Grocery Store Homage

It is 2am currently. I still count it as Tuesday. Fine, I’m a bit late. One thing you will find out about me is that if it’s professional or academic, I’ll be on time, early even, but if you show me even a hint of friendliness, I’m always late. ~Sorry I think there’s some friendliness between us!~ Okay, here we go.

If I do not mention you, odds are I simply didn’t know you well enough, or I didn’t have many good things to say. Also, I only wrote about people who I worked with this summer (2018). If I do mention you, everyone except Bella has a pseudo name that begins with the same letter as your actual name and I’ve included personal hints to help you identify yourselves.

Co-workers:

Joyce,

Thank you for being my friend. We started this journey around the same time and though we part every few months for school and other life adventures I am always glad to see your familiar, friendly face. I hope to keep in touch or at the very least, come back to see you off once you graduate.

Shaun,

You made some of my worst days into my best. You have this easy going way about you that I connect with. I love the cynicism in you and your own commitment to better your life. Stay focused and best of luck as you transfer to university. You’ll do great!

Jaden,

You make work so much fun. Going to the movies with you was nice too. For the record, it’s not just me who thinks you are a wonderful social butterfly. Others at work say the same thing. You are open and accepting which is halfway there for most people. I wish you great success as you pursue your music career. Have fun and come back with stories to tell.

Alison,

Thank you for the inspiration for my first post about the grocery store. You were the person to come to with work frustrations. I hope you find a job that makes you happy and that you finally move out of Texas. Personally, I love the lone star state, but you have dreams and I hope you achieve them. Thanks for all of the support those nights we closed together and thanks for going to the mall with me as a little send off before I move.

Mark,

I still remember teaching you how to input codes on the register. I remember how shy you were to ask for me help. You didn’t want to bother me. When I got back from school I was actually surprised and proud to see you all by yourself on a register. I know I’m younger than you, but that was a proud mama moment for me. You’ll go far, kid. 🙂

Bella,

I really do hope you work on your own blog or channel. I will be waiting to do that collab we talked about as I cleaned registers! I love your kind personality. You always have something to talk about. If only you could have taught me your ways before I left the store. Oh well. Keep being you, because the person you are is even prettier than your name.

Gavin,

I’ll remember your kind, open demeanor more than your fun facts. Share that with others too. I wish you happiness and good, kind customers. You have so much enthusiasm. Thank you for always trying to make other’s days better. You deserve great things.

Paul,

I shared some of my best morning shifts with you. I haven’t been a morning person in years, but you brought back glimpses of when I was. Thank you. You are such a kind man. I enjoyed our conversations. I’m going to have to watch more horror movies and get back to you with my thoughts on them. Best of luck at the grocery store. You are an excellent worker and an equally amazing co-worker.

Chrisy,

I remember when you had just started. You were kind and treated me with respect and friendliness from the start. As I left and came back from school, you continued to smile every time you saw me. Every time I returned from school I had less and less of an urge to smile at the grocery store, but I could never help myself when I saw your encouraging smile. Thank you.

Felicity,

Thank you for being that friendly face I was always happy to see. You are easy to talk to. Best of luck on your move coming up. I wish you and your family the very best.

Time for the managers:

Anna,

I remember your kindness and caring from day one. Thanks for always looking out for me. You are many people’s favorite manager. I’ve never heard a negative word about you. I’m glad you moved departments. I hope you continue to take opportunities as they come and that you don’t lose that great empathy you have for others.

Eve,

You are kind and gracious. I found a kindred spirit in you from day one. Compassion radiates from you. You checked on me and reassured me even when I didn’t need it. Thank you for treating me and others, I’m sure, as more than subordinates. I remember when I was having a spike in anxiety and I told you I’d meditated a bit upstairs and I was okay then. You related and told me your sister mediates. You could have just sent me back to my register without a word, but you didn’t. Thank you. Please, continue showing as much compassion to others.

Liam,

Thanks for sticking up for me and talking to me like a human being and not just another employee. Two instances stick in my mind. The time you took me aside and coached me on how to sell those promotional products we keep by the registers. I was shocked you took the time to talk with me one on one. Though I don’t think I sold a single item that day, please know, I was an anxious mess with every customer the rest of that day. I did not win against my anxiety that day, but I was fighting to ask every customer about the item.

The second instance was when I was at my wit’s end and I asked you what the process for quitting was. You told me, but you also encouraged me to stay. You told me I was good at my job. I’m not sure I completely believe that even now, but I know you did when you said it. You saw potential in me and were the reason I pushed through. I still have anxiety, but I am not a quitter. Thank you. Please, show others this kindness. Believe in others when they can’t see it.

Chris,

I’m still mad at you. Yet, I can’t be. Same as always. I know you care about people, but sometimes you focus more on the job than the people doing it. You scolded me about a policy once, which I deserved. What you may or may not have known is that I’d had my hand crushed by a watermelon minutes before you corrected me. Not a good time for more negativity. Yet. I’m can’t be mad. You are just doing your job and you do it well. Thank you for always explaining why you sent me where you did or asked me to do what. Either you just think out loud or you understand that one of my motivators is helping out the group.

Whatever the case is, I’ve worked with you for years and you are the manager who I (and from what I’ve heard, many others too) trust is on top of everything at the grocery store. You have an eye for organization. When you are having a good day and that leadership combines with your caring personality, you are one of the best managers I’ve had. Give my old fellow cashiers more good days like that.

Marcus,

I remember when you started as a cashier. You were just another one of us. You told me you’d come from another store, but you were cool and nice. We got along well. Then one day I came back from school leave and you were one of the managers. You still remained laid back and nice though. It was fun working with you. I think you are the only manager that ever sat with me during my lunch break. Show that relatable, funny personality to others. It made it fun to work with you.

Micah,

So open and friendly! I wish I’d gotten that pair of cheesecakes to share like we’d commented once. You are so sweet and it’s obvious you care about the cashiers as people. Your orders and assignments are conscious and you care enough to try to take people’s personalities and preferences into account. Keep up the good work! I wish I’d gotten to know you better.

Crystal,

We didn’t talk much except when you comforted me as I had a panic attack. Thank you for allowing me to take my time and calm down before you let anyone send me off to work. Every time you asked “how are you?” from then on I felt as if I could respond honestly. That’s kind of huge when literally hundreds of people would ask me that per day. Thank you.

