Students Share Experiences Working at Publix Part-time
By Rachel Bacchus
High school is the time when most teenagers start to try entering the adult world by learning to drive, preparing for college, and a multitude of other things. However, none are quite as essential to growing up as getting their first job. Skills such as being able to put together a resumé, knowing how to properly conduct themselves in an interview, and working in a business environment are all qualities that will help carry them through their entire life. Despite this, some people may be apprehensive about getting their first job, as they do not fully understand everything they will be responsible for. For that reason, a guide to understanding the task and expectations of one’s first part-time job only makes sense to create, and what better a place to build that guide off of than Publix.
The first task that most people think of when it comes to Publix’s customer service is bagging groceries. While that may sound easy, it can become a very overwhelming task when the store is busy. The first thing an associate should do when bagging anyone’s groceries is ask if they would like them bagged in plastic or paper bags. Next, an associate should try to get a look at what the customer has in their cart so their items can be sorted by product type, such as bagging cold items together or putting bread at the top of the cart to prevent it from being squished. Next, the customer should be asked if they would like help taking out their groceries. The correct procedure for this was to put both hands on the cart and then ask if they would like assistance, but since the appearance of COVID-19, associates should now only ask if the customer would like help out without putting their hands on the cart. Finally, there’s the issue of “difficult” customers. The Publix way has always been to provide premier customer service to all customers, and that doesn’t change when the customer is difficult. Remain polite, hear out their issue, and do your best to help them with their problem. These are all good habits to build, as they help to ensure that the customer receives the best experience that they can at Publix, which will encourage them to come back.
While assisting customers with their groceries is an important aspect of the Publix experience, there are plenty of other duties that an associate has throughout the day. Between waves of customers or after having assisted a customer outside, one can still be active by getting used carts from outside and lining them up in the appropriate location. While most of these used carts will be found in the cart carrel, they may also be scattered around the parking lot. While walking around the store, customers may ask for assistance finding a specific item, or an associate may notice that a customer looks lost. In either case, An associate should always assist them when requested or ask if they need assistance regardless of what they were doing prior. If an associate is unsure of where to find an item, they should ask another associate in the area if they know the item’s location or offer to take the customer to the customer service counter, where they can be given the item’s location.
The last aspects of being a customer service associate are the custodial tasks, the most prominent of them being the store sweep. As the name implies, this task requires an associate to sweep the entire store floor. As daunting of a task that may sound like, associates are providing with a sweeper designed to cover half of an aisle, making it much easier to sweep the entire store. Finally, the concerns the process of replacing the bags in the trash and recycling bins outside. The task itself is as straight forward as it sounds, however it is worth mentioning that minors are not allowed to operate the machines used to dispose of the full bags, so they should only go as far as bringing the bags to the space in front of said machine, where an adult can dispose of them later.
While jobs can feel draining and troublesome, they are truly worth it. The people one meets along the way can easily brighten the experience, and the skills one learns can last them a lifetime.