It’s the little things: a ream of BS


I’ve mentioned the register counter as a paperwork and memo display point before, but one day recently it saw slightly more use than average. It had:

  • The employee “consumption log” and associated collection of receipts that I’ve complained about before.
  • Another log to track merchandise that’s thrown out, damaged, or used by the store.
  • A printed email warning that an undercover tobacco cop tried buying cigarettes with an expired ID… at a store 180 miles away. The middle manager who forwarded this added in all caps, “ANOTHER PERFECT REASON FOR US TO SCAN THE ID.”
  • Another one from the same middle manager, with a chart tracking how much the registers’ void keys were used each day and the above-average days highlighted.
  • Another one, strongly suggesting that W-2s can be downloaded and printed through Workday and the company intranet, thus saving corporate the cost of postage.
  • A “Safety Signoff” poster, reminding us that slips and falls are a thing that happens. Most of the poster is set aside for employees’ signatures, because reflexively signing things and reflexively agreeing to anything tagged “safety” are habits corporate would like to encourage.
  • Logs for bathroom cleaning. You know, the ones that are supposed to be on display in the bathrooms to reassure customers that the bathrooms are regularly cleaned? We do that, except we haven’t had the plastic paperwork brackets in our bathrooms for a few weeks now, so we fill them out for the benefit of corporate mystery shoppers… except that mystery shoppers would have to identify themselves to ask for the logs, and they don’t do that.

That was before I started. By the end of my shift I’d added to the pile:

  • A “Vendor Log” to track when delivery people enter and leave the store.
  • A collection of invoices that make the Vendor Log redundant, especially since we’re supposed to double-check deliveries before signing the invoice. (Corporate policy states that they don’t have to pay for product that we’ve confirmed we got if other companies’ employees don’t consent to our time tracking. I doubt that anyone at the management level actually has the spine to try this when the possible outcomes include dozens of their stores having to find another supplier on zero notice, but they claim to have the right, just in case.)

As I said, that amount of paperwork is slightly above average, and I noticed while skimming through its mass how much of it is either imposed by corporate or middle management on itself and its long-suffering employees, or imposed on us by another hierarchy.

I spend a lot of time on this blog complaining about the pointless makework and compliance-for-its-own-sake that I deal with at work because there’s so damned much of it.

Categories: PiecesTags: ,

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