-1

I'm guessing this is partly company specific. I sometimes have trouble judging when I should just say nothing or say ok, or defend what I had done. Right now I'm working at a very simple job - I'm a cashier. There was a huge lineup of customers and after over an hour I asked my supervisor if I could take a break to go the the washroom. When I came back, my supervisor told me I need to remember to face all the paper bills the same way. (This rule makes no sense to me as it can't possibly affect the way the bills are counted and consumes time. I asked why and he wasn't really able to answer.) He also said I should've done a cash drop. The reason I didn't do these things was because I didn't have time. I didn't think of telling him that and just said nothing. Should I have said this?

In this specific scenario there's a few complicating factors:

  1. people often give bills crumpled up that need to be uncrumpled before going in the till
  2. there still are old versions of the currency going around so sometimes it's hard to determine what is considered "face up", nevertheless one can always tell by the colour and number written on the corner what it's value is
  3. we switch POS a lot so it's hard to say one person is responsible for the state of any one
  4. with the cash drop they are actually quite and involved process (compared to all other stores I had worked at). They need to be made with certain bills, certain amount, and need to hand them off to a supervisor (so I would judge this isn't appropriate while a customer is standing in front of me).

I am interested in general advice and not just this specific as a cashier.

0

2 Answers 2

11

When I came back, my supervisor told me I need to remember to face all the paper bills the same way. (This rule makes no sense to me as it can't possibly affect the way the bills are counted and consumes time. I asked why and he wasn't really able to answer.)

Arranging currency this way is known as "bank facing," where all bills are face-up and in the same direction. This can make it easier to manually count money, and is also necessary for some types of automated counting machines.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

In 2011, the Federal Reserve dropped a requirement for bills worth $20 and under that financial institutions stack all their currency face up and in the same direction when sending money to 28 regional offices.

As technology improves, the need to bank face currency is less and less necessary. However, what is important here is that this is the rule at your place of work.

This is the way things work, and if your supervisor tells you to do it, that's a good enough reason. It's ok to be curious, but it's not ok to make the supervisor justify the rules, and that you only follow them if you think they make sense.

with the cash drop they are actually quite an involved process

Not making a cash drop is quite risky in terms of your personal liability and can in fact be dangerous.

The reason I didn't do these things was because I didn't have time.

This is not a good reason to not follow the rules. Unless the building is on fire and you need to get a fire extinguisher, you should just take the time to properly follow procedure.

I would not describe this as company specific -- no matter the job, unless you are the one making the rules, or determining how they should be carried out, your duty is to follow the rules to the best of your ability. If you have questions as to how best to perform your work, talk to your supervisor, in the spirit of wanting to learn how to do better.

I didn't think of telling him that and just said nothing.

This was probably your best option.

5
  • Good information. I didn't really consider it not following rules, just not having done these things yet. I guess it's a good question to ask management how urgent these things are as usually customers are top priority.
    – Yuftre111
    Sep 12, 2020 at 9:28
  • 1
    +1. But for me it's a bad leading style when rules are demanded and the manager cannot explain why they should be followed. It is a positive characteristic that people question and use their intellect, as Kant demanded. Far too often people follow blindly into disaster. This trait should not be driven out of people just to create authority. Rather, it should be created by the supervisor being able to explain the rules in a comprehensible way and making clear why they are there (like you did). Then it is much more likely that people really pay attention to them and do not just follow them.
    – 0x30
    Sep 12, 2020 at 9:32
  • 2
    Don’t ask management “how urgent thee things are compared to customers” - they’re just going to say “Do both.” Doing things right, maintaining security, etc. are all routine parts of every job and a maanger in any of them will thiink poorly of someone trying to either-or it. You didn’t know the rule, now you do, you say “OK, thanks for letting me know” and you do it. Period.
    – mxyzplk
    Sep 12, 2020 at 12:35
  • 3
    @Yuftre111 are you waiting until you have free time to face your bills? Do it as you put the bills away instead. It only takes a few seconds per customer that way, so there's no excuse of not having enough time or someone seeing that you haven't done it "yet". It will also help you catch any mistakes of putting the wrong bill in the wrong spot, and will make the money neater when you give change to customers (which not everyone cares about, but many people do). In short: just because you can't think of a good reason doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
    – Kat
    Sep 13, 2020 at 1:06
  • It could be argued that this is someone else's responsibility i.e. the accountant
    – Yuftre111
    Feb 15, 2021 at 14:03
0

It happens in many jobs that you have too little time for all your tasks. Unfortunately, you are at the end of the food chain and therefore have little power to do anything about it.

Inside View

I would consider myself if there is something you can do to do more efficiently to get the tasks done in the time you have available. Maybe colleagues are a good indicator. If they get the job done in the given time and you don't, chances are high that they have found a more efficient workflow. If this is not the case and you have a good relationship with your supervisor, then openly seek a discussion.

Discuss the situation with your supervisor

I would tell him that you understand why things have to be done the way they are, but you don't have enough time. Try to find a possible solution together or go into the conversation yourself with an idea that you can discuss.

For example, I could imagine that the shift is handed over earlier and overlaps in the full 30 minutes, so you have time to do the cash drop. Or simply that you structure the workflow together and see how it is possible, even on a very stressful day, that the important tasks are done. That should also be in the interest of your supervisor.

Get your supervisors point of view

Also remember that your supervisor has a boss and probably 90% of his work is just what he asks him to do. So he will probably also get in trouble if you don't manage something and have the interest that everything runs smoothly.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .