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Whee, today was an interesting day.

March 26, 2004, 12:21 AM

I worked register! As in cashier. That was an interesting change after working Service Desk for weeks and weeks and weeks.

Though you can tell I still have Service Desk on the brain when I’m on register. My service desk greeting is usually “Can I help the next person?” or “How can I help you?” and so on. On register, it’s “Good morning/afternoon/evening. Did you find everything all right?” When I’m not thinking, I’ll say “Can I help you?” instead of “Good morning”. The problem is that on the Service Desk, it’s not immediately obvious what they’re there for. They could be there to make a complaint, return something, send money, and so on. On the register, we know what they’re there for, for the most part. They’re checking out those six cartloads of canned corn.

The other thing is where I get my ending goofed up. On Service Desk, I say, “[Amount] is your change, and if you would please sign on the dotted line. (They sign) Thank you very much, have a great day.” Since they have to sign for a refund. On register I say, “[Amount] is your change, and here’s your receipt, and have a great day!” I get some weird looks on the register when I ask them to sign on the dotted line (which I say out of habit).

And what else happened today? Oh, yes. I broke my name badge while I was clocking out. I was sad. I liked that badge. So now I have to make a new one tomorrow. Still, I didn’t want to have to do that.

Meanwhile, I’m going to get to do the college circuit on Monday and Tuesday. I’m going to Harrisonburg on Monday, home of James Madison University, where I am an alumnus (that still sounds so weird). I’m fixing a friend’s computer while I’m up there. While I’m up there, I’m also going to visit Judy at Card Services, and probably go around town and see how the place has changed since I graduated (okay, that’s a stretch, considering it’s only been a few months).

Speaking of JMU, the thing I love is that now I can park anywhere, now that I’ve graduated. So even if I do get a ticket from the parking nazis, they can’t do anything to me. It’s not like they can put a hold on my record anymore. Plus I’m changing my license plate number soon, so to them it will be a new car anyway. (No, I’m not getting a new car yet, just a new license plate.)

And then on Tuesday, I’m going down to Blacksburg, home of Virginia Tech, to fix Sis’s computer. She caught a worm somehow, and I’m helping to fix it. And on the way, I’m making a stop in Roanoke, where I’m returning those “French Terry Cargo Pants” (aka expensive sweatpants), and getting something else, plus visiting no less than three different Wal-Mart stores.

You may know that I am a bit of a Wal-Mart buff (or you might say Wal-Mart enthusiast), entirely separate from working for them. That stems from when we lived in Arkansas, right near the home office, and with Mom working for their corporate fitness center as a swim instructor, it rubs off on you. So Wal-Mart has become an interest of mine. I like going to stores and seeing how they differ from each other as far as official stylings go, seeing what I would describe as “aftermarket alterations” to the stores (like how Charlottesville had a Cavaliers logo airbrushed on the wall before their remodel in 2000), and so on.

Or before-and-afters. One store I’m visiting is a regular (non-supercenter) Wal-Mart near Tanglewood Mall. When I was last there in December, the store was still in mostly vintage condition, having the large red signs with the recycle logo on them hanging from the ceiling (the early-1990s signage style). I thought it was interesting how in that style, they all had the recycle logo on them, since recycling was just becoming really hip, and they were advertising that their signs were made from recycled plastic (a good thing). The Service Desk, which anymore is officially signed as “Customer Service”, is written in red with stick-on letters as “Courtesy Desk”. Vintage. It even says “Thank you for choosing your Roanoke Wal-Mart” in the red stick-on letters. Basically, like this:

Thank you for choosing your Roanoke Wal-Mart

That’s the old red style. It’s now quite rare, possibly verging on gone, since most stores that had it have now been remodeled to…

Thank you for choosing your Roanoke Wal-Mart

This one. That’s the most common style right now. The font is commonly known as “Avant Garde”. That one is most common, but has seen its day, and Wal-Mart has moved on from it.

Thank you for choosing your Roanoke Wal-Mart

This is the most current style, seen in Waynesboro, and probably in this Roanoke store that I’m going to visit. That’s why, by the way, all this says “Roanoke” on it.

I’m also going to visit some Wal-Marts that I’ve never been to in the Roanoke area, probably in Salem. It’s so interesting to see these different stores. The lighting is different in Staunton than in Roanoke’s Supercenter. The shades are wider in Roanoke. Roanoke’s Supercenter has a “Hokie Headquarters” store in the front of the store. Christiansburg, also a Supercenter, has a Krispy Kreme Donuts in the front of it. Don’t know if it also has an eatery in the back (where most old-model Supercenters have their snack bar). Charlottesville is the only regular Wal-Mart that I know of to have a McDonald’s (and it was converted from a Wal-Mart snack bar). A Wal-Mart in Prince William County near DC doesn’t even have Radio Grill, with it being called “Snack Bar”. Covington is an older-model Supercenter, but has fluorescent lighting like the newer models.

And I’m also going to return the aforementioned clothes and get some decent replacements, plus spend an evening with Sis fixing her computer. Plus dinner, since I want to find a good Blacksburg hot spot, or at least have some time to sit and just chat while I’m not on the burner to fix a computer.

So my time looks interesting, don’t you think? Even if I did start going on about Wally World a bit. But hey, Wally World is what helped make this country great.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to drum up some ideas for the 2004 redesign. Any thoughts about what you want to see, let me know.

Web site: Speaking of Wal-Mart, a new urban-style store. I like that drive-through pharmacy.

Song: "Lost Me Cookie At The Disco" sung by Cookie Monster

Quote: "You are a sick individual." - My sister about my visiting all those Wal-Mart stores

Categories: Walmart