Gizza Job

Old Jun 21st 2020, 6:14 pm
  #286  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
I can well believe it. Most of my customers were somewhere between indifferent and wonderful, but I had a few that were ridiculously demanding and entitled. One guy absolutely lost his mind upon delivery, yelling and cursing when he discovered that I wasn’t able to bring the exact brand of bottled water he wanted, a premium one* that is almost never in stock. He only discovered this ‘upon delivery’ because he hadn’t responded to the text I’d sent about it, or picked up his phone when I also called. And then took 10 minutes to answer his door (this was way back, pre-Covid) and had clearly been asleep (it was mid-morning, and I was delivering exactly at the time he’d requested) and then denied that I’d ever texted or called him.

‘Well, it was definitely your voice on your answering machine recording, where you’ll find that I left a message about this - have a good day’. And then I got him blocked from my profile so I’d never receive his orders again. It goes without saying that why yes, this was in the obscenely affluent part of town at a house worth many millions.

Have you joined any of the Facebook Instacart groups? The one with National in brackets at the end is the most active and activist for better IC shopper rights - there are some absolute horror customer stories on there. It’s also extremely useful research to learn of things that shoppers can accidentally do which might get them deactivated - an app boss is a soulless, tyrannical one with no right of appeal, which is why I switched to a regular job instead, for more security.

*He’d also ordered a mid-brand one which I did bring, but apparently ‘I only use this s**t for making coffee - I NEED THE OTHER ONE!’
What was this 'high end brand of water'? Just curious!
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Old Jun 21st 2020, 6:26 pm
  #287  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
What was this 'high end brand of water'? Just curious!
The Fiji one - I did get something like a couple of the small 6-bottle packs he ordered, but the guy also wanted a mad quantity of large packs that is almost never available at a standard neighborhood Kroger store. In the early part of the conversation when I was still feeling helpful, I did point out that his request was always going to be difficult to consistently meet from normal store levels, and contacting the store directly to have it special ordered, or using Amazon, would be a better bet.
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Old Jun 21st 2020, 11:05 pm
  #288  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

We will find a real more stable job once moved, its mostly a way to earn some extra money working a couple of hours a day. Most shops are too far from our house and not worth doing, only 2 stores we shop at a Wal-Mart and a Super Store, majority of the shops offered are in the suburbs but they are too far away.

I'd be too stressed about being deactivated if this was my sole income, I like the flexibility but its not as stable as a real job for the most part, some days there are no batches offered at all, so can be really hit and miss and of course wear and tear on car and self employment expenses, so probably in the long run better off making $15-$16 per hour at a regular job part-time for long term, but the apps do make it a bit easier to get some income when a real job isn't around.

Stores really need to consider new layouts in the COVID world, aisles need to be wider, they are just too narrow for the amount of people now shopping, some reason COVID seems to have sent people into months long shopping sprees or there is a supply chain issue, haven't figured out if the lack of stock on certain products is due to demand, or supply chain issues.


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Old Jun 22nd 2020, 12:53 am
  #289  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
We will find a real more stable job once moved, its mostly a way to earn some extra money working a couple of hours a day. Most shops are too far from our house and not worth doing, only 2 stores we shop at a Wal-Mart and a Super Store, majority of the shops offered are in the suburbs but they are too far away.

I'd be too stressed about being deactivated if this was my sole income, I like the flexibility but its not as stable as a real job for the most part, some days there are no batches offered at all, so can be really hit and miss and of course wear and tear on car and self employment expenses, so probably in the long run better off making $15-$16 per hour at a regular job part-time for long term, but the apps do make it a bit easier to get some income when a real job isn't around.
Agreed - app jobs are perfect for people looking for flexibility, or like in your case a good temporary fix until you get yourselves relocated and are in a position to look for something more stable. Plus I really enjoyed the work; the balance of in-store shopping, driving listening to audiobooks, meeting the (mostly great) customers, and generally feeling useful in society.

