This is pretty much the one big downfall and companies pretty much do not care.
I'm sure I'm not the exception here so it's safe to say that people in general work better when they have a consistent shift. Whether that shift be 6-3, 10-7 or 2-11, if you work the same shift every single day that you work your body adapts and your get good sleeping patterns and as such you will be more awake and alert, you will be happier and more content, you will work better and probably harder and you will be a better employee.

But, when it comes to normal retail scheduling all bets are off because the companies pretty much don't give a rats ass about any of that.  They just want bodies to fill the schedule and it doesn't matter what shifts you like better or what shifts you worked the most recently.

So, now I'm back to working weeks where I have to be to work by 5:30 am, 10 am and 1:30 pm all in the same week in any random chaotic order.
The good news is that they are trusting me with the scheduling so I'm going to do my best to make things a whole hell of a lot better than they ever are under the regular system.

I already started talking to a couple of my employees and running ideas by them and it's all been positive for the most part.  They actually like the idea of a Manager who is willing to listen to their thoughts and then try to implement them.  I'm sure they are just giving me the benefit of the doubt while doubting me in their heads until they see some real proof that things will change, but I'm an agent of positive change.  It will take a cycle or two to get everything into effect but the end result will be a schedule that is more positive, or at least more towards their liking.

Unfortunately the first thing I have to do is actually make it through the first cycle of schedules (4 week rotations) so that I can make a list of everyone's days off and see what the schedule is actually spitting out for people.  In the meantime it's just talking to everyone and finding out work and shift preferences.  The thing I have working against me at the moment is that I have no one in my area that actually likes/prefers to close.  Everyone has told me they would prefer opening and mid to closing.  Oh well - there goes the easy solution!

I've already started a spreadsheet in Google Docs of the 1st two weeks that I have gotten to work on and I'll be plugging in the next two weeks as well.  My whole goal is to give them an actual 4 week rotation where (with the exception of requests off) they will be able to know their exact schedule for every week that they work before it ever gets posted.  This way they can make plans even for days that they work instead of just for their two days off.  I'm sure I'll need a little luck for this to work as well as I want it to, but I've got a lot of patience.


My other retail news is that starting in 2 weeks I will have a part time person for my 2nd department.  This will now give me 3 people for each of my two areas which will allow me to spend less time actually covering the departments and give me more time to get my work done.  These first couple of weeks I have had to find time to get my work done while being the only person in one (or sometimes both) of my area's and helping customers with product that I don't quite understand yet.  However, knowledge takes time and I'm making progress every day.
Yesterday I had a customer who brought this really ugly contraption that was connected to a well that was built back in 1979 or something and he wanted to re-create the contraption with new parts and preferably without any threads on any of the pipes if possible.  2 weeks ago I would have paged for someone else to come save me while I watched and tried to get the idea of it but yesterday I spent 30-40 minutes with the customer going through the product and piecing everything together so that he could go home and recreate it.
It was a pain in the ass and a bit overwhelming at first but the end result is that he got everything he needed and I felt good about helping him even if I didn't fully understand everything that I was getting for him.

I originally came in here just to bitch about the fact that today and tomorrow are both 10-7 shifts for me which is the longest and most boring shift that I get (well, it feels like it anyway).  Right in the middle of the day and really biting into my ability to do whatever it is that I want to do.  It especially sucks that this week it happens to fall on a Weds/Thurs which are the two days I'd rather have off or work early shifts for various reasons.  However, I had no hand in this schedule and as such I just have to play the hand that is dealt to me.

So, now to end with something completely random.


1 comment:

  1. Your scheduling plan seems to be composed of too much common sense to actually work... ;)

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