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Job Description of a Grocery Clerk

The position of grocery store clerk requires a person who is committed to customer service. A friendly personality and the ability to listen and communicate are essential for success. You will be meeting people at almost the end of their day's journey in some cases, so your level of patience must be higher than theirs. A grocery clerk must think of how he or she represents the store to the customer. The future of the store's sales rest squarely on the last person a customer deals with before leaving the store.

Basics

A grocery store clerk must be at least 16 and able to lift from 50 to 100 pounds on a regular basis. Shift work is always a possibility at a grocery store, so be prepared for whatever shift you may be assigned. It could be the night shift, where you may have to unload products from trucks and prepare them for stocking. Another night shift could be a stocking position, where outdated products are removed from shelves, older ones are rotated to the front, and the new products are priced and shelved behind them. Working a cash register all day is another possibility.

Skills and Abilities

A grocery clerk must be able to put on the best face possible on all types of situations. A clerk must also be able to read and comprehend written orders or instructions and follow verbal instructions from supervisors. Operation of the cash register and credit card machine should be learned quickly and always done correctly. Prices or codes on food that are necessary to know should be memorized or written down to avoid having to repeatedly ask assistance from co-workers or supervisors. Be on time for work and show up consistently as required on your schedule.

Duties and Responsibilities

Grocery clerks are responsible for correctly ringing up, handling the customer's purchases, and neatly and responsibly bagging those purchases. The entire store experience could have gone perfectly for a customer who is then put off at the last minute by an inexperienced or unconcerned grocery clerk: The customer purchased a loaf of bread, it is his, and you just put it in the bottom of a bag and placed cans of vegetables on top of it and squished it. That customer has forgotten all about the rest of the wonderful experience and has focused on the single one act of perceived negligence or destruction. Emotional scenes like this can be avoided by following the correct bagging techniques. The long-term effects on the store -- though maybe not immediately apparent -- could involve telling others in the community about the incident and influencing their shopping habits, which ultimately could affect the store. Acting as a responsible member of the store team is a necessity and must be a priority.

Attitude

You need to be a people person. A grocery clerk is a person who has a good sense of humor but never acts in an offensive fashion to the customer. Patience is crucial to this position, because a clerk often deals with people in stressful situations. Understanding that the customer's business is what pays your salary is a good thing to focus on during times of long lines and short tempers. An outgoing personality and a sincere smile can help to alleviate the tension of a long day as well.

Be a Follower

Follow the store procedures regarding all aspects of the position. Follow the chain of command and follow instructions to the letter and in a timely fashion. Follow rules regarding the safety and security of the public, yourself and your co-workers. If you find a fire violation or a faulty piece of equipment, notify your supervisor immediately. The store has rules and regulations in place for the proper handling of almost all situations and products, so follow them closely and always be prepared for the unexpected to happen.



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