Sunday, August 15, 2010

On Custom Scheduling

Custom Scheduling: A term which here means at work, we aren't required to work our regularly scheduled shifts because school is not in session. Instead, employees sign up to work whatever shifts they want. Many of us work three and four shifts every day. It's physically and mentally draining. Custom scheduling after summer term began Friday and will last for two more weeks.

Day 1: Friday and the second day of graduation. My day began when I awoke at 7:30 to get ready for 13 hours of work. I sacrificed my Wheel of Fortune/Jeopardy! time, during which I would have found out who won the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament (Apparently it was Rachel. She played very well throughout the tournament, so I'm not surprised.) as well as an epic Relief Society activity. Hopefully earning money for the coming semester of school will be worth it.

I clocked in just after 9:00 and began ringing up customers' groceries. Working a grocery shift allows for more interaction with customers than a bakery shift. I was rather surprised at some of the people I saw.

Early in the morning, a very young girl came through my line with her grandparents. She was given $5 to buy herself whatever she wanted. What did she choose? Ranch rolls from the bakery. (Ranch rolls are essentially dinner rolls.) She was back later for wrapping paper.

During the late afternoon, I noticed a lady walk through the door and stop to peruse the bakery display. Something was strange about her appearance, but it took some thinking to discover exactly what it was. Then, it came to me: she was wearing a fairly heavy black leather jacket, but it was a hot, sunny day with temperatures in the 90s. She also carried a black umbrella. Odd attire for this time of year. Eventually, she settled on a simple glazed donut. After paying, she asked a question that I found rather humorous. "Where can I go to 'cool down'?" I considered telling her to take off her jacket, but simply told her about the water park a few miles down the road. Shortly after she left, I noticed she'd left her umbrella.

As a cashier, we're required to be sure credit cards are signed before using them. The best last name of the day was "Honey".

A fellow came to my line to check the balance on his student ID card. $8.25. My favorite number.

As the final hours of this epic day of work approached, my body was protesting every movement. My feet ached and it was difficult to put on a friendly face for customers. One of my last customers was a very cheerful man, probably in his late sixties. As he spoke to me, the only thing I could think of was Friar Tuck from Disney's Robin Hood, as his voice sounded exactly the same as the Friar's. He asked me how I was doing, and I commented on how tired I was. I counted out his change and he passed back a fairly heafty tip. I declined as we aren't really supposed to accept tips. He threw it behind me. "Well, looks like someone dropped it." And he walked out the door. I soon realized he'd left his sack of groceries, so I quickly followed him. "You forgot your groceries," I said, smiling. He replied, "Well, I guess one good turn deserves another. Thank you."

After 13 hours, my drawer was overflowing with cash and I was not excited to count it all. The total revenue was nearly $5000; my deposit was nearly $1200. It was sort of exciting to hold that much cash, except it wasn't mine.

Day 2: Saturday. Nothing too special. My day started a little later, as I didn't need to be at work until 10:00. I baked from 10:00 until 4:00, rolling out 9 pans of brownies (52 brownies in total), 24 scotcheroos, 12 Rice Krispie Treats, 10 loaves of banana bread, and 12 mini loaves of banana bread. I bagged five dozen ranch rolls, 8 bread bowls, 12 loaves of French Bread, and 22 loaves of braided bread, all baked that morning. It was so nice to spend all that time in the bakery. Baking is my favorite thing to do at work.

My grocery shift began at 4:00. I wasn't excited to spend six more hours in grocery after the long day I'd had the day before. I kept it interesting by watching the people, keeping track of interesting things I saw.

A young lady close to my age brought in a ring she found on the sidewalk outside. We stashed it in the safe upstairs, doubting anyone would show up for it. A few hours later, an older woman came into the store. She was very shaken up--obviously quite upset. She was looking for her lost ring. The ring was retrieved from the safe and she was so thrilled--so relieved to see it was hers. She slid it right onto her finger. She explained to me that she had taken it off to put lotion on her hands, laying it in a napkin in her lap. She forgot about the ring and threw the napkin away. Later, she noticed it wasn't on her hand. She and her family came back and searched through the trash, but, of course, didn't find it. She had so much appreciation for the young lady who handed in the ring, that she was honest enough to return it to its owner.

A mother and her young son came through my line. As she dug through her purse to find change, I turned to the boy and said hi. He said hi and smiled back at me. I asked him what his name was. Dewey. I asked him how old he was. "I'm big!"

A father and his daughter bought some popcorn. She looked pretty excited, so I talked to her about it for a second. She told me that they were going to watch a princess movie together--a movie that wasn't scary.

After ringing up one fellow's groceries, I was thrilled to tell him his total: $8.25. I explained that 825 is my favorite number. He looked a little confused, so I explained that my birthday is 8/25. He said, "Oh, that's cool. My favorite number is just 9. Happy Birthday!"

Later in the evening, my feet were again aching, so I took to sitting on the counter when there weren't any customers in my line. At one point, a woman my mother's age was leaving the store with her husband. She told me to get back to work or else she would tell my manager. Little did she know, my manager was standing behind me, wasting time along with me.

Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" came on the radio. I hate that song. It's awful. I was ringing up an older man's groceries at this point, and he started whistling. I was so afraid that he was going to whistle to the tune of the song. Fear not: he wasn't.

I clocked out after 12 hours of work, grateful it was all over for the week.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, quite an interesting account! I loved the stories about how you talked to the little kids. Parents love it when the cashier is good with their kids. I'm a little shocked about the lady who told you to get back to work. I mean, I guess there's no way she could have known you were working 12 hours straight, but free time happens in most grocery stores! Good for you for handling it well.

    That would have been kind of awkward if a man started whistling that he felt like a woman.