Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Because I'm the grown-up, that's why.

Throughout the course of my children's lives, I've had to explain my actions and instructions with the phrase above. Why do I have to pay taxes? Why do I have to go to jury duty? Why do I plan out our meals a week at a time? Why do I shop sales? Because I'm the grown-up, that's why.

When my oldest sister has a disaster at her house and she calls me to say that her plumbing doesn't work, I tell her to call a plumber, because that's what grown-ups do.

Once you reach adulthood, you just have to take responsibility and do the things that must be done. No one else is going to do them for you. Fairies aren't going to wash the dirty laundry while you sleep. Santa Claus isn't going to stuff your stocking with the funds to fix the plumbing. You can't take a vacation if you don't have the money to pay for the hotel.

(Well, you can, but then you have to pay the interest on the credit card.)

So, OK, this is one of those times that I have to be the grown-up. After nine years away from the real-world job market, I had to get a part-time job. Writing wasn't bringing in the reliable, steady cash flow that I needed in order to keep living in the manner to which I've been accustomed. It was either "get a job," or "don't take vacation this year." And I do not want to go another 12 months without hugging Mickey Mouse. I need some Disney time, or I will go stark, raving mad.

The last time I had a real job, I was a temp. My temp agency loved me. They made tons of money by leasing me out to various companies. I apparently made a really high score on their little aptitude test, and I had a college degree. I was a reliable, responsible, trustworthy grown-up. Every single temp job I ever held resulted in the client offering me full-time employment. They were always really surprised when I said, "No, thank you." And that was just another reason the temp agency loved me -- I didn't leave them for a permanent position.

I didn't go back to the temp agency this time because I knew I wanted to be able to take a second shift, part time job. The sort of temp work I did nine years ago was full time clerical work, and I don't know any accounting department that's open at 9:00 at night. So I applied at the local grocery store. Why? I don't know. I've never worked retail, much less in a grocery store.

When I was in high school, my mother wouldn't let me apply at the grocery stores for a job. She got me a desk job at the local museum. I was the only person there on Saturdays and Sundays, and nobody ever came in back then. I mean, the place was stone-cold dead. I think I saw 20 visitors in the entirety of my senior year.

During high school and college, I worked most summers at camp, which was a very active job and which I loved to pieces. If it didn't pay so little, I would probably still be at camp.

One summer, I was a Coke sample girl. That was the summer of '84, when the local Coca-Cola and Pepsi bottling companies were slugging it out over sales. That's the only grocery store "experience" I've ever had. The Coke delivery guy would set up a fountain in the refrigerated food section and I would hand out little cups of Coke products to shoppers and tell them about the sale prices for Cokes.

Man, I almost froze my tush off that summer. It was cold in the refrigerated foods sections of every grocery store I ever visited! But I made a lot more money than I ever made at camp.

Now I am old. I haven't worked outside the house for nine years. I'm not athletic. I'm too cerebral. And I'm an introvert -- I mean, I really am. And I think the cash register at the grocery store is smarter than I am.

I worked seven hours yesterday. The first three and a half hours went by very quickly. The last three and a half hours seemed more like a week. I am figuring out how to bag groceries. I'm not great at it, but I'm getting it. It's the cash register that scares me.

I like the customers. I really like most of my co-workers. (One experienced cashier seemed horrified to have to deal with a new employee, and she got downright disgusted with me because I didn't know there's a button at the end of the counter to turn the belt on and off. I mean -- she *really* snorted and rolled her eyes at me.)

I need to buy incredibly padded shoes. I need to get over my fear of the buttons on the cash register. I need to just do this.


Because I'm the grown-up, that's why.


At 2/4/06 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

{{((hugs))}} Bay!

You'll master the cashier and your feet will toughen up.

I hope you get to meet some really cool characters and a minimal amount of cantankerous ones!

I've heard that Crocs are supposedly very comfortable and you can add to their funkiness with with rhinestones, flowers, and the like. Heck. Maybe you can even use Twistel.

More {{((hugs))}}


At 2/4/06 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a twit (which dd tells me is a pregnant goldfish). In which case, I'm just addlebrained since I'm neither pregnant (perish the thought) nor a fish.

I meant cash register.


Kathi, the addlebrained (twit)

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