An anonymous "mid-level manager" at a Bay Area Safeway store did a Reddit Ask Me Anything this week, and in it he admits that he's baffled at the choices Safeway corporate makes when it comes to staffing, and many other things.
The guy goes by MaliciousHippie on Reddit, and judging by his comment history he's into vaping, gaming, and music, and he keeps up with the news. But, as he says, he's "not trying to get doxxed," and would obviously like to keep his job at Safeway despite the complaints.
He says the main reason people find such consistently long lines at their local Safeways tends to be about staffing. He says workers are "getting burnt out faster than they can replace us," and the pay isn't great, which is part of the problem. And he says, "We [managers] are regularly scheduled for our usual 40, then we are generally understaffed on top of that, so that means management is doing other jobs that should be filled, making it impossible to do our own [thus the need for overtime]. Whenever I press it seems like I get flat tire answers."
In regard to those very glitchy self-checkout machines, he says yes, "the SCO machines are infamously bad. We use to consider it an easy job, but now the machines break down on a regular basis." He also discounts claims that SCO machines are rapidly replacing live workers. "Perhaps this is the case at Target, but our machines are quite literally still running Windows XP. I don't know if it varies by store but it is embarrassing. They need completely replaced, by a new company."
He also says that if you want to complain, you should probably be doing it on social media, because "they listen to [social media] pressure far more than employees." He notes that a recent Twitter post about long lines at a Safeway store only got 30 retweets but corporate was "s***ting their pants."
Another pro-tip: He says even he's guilty of charging himself for non-organic produce when he's buying organic at the self-checkout, and when he's working that station he's only likely to bust anyone if they're blatantly ringing up the wrong items. "Guy use to steal all sorts of s**t by weighing it out as carrots lmao. Now he shops/steals from a different safeway."