Without going into a lot of detail, the cashier position is the only other thing in the store that I have training for. Generally I like running a register because it is the most brainless job in any store. That is not to say that cashiers themselves are stupid. It’s simply pointing out that there is no function of running a cash register that does all the math for you and subtracts all of the discounts and tells you all of the other pertinent information you need to make the financial transaction between your customer and the store that requires a bachelor’s degree. And I say with no exaggeration that more than of half of the shifts that fill the swap board within an hour of the new schedule going up are cashier shifts.
The downside of taking a cashier shift is that in can be long and tedious work. New policy changes make it impossible to actually leave the register area in between customers and you also have to be visible at all times, so good luck trying to straighten out your area to relieve the monotony of the really slow days. (Keep in mind that I generally hate to use the word “slow” in regards to work and will elaborate on that at a later date) Frankly, if you have a functioning brain and you are really good at your job, the cashier shift can also be unbelievably stressful. With nasty customers, power tripping supervisors, faulty equipment and things I could write a ten volume encyclopedia about.
Because the stress adds up over time, I have only been able to take cashier shifts that are between four and five hours long. This has forced me to pass up on shifts that may have made my paycheck a little healthier but I would rather pass up on the potential to make a really big paycheck one week then lose my only source of income entirely by finally snapping and saying something I can’t take back to a customer or a store manager.
That being said, I was able to take two separate shifts this week. The first one was on Thursday. It was an opening shift just four hours long and I also closed that day. This can be stressful in and of itself, because by the time I’m done with the first shift I am basically wiped and I’m ready to go home. But to be honest, if I have to pick up an extra shift, I would much prefer to work a double then to give up a day off.
Thursday was pretty good however. The flying monkeys stayed home and all of my customers were super pleasant and easy to get along with. Some highlights from that morning included getting to meet a volunteer medic who worked during the recent Boston Marathon. I made a good natured joke about I hoped she was bored that day and she responded in equally good spirits about how the tent actually had over a thousand patients, some of whom were still in the hospital. (Let me clarify once again for those of you who do not read entire paragraphs and are prone to knee jerk responses that this was the RECENT marathon and not last year’s as I would not be so tasteless as to joke about that. Thank you very much.)
Another woman came through my line with her two boys, ages five and two respectively. The kids were getting Playschool Transformers (The rescue bots. You know like, Optimus Prime as a Fire Truck) and whenever I have a long order and any of the kids are getting toys, I usually ask them about the characters. It makes the transaction pleasant and it’s fun to watch their reactions a they realize I know about Transformers, Ninja Turtles, and Godzilla, etc. When I asked if they had Megatron, the mom quickly replied, “Oh we don’t allow them to play with the “bad guys”
I thought that was interesting. I certainly didn’t pry or criticize, because they’re small kids who knew who Megatron and Starscream were because they watched the cartoons, but were simply not allowed to play with them. This makes some sense to me because children can’t see in terms of Gray. So if you give a child a toy that he readily associates with the “bad guy” he’s going to make it fight with the “good guys” and maybe the parents felt that would encourage violent behavior in their boys. My parents were certainly liberal about the toys we could play with, but they drew the line at making guns out of Legos.
After my shift was over, I went to the 99 for lunch, using one of the gift cards my friend’s mother gave me. There’s one right next to the mall so it wasn’t a far walk from where I work. When I got there the lobby was packed and my heart sank when I heard “There’s going to be a half hour wait.”
I didn’t have any other money and all I had back at the store was a can of soup, which would not last me all day. But I remembered the last time I was at the 99, I sat at the bar, because I’m not a shy person. So I go into the lobby and see all of these groups of people waiting for a table and I see empty stools at the bar. Score. I had a great “Vermont Bacon and Cheese Burger” (although aside from the cheese I’m not sure which ingredients were specifically from the state I was born in) and a couple free refills of root beer, which just made the day great.
After lunch I went into the mall and I got to participate in a market research study by watching a TV pilot that I can’t go into detail about on any social networking sites. The important thing is that I got paid fifteen dollars for research. Score another one.
The closing shift was fairly manageable and I also got my employee evaluation that day. I will not into detail about the evaluation for the same reasons that I do not want to flood my blog with posts about things that happened in my past. Because I feel that the only way to really bring you into my little world is to only share experiences that I can freshly recall. Suffice it to say I got my raise and I will be able to pay off all of my bills if two of the places I owe money too are sucked into a sinkhole in the next five months. Partial score.
Today’s shift was fairly uneventful. Nothing really of interest occurred today, although I did get to covertly make fun of the front end manager and I did it so tactfully that she thought I was complementing her. Double points to me because there were three other employees there who tried to basically explain to her that I was making fun of her, but she is such an airhead that she still believed I “had her back”.
So for anyone who has it in the back of their heads that all I do is bitch about work, here is an example of one day where things actually went pretty smoothly.