View Full Version : Yes, We Have NO Power . . .

04-05-2011, 10:57 PM
Our area was hit this morning around 2 a.m. with severe thunderstorms. We're talking heavy downpours, hail in some areas and wind gusts up to a whopping 80 mph.:eek:

Of course, when we're hit with this type of weather (which according to local news reports also saw a couple of tornadoes about 3 counties west of us) we were hit with widespread damage from trees and debris, as well as power outages everywhere.

Such was the case this morning at the Litter Box. Had power at my house (even though we had a couple of brief outages lasting a few seconds apiece right before 6 this morning) but saw the shopping center sitting in the dark when Mom and I got there right at 7 this morning. The two convenience stores on 2 of the other corners were lit up, but we were in the dark.

Opie was already there and had been there since around 5 (he'd gotten a phone call at home around 4:30 a.m. about the power loss) and several other employees were already inside.

First order of business today: pull all the fresh meat out of the cases and store them in the reefer trailer parked at the dock door out back. Our dairy guy was already pulling yogurts and other perishables from his aisle.

We couldn't open for customers, as our backup generator only powers a handful of emergency lights in the store. Our registers were down completely, as was the computers, handhelds, coolers and freezers . . . you know the drill.

Nevermind the fact that one of our coworkers had made signs saying "CLOSED" and had taped up on both doors and in the front windows . . . we still had people throughout the morning coming up to the doors - or calling the store to see if we had power.

Nada. Turned out we were one of 4 Litter Box stores in the city that had no power this morning. They were going through the same emergency we were and couldn't offer us any help.

Got the fresh meat pulled, then we all ganged up in the Dairy aisle and started pulling carton milk, cream cheeses, more yogurt, biscuits and then the carton juices. We quickly ran out of shopping carts and the reefer truck was getting full.

Getting to the back room was a joy . . . what backup lighting we had in the backroom had already exhausted itself and it was pitch dark. We were using flashlights and our cell phones this morning to try to make our way back there to the dock door. Butt-Head tried to play ghost this morning, walking up behind us going "Booooooo . . . Boooooooo." At least that broke the tension, even though he'd make a pathetic ghost.:lol:

And, of course, Mohair showed up (he's filling in for our DM temporarily, who's in another area helping out with some store closings) wandering around to see what was going on with a new SpiffyPhone glued to his ear almost the whole time he was there. At least he could call and get us extra help, which he was trying to coordinate with several other nearby stores that were operating, as well as making arrangements for a second reefer truck to arrive.

Second reefer trailer was brought to us right before 11. By this time, we'd pulled pretty much everything and what couldn't go on the first trailer was stuffed in shopping carts and in totes stacked onto grocery floats crammed into the back coolers and freezers. I had gotten my back endcap emptied right after 9 (after helping out in Dairy for awhile) and with help from a few coworkers (Blondie, Rochelle and Jazzie . . . thanks so much:)) we got the rest of the totes I had come in yesterday finished up and I was already straightening my sections.

We also had a few more coworkers come in during the morning as well, which helped with pulling everything that could be pulled in Dairy, the rest was covered up with bags of ice. Same thing with the stand alone frozen meat bunkers on the back aisle - that stuff was already frozen but was covered well with bags of ice. Ice cream and frozen foods were okay, as long as we kept the upright freezer doors closed on those aisles, they could hold for a bit.

Luckily I got to escape at 11:45 after finishing my sections and trying to put my poor little cell phone back together (it jumped out of my hand and landed in the floor near the grocery backroom doors and the back cover and battery both flew off it.:eek:) told Ma I'd see her in the morning (we've got a long day tomorrow with price changes for the ad . . .2500 just for tomorrow) and was heading up front . . .

Power comes back on. Yay. But we still couldn't reopen yet . . .

Office Guy still had to do the accounting that had been behind all morning due to the power failure and get the registers and pinpads (debit/credit machines) back up and running, as well as get all the stuff out of the coolers and the reefer trucks back to the sales floor.

And this is where I said a prayer to my coworkers and got the heck out before Opie changed his mind and asked me to stay later . . . I imagine they had quite a headache this afternoon.

And I wonder how many customers griped this afternoon about being so "inconvenienced" this morning. :rolleyes:

04-06-2011, 02:00 AM
If it was anything like what happened at my store the last time we lost power, I can imagine it was massive. We lost power one day last fall and it was a mess. We had half power, which meant half our lights were on and the frozen doors and a few coolers had a little power, but the registers were off. The cashier was yelling that her register didn't work and the people in line were pissed off. We started to add up orders on a calculator and we could enter them later. It was a mess. Luckily, we didn't have to pull anything, we just covered it up with tarps and waited.