Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Hey there, I'm lucky enough (sarcasm) to be a cashier at Pencils... I don't really have one particular awesome post-worthy story, but I can tell you some tidbits about my wonderful (sarcasm again) three years with the company.

Well first of all I work in two different stores. So yes, the company as a whole is a mess, but the store you're working in can make all the difference. If I were to drop out of school now and need a full time job I would have no problem being a full time cashier in one of the stores. Though every hour I work at the other store makes me die a little bit inside. Since this blog is all about venting and how much Pencils sucks, I'll tell you about the worse store.

Its the first one I worked at, and my first job while I was still in high school. My training/orientation/whatever they're calling it these days, was accompanied by a Spanish associate handbook, because they were out of English ones of course. Things weren't so bad when I was hired, 2 out of the 3 managers were great, and our CSL was awesome. I quickly learned that in this store anyways though, cashiers are basically at the bottom of the Pencils ladder. I know easy techs have it rough (I'm dating an ex-easy tech) but believe me us cashiers have a real shitty time too. 

Well anyways, here are my rants:

1. The uniform. We just got women's shirts this past year. Well correction, my store as a whole got them this past year, I had to wait until I went back to my other store because the one I worked at in the first place wouldn't order me one. Now I'm by no means a crazy feminist, if anything I'm more of the opposite, but the shirts women had to wear prior to the new less disgusting looking polos we have now were absolutely atrocious. Any woman, with the slightest amount of hips and boobs looked horrible in those "unisex" (mens) shirts, with the awful, unflattering stripe right across the chest region. Tucking them in just created more problems. I know this rant may seem irrelevant now, but as a curvier woman I seriously used to feel uncomfortable in my work uniform. Tucking a men's shirt (which is meant to fit into men's pants) is just horrible and stupid looking. I swear I would gain 20 lbs just by putting on those God-awful shirts. Oh and the shoes! We have to wear BLACK shoes, why I don't know but in high school when I used to go from school to work this was sometimes a problem. I mean, it was my own fault for not bringing my work shoes to school, but seriously I'm a cashier. I stand behind the counter all day, no one can see my feet. 

2. The CSL position in my first store has become a complete joke. When I was first hired, our CSL was great. Well, now he's gone and we had a different CSL, a previous OS and OE associate. He wasn't bad, though he was never really even around the front end. Then he left. Our next CSL was a cashier that was hired like a year after me, and I trained. She was younger than me, and had only been with the company (and worked as a cashier) for about 8 or 9 months when she was made CSL. I'm not trying to trash her, she's a great person, but she was thrown into the CSL position because she was the only one who could work full time. Instead of finding someone who would have great potential for the position, they looked at who they had for cashiers, eliminated the students and offered the job to the one that was left. Well now she's gone and we have yet again, another CSL. I don't really know whats going on with her. She's nice and everything, but she can't really do much and basically seems like a glorified cashier. Now, every store is not like this. The CSL at the other store is GREAT at her job, and is completely deserving of that position, but unfortunately in some stores this has been made into a glorified cashier. 

3. PRPs and ESPs. I would just like to point out that yesterday I worked from 9 to 5. And in the first two hours, I got 2 service plans. Then my manager came up to me and said that we needed to get more plans. I averaged one an hour when he told me this, and considering it was Christmas shopping season, the store wasn't that busy, really??

4. The Rewards program. The program really is a joke. First of all, anyone without an email address is now unable to get their rewards. I know this is a small percentage of customers, but it sucks to be the one to tell them that. If the program would suck less more people would sign up for cards. This is a regular conversation I have with customers:
me: Would you like to sign up for a Staples rewards card?
customer: What does that do?
me: You would get 10% back on ink, paper and copy center purchases and $2 for every empty ink cartridge you recycle with us.
customer: So it doesn't do anything for envelopes or pens?
me: No.

So yea, customers who don't care about ink and paper have no use for a rewards card. Someone could spend thousands of dollars in this store, and get no reward, while someone who buys $50 worth of ink would at least have $5 in rewards. Stupid.


  1. Cashiers have it rough. I'm one at OfficeMax and I hate being there. The only reason I'm stuck is because my Store Manager has a grudge against me and no one else is willing to work the register.

    Considering all the bullshit we put up with, cashiers should be paid more.

  2. I seriously could not agree with you more about the rewards program. I can't tell you how many customers get pissed at me because they "spend money here all the time" and get no rewards.

  3. I'm so with you on the rewards thing. I personally think the damn ESPs are a way bigger scam, but whatever. A tip to get customers off your back about "well, is it doing anything for my pens/envelopes purchase?" and keep your penetration up is to say "Not yet, but if you spend a certain amount in a year you get bumped up to a higher tier and receive better benefits. Also they tailor special coupons to you based on what you usually purchase." Bam, you're more likely to get a signup and then the MODs are off your ass about numbers for a while.

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