Reflections on the Week

Since last Sunday night, I’ve been working overnight shifts at work resetting my department in preparation for the holiday season. I had to do the same thing this time last year, but this year was a completely different ballgame, it seemed.

  • I feel like last year I had much more support from management than I did this year. My current assistant manager was very encouraging and did help to set one counter while working days, and yes I do understand that she couldn’t work overnights with me due to another assistant being on vacation this week. I had a different assistant last year (the one which was on vacation this year), and she not only worked several sidecounters but also “threw her weight around” to get room in other departments to store new product, making the entire transitioning process much easier.
  • Also, last year, I had a much more experienced crew working with me–two department managers, the receiving manager, and the previously mentioned assistant manager. Their combined experience eclipsed mine, and together we kicked some serious butt within that weeklong period.

    This year, my crew was three non-supervisor associates who didn’t have a whole lotta experience with resetting sidecounters, dealing with assorted or cross-referenced merchancise (which is plentiful in the toy department), or using the relevant handheld computer functions.

    I’m not trying to say I regret the crew chosen for this year. No, I greatly appreciate them, and I owe them big for the week they gave to me and my department. However, my only other experience with resetting toys makes for quite the uneven comparison.

  • From what I can remember, I had much less merchandise left over which was deleted off our sets, not traited for our store, or clearanced last year. Theoretically, shelves should be set in a certain way, which also helps with familiarity with the layout if people visit other stores. However, it is often necessary to put some of the old back into the new, rearranging everything to make room. Right after resetting the department is not when management (at least at my store) wants that stuff worked back in. So space has to be made elsewhere, which is a pain. Anyway, as I was saying, it seemed as though I didn’t have too much of that stuff left over last year. This year, however, I now have around something around 88 feet of shelfspace (not to mention quite a bit on the top riser shelves) dedicated to this to-be-phased-out or out-of-season merchandise. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

    Last year, to her credit, the receiving manager was somewhat of a clearance/toy department guru, and it is possible that she dealt with the majority of this leftover stuff while I wasn’t looking.

  • What did go smoother than last year was the amount of stuff we left at the end of the night. Last year, we had almost twenty carts sitting around either in the back hall or on the salesfloor of stuff we didn’t have time to work yet. This year, we kept the number of carts down to three or less, unless I am forgetting some. My crew did a great job in handling that 88 feet of miscellaneous stuff!

It was a long week, one of the only weeks in which I was able to work some overtime hours in. I’m glad it’s all over, though there is still much to do–flags need to be made and hung, merchandise needs worked off of the storage trailers, risers need to be sorted, the 88 feet of stuff needs dealt with, and all my summer-ish or clearance features need phased out into new items.

Retail: the quickest way to disliking the holiday season.

I can’t wait to get A+ Certified. All in God’s time, I suppose.

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