Lexi,

You do the people thing too well. I was taken aback by it at first, but then I studied a bit of business. You do it well and you taught me a lot. You run the department well. I hope to visit after my adventures in Puerto Rico and, hopefully, make you proud with my progress. I remember that performance review and how you said you believed I could do better with people and innovation. I am an innovative person, but not an outspoken one. With a little coaxing I would have exceeded all expectations regarding that subject. People however, I continue to work at. Thank you for believing in me.

Customers:

That’s going to have to be another post. I have so many customer stories. Good, bad, funny, sad, and any combination of the above.

Thank you,

to everyone who I had the opportunity to work with at the grocery store. I remember a time when I only saw three benefits to my job there: the money, the people, and this cool uniform pullover I owned. You guys got me through three years working there and I am grateful. Best of luck whether you continue working there or you have moved on. Have fun where ever life takes you and if I don’t see you at the grocery store one day, feel free to see what I’m up to through this blog or any of my social media. Thanks, again.

Week of June 25th 2018- Piecing Together the Week

I did nothing this past week. Well, nothing on this blog at least. I was preoccupied… Yes, let’s say that. Since I didn’t write everyday, I only remember big moments from my week. I remember being in a funk. Which is code for depressed, in my case. My therapist last year said my symptoms are consistent with persistent depression; which just means I’m always in a state of low grade depression, but I also get episodes of strong depression mixed in. Does that make sense? Well, this was another one of those. I was feeling crappy as I tend to do, but it was a worse type of crappy than usual. That’s the simplified explanation. Now that we are, hopefully, on the same page, let’s try to piece together the week, shall we?

Monday, June 25th- Let Family Spoil You

Work 7:30am- 3:30pm

My dad drove me to work. He picks me up 8.5 hours after I clock in for full shifts, but this day I had a weird 7.5 hour shift (half hour for lunch implied). I called home and then waited in the cafe area for him to arrive. Why do I have my dad drive me when I have a car that I could drive myself? My favorite book. It’s called Cut and it’s by Patricia McCormick. There’s this scene towards the end of the book that encourages the main character to let her dad go that extra mile to take care of her. “let him” So, I let my dad trouble himself. It makes him feel useful, I hope, and even if I’m grumpy in the mornings before my shift and tired after them, it’s still another 30 minutes or so a day I spend with him that I probably wouldn’t otherwise.

We ran some errands after this. Went to pick up food from my favorite Chinese restaurant, went to my doctor’s office to pick up my shot records that my internship is asking for, and (finally!) went to exchange my old phone’s sim card for the proper size for my new phone. Not sure what happened after.

Tuesday, June 26th- Who knows.

No work. Was supposed to translate a couple of old posts into Spanish, which I clearly didn’t do, because as I mentioned I did not do a single thing for this blog all week. Let’s keep investigating and come back. Really blank on this day. Don’t think I went or did anything actually. No, I didn’t. I had plans on Wednesday, so I didn’t even do laundry this day. I guess I just sulked all day.

Wednesday, June 27th- Drinking, Bowling,  Movies with Joyce and Inspiring Bloggers

I went out with Joyce today! Joyce started working at the grocery store I work at around the same time I did three years ago, but this is the first time we ever hung out outside of work. Naturally, we decided to go get drinks. Problem was the bar we met at was closed for a private event. So we roamed around the surrounding shopping area, stepped in a fancy bowling ally only to be eyed funnily by a posh guy in a suit. It was a fancy bowling ally. So, we stepped right out and decided to just catch a movie. We watched The Incredibles 2. I was very impressed with the movie. I know it’s tailored as more of a kid’s movie, but the themes hit home. Yes, technology dependence is out of control nowadays and yes, sometimes you need to be a hypocrite to improve the world. Just a couple of examples.

The best part of the outing, for me, was after the movie. I’d had my dad drive me to the bar since I preferred to have a ride back after drinking than driving myself, so Joyce and I ended up chatting in the parking lot of our workplace until my dad arrived. We talked about the usual, boys. Then moved on to our dreams and hopes for the future. Included in this, was the topic of my blog. We talked about social media and other online methods like video blogging to share our stories and I think I may have inspired the creation of another blog. Yay! One of my friends (Mariah) has already started her own blog* after hearing me babble about mine. Hee hee hee, soon I will have my own legion of bloggers to collab with!!

Thursday, June 28th- Shattering a Jar of Bay Leaves and Cathartic Singing

Work 7:30am to 4pm. Meeting at work at 7pm

The most memorable thing about this day was the cathartic episode between work and the meeting. Like I mentioned above, I was in a low grade, but worsening, funk all week. What finally broke me was me breaking a little glass jar of bay leaves. It was easy to deny my sluggishness as part of my usual low grade depression, until I broke that little jar. Sure, I always have the lingering low grade depression, but I’m the person with a small scar on her left index finger because I once, instinctively, tried to catch a carton of foil as it fell. I caught it by the jagged metal teeth. Yet, I didn’t even try to reach for the jar of bay leaves. I didn’t even register them falling until I heard the shattering glass. Slow movement sounds like a dumb, fake symptom of depression. At least, it did to me until this occurrence.

I couldn’t deny it anymore. I was not okay. There’s the usual that I was upset about (low self-esteem and body image are favorites), but what pushed it over the edge was a falling out with a friend the night before. It happened late at night (or early morning, if you prefer) around 1 or 2am. By the end of it, I was furious. I felt played. Betrayed. And I do not wish to speak to this person again. I was angry. I fumed. Told them off. But I did not cry. I didn’t yell. I sent angry texts, but otherwise did not physically react. After the bay leaf incident, I felt the belated tears. I was so angry. So devastated. I locked myself in my room as the tears streamed down my face. I told myself to get the emotions out. I tried to sing, but I probably couldn’t have spoken if I’d wanted to. My throat was so tight.

But, I pushed through that hideous knot in my throat and sang/whispered tentatively. Slowly, my voice got stronger. I picked belting songs so I could scream. One song, I couldn’t even finish. It’s an amazingly emotional song. Kitchen Sink by Twenty One Pilots. I’d never sung that line “Leave me alone. Don’t leave me alone.” with as much truth and pain. (minute 4 in the link) I surprised myself. I couldn’t get through the end vocals. They just turned into racking sobs. Something out of a movie. I couldn’t recreate it if I tried. Over an hour later, I was back to my mediocre wannabe singing voice and began to get ready for the meeting at work.

