I'm gonna go out on a limb, here, and say that for today, chunky woman wearing cotton candy pink eye-shadow who was working at the register I happened to go to will not be talking on her mobile, or texting, for the duration of her shift. Yes. I caused a bit of a scene. Hard to believe. I know...
There were four or five registers open when I went to check out. Only one was being manned by a local girl and her lane was empty. Others were lined up at the register lanes that had the imported men working them. What the heck is wrong with me! I know better!! Anyone who has shopped at the Commissary regularly knows not to bother to get in an empty lane with a local girl working the register. Better - and certainly faster and more efficient - to get in a lane that has three overladden carts in line with one of the imported men working the register.
How tough could it be. I had three items. THREE! Two cases of meat [need to cook for The Kids], unopened, containing 20 packages of beef each [a little over 35 pounds, total], and one item from the bakery. The meat costs SR5.30 [$1.42] per package. Just as chunky cotton-candy eyed woman goes to ring up the meat - her mobile went off. I gave her a look that to most would imply, "Don't even think about it." She was clueless. Had to answer that call. Who knows? It was probably an emergency of some kind - you know - like her sister didn't know which
Filippe [not his real name] is one of the supervisors [he isn't really a manager - he isn't allowed to fire anyone] came over and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I had 40 packages of meat in the two unopened cases and that she was charging me only SR5.30 for each case. And, while Filippe and I are having this conversation, she starts texting on her phone. Yes. Texting in the middle of my checking out. I couldn't help myself.
"Filippe, make her stop using her phone. Why are they allowed to have their mobiles and chat and text while they are working? Do they get paid while they talk and text? Perhaps if they weren't allowed to use their mobiles then the check-out would be easier for the customers which is why you are here in the first place." I went on and on. Filippe made her put the phone down. She was smiling - chuckling - like I didn't mean what I was saying [oh, yes, I do mean it!]. Filippe had to tell her twice. She looked at me and said, "okay" in a meek and barely audible voice. And I said, "No. Sorry. What you need to say is that you are sorry! You need to pay attention and you obviously are not capable of doing that while you are either talking or playing on your phone. I do not want to see you on your mobile if I am in your checkout line ever again." I continued. Ranting. Mostly to Filippe, with "Why are they allowed to talk on their phones while they are working? If they are texting, they can't pay attention to the groceries and they can't put them through the scanner. Are you allowed to talk on your phone?" Filippe did his best to placate me. The more I carried on, the louder my voice got. I can say that I was getting some looks from other shoppers, but if anything they were encouraging looks, as if to say, "We feel your pain."
If I was in charge I would fire these girls on the spot if they answered their phone or started texting. We all know that that will never happen. You would have to piss on the manager's desk with him sitting at it before you could get fired if you are a local - but, on the other hand, if you are an imported worker, you simply have to drop and empty bag on the floor and you'll be fired. At the very least, I would dock their pay an hour the first time they got caught on the phone, two hours the second time, three hours the third... After a while, they'd get sick of having to go to the Commissary to talk on their phones - since they wouldn't be making any money - and they'd quit. If only...
This is not the first time - or the second - or the third - where I've had issues with the girls who are "working" but not really doing that - the phone is much, much more of a priority in their lives than actually, you know, "working." I am going to make it a point, from now on, to be very, very vocal and probably loud, too, about any check-out clerk who is on the phone when I go to her lane. I am not going to be nice about it, and I am going to simply say, "Get off the phone." If she refuses - I'll be calling every manager in the store to that check out lane and making a real scene.
Get off your damn phone. Do your job. Do what you are being paid to do. And, all this to achieve Saudization. All I can say is that this place is going to come to a screeching halt if all of the ex-pat workers leave and there is no one else to do the real work.