And I’m appreciative that it led to my current job doing the same thing in-store, for customer pickup orders. I’d built up a relationship with various employees there, and was consequently able to completely skip the telephone-and-then-in-person interview process (did the online app, the HR manager personally pulled it from the system, phoned me, and said ‘XYZ people vouched for you, so are you ok if we just cut straight to being hired - can you come in for orientation on Sunday?’) I’d been out of the workplace for 18 years at that point, had no one I could use as references, etc, so this was a great relief to me.

Thanks to my previous shopping experience, I knew the store inside out and back to front, so met - and then vastly exceeded - their speed and productivity goals within a couple of weeks. This, added to being reliable at turning up and not staring at my phone all the time, is buying me a lot of favors when it comes to scheduling - they’re giving me the pick of shifts (I like 6am to 2pm), as many hours as I want when I want them, and reducing them when I don’t (like now - my kids are visiting for summer so I’m doing a 4-day week until I tell them I want 40 hours again).

I’m finding it all pleasingly flexible and agreeable. My teammates are nice, I mostly don’t have to speak to customers in an annoying crazed smile and sycophantic way other than help the odd person find something, so I get lots of good solo thinking time, I’m walking 7-8 miles a day and pulling/ lifting moderately heavy totes so am super fit and have lost nearly 10lbs. After a year I’ll qualify for very cheap health insurance through the union, so that’ll be a fabulous bonus as I’m currently paying nearly $5k annually for this. The pay isn’t completely terrible - with contractual union rises, I’ll be at $13 within a year.

It could all be a lot worse. I hope your move turns out to be equally positive and life-changing!
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Old Jun 22nd 2020, 3:06 am
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Default Re: Gizza Job

We don't come across too many store employees and to be honest most don't even seem aware instacart exists...lol.

Wal-Mart we 95% of the time self check out as its quicker, they have like 12 self check outs open and typically 4 regular check outs and well customers seem to be quicker and more efficient than the cashiers are, Wal-Mart seems to have the slowest cashiers on the planet.

Super Store is almost the same but we use cashiers there 90% of the time as its quicker as they will typically have 8-11 cashiers vs 5-6 self check outs.

Interesting how stores do things.

Biggest hurdle we have with speed is the stores are poorly laid out for online order picking, they are all designed with the customer spending as much time in the store in mind, and not shoppers doing online order picking needing to get around the store and pick items quickly, add in the one way aisles at Wal-Mart and the stores being heavily congested, its hard to get in and out super quickly.

No idea what their metric is for speed, they are very vague in regards to that on the Canadian version.

They provide the metric per shop and overall average, but they don't say what is acceptable and what is too slow.







Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
Agreed - app jobs are perfect for people looking for flexibility, or like in your case a good temporary fix until you get yourselves relocated and are in a position to look for something more stable. Plus I really enjoyed the work; the balance of in-store shopping, driving listening to audiobooks, meeting the (mostly great) customers, and generally feeling useful in society.

And I’m appreciative that it led to my current job doing the same thing in-store, for customer pickup orders. I’d built up a relationship with various employees there, and was consequently able to completely skip the telephone-and-then-in-person interview process (did the online app, the HR manager personally pulled it from the system, phoned me, and said ‘XYZ people vouched for you, so are you ok if we just cut straight to being hired - can you come in for orientation on Sunday?’) I’d been out of the workplace for 18 years at that point, had no one I could use as references, etc, so this was a great relief to me.

Thanks to my previous shopping experience, I knew the store inside out and back to front, so met - and then vastly exceeded - their speed and productivity goals within a couple of weeks. This, added to being reliable at turning up and not staring at my phone all the time, is buying me a lot of favors when it comes to scheduling - they’re giving me the pick of shifts (I like 6am to 2pm), as many hours as I want when I want them, and reducing them when I don’t (like now - my kids are visiting for summer so I’m doing a 4-day week until I tell them I want 40 hours again).

