I am woefully behind with my comment answering and blog reading because work at The Shop has been crazy-busy and work with the engineers has been insanely busy. I am tired and losing my sense of humor. Don’t do anything interesting while I’m away, ‘k?
As we all know, I will be leaving the ice cream shop. My last day will be Monday which also happens to be a major American Holiday – Memorial Day. For those who don’t know, it’s a three day weekend and many Americans go on vacation. If the sun shines, they all want ice cream. If we get very lucky, the four days at the end of May carry the month finance-wise, so we all pitch in and work our asses off so vacationers eat their fill of ice cream and fudge and pay our wages. It’s a fact of Retail Life that I have accepted.
Dave is in a bind to replace me. I don’t quite understand where all the unemployed people are – talk around town is that “no one” can find a job and “everyone” is looking for more hours. You would think that we could have our pick of replacements. I mean, it’s a clean job (no toxic materials to work with, no fish to clean, no hazardous weather conditions) and you get to eat chocolate and ice cream any time you want. Perfect if Retail is what you’re looking for. It ain’t Rocket Science, fer cryin’ out loud!
What we get are flakes, idiots, the very young (and dumb) and people who aren’t even remotely suited to retail. Sigh.
The latest is Rachel. She is young. She is ignorant. She has a major problem with blurting out inappropriate things to the customers. She asks inappropriate questions of her co-workers. I spent three hours with her on her first day and wanted to stab myself in the eye with a spoon before she finally swanned out the door.
Srsly. This girl has some kind of major disorder. The issue is, is this disorder real or self-imposed.
Haley (the sweetest girl you could hope to work with) wanted to scream after three hours with her. She had a list of grievances as long as her arm that had to do with Rachel’s outbursts and ignorance.
Enter Mom. Dave scheduled me to work with her on Friday. Fine. I had a plan. Dave and I had a talk before anyone else arrived. I told him that she needed to be schooled and Haley is not up to the task. Dave felt that Rachel would not respond well to a male authority figure. Her (former) home life sounds like a nightmare, just from what little I’ve heard about. Her uncle basically rescued her and brought her here from Washington.
Anyway. Dave agreed to let me have free rein, I told Haley to ignore anything she might see or hear while her shift overlapped with Rachel and I went to work.
Thank you so much, Mom, for your excellent training! With your speech just before I started the job at The Inn (do you remember?) fresh in my mind, Rachel’s training began.
First thing, I made it clear that she is to keep her mouth shut and listen to what I’m saying. Then she had to look me in the eye while I was talking and while she was responding. I was very specific about what she could and could not say to the customers – it should be Common Sense, but this girl has NO boundaries. At all. Nothing is too personal to share with someone when you’re scooping their ice cream. Srsly?
Next we dealt with her hair, which was hanging in her face, and why we wear what we wear in food service. She really had no idea. Or she’s a great actress. How does a person get to be almost 19 years old without noticing these things? She says that she’s had “a few” jobs, all of them in food service or retail, and she doesn’t know these basic things? WTF?
I quickly sussed that she responds well to my putting my hands on her hands and guiding her with feel. That sounds strange, but she wants to mash, squash, slam, and just generally be brutal with her hand motions, which breaks a lot of expensive cones and will eventually lead to her cutting off a finger with a sharp knife. What’s the name of people who respond best to touch of all their senses?
Turns out the girl ain’t dumb. She can add, she can reason, she can remember, she is amazing at comparing this thing with that thing and making them equal.
She has a problem with being told to complete step A, then B, then C, and finish with D. She wants to jump ahead, but we can deal with that.
No one has schooled this girl in Public Manners, neatness, or pride in her work. She is more eager to please than a Labrador pup who has just learned to fetch a ball, but someone has beaten her down so far that she can’t help but wiggle and pee on herself (figuratively speaking.) Training her started to look like a training session with Sabu.
Tomorrow will tell if she retained anything from Friday. If she didn’t, or if the mouth diarrhea comes back, I may just give her a smack-down to save my sanity.
I ain’t cut out for this sort of thing, but I find I kinda like the challenge…