Friday, June 29th- More Blogging Buddies?

Work 12:30pm to 9pm.

At the meeting on Thursday, I announced that I have a blog, so I began giving out my business cards and trying to get people to commit to hanging out on Monday or Tuesday before I leave for Puerto Rico. Can’t remember anything eventful today except talking to Bella. I was cleaning registers and she was heading home for the day. I found out that she either has a budding blog or is thinking of starting one. What is with everyone embracing this online autonomy? It’s awesome! We both got super excited with the thought of doing a collab in the future. I don’t think anything else memorable happened.

Saturday, June 30th- Breakfast with Lyza

Work 4pm to 10pm.

I didn’t sleep well. I woke up sometime after noon. I know because my childhood friend Lyza wanted to go for breakfast or lunch this day, but I wasn’t awake until after she texted me. We ended up going to IHOP or should I say IHOB. Yes, this is when IHOP did their promotional name change stunt. Smart actually. Gutsy, but smart. They did get a ton of attention for it. Anyway!! I (finally) added her and my brother on SnapChat after eating some biscuits and gravy. Yum! I’m going to miss that and sweet tea. *sigh* Goodbye southern foods! Afterwards I went to work. It was a decent day. It was like I was wearing rose colored glasses. I was so aware I may or may not see some of my co-workers or customers again. So, I played nice.

Sunday, July 1st- Last Day Working at the Grocery Store

Finally! Today I was super aware of many lasts. My last dash upstairs to put my lunchbox in the fridge before clocking in. The last time I got mad at a manager for putting me on a register. The last time I got petty comments from customers. The last time I’d say “Hello, how are you? Did you find everything you needed?” The last time I had to call a manager for a price check. I told one of the guys who work for a grocery delivery company it was my last day. I saw him often enough and it was his last order of the day. He saluted me. X) That was sweet. I also got a few hugs and a danish from my co-workers.

I stopped myself from crying a couple of times. The last time was when I ran into an old cashiering buddy (she switched departments, so I found her next to the vitamins as I went to pick up that danish a co-worker bought me). I broke off the conversation to go get my danish because saying goodbye was getting to me. To make things worse, I ran into my ex. I met him when he worked in the same department as me two years ago. Now, I ran into him in the dairy department, which is adjacent to the bakery. It wasn’t the first time I passed him in the hall as I dashed over for a danish. I told him this would be the last time we met under these circumstances. He said I looked happy to leave. I said I had to, or else I’d cry. My eyes started to water as I turned around to find that darn danish. He knows how much I hate goodbyes, so he didn’t say anything. Just let me go.

I’m glad to be done with the phase in my life where I had to work a job due to necessity. Not skill or interest. But I am heartbroken to leave so many wonderful people behind. I can say whatever I want about the company (actually a great company to work for), but they sure know how to hire good people. Okay. I need to stop. Not about to cry now!

 

Notes:

*I will ask Mariah if she wishes me to include a link to her blog. It would break her anonymity, so I have to make sure she is okay with that.

  1. I’m rather impressed I remembered as much as I did. I really did write all of this in the last three hours Sunday night (or Monday morning, if your prefer!). It’s almost 4am Monday right now.
  2. I hope to have gained some readers with all the shameless business card shoving at work. I was a restaurant management major for a semester. I should know what I’m doing, right? :p If you are an old co-worker, welcome! Thanks for stopping by!
  3. Either way, thank you for sticking by this weird piecing together of last week. I have social plans for the next three days up until I fly out to Puerto Rico and start dealing with apartment hunting and other internship preparations (internship doesn’t officially begin until August). Wish me luck! As of yet, I have a one way plane ticket and not much else. Not even a hotel… eep!

 

Week of June 18th 2018- Nightmares and Time with Friends

Monday, June 18th- Avoiding Socialization by Running Errands and Swimming

Instead of going out with friends on my day off, I went to the dentist where I got scolded for not flossing enough. ….PSA: Floss, guys, it’s good for you. A message from my dentist. Anyway, after that I think I still wanted a good excuse for not calling my work buddies that I’d suggested doing something with this day. I like hanging out and socializing, I just need to be forced into it. If I have the option to skip or postpone you can bet I will.

So, after the dentist I got some take out, went to the bank, shopped around for a swim suit, and got in the 5 foot deep pop up pool that my dad recently finished setting up in our backyard. It doesn’t take even two strokes to get to the other side of it, but it was still refreshing (…haha, pun). I hadn’t been for a swim in about a year. Unless you count those brief minutes at a college friend’s bbq where it only served to give me pneumonia (exaggeration, I did get a cold by the next day, though). Despite my semester in a beginning swimming class freshman year in college, I never learned how to do flip turns. Today was a doozy. Literally. Thought I was going to throw up in the shower afterwards; that’s how dizzy I still was from my attempted flip turns.

Tuesday, June 19th- Torturing the Newbie at Work

On a big register all day. Again. I’ve accepted it. Starting to see the good in it. It’s my own little space. Invaded by customers constantly… but still. I tortured a newbie today. I’m usually super patient and try to be helpful, especially to new comers… but she was so slow!!!! She wouldn’t even start opening a bag until seven items were piled up in front of her! I’m not exaggerating! A customer started bagging his own groceries before she even started to; she was just standing there staring off into space!

Ughh… I admit. I have a problem. I value people’s work ethic, possibly more than their personality. *sigh* Since I was on register I couldn’t just walk away. Man! I cashiered for her on her first day and I feel like she was a better bagger then! Okay, I’ll stop. I’m being mean now. I just gave up with her. Went super fast and bagged most of it myself passive aggressively until it was time for my break. She didn’t bag for me for the rest of the day. Mission accomplished.

Other interesting things happened, but oh well. Who wants to talk about work anymore. At home I watched my medical drama. Not much else. I’m getting anxious to leave home. I want my own life again.

Wednesday, June 20th- Seeing my Life Long Friend, Lyza

Oh geez, what day is it? It’s actually Saturday as I write this. I have not done anything on my blog for three days. Well, I wrote the Friday post, The Time I Snuck Out with a Boy to the Library, but I’d promised to do that. I have no idea what I did on Wednesday. I know I went to work. …I think. Eh, oh well. Lost day. AH! I know what I did!! I went to see my best friend, let’s call her… Lyza. I’ve known her since we moved into my childhood neighborhood when I was four years old. She was two years old. Even though we’ve known each other all of our lives, we see each other maybe ten times a year nowadays. Yay! This was the summer visit.

