Saturday, March 13, 2010

Clean up on Aisle 7!

So I started my new, part-time second job this week. The amount of training required (by them) to prepare me to scan cans of soup, weigh bunches of bananas, and bag all those groceries is astounding. Mind-boggling.

Quite frankly, it's stupid.

Yes, I need to know the laws about selling alcohol...but do I really need to understand - as a cashier - how alcohol processes through the body? Really?? Of course I need to understand the dangers of hazardous materials and how to use them properly on the job...but do I seriously need to know the nine sections on an MSDS (that's a Material Safety Data Sheet, dontcha know), what is included in each section, and how all manufacturers must provide all of the information but there is no standardized form? (Can you tell that last part bothers the organized part of my brain?) Come on, seriously? Only half of the time I worked this week was spent actually serving customers. I'm all for informed employees but this seems a bit excessive to me.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of my new coworkers. Almost all women (never thought about it, before - how often do you see a man working as a cashier or in any visible job at a store?), they have all been welcoming and fun, supportive and helpful.

I have been unpleasantly, not-really-surprised by how uncomfortable it is to stand for 5 hours with only one 15 minute break. It's the standing-in-one-place thing that is the killer - I worked in the self-check area last night and I found myself carrying the hand baskets over to the stack by the front door just so I could walk a little. I am here to tell you that when you see a store clerk leaning on their counter/lane/register, they are not being lazy - they are in pain! I would not have been able to do this job before my knee surgeries. Wow, was I stiff by the time I left last night!

I haven't encountered any rude or unpleasant customers yet. I know it's just a matter of time. But I have mad charm skillz, so bring it on, crazy people!

I forgot to remove the security cap from a bottle of booze last night - I wonder what that guy did when he got home and couldn't imbibe?

The interactions with customers are fun. When I got home last night, I thought I didn't like being the self-check cashier but the more I think about it, the more I realize I really enjoyed myself last night. Instead of the (partially self-induced) stress of hurrying to scan and bag each order and complete each transaction, I was able to let the customers do that at their own pace and simply solve problems when they popped up. My favorite was when I blew into the coupon slot to push the coupon through the sensor. The preschooler in the cart looked at me with huge eyes and the parents/customers laughed when that fixed everything...magic! Now, if I can convince the management to give me a stool to sit on, things will be hunky dory...

I'm working 4 to 10 this evening. Should be interesting!


  1. LOL been there, done that... my favorite part of my last round as a Cashier was the weirdos in the training videos and the whole section on "how to bag". =)

    I second the stool vote!

  2. Hope you've invested in good shoes. That saved my legs when I worked in retail and restaurants!
    Glad the people you work with are nice--that makes a huge difference, doesn't it? What a blessing to hear things are going well for you there!!!

  3. Standing all that time in one spot would be hard. Certainly hope you get at least a stool soon, an easy chair would even be better!

  4. I concur with Green Girl – I waited tables in college and good shoes saved me!