I’m finding it all pleasingly flexible and agreeable. My teammates are nice, I mostly don’t have to speak to customers in an annoying crazed smile and sycophantic way other than help the odd person find something, so I get lots of good solo thinking time, I’m walking 7-8 miles a day and pulling/ lifting moderately heavy totes so am super fit and have lost nearly 10lbs. After a year I’ll qualify for very cheap health insurance through the union, so that’ll be a fabulous bonus as I’m currently paying nearly $5k annually for this. The pay isn’t completely terrible - with contractual union rises, I’ll be at $13 within a year.

It could all be a lot worse. I hope your move turns out to be equally positive and life-changing!

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Old Jun 22nd 2020, 3:46 am
  #291  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
We don't come across too many store employees and to be honest most don't even seem aware instacart exists...lol.

Wal-Mart we 95% of the time self check out as its quicker, they have like 12 self check outs open and typically 4 regular check outs and well customers seem to be quicker and more efficient than the cashiers are, Wal-Mart seems to have the slowest cashiers on the planet.

Super Store is almost the same but we use cashiers there 90% of the time as its quicker as they will typically have 8-11 cashiers vs 5-6 self check outs.

Interesting how stores do things.

Biggest hurdle we have with speed is the stores are poorly laid out for online order picking, they are all designed with the customer spending as much time in the store in mind, and not shoppers doing online order picking needing to get around the store and pick items quickly, add in the one way aisles at Wal-Mart and the stores being heavily congested, its hard to get in and out super quickly.

No idea what their metric is for speed, they are very vague in regards to that on the Canadian version.

They provide the metric per shop and overall average, but they don't say what is acceptable and what is too slow.
Does the app give you a store layout or do you have to figure that out yourself?
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Old Jun 22nd 2020, 4:55 am
  #292  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Does the app give you a store layout or do you have to figure that out yourself?
Have to figure it out yourself.

They give vague things like frozen foods and meat, but say Wal-Mart they have multiple locations within the store where frozen food can be, and one brand of chicken nuggets might be in one area, another brand is over with the fresh meat, its really stupid how these stores are set up, but I guess the stores are designed to keep customers in as long as possible, not designed for app shoppers in a hurry.
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Old Jun 22nd 2020, 10:14 am
  #293  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
Have to figure it out yourself.

They give vague things like frozen foods and meat, but say Wal-Mart they have multiple locations within the store where frozen food can be, and one brand of chicken nuggets might be in one area, another brand is over with the fresh meat, its really stupid how these stores are set up, but I guess the stores are designed to keep customers in as long as possible, not designed for app shoppers in a hurry.
Where I live it depends on the store. The shopping list is laid out by aisle for Kroger stores, but not for Meijer or Aldi. But even when aisle locations are given, they can sometimes be incorrect. And even when they are right, ‘Aisle 10’ still means it can take 5 mins or more to search the aisle for obscure things.

The software I now use for the instore shopping is abundantly more helpful (at least in theory). It gives me aisle, left or right side, then bay (each 4ft section of shelves is a bay), then shelf number counted up from the floor, then finally number of product spots along that shelf. It should be exactly precise, but often isn’t due to product line resets that have been done in store, but not yet coded into the picking software. Still, it doesn’t take too long to learn just one store. When I was ICing I used to regularly shop at 20+, across 6-7 different supermarket chains.

The chicken nuggets vary by whether they’re cooked or raw; most are precooked and just need warming through. I don’t know if it’s actually a food safety requirement to never have raw/ precooked foods in the same freezer cabinet, or just a result of the distribution chains, but all stores seem to separate them out this way.

The ‘finding things’ challenge for me is when the scanning unit says there are 18 of something in store, but the shelf spot is empty. If they’re not back in the warehouse, then they’re... somewhere. Maybe on a promotional display endcap, maybe there’s a stack of them piled in the lobby area, maybe in one of those round, randomly placed display thingies piled high with candy or whatever, maybe in a small plastic box clipped to a shelf - a few pots of cinnamon spices clipped next to the canned pumpkin, say. Makes for a fun treasure hunt sometimes!