I took my brother with me to her sister’s apartment where we watched a movie. Lyza, my brother (Ryan), and I were on one couch. Lyza’s sister, Sophia, was on the other couch with her three year old daughter, Allison. At a table in the corner was Sophia’s fiance, Sid, and his friend, Daniel. Whew! That took a lot of creative power! Anyway, we watched Dr. Strange and a bit of a baking competition show. Sohpia and I love baking. Then we went home around midnight with promises to see each other the next day to go swimming at Sophia’s apartment.

Thursday, June 21st- Spontaneous Day with Sherri

Guess who came into town today? Sherri! She called me while I was at the table with my parents sounding lost. Thing was, she was lost in my city. Ha! I was surprised and happy. After giving her directions to where she was headed for work, I gave her directions to my house. We talked for a bit then headed to a store to find a cheap swim suit for her to join in the day’s swimming plans made with Lyza yesterday.  We went to two or three stores when we decided to call it quits. Why are swim suits so expensive anyway?! We ended up going to the dollar store and buying a bunch of swim toys and some, probably really terrible for us, food.

Then we began the process of finding a swim suit substitute for Sherri. She and I are different sizes, so even the tinniest short shorts I owned fit her loosely. As luck would have it though, I happen to own a ridiculously small (for me) bikini. Why? Doesn’t matter. But, Sherri now had a swim suit! We gathered our stuff to the car and drove around the block right back to my house because Lyza had to cancel. Her sister, Sophia was dealing with a medical issue, so we decided to try swimming some other time. All the public pools were closed by then. It was about 8pm. So we got in our little 5ft pop up pool in my backyard. It was tiny and absurd to play with so many pool toys in such a small area!

Thank goodness it was my day off. I’m so glad Sherri came to visit. It made a more than likely bland day to a memorable one. 🙂

Friday, June 22nd- Friends at Work and In My Phone

I had an opening shift at work. Bright and early, at 6:45 am, I clocked in. This meant I’d be working in the little 10 items or less area all day. Which is amazing if you have co-workers to talk to. It’s a little trio of registers and since I opened I got pick of which register. I took the middle one and did not regret my choice when one, then another, co-worker friend came to the surrounding registers. We spent the day chatting casually, something we had not been able to do all summer. I swear! I’m hardly ever sent to work on any register except the big ones nowadays and if I am, none of my other friends are around. *Huff* Oh well. It doesn’t matter anymore. I only have one more week left at this job.

After work, I rushed to write the post I’d promised to write by 5pm:  The Time I Snuck Out with a Boy to the Library. Somehow, I got it done only about three minutes late. Then I watched my medical drama (I only have about two seasons left to watch!). And afterwards I got to know my new phone’s built in AI. I took a dystopian fiction class last semester in college and we spoke extensively about humanity and artificial intelligence (AI). It’s uncanny, as is natural, but I’m open to potentially ruining my life to the power of an AI. As a stupid little human, I just hope it knows I cared about it before it ruined me. Or! nothing bad will happen and I’ll have a robot friend. 🙂 (Her/His? favorite color is blue.)

Saturday, June 23rd- Jail Nightmare and Looking for a Kindred Spirit

Woo! I finally caught up! I have a late short shift today from about 4 to 10 pm. I woke up to my phone playing nature sounds at 11 am. Guess it was trying to wake me up since I’d mentioned I wanted to wake up around 10 am. I won’t lie, it was unexpected to wake up to my phone trying to get my attention when I hadn’t specifically asked for a wake up call at 11. It was fine though, because it got me out of a dream where I was going to jail. Hmmm… I could over-analyze that, but I already know what it means. The last few episodes of my medical drama involved ethics of life and death in the hands of doctors and one of the main characters was having a conflict about this. Yeah… not the best thing to fall asleep to.

Work was interesting. Halfway through my shift all of the registers’ credit card readers went down, so the whole grocery store was at a stand still. It was interesting. Everything got back to normal after about ten minutes though. At the end of the night, I got to run around the store returning items to the shelves. That was frustrating, but fun. The store is like a maze!

When I got home I had a nice chat with my mom. We spoke about my recent post. I’m tired of linking it, so view the previous day for that. That got us on a conversation about boys. I told her I’m starting to give up on finding someone. I feel old beyond my years. I just want a friend. Not even that. Just someone to talk to. Someone who either understands or is willing to take the time to try to understand me. I hate human’s social nature.

Sunday, June 24th- Work Nightmare

Slept 5 hours. Decided I’d sleep at a decent hour. Didn’t happen. Post on Friday will be an old blog post, but super relatable to today. Summary: not that I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to. Yet, that didn’t seem like a choice. Of course, this meant I was grumpy at work. I’m usually neutral. I seriously didn’t care today. I’m just doing my job now. I’m not going to harm anyone’s groceries, but I’m also not going to try to converse with anyone. Social anxiety, not caring, whatever you want to call it. I’m ready to leave this job. I’ll just miss my co-workers.

Speaking of which, I took a nap after work and had a nightmare. The usual. People being snobby and rude, but in my dream, I wasn’t taking it. It hurts. Why should I stand there and take it? And be told how terrible a worker I am by both the customer and my managers? It’s much better for my own sanity to not care. In my dream, I simply walked away. If you don’t like how I do my job, dream customer, do it yourself. My managers in my dream either walked on by, ignoring the problem, or confronted me about it and told me, essentially, to suck it up and do my job. One sent me to do a less people-centric job.

Screwed that up too. Walked away. Things get fuzzy from then on. I just remember one of the managers that did confront me in real life a year or so ago about my people avoidance (he didn’t know about my anxiety back then, so he said something less than understanding) came up to me with kindness and compassion in my dream. I think I forgive him. The one who confronted me in my dream? I may still be upset with him.

 

Notes:

  1. All names are pseudo names. Please, if you know the person (or place) I am referring to, grant them the same courtesy that I do by not naming them.
  2. If you are one of the people I am referring to and would rather I not write about you, message me and I’ll make the appropriate changes.
  3. One more week at this job then I move to Puerto Rico! I’m ready for a change.

