Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Wow. What a letdown.

Well. It's 1:31 in the morning, and my last shift ended at 12:11 am. I am officially no longer an employee at my nearest grocery store.

I thought I would feel liberated and joyous at this auspicious moment, and instead I'm plagued by the niggling idea that I gave up too easily. I let the depressing people get me down. In the time since I gave notice a week and a half ago, I've had four really nice nights at work and two really icky ones. I even called in sick for one night. (And I was very glad that I did, since I spent most of that night feeling rather unwell.)

The thing is -- working in the grocery store wasn't all bad. It wasn't unrelieved hell. The vast majority of the customers were wonderful people. Most of my co-workers were interesting and very nice people. Some of them were even fun, and I often found myself laughing out loud while working my fingers to the bone.

If I were to determine a percentage of the time at the grocery store during which I was actively laughing out loud and having fun, I would have to say it was fun about 67% of the time. Compare that to the years at the ad agency, and a grocery store wins hands down as a "fun place" to work. It's also more fun than being an accounts payable clerk at a large manufacturing plant. I mean, accounts payable is a lot cleaner than running a cash register, but cubicles somehow dampen one's sense of humor. You chuckle. You don't laugh out loud.

One wonders if I'll find myself back at the grocery store next week. I would have to put my foot down and tell the store manager, "OK, I'll work here, but only for five-hour shifts, 20 hours a week at the most. I refuse to work longer than five hours at a time. And I want to work with Kim a lot. A WHOLE LOT. And Genzy, too, if that's possible. But those are my conditions, and that's the only way we will make this work."

I will miss my customers. It's so strange, but in only three and a half weeks, I already had a lot of customers whom I considered regulars, and I will miss seeing them.

I will miss the little old ladies (some as young as 60 or 65) who lived alone and would come in and talk recipes with me.

I will miss that good looking young man who always came to my register and would greet me with, "Hello, nice lady!"

But all of that said, I won't miss the few co-workers who hated the store, hated their jobs, and hated the customers in particular. That was the most shocking and unpleasant revelation. Finding out that I was hated when I was a customer was unsettling, because these people covered up their revulsion to my face. It was only when I started working with them that I found out that they cursed and shook their fists at customers who came in after 11:00 at night. Hey -- I didn't set the hours for the store. I like shopping after 11:00. No crowds, and I always get a great parking spot.

I won't miss standing up for hours at a time.

I won't miss feeling like I'm disappointing someone because the line isn't moving faster, even though there's no help for bagging the groceries and I have to do everything by myself.

Oh. I won't miss ringing up pig's feet. Ew, gross, yuck. I didn't even know people really bought that stuff!!!!!!

Tomorrow... I am free. I wonder what I'll do? Probably laundry!


At 24/4/06 11:01 PM, Blogger Hi, my name is Greg. said...

Hey Bay! What you experienced is the *common working world*. You have a talent that you were born with and nurtured it throughout your life...However, there are others - such as myself - that were born with talent and gifts and did not nurture them. We fell into life's daily rut of a routine. We talk to *500 million* people with a caring smile & REALLY we don't care about *THAT* particular person. We make day to day or atleast we try and then we collect our paychecks.

Honey Pie, you are talented and have nurtured your talents as well as your class and culture. I love that about you - if I were straight- I would fight
Wes for you. As for now - you shall be my dearest *and* my youngestn friend for life.

There is 1 more sad thing about the *common working world* we smile and laugh and joke with our clients and customers - Then "we" go out there and then "we"are the customers. It is a vicious circle. I am sorry you had to see it...but for a lot of us, Bay, that is our life.

All My Love - Greg

At 29/4/06 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bay, I just dropped in on your blog after not checking in for a long time. Your behind-the-scenes tales from the grocery store are enlightening, amusing, and fascinating. You really should sell this as an article -- if you haven't already!


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