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Old Jun 22nd 2020, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
Where I live it depends on the store. The shopping list is laid out by aisle for Kroger stores, but not for Meijer or Aldi. But even when aisle locations are given, they can sometimes be incorrect. And even when they are right, ‘Aisle 10’ still means it can take 5 mins or more to search the aisle for obscure things.

The software I now use for the instore shopping is abundantly more helpful (at least in theory). It gives me aisle, left or right side, then bay (each 4ft section of shelves is a bay), then shelf number counted up from the floor, then finally number of product spots along that shelf. It should be exactly precise, but often isn’t due to product line resets that have been done in store, but not yet coded into the picking software. Still, it doesn’t take too long to learn just one store. When I was ICing I used to regularly shop at 20+, across 6-7 different supermarket chains.

The chicken nuggets vary by whether they’re cooked or raw; most are precooked and just need warming through. I don’t know if it’s actually a food safety requirement to never have raw/ precooked foods in the same freezer cabinet, or just a result of the distribution chains, but all stores seem to separate them out this way.

The ‘finding things’ challenge for me is when the scanning unit says there are 18 of something in store, but the shelf spot is empty. If they’re not back in the warehouse, then they’re... somewhere. Maybe on a promotional display endcap, maybe there’s a stack of them piled in the lobby area, maybe in one of those round, randomly placed display thingies piled high with candy or whatever, maybe in a small plastic box clipped to a shelf - a few pots of cinnamon spices clipped next to the canned pumpkin, say. Makes for a fun treasure hunt sometimes!

Treasure is a good way to think about it...ha ha

Birthday cake candles can be confusing, the Cake Make ones are in the baking section with the Cake Make decorating at most stores, every other brand is in stationary section, except Wal-Mart which puts all the cake decorating stuff in stationary.

The ethnic food aisle really slows me down, largely because I am not familiar with most of the foods and products in the aisle. The other one that slows down is organic, some organic is in the regular aisles and some is in the organic aisle, how they decide which organic goes where, I haven't a clue.

Taken a couple orders at Staples and man is it ever frustrating looking for a specific type of blue pen in an aisle with like 50+ different kinds of blue pens...and half the stuff in Staples comes up as unrecognized when scanning which further complicates things, so I try not to take Staples runs anymore, Shopper's is the easiest, its a drug store (think Walgreens or CVS) and most of the time its 1 or 2 items and a few units of each, can get in and out in 2-3 minutes, easy $10. I'd rather do 6 $10 shoppers shops than 2 $30 Wal-Mart shops...ha ha but so few use it for Shoppers they are hard to get.

Most interesting order was in the evening a couple weeks ago, cashier at the store was giving me a weird look the whole time. The order consisted of condoms, lube, chocolate syrup & strawberries.

I guess someone was planning for a fun evening.

And nothing like buying 20 units of adult diapers and having people stare, ha ha like really ever think I might have an elderly parent I care for......

I do wish the stores explained instacart better to their cashiers, most seem confused when you tell them there are 3 separate orders and can't ring everything up together, customers waiting in line behind get annoyed too sometimes.














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Old Jun 22nd 2020, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
...

Most interesting order was in the evening a couple weeks ago, cashier at the store was giving me a weird look the whole time. The order consisted of condoms, lube, chocolate syrup & strawberries.

I guess someone was planning for a fun evening.
Did you get to have a good look at the people placing the order, or do you typically place at the front door and run?

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
...

