So I am a clerk in a grocery store bakery, and I recently transferred from a smaller store where I was part-time and the only clerk in the bakery, to a brand new store where there are a total of five clerks in the bakery. I’m full time and the others are part time and they have never worked in a bakery before, and I’m pretty sure they’ve never worked retail/customer service before.
Bakery sales clerk sounds like a really easy, simple job, but it’s incredibly stressful and extremely fast paced, especially in a store this big. You have to always watch for customers, and help them ASAP even if you are in the middle of something, so you have to be able to deal with constantly being interrupted. You have to be really good at multitasking… you have to package everything ASAP, keep the floor clean, organized, and full, do the dishes (which includes being able to life an 80qt metal mixer bowl in/out of the panwasher), always have samples out, make announcements, help the bakers/decorators if they need it, and no matter what… you cannot take your eye off the front counters.
I don’t know who hired the other clerks, but whoever it was has obviously never worked in the bakery a day in their life and has no idea what clerks actually do.
Three of the clerks are little old ladies who are super slow at everything, and the other is a younger girl who I haven’t met yet because she only works weekends and can only work 12 hrs/week.
Every single one of the clerks except me has asked for evenings off. Clerks close. That is a big part of the job. The bakers and cake decorators all have to be there super early in the morning, so they leave early afternoon, and the clerks man the counters from open to close. Only one of them actually needs evenings off, so my manager says she’s trying to make it even that the rest if us just close 2-3 days/week, and I’m just so glad that she’s doing that. Evening shift is the worst, no one likes it but someone has to do it and it’s not fair to stick it to just one person. I want to know who decided to hire 4 clerks who don’t want to close? They ask for availability in the interviews.
One of the older ladies is really bad at multitasking, and terrible at handling the stress of the job. I keep trying to teach her basic things like how to service the cookie case, package bread and cookies, and print off labels for things, and she doesn’t seem to be remembering any if it. Today was our second day open and she actually walked out and quit, only to ask for her job back a few hours later. She’s coming back but I know she’s bit going to last very long.
One of the other ladies seems to be learning things, but she’s got a terrible attitude. Shes nice to customers, but she’s super rude to all of her coworkers in front of customers, even our manager. She think she knows better than everyone else even though she has pretty much zero experience at this job.
The last of the older ladies has some sort of mental issues, I don’t know exactly what, but I just don’t think that this is a very good job for her. She cannot do anything without being asked to do it, and even when I show her how to do things she will do them wrong, so I constantly have to be watching her, and telling her what to do next, which is wasting my time and slowing down production.
Ive been at the store for 3 weeks now, helping my manager get everything ready for us to open, and they’ve only been there for about a week so I know that I need to give them time and keep teaching them and hopefully they will catch on, but I honestly don’t think they’re going to last a month. We have lots of extra help right now from corporate for the opening, but once all the extra help leaves in a few days, I dont think they’ll be able to keep up with the pace that the job requires. You have to constantly be going as fast as you can and always be doing 5 things at once because everything you do should have been done 10 minutes ago. Right now I’m moving as fast as I can just trying to pick up their slack.
They all trained at another store before they started, but they didn’t get very much or very good training and it just annoys me that I’m spending our grand opening weekend teaching them how to do their job. It’s affecting how the floor looks because it’s taking longer to get things packaged and out and it’s affecting our customer service which is a huge huge huge thing at this store. Customers don’t like it when the clerks don’t know what they’re doing, and these clerks have absolutely no idea what they are doing.
It’s just so, so stressful, and I’m so thankful that I have a nice manager who cares about her employees and the department. Today she worked open-close and I worked noon - close and we rushed around and worked our asses off and got done 5 minutes after close. Tomorrow evening, when it’s just her and one of the slow old ladies, I don’t know how long they’re going to be there.
I was really close with the girls I worked with at the other store, and I miss them so much. I wish I could’ve stayed there, because I loved it there, but I wasn’t getting as many hours as I needed, and my hours recently got cut even more, so I was picking up some hours in the produce department, which I hated, so I had to leave for the full time position. I felt terrible about leaving them, me being their only clerk, but they understood and they can totally deal with it. They’re an amazing team. When I worked there, we dealt with our manager being on medical leave for 3 months all by ourselves and it was totally fine. Most other departments would fall apart without a manager, but not us. We were awesome. I miss that; working with people who know what they’re doing. It was nice.