This week saw our very first insane winter rush. I’d been warned there that the next week was the busiest of the year, due to the Oak Park races and the Georgetown Rodeo. As such we get literally hundreds, if not thousands of people through the door, and need to be able to stay on top of things. It was all hands on deck, and no time for screw ups.
So naturally, on the Saturday that’s exactly what I do, twice.
In my defence, I’ve never worked a till under such pressure, and I was over reliant on people being honest and right. The very first problem happened due to an unlikely coincidence – the price of one diesel was the same as the litres of another. And people have an annoying habit of reading the bowsers and thinking the litres are the price. As an added bonus, I can’t see the litres until I pick a pump. So when somebody tells me a price and it matches one on my computer, I have no reason to doubt it. Course, when the other pump comes over, they’re not happy about having to pay an additional $20 for fuel that they haven’t used, and we end up having to shut the diesel off for about ten minutes while we figure out the problem.
I might have been able to shake that off, but a few hours later there’s an incident that screws up my rep completely. Our computers only have room for 2 lots of fuel on each pump. Unless the person comes in and pays, we cannot move them off. To make sure we don’t get a queue, the bowsers warn people not to move their car until they pay – unfortunately, people seem to assume that this doesn’t count when there’s a queue, despite the fact busy periods are PRECISELY when we need people to adhere to it.
As such we need to keep an eye on the bowsers and remember what car is where and who hasn’t paid. I admit, I wasn’t doing it as I was more focused on the 20 person queue in front of me, when bowser 2 rings for its 3rd car. Naturally, I can’t do anything about it, and nobody in the queue is here to pay for diesel. I’ll spare you the messy details, but its not until about 10 minutes later that both drivers show up to pay for the fuel, and caused serious mess and carnage to our system because we had to find their fuels and unclear later ones. They were pretty snippy about it, which was pretty frustrating considering it was part my fault, BUT IF THEY HAD JUST OBEYED THE SIGNS, it wouldn’t have happened. Apparently, Oak Park specialises in ‘special people’ like that though.
When I come back for the evening shift, the final nail in my coffin happens…honestly still don’t understand it. I’m in the kitchen, keeping an eye on the door, serve a customer at the bar and Pauline comes in, wanting to know where I’ve been. Apparently they’ve had to serve 2 customers who have been yelling at the front desk while they were on break (genuinely befuddled as I was watching the front and didn’t hear anyone), and she tells me to get out since I”m clearly not going to do my job tonight. I’m also to take tomorrow off, despite how busy they’re going to be and come back with my head on straight on Monday.
Needless to say I’m a wreck. The first 2 incidents I take responsibility for – I could have avoided them but didn’t. This one came out of left field because I honestly didn’t understand how I’d messed up. The next day and a half sees me walking in a sort of depressed daze trying to claw together some dignity and figure out what happened. Not a good time at all.