I do wish the stores explained instacart better to their cashiers, most seem confused when you tell them there are 3 separate orders and can't ring everything up together, customers waiting in line behind get annoyed too sometimes.
I had asked this earlier and thought I got the answer that you can't / don't bundle orders. So in the case above, you are accepting 3 separate orders from 3 separate customers, buying it all at once, then delivering to the three customers one after the other? I'd be very worried here in Phoenix that if I were the third delivery for such an order, my stuff would have been baking in the car for quite a while (when it's 105 outside, it can get up to 120 or more inside the car when you have to park to deliver the first or second order). It is this concern more than anything that has prevented me from exploring IC.
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Old Jun 22nd 2020, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Did you get to have a good look at the people placing the order, or do you typically place at the front door and run?


I had asked this earlier and thought I got the answer that you can't / don't bundle orders. So in the case above, you are accepting 3 separate orders from 3 separate customers, buying it all at once, then delivering to the three customers one after the other? I'd be very worried here in Phoenix that if I were the third delivery for such an order, my stuff would have been baking in the car for quite a while (when it's 105 outside, it can get up to 120 or more inside the car when you have to park to deliver the first or second order). It is this concern more than anything that has prevented me from exploring IC.
They only let me accept one batch at a time, but IC will bundle multiple orders into one batch for 2 or 3 different people. We have cooler bags we put the cold/frozen items in. At the store we have to pay for each transaction desperately with the IC credit card. The deliveries are generally close by, so its shop, load car, deliver like yesterday for example the batch with 3 deliveries each delivery was 3-5 minutes apart, IC decides which order everything is delivered. I'd prefer if they just did 1 order per batch, but they don't seem to have enough shoppers to do that, and lately are putting more and more orders into each batch, saw a 4 order batch yesterday even, I try to stick to batches with 1-2 orders where possible as its simply easier.

Sometimes though people will order from Wal-Mart which is on the far east side of Vancouver and will live on the far west side and takes 20-30 minutes depending on traffic, but not much can be done there, we don't have a urban freeway system, so its stop and go traffic the entire way.

99% of the people ask for contactless delivery, so its leave at the door, take photo and go, rarely are the customers seen, some are quite specific as well do not knock, do not call, leave at door and go.

City of Vancouver government is pretty much anti-Wal Mart so there is only one Wal-Mart in the city of Vancouver as the far eastern edge of the city, basically as far east as one can go and still be in the city of Vancouver, one block further and your in Burnaby, Wal-Mart tried in the past to build other stores but always got turned down and appears they have now given up trying, odd thing is the city seems to have no issue with any other big box store, not like Super Store/Loblaws, Home Depot, Lowes, Canadian Tire are any better, big box companies all operate the same way more or less.




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Old Jun 23rd 2020, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
They only let me accept one batch at a time, but IC will bundle multiple orders into one batch for 2 or 3 different people. We have cooler bags we put the cold/frozen items in. At the store we have to pay for each transaction desperately with the IC credit card. The deliveries are generally close by, so its shop, load car, deliver like yesterday for example the batch with 3 deliveries each delivery was 3-5 minutes apart, IC decides which order everything is delivered. I'd prefer if they just did 1 order per batch, but they don't seem to have enough shoppers to do that, and lately are putting more and more orders into each batch, saw a 4 order batch yesterday even, I try to stick to batches with 1-2 orders where possible as its simply easier.

Sometimes though people will order from Wal-Mart which is on the far east side of Vancouver and will live on the far west side and takes 20-30 minutes depending on traffic, but not much can be done there, we don't have a urban freeway system, so its stop and go traffic the entire way.

99% of the people ask for contactless delivery, so its leave at the door, take photo and go, rarely are the customers seen, some are quite specific as well do not knock, do not call, leave at door and go.

