I'm going to mention just a few things. Overnight, or Night, Grocery
stocks most of the grocery trucks that come in. Day-time Grocery, or
Day Grocery, mostly fill fast movers, unload trucks, mess with
displays, and straighten shelves. We're also handy people for odd jobs
managers have. I preferred to stock empty stuff since that made money
with more satisfied customers. Their priorities were consistently
messing around with displays, endcaps, and so on. Take one down, put a
new one up, re-arrange one, drag someting across the store... endless.
We usually have a manager controlling us the whole day who will ensure
we're doing what they wanted. I had to sneak off just to stock the
product people had previously complained about.
Eventually, the cuts came. I can't remember if we had two then one grocery person. What I do remember is each cut left more load from overnight that they couldn't work. Things in the hallway got messier, too, as they scrambled to get rid of what was left over. Day Grocery, not staffed for Night Grocery's load, had to try to finish as many pallets as possible before trucks came. We also had to unload the trucks. They also would periodically send them at the wrong times, all at once, and so on. More stuff started piling up in the store that we'd work on a slower day. Or by ignoring backstock to work just faster-moving items on pallets. More tradeoffs to make with lower staff, more inefficiencies, and more out-of-stocks.
The worst moments are on and off. These happen when the store and/or corporate management pushes overordering with low staff. At one point, we'd have a side hallway full of pallets, pallets across the mainhallway, pallets in receiving, and one person in grocery. Stuff was empty all over the store. Pallets sometimes blocked the fire exits, we had to put cardboard bales outside, and we'd often put the new load onto a salvage truck with stuff we were sending back. Then, re-unload it later after we cleared out some load. At least once they took all our load assuming none was on it. They kept getting managers and visiting corporate people to stock shelves. Yet, out of stocks stayed high with backroom a disaster every day.
Management kept getting on us more. Each person might have two to three people's worth of work to do. Management was never satisfied. Grocery person, often me, would have to deal with many trucks. The frozen took forever with all the leftover load in the hallway and the freezer. They'd get onto us for load and displays not being worked during the time we were forced to unload trucks. Supposedly, we were supposed to be straightening the isles of the store during all this. We also had to go up front to check and bag. That went from occasional to, following Front End cuts, an all day thing. We were still held accountable for Grocery stocking.
Grocery was in bad shape every day. Produce still had more staff than other departments, they were close like a family, and their lead really wanted me over there. I transferred. Far as Grocery today, the worst of history has been repeateding due to high volume with no staff and space. COVID has little to do with it. We just have a massive amount of stuff to put out with nobody to put it out. It's often a comanager, a grocery manager, and maybe one clerk (if that) trying to serve 30,000+ people. The clerk might have to help up front, too. The results vary day by day. Yet, Kroger corporate expects it to be fully stocked and conditioned with the back clear every day. They "fail" that requirement every day.