March 17, 2010

A couple of days ago, raplano asked in a comment to a recent post

Hey Walt, what is the current minimum acceptable APH to keep your job at RGIS? What APH do you have to reach to be “promoted” to Specialist?

1040 APH to reach Top Gun, right?

There are no simple answers to these questions. Every store has its own aph standards. Financial inventories tend require higher aph levels. To count at a top gun (the highest ranking) at a Houchens Save a Lot, you need to count at least 14300 pieces an hour based on the last aph list I received. On the other hand, in an upc scan clothing store the aph minimum for a top gun could be as low as 618 pieces an hour for the Bebe clothing chain. It is important to remember that aph levels are determined not by the difficulty of the inventory but rather by the amount of money that RGIS charges its customer. The higher the rate the lower the aph required.

If you want to be a specific ranking, you should ask the store supervisor at each and every inventory to tell you the aph minimums for each ranking.

I reckon that I should explain the ASET ratings just in case some punter that doesn’t work for RGIS has blundered into reading this.

A – Auditor: The lowest ranking. New hires are auditors and get the starting wage.
S – Specialist: The next step up. They earn 50 cents more than auditors in our district.
E – Expert: The next step up. They earn $1 more than specialists.
T – Top Gun: The best ranking. They earn $1.75 more than the expert.

I consider specialists and experts to be the backbone of the company. We do the shit work so that the top guns can count the easy stuff to keep their aph levels high. RGIS has the “protect the five” policy that ensures that the top 5 counters in an inventory get to cherry pick to keep up their top gun standing. In reality, this policy should be called “protect the five and fuck everyone else.”

By its very nature the ASET program is an unfair caste system that rewards the few and fucks over the many. Specialists and experts are the backbone of RGIS. Without them, the top guns would not be able to be top guns.

Every inventory counter has strengths and weaknesses. Some are better that scanning inventories. Others are better that financial inventories. There are a few who are good at both. Because of this, schedules can be manipulated by the managers to reward or punish. Scheduling someone for inventories that they do not excel at almost guarantees that they will lose their current ranking. Of course, the reverse is true as well. Scheduling someone for inventories that they are good at can lead to a higher ranking.

One of the most unfair things about the ASET program is that it judged on a quarterly basis. And within that quarter you are judged at 6 week intervals. Only the current quarter matters. It doesn’t matter how well you did for the previous quarters. In a very real sense, we are only as good as our last inventory.

I think the ASET program is both corrupt and bogus.

Quantum Services

December 13, 2009

The first time I heard of Quantum Services was over a year ago when one of the Wilson Farms district managers (they call them “supervisors”) decided that he was going to try Quantum in some of his stores. Quantum specializes in convenience and gas station stores. It seems that Quantum Services must do a decent job since, as far as I know, they still inventory all the stores that RGIS used to inventory. Based on Quantum’s website their focus is very different from RGIS. They found a niche and they sticking with it. Based on what I have heard, the promise of accuracy isn’t an empty one. If you believe their website, they pay their employees better than RGIS and manage to have better benefits.

I’m Set Free

December 9, 2009

Well, I’ve not posted about my employer the multi-national inventory service, RGIS, LLC, for quite some time. What could I say except “same shit, different day” ?

Since pay has been “standardised” under the P4 “Count or Die” policy, I’ve come to realise that running stores efficiently and effectively does not benefit me. If a fuck-up teamleader takes 4 hours to do an inventory and I take 3 hours to do an inventory, which one of us makes more money? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not me. Several of my “peers” milk the clock to compensate. But, as for me, homey don’t play that. I do it for real or I don’t do it at all. Which is why I decided that I don’t want to run inventories anymore.

I first mentioned my desire to stop running stores around Halloween to my area manager. It was the first time I’ve ever seen him shocked. He talked me into continuing to stores on a reduced schedule in November and December. I think he was hoping I would change my mind. Well, I talked to him on the phone on Monday and he said that he would think about it and that we should meet face to face today. Much to my surprise, he didn’t try to talk me out of it when we met today.

I feel a whole lot better.

11/22/09 03:43:56 pm

November 26, 2009

Royal Botanical Gardens marsh trail on the Hamilton Burlington municipal border.

Tear You Apart

October 16, 2009

She Wants Revenge is a band that I don’t know very much about. But this song grabbed my attention when I first heard it a couple of years ago. I even like the narrative of the video.

Too Drunk To . . .

October 10, 2009

Once upon a time in America there was a band called the Dead Kennedys. “Too Drunk to Fuck” was the first record I ever bought by them. Much more recently, Nouvelle Vague (not from America) did a bossa nova cover. I think technically this is Camille’s a capella cover of the Nouvelle Vague cover. Did I mention that Camille has performed with Nouvelle Vague?

GHP Goes Bananas

July 21, 2009
Go Home Productions - GHP Goes Bananas

Go Home Productions - GHP Goes Bananas

I’ve been a big fan of Mark Vidler and
Go Home Productions for years. I think I think he is my favie mash-up artist. Here is one of his latest efforts. Enjoy it before it’s gone

‘Round Midnight

July 14, 2009


I think I would feel a joyous insanity if I lived in Iceland and saw the sun ’round mdnight

Hero of War

July 11, 2009

One of the advantages of living in Buffalo is that we are in sthe reception area for Toronto’s 102.1 radio station. It is/was the Lovely Lettuce’s favie station. And I think it is pretty good in an psuedo-alternative sort of way.
Any old way, I digress. A few days ago, I heard a song by Rise Against that I loved. Although to be accurate, I loved the song before I knew it was Rise Against.

Embedding is disabled for this video so you will have to go to youtube to watch it.

I think it is a great anti-war song that shows compassion and understanding for the soldiers fighting in the name of our flag. It doesn’t accuse or judge.

He said
“Son…Have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say
If I said that you could.”

Just carry this gun.
You’ll even get paid.”
I said
“That sounds pretty good.

Black leather boots
Spit shined so bright
They cut off my hair
But it looks alright
We marched and we sang
We all became friends
As we learned how to fight

A hero of war
Yeah that’s what I’ll be
And when I come home
They’ll be damn proud of me

I’ll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Because it’s a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

I kicked in the door
I yelled my commands
The children they cried
But I got my man
We took him away
A bag over his face
From his family and his friends

They tookoff his clothes
They pissed in his hands
I told them to stop
But then I joined in
We beat him with guns
And batons not just once
But again and again

A hero of war
Yeah that’s what I’ll be
And when I come home
They’ll be damn proud of me

I’ll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Because it’s a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

She walked
Through bullets and haze
I asked her to stop
I begged her to stay
But she pressed on
So i lifted my gun
And i fired away

And the shells jumped
Through the smoke
And into the sand
That the blood now had soaked
She collapsed
With a flag in her hand
A flag white as snow

A hero of war
Is that what they see
Just medals and scars
So damn proud of me

And I brought home that flag
Now it gathers dust
But it’s a flag that I love
It’s the only flag I trust

He said
“Son…Have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say
If I said that you could

Halifax Harbor in the Fog

June 29, 2009
Halifax, Nova Scotia on a foggy June afternoon

Halifax, Nova Scotia on a foggy June afternoon