This one’s a no brainer, but one of the key ways to make it through the work shift is to keep busy. Time goes by the quickest when you’re running around helping customers, or putting new product on the shelves. However, there’s always going to be some time during the shift where it’s dead enough to make you wonder if the front door is locked.
It’s during this time when the manager is on the prowl. There are no returns for them to process, no angry customers demanding a 30% discount because of a hairline tear in the product packaging. Managers are going to be looking for projects to do, and they’re going to be looking for you to do them.
But you want nothing to do with whatever project they may have in mind. I certainly don’t. The slow time is when managers have you rearrange displays, switch around end caps, and print out labels for every single item without a price tag. However, if you look like you’re doing something important, if you look like a new project would do nothing but ruin the flow of your “productivity,” then you can avoid doing something as exhausting as a replenishment run.
The key to looking busy is to keep moving, and the faster you’re moving, the busier you look. For the love of God, never, ever let the manager catch you standing still. The only time your legs shouldn’t be moving is when you’re either squatting down to straighten up an item on the bottom shelf, or when you’re helping a guest. And God help you if you’re caught standing around talking to another employee, because not only did you screw yourself over, you screwed over your co-worker, and co-workers won’t do anymore favors for you when you screw them over.
Another fundamental way to look like you’re busy is to clean. Even if you straighten up the same aisle 5 times in the span of an hour, at least you give the manager the impression that you care about the well being of the store. Cleaning is easy. Just pull everything to the front of the shelf, and make sure the products fall under the correct pricing. Also, if there’s any re-shop to be done, simply fill it in as you move along. The nice thing about cleaning is that customers will come to you if they need help, so you don’t have to wander around aimlessly asking the same cute girl if she needs any help 50 times (unless you want to, you creep). And, if the manager asks you why you weren’t going around helping customers, you can tell them you were cleaning. It’s a win win! Plus, cleaning while the store is slow allows for less cleaning at the end of the night, which means you get to go home sooner. And the sooner you get to go home, the sooner you can stop acting like you’re busy.