The most difficult aspect of dealing with others is trying to explain my way of thinking. It’s not because I have such an abstract view of the world that it couldn’t be described in terms that a functioning human being would understand, but rather the simple fact that everyone believes that their unique perspective is reality.
Yes, everyone. This is not a broad generalization or hyperbole. Everyone, myself included, is guilty of believing that how we individually perceive the world must be true of the world. Continuing doing the same thing over and over again because we believe the outcome should be a certain way, despite the constant failures proving quite the opposite, is by definition, insanity. That is what really divides us as a species.
Where I fail is the belief that if I continue to present something in a logical, well thought manner, than the people who are in charge will recognize that and take what I have to say when considering the best course of action. Or, failing that, just give me control of the situation and watch me work.
For example, the other day was my first day as an official Cart Jockey at Sabersave. There are differences between here and Generimart, of course. There are plenty of people working on the carts so that it’s impossible to be overwhelmed. Also, none of the management have unrealistic expectations of the only person doing carts in the morning, so they don’t continually hound me when I can’t get twenty different things done in the space of an hour.
However, one sneak preview of the rest of my time here at Sabersave came to me when I realized the difficulty behind one particular task. Namely: Clearing the carts of trash.
When I worked at Price Chopper all those years ago, we had a messenger bag that we carried over our shoulders when we worked outside. Once they were full, we emptied them, thus saving time. Sabersave has one real entrance and the other doors are all exits. The building was clearly designed by the People Who Hate their Customers committee as I can’t think of a single store in my memory that didn’t have at least an equal number of entrances to exits. What does it say about an architect when the only thing on their mind must have been, “We only need one real entrance, but lets make sure these mother fuckers have as many ways to leave the store as possible.”
Also keep in mind that Sabersave does not use the electronic cart pushers, so we have to push up to five carts at a time. Picking up trash from individual shopping carts can be a needlessly time consuming effort. So I asked the front end manager if we have those same messenger bags. Her response:
“Well, we could use a paper grocery bag.”
Keep in mind what I just said. We don’t have an electric pusher, where we might keep a trash barrel or a paper bag for collecting trash. Also, a paper bag would not be effective for trash that leaks, like, say, a used diaper? A leaking bottle or a half full cup of soda? These things could fight their way out of a paper bag. And I would be carrying this gradually heavier paper bag full of the atrocities against society that shoppers leave in their carts after each run of shopping carts. But because the Front End Manager could not perceive this as a problem, she suggested it without thinking twice. Thus proving that I have already placed more thought into this job after one day than people who have worked at the store for long enough to be promoted to Front End Manager.
I’m not seeking problems with people. I’m going to keep going to work every single day with the mentality that people will not confuse ignorance for ingenuity. But here is another more glaring example of somebody I hope never goes beyond the position of cashier.
I was standing in line behind customers on my break. I had an item in my hand that was very clearly for me. The cashier took one look at me and asked if I could do her a favor, which can be loosely translated into, “Please do this thing for a customer”.
She could clearly see me standing there. It was very obvious I was in line and that I had a thing in hand ready to purchase. You do not have to be a psychic to make this intuitive leap based on the evidence present. I make errors in judgment as well, but they are often based on a reasonable lack of evidence and not an over abundance of it. My perception is not reality and I’m capable of seeing that, but this cashier’s perception was that I must be standing in line at her register because I clearly needed something to do and she believe it was reality, hence her question. When I told her I was on a break, she was clearly disappointed by my response, but could not say anything else.
All I can say is that wherever I work the truth of the matter is, I hope I’m never accused of murder only to find these people on my jury.