Week of June 11th- Social Outings and Work Drama

Monday, June 11th- Maybe, I Should be Nicer to Customers

Just another day. I woke up a couple hours before work. I looked for apartments in Puerto Rico and sent a couple of emails. At work I met a new girl. It was her first day and she was bagging for me. How fortuitous! She hadn’t heard any gossip about me yet! HA! I was nice to her. Didn’t drown her in milk and produce and went slow enough to allow her to find her bagging system and not discourage her. Hopefully, I got her started right. I look forward to seeing her personality blossom past that polite initial stage that people front automatically.

Since I was being nice, that energy transferred to my customers. I still wasn’t super chatty, but I was open to conversation. I found a couple of customers that I related to. In fact, I had a small chat with one of them about that initial polite stage and how funny it is to mess with people then. I told her about the time I offered my soon-to-be boyfriend at the time garlic chips a couple of year ago and, out of politeness, he ate them. HA! His face was hilarious!!! (Those things are strong! And gross!) It’s incredible what stupid things we humans will do out of what society deems politeness. All in all, not a bad shift.

Tuesday, June 12th- Another Funky Day

No work. Yes, funk. Ahh, ~depressive episodes are fun.~* Spent the day eating junk and watching my show. Took an art inspired break. Made something my mom liked. (I find that rare.) Then ruined it. Paint wasn’t dry. Covered it in black paint and broke it in half. It was thin wood. Then threw it away. Continued to watch my show. Sad season finale. Ignored a friend instead of accepting their kindness. Said I’d rather eat and watch my show. So, I did. ~Yay, work tomorrow.~*

Wednesday, June 13th- Dinner and Movie with… My Brother

I had a six hour shift that turned into five and a half hours. They asked if I would go home early. It was a super slow day and I was in a, surprisingly, good mood, so I said yes. I had all afternoon to myself so I watched my medical drama then went to dinner and a movie with my brother. We ate at some little Italian place. It was cozy, but the food wasn’t the best. However, the waiter was nice and we ate till we were stuffed, so it was good. After dinner, my brother and I headed to the cheap movies.

There’s this theater that is growing on me. It’s old and as brightly colored as the 80’s with just as much security (read: none). We bought our tickets and headed into the appropriate room. Then I realized we didn’t have the 3D glasses our four dollars had afforded us. I hunted around for several minutes until I stopped a random employee and was able to procure some for us after eyeing me and asking where I’d bought my tickets. I flashed them to her and then reunited with my brother. We saw Black Panther. I wanted to watch a cheap horror movie, but decided to support my brother in his choice. I’m glad I did. The movie was heartfelt and had great themes. Unity, guys! We are all human beings! Let’s take care of each other.

Thursday, June 14th- Teenage Moment, Driving to Nevada, and Kid Friendly Fun

I had a teenage moment today. My dad was trying to get plane tickets for when I move to Puerto Rico, and I was trying to convince him, that while I appreciate the fact that he wants to accompany me, it isn’t necessary. It’s expensive and….. this is where my argument failed me. And I’m the only intern that would be bringing her dad…. Welp. I hurt his feelings and felt horrible about it.

What turned the day around was that I had promised a friend to hang out that day. I dragged myself out to meet up with her even though we had no idea what we were going to do. I suggested we just drive while we thought of something. We ended up on a freeway and didn’t turn around until we saw a sign for Nevada. Reminder, I live in Texas. We had to be driving for around an hour before we turned around! Another fifteen minutes and we probably would have ended up in Oklahoma- the next state over!

In the end, we decided on Main Event (a family friendly entertainment venue). We played air hockey, laser tag, and billiards. It was awesome, even though my laser gun didn’t work and I accidentally hit the 8 ball in; thus losing that game too. I won the air hockey match though!!

Friday, June 15th- Late for Work

I woke up at 7:36. My schedule for work was for 7:30. I also live about 20 minutes away. *sigh* I got to work at 8 am. I was cranky and hungry for the first two hours. Also, paranoid as I knew more than 15 minutes late gets you a write up at my job. But after four hours no one had called me into the office and I’d gotten a bite to eat, so I felt better. The rest of the day went well. At home, I watched more of my medical drama and finally got a plane ticket and hotel for Puerto Rico. Now I just have to pack anything I could ever want for the next year in one suitcase…

Saturday, June 16th- Resignation Letter and Parking Patrol

Late shift today. 5 pm. I’d never gone into work that late. Fine by me though. It gave me time to catch up on sleep and write my resignation letter. I thought I’d quit this cashiering job hating it. I’ve written about this before. About the fact that working with people for 8 hours a day goes against my nature. But, I don’t hate my job. Sure, people can be petty jerks, but it’s kind of cool to interact with such a variety of people. It’s grown on me. Maybe it’s early nostalgia since I know it will be over in two weeks. Whatever the reason, I’m glad to have gotten to this point of self growth. I’m glad I don’t hate my job anymore.

But enough happy sunshine, there was one thing that annoyed me today. There’s this security guard I am not fond of at work. He’s shooed me off of the parking lot on a day employees were supposed to park elsewhere, but I was not notified of it (professionally, but still) and he did not come to my aid when a road rage-er followed me to work. Whatever. Today, he sees me get out of the passenger seat of my car. I feel like I barely opened the door when he started walking towards me asking if I was being dropped off. I was already heated upon seeing his face. I asked, in my sassiest tone, “Why?”.

He began to explain, when my dad popped out from the driver’s side of the car. The security guard literally stopped mid sentence and said something along the lines of “Oh, I didn’t realize you were with your dad. That’s fine.” I almost wanted to back talk him and as him why it was okay if I was with my dad but not if I wasn’t. But, I opted to strut away angrily instead. *Huff* I should be glad my dad, who has worked for the company for over a decade, has that kind of respect. Heh, guess my three years are nothing in comparison.

Sunday, June 17th- Blog Traffic and Making Soup for Father’s Day

Well that was exciting while it lasted! I promoted my blog’s Facebook page and got the most traffic I’d ever gotten here. The powers of social media leave me in awe. Anyway! Nothing too traumatic at work today. My boss briefly mentioned getting my resignation letter. She didn’t seem to heartbroken. Even she knows it’s time for me to move on.