City of Vancouver government is pretty much anti-Wal Mart so there is only one Wal-Mart in the city of Vancouver as the far eastern edge of the city, basically as far east as one can go and still be in the city of Vancouver, one block further and your in Burnaby, Wal-Mart tried in the past to build other stores but always got turned down and appears they have now given up trying, odd thing is the city seems to have no issue with any other big box store, not like Super Store/Loblaws, Home Depot, Lowes, Canadian Tire are any better, big box companies all operate the same way more or less.
A couple of weeks ago, I popped out for my weekly shop, driving about 10 minutes to the local store. Got everything I needed, then headed back. Turns out there was a major accident on the way back. After about 20 minutes of stop/go, I pulled off the main road and managed to 'escape' back to the store where I purchased a small cooler bag and some ice, so I could protect the most vulnerable stuff in the car (it was over 100F outside, and full afternoon sun beating in through the windows). Then I took the 34 mile detour that would get me back to my place using an alternate route (the accident happened at a most inconvenient 'choke point' on the route!). Along that route, I realized that there was a chance even this route would get affected by the accident, so I pulled over at Target, bought a massive cooler and another bag of ice, so I could put ALL the 'important stuff' on ice. Luckily, I was able to get home, and nothing spoiled ... and now I have two extra coolers, one being the biggest I've ever owned! Back in the 'old days' (pre-C19), I'd just pop out for odds and ends but these days, when I shop, I SHOP - which makes each 'load' rather valuable!
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Old Jun 23rd 2020, 1:01 am
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
A couple of weeks ago, I popped out for my weekly shop, driving about 10 minutes to the local store. Got everything I needed, then headed back. Turns out there was a major accident on the way back. After about 20 minutes of stop/go, I pulled off the main road and managed to 'escape' back to the store where I purchased a small cooler bag and some ice, so I could protect the most vulnerable stuff in the car (it was over 100F outside, and full afternoon sun beating in through the windows). Then I took the 34 mile detour that would get me back to my place using an alternate route (the accident happened at a most inconvenient 'choke point' on the route!). Along that route, I realized that there was a chance even this route would get affected by the accident, so I pulled over at Target, bought a massive cooler and another bag of ice, so I could put ALL the 'important stuff' on ice. Luckily, I was able to get home, and nothing spoiled ... and now I have two extra coolers, one being the biggest I've ever owned! Back in the 'old days' (pre-C19), I'd just pop out for odds and ends but these days, when I shop, I SHOP - which makes each 'load' rather valuable!
The desert heat does complicate things. I always wonder about shelf stable items that say don't expose to temps over 80 or 90 degrees, do the semi trucks bringing this product ot the store have any climate control for shelf stable products or is it just such a short time spent in the trailer it doesn't make a difference, but seems a trailer in Phoenix summer heat would get mighty toasty.

I remember when I lived in Phoenix, just going the 4 miles or so from grocery store to my apartment, ice cream was not a good purchase in the July heat...ha ha

I also learned rather quickly not to leave my front door open, I propped it open for 10 minutes while I was going in and out with some bulky items, finished unloading, went back inside, about an hour later walk into the bathroom and there is a rattle snake chilling by the toilet, I assume being the hottest part of the day, open door letting cool air out, the snake thought it would be a nice place to cool off. I made a make shift snake hook and set it back outside.




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Old Jun 23rd 2020, 1:37 am
  #299  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
The ‘finding things’ challenge for me is when the scanning unit says there are 18 of something in store, but the shelf spot is empty. If they’re not back in the warehouse, then they’re... somewhere. Maybe on a promotional display endcap, maybe there’s a stack of them piled in the lobby area, maybe in one of those round, randomly placed display thingies piled high with candy or whatever, maybe in a small plastic box clipped to a shelf - a few pots of cinnamon spices clipped next to the canned pumpkin, say. Makes for a fun treasure hunt sometimes!
Sounds like their count system works quite well. In some stores the count on the scanner is often wrong, it shows a count when there aren't any of the item, or it shows zero (or negative!) when they have lots of the item.
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Old Jun 23rd 2020, 1:46 am
  #300  
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Default Re: Gizza Job

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
I assume being the hottest part of the day, open door letting cool air out, the snake thought it would be a nice place to cool off. I made a make shift snake hook and set it back outside.
You were brave!
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