Monday, March 31, 2014

Retail Overload

Just worked four nine-hour shifts in a row as a night cashier.  I usually work part-time and my shifts are more spread out so I'm not used to being in the store for so many days in a row.  Here's how that went…

Day 1: Exhausted, just happy if I can survive the shift without falling over.  I vigilantly count the hours until I get to go home and vow to go to bed as soon as I go home.  My tiredness gives me a drug-like numbness that helps me tolerate massive amounts of douchebaggery.

Day 2: Got 7 hours of sleep, which is an improvement.  I feel more well-rested.  The store is very busy, but I work hard and I am more friendly with customers and coworkers.

Day 3: My vow to get better sleep has been ignored again and I get 5 hours of sleep.  However, for some reason I am happy, contemplative and energetic.  The customers are a mix of entitled, ignorant people and attractive men; sometimes a combination.  I treat all of them way better than they deserve.  An indian woman asks me if I hate her, possibly because I didn't help her immediately and because she was being a pain in the ass.  I say "no," but my acting needs work.

Day 4: Everyone is an asshole and if I don't get out of here soon I will kill someone!  A woman asks if she can have a 5 cent plastic bag for free and I say, "I guess."  When she says goodbye I say nothing and give her a look of contempt.  A European woman tells me that cashiers are given chairs to sit on in Europe so their backs don't hurt.  "I bet you didn't know that!" she says, as if she is talking to a child.  She makes no visible effort to change the rules in our store or any Canadian store.  When customers ask for help using the self-checkouts, I try my best not to throw their items onto the carousel as hard as I can.  When I'm finally free, I do not feel joy, but confusion and a profound feeling of disappointment and regret.

At least I'm off for a few days… :)

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