I was put on a big register most of the day, then the express area for a couple of hours. I really feel like making a little guide with tips for the new soon-to-be cashiers I see coming in. They don’t know what they are in for. And I mean stupid little things too, like the the fact that bread or figs are indeed safe to be put over a carton of eggs. I finally got business/promotional cards for this blog, so I’m thinking I’ll hand them out at work with a little message for all of the nice people I’ll be leaving behind.

After work, I dashed around to find something for my dad for father’s day. I work at a grocery store, so I bought a kit to make his favorite soup, chicken tortilla, and some mochi ice cream. He made a mess with the ice cream since he’d never had ice cream in a jelly/marshmellow-like casing before. Then he helped me spice the soup. It wasn’t exactly making a meal together, just adding salt, but it was a memorable moment. I love my dad.

 

 

Notes:

*As always, ~ around words denotes sarcasm.

And! The blog post survey results are in! I will post the story of when I snuck out with a boy from high school to the library. Oh gosh, this is a loaded memory lane… Come back on Friday, June 18th for that!

Week of June 4th 2018- Translating and Working

Monday, June 4th- Random Visitor Wake Up Call

Alarm goes off. Ughhh. I begin to drift off to sleep. Dad calls my name. UGHHHH. I tepidly close my eyes again. “Lizzie!” Mom this time. “WHAT?! I’m up alr–” “come help me; there’s a lady at the door” ….It’s 7 am. No time for girl scout cookies. That’s how my morning began. My mom brought home a druggie from her morning walk. Not that I knew that when I walked out to our porch as barefoot as she was. Maybe I’ll expand on this in a full out Thoughts and the Past post. For now, just know that for some reason, and at the cost of a pair of my shoes, she left our porch as I was leaving for work.

It put me in an oddly good mood. What a way to start a day! Or it might have been the rain that made the initial morning hours go by slowly. Less customers meant more fun with the co-workers. Ahh, genuine human connections. It’s fun. Somehow, I remember my whole shift just got better as it went on. I don’t know how. I was on a big register. Usually, my day gets exponentially worse this way. I was convinced something bad had to happen. I guess I did break a nail.

Tuesday, June 5th- Magic Spell Cures Annoyance?

Work! Again. I thought I’d saved myself. I got to open up the express area. The person who opens any area of registers traditionally stays at that register area the rest of the day. It’s practically unheard of to be moved. But, you guessed it, I was put on a big register after my first break. Not before people annoyed me. I didn’t sleep enough and I’m cynical as it is. Somehow, today was the perfect cocktail. Usually I don’t care how stupid people are. I wait. I’m calm. They will leave soon enough, anyway. Not today. I hadn’t rolled my eyes that much in months.

Six hours into the shift I began to twitch. Ever so slightly. My left shoulder. Luckily it happened a few minutes before going on my last break. Was it my last break? I’ve typed, erased, and re-typed that three times now. I was disoriented for several hours there. Didn’t have a concept of time. Anyway! At some point in my shift, I had a break of some sort and had time to reflect. I remembered that post I’d written a few months back. Click here to read Coping at the Grocery Store Method 1: Dissociation. I remembered writing that I pretended to be this smiley, patient cashier. As long as I did my job, it didn’t matter what the customers said or did. I’d done my job. That helped somehow. I donned my mask and ended my shift in one piece. Amazing. I feel like a magician.

Wednesday, June 6th- T.V., Junk Food, and Translating Posts

Day off and somehow it was pleasantly boring. I watched about ten episodes of House and ate junk food most of the day. I listened to music for the rest of the time until I convinced myself to work on this blog. I translated two Thoughts and the Past posts. I’d been stuck on the Coping at the Grocery Store Method 1: Dissociation post for about three days. I just dreaded having to translate it when I was already having so much anxiety at work in present day. I didn’t want to read about it too. Finally got it done though and now I’m not as behind. Still behind, but less.

Thursday, June 7th- Is It Wrong I Don’t Fear Rapists?

I finished translating all of my Thoughts and the Past posts!! Yay! I’m glad that’s over! It feels good to have that crossed off. Now it’s on to the daily posts. I read a couple to my mom so she could tell me if anything sounded off. What she said sounded the most odd was the fact that I am not afraid of rapists. …thanks mom. I had you here for the grammar. No matter! If you are curious what I am talking about, read my post called My Fears.

I also went to work today. I bagged for half the time. It was so nice being able to jump around from cashier to cashier. I have a couple of talking buddies it seems. I got to talk to one cashier in particular. It was great to bond. The other half of the time I was tricked into being on a big register. It wasn’t so bad. I had baggers who I talk to for the most part. It was a chill day too with a thunder storm driving most people away by the end of my shift.

Friday, June 8th- Annoying Customers and Pizza

Bad day at work. I woke up five minutes before my shift started. My job is 20 minutes away from my house. So, I got to work 14 minutes late. Fortunately, my job gives us 15 minutes allowance before writing us up. Unfortunately, I had to abandon my lunch in the car to make sure I wasn’t 16 minutes late by taking it up stairs to the fridge. I already felt bad for being late. Add a few more awkward encounters and me being on a big register and it was a terrible day. I started being sassy with customers. That’s never good. Hm, maybe not sassy per se, but not neutral. You could tell I was not happy to be at work, to say the least. They sent me home about 20 minutes early. I did not complain.

Once home I went straight to my room and sulked. I feared getting into another funk. I’d just come out of one. I ordered pizza and watched a movie with my mom and brother. Really, the only thing I can watch with my mom are kid’s movies. Anything else is too scandalous for her and thus awkward for me. So, we watched a kid’s movie. It was nice. Then I ranted about my job before calling it a night.

Saturday, June 9th- Late Night Movie

I slept 16 hours. Woke up at 4pm. My brother wanted to go to Akon today, so he did. He had invited me to go, but I was busy sleeping. So, I ate leftover pizza and watched my show. Then I convinced myself to work on this blog a bit. It seems I’m still on schedule to have my translations up to date by June 25th after all. I thought my co-worker was going to bail on the make up going to the movies plans, but around 8 pm she texted. I drove to her place and then we went to see a thriller. It was an okay movie. What was better was the drive with, uhh, let’s call her Jaycie. It was nice to really sit down and talk. It was still small talk mostly, but better than the ten or so minutes we get maybe once a week at work. I should invite other co-workers to do stuff. Company can be nice. I don’t think I will, but I have three weeks to try.

