Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I approach work differently than most of my co-workers. I work frozen foods two nights a week, Sunday and Monday. The other person is always complaining about how much they have to do and swear there is no way they can get it done. Normally they are also exaggerating how much freight they have to work. There are a couple of reasons why they can't get it done. One is the way they organize the freight and the second is their defeatist attitude. When the attitude is I am not going to get the job done anyway why should I bother to try hard. I thought about them Monday night when I opened the freezer door and saw what was there.

The truck had about 1100 pieces on it. I always look up the delivery schedule the night before so I know what to expect. 1100 may seem like a lot, but it is split between frozen foods, dairy, lunch meats, frozen meats, deli and bakery. There were 10 pallets on the truck and six of them were frozen. Our other frozen foods worker would have been flipping out, since three-fourths of that was our freight. Instead of saying there is too much here I simply started working on it. They would have been correct in saying one person can't get all that done. The first decision I made was to break down four of the pallets. I did not do the ice cream pallet because ice cream takes longer to than the rest. It comes in wrapped in plastic, usually 4 containers to a package. Cutting that off is somewhat time consuming so I left it. I also decided not to break down what we call the bunker pallet. The bunkers are the cases that you bend over and reach into. The one we stock has burritos, corn dogs, and pre-cooked chicken products in it. Normally we only have 15 to 20 cases on that pallet. So that left me with four pallets to do.

One thing that I do differently is I break all of the pallets down at once instead of stocking them one at a time. When I break them down I use three empty pallets and a cart. One of the pallets is for all the dinners, one for for vegetables, fish, and snacks like pizza rolls and cheese sticks, and the third for breakfast items, fruit, juices, and pies. On the cart I put pizzas, biscuits, and garlic bread. Normally we do not have as much freight as we did Monday. The reason there was so much is we recieved what is called comac. Comac is multiple cases of one item or similar group of items, basically the items you find in the end doors. For example we got in about 80 cases of Banquet dinners. All I had to do was put that on separate pallets, our day crew stocks them. Of the four I broke down two of them were comac. On the nights I do stock ice cream I leave that pallet in the freezer and break it down separately. Ice cream thaws faster so it has to stocked quicker than other frozen items. By breaking the truck down that way I can concentrate on one side at a time, instead of walking all over the area.

By approaching the night with the attitude that I have I get more accomplished. I never say it is too much, I simply start doing it. It is like the old saying a long journey starts with one step. I normally get everything done, but I don't worry about it if I don't. We normally have to unload a meat and produce truck during the night. Those departments don't have anyone working third shift, so the person in dairy and me get to do it. Another thing we have to do before we leave is what Wal-Mart calls zoning. That is where you bring a few of each product to the front of the shelves. I have also heard it called fronting or facing. People who work grocery are only responsible for one aisle. In frozen foods we are responsible for two and a half aisles, not to mention the end doors.

Starting the night with the right attitude is what makes the difference between a successful night and a failed night. The managers are always pushing us and telling us if we can't do it all there will be trouble. I don't let them bother me. I know when I leave in the morning that I have done the very best that I could. Once I have clocked out I am able to leave everything behind. I hear others reciting what they didn't get done. My attitude is oh well. I know I earned my money.


Jeff said...

I think those people will be there wherever you go. The good thing, I guess, is that those defeatist ideas often enter into my mind as well. When I hear someone else articulate them, it fuels me to be a better person.

What I need to do is to make myself be a better person without another to contrast myself against!

Play at the Plate said...

Attitude makes a difference in many aspects of life.