Saturday, December 22, 2007


I have been working at a grocery store since April 11, 2007. What a treat. I had forgotten how much I liked this type of job. My second job ever was as a cashier in The Dominion store at Eglinton Square in Scarborough, Ontario.

That was back when it took a week to train you. They had books you had to work through, you had to know how to make change, how to put a new roll in the register (back then it was wheels and pulleys and had to be threaded through everything by hand). You also learned how to bag groceries. Not an easy art, I might add. They used paper bags then and the bag had to be able to stand on its on, and be not too heavy and everything bagged correctly. I took pride in that.

So, back to almost present day.... I would go grocery shopping and the people bagging it would make such a mess. No idea how to bag items, bananas on the bottom next to ice cream, eggs wherever they'd fit, soap and toilet cleaners in with food. I'd get home and nothing would be organized, like cold with cold, fragiles together, just a mish mash. I used to try to bag my own items as best I could before they got their hands on them. I also tried to shop at the bag your own places so that I knew where everything was.

I now work about 16 to 20 hours a week, making just above minimum wage and can honestly say that I look forward to going to, and being at, work. I love most of my customers and even though I was very, very shy as a teenager I have found that I am a big ham. I love kidding around with my customers, or talking about any number of things. I love performing my one liners and now have several customers that look for me specifically in the store. I even had one customer that liked my bagging so well that she wrote to the company about it and I ended up with a plaque and a pin for my name badge.

So..... how come there are all these people that can't count to eight? I work express a lot as I am fast and efficient. It is supposed to be 1 to 8 items. Ten I can see, even 12, sometimes, but there is no way I want to let you come through my register at the evening rush hour with 30 items. It is not fair to the people with 1 or 2. I am not sure we should say anything and most times I look at body language and decide not to. But if you are going to be cocky about it and feel you have a right to be there because you don't want to wait, then you are sure as heck going to be called on it.

I will NOT tolerate at my register, those who want to break the unwritten rules. I get people through very fast, sometimes with only a token greeting, but I still greet everyone with a smile. I am very conscious of customer service and believe for the most part that the customer is always right. But NOT when you can't count. I don't care what your excuse is. The ONLY exception is if I am NOT busy on my register and you will not hold up a line of people by coming through express. I even had a man the other night who's son (about 15 years old) told him he was in the wrong aisle and he said he didn't care, "she has to serve me". Ex-freaking-scuse me!!!

Lucky I didn't smash his groceries. Although as angry as I was at him I couldn't do that. But he did get the cold shoulder and the son looked very uncomfortable. What kind of a lesson was that to teach his child?

And while I'm at it. How hard is it to take the groceries out of the little carry baskets. I work hard in an awkward position because of the way the belt and scanner are set up . There is no getting around that. But you are facing the belt straight on and managed to get the groceries in that basket. I am NOT lifting them up and stretching sideways to take them out for you. You got them in there, you can take them out.

And how hard is it to return the buggy? For goodness sakes, you are struggling out the door, squeezing past the buggy you left in the way and walking right past the place the buggies go. How about putting the bags in the buggy, walking it back to where it belongs and THEN take your bags out to go to the car.

Anyway, I LOVE my job and enjoy seeing the people I work with and the customers. It is nice to have all these little relationships. It is wonderful when people greet you by name and ask how this or that is. I have given out suggestions, recipes, and ideas. I have helped some first time grocery buyers (students from McMaster University) and been able to give them ideas on what to cook or how to store things. I guess that's from being Mom, even Grandma, age.

So I've been gone a long time from here. I'll add more stuff over the next several weeks. Stay posted to find out about the new hip and whatever other exciting things I can come up with. I have more grocery, gas, and driver rants coming up.

Thanks for reading.