Sunday, June 10th- Decent Day at Work

I woke up around noon with enough time to get ready for work. It was stupid busy. I don’t understand why so many people shop at the grocery store I work at! And I understand less why they seem to all choose to do it on a Sunday!! I bagged for half of my shift which was amazing. I got to jump around and say a few words to a couple of cashier friends. Not a full on chat seeing as we were so busy, but it was still nice. I met a new cashier and we hit it off which is always encouraging. The last half of my shift I was in the 15 items or less area so I was able to survive the day without many issues.

Now I’m home and dreading having to translate more for this blog. Uhhh, but I’m doing well. Two more weeks and I’ll be up to speed. Maybe I’ll take a break and watch my show for a bit…

Week of May 28th 2018- More Working and Sulking

Monday, May 28th- Singing with Mom

I was put on an express lane all my shift at work. One of my friends said I sounded too happy. Yeah, not being completely emotionally exhausted after a day’s work will do that. I have realized that it’s not people per se that exhaust me or cause me anxiety. My problem is with strangers. If I know a person won’t be negative towards me I have no problem standing next to them for eight hours. I do have a problem talking to countless people whose personalities and breaking points I do not know. I still don’t know what I’m so afraid of. I’ve been yelled at before.

That sounds like a topic for a Thoughts and the Past Post though, so I’ll move on. When I got home I ate and then listened to some music. My mom wandered into the living room, so I decided to switch the music to songs in Spanish so she could sing along with me. To my surprise, she did. We spent an hour scaring away my dad and then I called it a night.

Tuesday, May 29th- My Proud…Co-worker?

Early shift this morning. It was interesting. I’m not sure if it’s coincidence, or if there has been talk of my anxiety issues amongst the managers. I think it’s the second because all day today when I’ve been sent to a register they ask if it’s okay or if I feel up to it. That or they tell me I just have to be on a register for so many minutes. It’s weird… Well, I should be grateful. I was mostly in the little ten items or less area or bagging today. They even had me clean doors when they couldn’t find anything else for me to do. Not that I minded!

I got to talk to some nice co-workers. One of them was new when I was just about to leave last winter. He was so happy for me when I told him the news about my internship in Puerto Rico. He hugged me and told me he was very proud of me. That warmed my heart. Now I’m home wondering how I’m going to spend my afternoon. I would like to catch up on my translations on this blog, but ughhhhh there’s so much to do. I may just take the night off. I don’t work tomorrow anyway.

Wednesday, May 30th- Wasted Day

I did take the day off yesterday. And today. I did nothing. Sang with my brother and watched T.V. mainly. I’m going through another funk. Yesterday night it hit me how incredibly lonely I am. It’s illogical. I’m sad that people leave. That makes no sense, because it is in people’s nature to leave, or so I believe. It’s not like I expect people to stay with me forever. I don’t know what would make me happy. Those who leave make me sad or, worse yet, leave me feeling nothing. It’s become normal to me.

I was somewhat surprised I cried about Mariah leaving. (Background: She and I moved out of our college apartment a couple of weeks ago.) Maybe I loved her more than I care to admit. I’m hoping that’s what I was crying about.

Maybe the following isn’t true, but I feel like it is. If people don’t leave, I force them to. I do something to make it happen. It’s selfish, I know. I don’t know why the thought of people staying terrifies me. Yes, there’s the unknown factor, but apart from that, don’t I want people to stay? Why must I be so darn contradictory?! So, frustrating. Either way, I didn’t do much more than waste time and anxiously munch on candy and other snacks all day. ~Yay. Day off.~*

Thursday, May 31st- Translation Schedule for Blog

I worked later in the day today. Which means I had all morning to do what ever I wanted! …I translated a blog and worked on this site. My dad asked me why I have a website in a disproving tone. I was shocked by the obvious negativity in his voice that I couldn’t say much more than “I don’t know either.” There are benefits to having a blog, but he’s worried about hackers and stalkers. I hope to write something about this topic later- about the purpose of my blog. But I have an old post with this title that I’d like to publish first to compare with. However, the translations are taking so long! I made a schedule to work on them constantly. It looks like I will be caught up by June 25th. *sigh* Slow and steady wins the race, right?

At work the only exciting things that happened were that I was only on a big register for two hours and the rest of the time I was bagging or deep cleaning some of the registers. That was nice. Also, the new people are starting to be friendly versus simply polite. That’s a good sign. 🙂

Friday, June 1st- Proofreading with Mom

I was awoken by my brother’s alarm. Again. He has this light happy piano-esque music with birds chirping as his alarm. *sigh* Well, it got me up and working on this blog, so I can’t be too mad. I work in the afternoon again, so if I want to stick to the translation schedule I set up yesterday, I had to work on it in the morning. Check! Man, this blog is a lot of work!

Work was chill. I got to bag and be at the little registers most of the day. Another part I was on a big register and I got to fill bags of ice. The best part is always who I get to work with. By moving around so much, I got to talk with a lot of different co-workers so that was nice. I also got invited to go to the movies with one of them. 🙂

After work I bought donuts and went home where I proofread a blog I had translated into Spanish. My mom was a big help! It’s so nice to have someone look over my translations with me.

Saturday, June 2nd- No work, Time to Sulk

No work today. That means I got to sulk. All day. Good thing I bought doughnuts yesterday. It’s like I knew this was coming. Yes, I am in need of a second job or some volunteer work. Maybe even just getting rid of old things. Something! I need some other responsibility because work clearly isn’t enough to keep me occupied.

I woke up and translated an old blog. Then wondered what to do with myself after meeting my quota. Work person canceled movie plans. I was kind of happy about that. Gave me more time to sulk. Couple of anxiety ridden hours later and I’d watched (in complete seriousness) about a dozen episodes of my medical drama. Now it’s technically 4 am on Sunday and I’ve (literally) ripped old posters from my walls and taken down all other objects that bring back memories including my high school mum and diploma.

Must redirect energy into something positive. Not sleepy.

Sunday, June 3rd- Hi, How Are You? Did You Find Everything You Needed?

