Time to make a change

“Change is the end result of all true learning”–Leo Buscaglia

“My son turned in his math homework with all correct answers and yet his teacher wasn’t satisfied because he didn’t follow the method that was taught in class” said one of the managers at my local TJMaxx as he stood by the cashier that was ringing me up. Poor girl, I just felt so bad for her. You can just tell she was just starting her journey as a sales associate at one of the biggest off-price retail stores across America.

My kids and I went in to purchase some gifts for Father’s Day and we spent a total of $79.25. I remember because of two different reasons, 1 )I was thrilled that I was just under my budget of $80 (cha-ching!) and 2) I paid the cashier with four twenty-dollar bills and my change was a simple seventy-five cents or so I thought. For some reason, my cashier thought my change should’ve been three dollars and forty cents. Why you ask? I asked myself the same question. Consequently, my cashier had failed to punch the amount of cash received into her register!!!! Shit!!! PANIC!!! That means it was up to her to calculate my change off the top of her noggin, instead of relying on a computer to do the math for her. That’s okay she can just subtract my total from what I paid with and Ta-Da I would get my seventy-five cents change and take our happy butts home…..At least that’s what I was thinking in my head, but apparently not my cashier. While she stands there with a “what did I wear yesterday” face trying to figure out that my change is 3 quarters….. SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS! SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS! Is what I’m kicking and screaming in my head. That’s all she had to give me back, that’s it. I don’t understand why this young, poor girl could not figure this out. I don’t understand why she got so flustered that “I” had to tell her how much change I should get back in order to get the correct amount of change back. Lucky for her, I was a patient and honest customer, otherwise her cash register would have been short at the end of the night. Meanwhile, her manager is just standing there and does absolutely nothing about it. Can you not see that your cashier cannot do math…why a well-known retail store like TJMaxx would hire someone so incompetent to handle their financial transactions beats me. Is basic arithmetic not one of the job requirements? Do you not verify this before hiring them as your cashier? Don’t get me wrong I believe everyone deserves a chance, but like I stated before not everyone is an honest person. The next customer in line may be the one to take advantage of her.

Since my curiosity would not leave me alone, I decided to look up what qualifications were required to work as a store associate or merchandise associate as they title it, at TJMaxx…and this is what I found:

Responsibilities: • Role models established customer experience practices with internal and external customers • Supports and embodies a positive store culture through honesty, integrity, and respect • Accurately rings customer purchases/returns and counts change back to customer according to established operating procedures • Promotes credit and loyalty programs during customer interactions and so much more…….

So its obviously one of the requirements, but how did she get hired? I don’t know, I don’t understand anything anymore. Maybe she was just having a bad day, maybe she found me so attractive that I made her nervous, who knows. What I do know is that TJMaxx needs to change their hiring process because there are many qualified individuals out there looking for work, who are better at math, with great customer service skills (ME), who cannot even land an interview. I hope they don’t make preferences over schedule flexibility and hire the individuals that have the most flexibility instead of the most qualified.

I am not sorry if you find my material offensive. This is merely insight to our world today and it needs to be said. This is a scenario that relates to many businesses, not just TJMaxx. I have seen it first-hand as an assisting manager. I would make suggestions as to who we should call in for an interview, based on both qualifications and flexibility. My supervisor on the other hand, was less worried about qualifications and more worried about schedule coverage.

Have you missed out on a job that you felt were qualified for because you lacked schedule flexibility? Only to find out that it was given to someone you know, less qualified? Have you ever been to a store, restaurant, or any place of business where you were taken back by an employee’s lack of skills? Share you story, it may help out the next reader behind you.