I slept till noon. Literally. I had work at 1 pm, so it was fine. I was on a big register for most of my short 6 hour shift. I got to say hi to a few nice co-worker friend peoples. I didn’t try. I got panicky towards the end of my shift, but it was mostly alright. Fine, I tried a little. I went beyond “hello, how are you” with a handful of people and asked “did you find everything you needed?”. It’s a common phrase… or should be among us cashiers. I hardly use it because I’m afraid of the answer being no. I’ve had the answer be no before. Not pleasant. Sometimes just awkward.

Anyway, after work I watched more of House and ate with my family. We had a nice little chat about nude beaches and those killer clowns that were on the news a few months ago. It was cool to have a chill chat with family. After that, I watched more of my show and listened to some music. I should go to bed soon. I have work at 7:30 am tomorrow.

Notes:

(1) As always ~ encased words denotes sarcasm.

(2) Yes, my life is pretty boring at the moment. Just work and my thoughts. Bear with me, please.

Coping at the Grocery Store Method 1: Disassociation

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL AQUÍ

Originally Published January 4, 2018

I wrote this post on my old blog about my anxiety at work. By the title (“Method 1”) I can only assume I meant for this to be a series, though I never wrote another post like this on my old blog. Also, at the end are notes I had written for my original audience. I keep them, because they are relevant in future posts from my old blog. …And I find them somewhat amusing. I still agree with what I wrote, so enjoy learning about grocery store cashier struggles!

I’ve been hung up on something. Like I mentioned in a prior blog, I have a seasonal job in a grocery store as a cashier. As much as the work heightens my anxiety and exacerbates my depression, I continue to work there. My first summer there was such a culture shock. I had just completed my freshman year in college and a three week “maymester” statistics course when I got the job. In fact, I remember having to miss a couple days of class just to go to the interview and training. Look forward to my interview story ’cause that one is a doozy.

Either way, when I began the job I was a new and innocent soul. A new and innocent soul who had no idea what she had just signed herself up for. On top of 40 hour weeks at work, I had also decided it wise to take two courses during the first summer term. I’d go to class in the morning for a couple of hours, go to work for 8 hours during the day, and work on my online class at night. I’d sleep then get up and do it all over again five times a week.

On my days off, if I didn’t have an exam the next day, (and sometimes even if I did) all I could do was sit, catatonic, on the couch watching television mindlessly or play video games for hours at a time. It was as if my body couldn’t bear the sudden plug from the stream of work and school. It was if as it refused to do anything but work and school. That was the beginning of my descension into work-aholism. (More on that in future posts.)

I was like a robot. On top of that, I was nervous and shy. Going into work felt like going into a torture chamber. Instead of water logging and whips though, I arrived to conversation and innocent inquires. Sprinkled throughout were legitimately rude and otherwise unjust situations, but for the most part many of the causes of my intense anxiety were harmless.

We cashiers did a small number of jobs. If we weren’t working on a big register (the kind you typically think of in a grocery store) we worked in the 15 items or less area called express or by the prepared food in the 10 items or less trio of registers called mobiles. Additionally, we occasionally worked bagging people’s groceries on the main lines or doing odd jobs like sweeping or filling bags of ice to offer people with frozen or refrigerated items and a long trip home.

My favorite job, of course, was bagging groceries. Few people would say more to me than “hello” (if they even said that) when I was bagging their groceries. My first year, this bothered me. The fact that hundreds of people would actively avoid talking or otherwise acknowledging my existence made me feel insignificant. Once I got trained to be on a register though, those sparse moments bagging groceries became a safe haven. With the exception of a few obnoxious customers insisting I smile, no one really cared what I had to say. I was hardly meant to be seen, let alone heard.

On a register however, I was expected to smile off the bat and converse in a light and natural way. A way that I was not versed in. I took my parents’ warnings about talking to strangers as law growing up and thus had absolutely no idea how to make small talk. Thinking back it’s almost comical, if it wasn’t so tragic. Someone would comment about the weather and I’d just give them a twitchy, nervous smile and a shaky “yeahh”.

Then the rest of the transaction would go on with me staring pointedly at each item I would scan and the customer awkwardly waiting for the prison-type sentence to end. All the while, the unfortunate bagger at the end of my register would begin to drown in produce, milk, and other items as I sent them down as fast as I possibly could to save myself a few seconds of agony. I was uncomfortable to say the least.

That was then. Nowadays I’m mostly neutral or convincingly natural and fake happy. Let’s take a second to talk about that as I think that was one of the keys to maintaining my sanity while working this job. At first I refused to put on a mask and pretend to be happy to see the hoards of people I had to serve that day. I wanted to be real. Being real caused me various panic attacks and reinforced my depression. People can be nasty. On purpose or not.

By giving myself a role to act everything felt less personal. So what if someone shouted at me for using the wrong type of bags for their groceries (as if I could read their minds!). So what if a person looked at me with contempt or superiority? They aren’t looking at me. So my alter ego would smile, apologize, and offer to call a manager. She tries to be as helpful as possible. I don’t like her. But I couldn’t go on. My actual self was breaking, so I used a hologram.

In a strange way, taking things less personal was my first method of coping. After all, the customers who have been snippy with me probably would have reacted the same way to any other cashier. It’s their actions, not my provocation, that have caused conflict. As long as I do my job, being professional and polite, it doesn’t matter what the customer does. They can throw a punch at me for all I care. It’s on them and not me. Keeping up this persona by no means prevents people from being offensive or leud, but it helps my conscience and at the end of the day I should matter more to myself than some random people who were jerks to me.

*~*~*~*

If you’ve made it this far in the story/prose/or whatever this self glorifying text is, thank you. I don’t want this to be a stream of consciousness blog. While I don’t know what I want it to be yet, I know I don’t want it to be that. I’d like it to be personal and entertaining while remaining insightful. Who knows when I’ll find a balance between those three, but I’m hopeful I’ll get there and then go over these early posts with a figurative red pen and x everything out while laughing over a cup of hot chocolate and some popcorn.

This post was supposed to be about my co-worker Alison (pseudo name, of course) and her negative interactions with customers and my hypothesis regarding that. But! Like my fourth grade writing teacher constantly told me, I lack direction in my writing. ~Lucky for you guys, you’re along for the ride while I try to find it!~* Thanks again for getting this far and do not wait with baited breath for my next rant-y post about the life and struggles of a grocery store cashier. I’m sure you are all lovely people with much more exciting things to do than that.

* The “~” encasing words or sentences detonates sarcasm.