Ok, so I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. Or at all. Or whatever. A lot of that is because I’m a gazillion months pregnant and am a bit preoccupied with keeping my head above water. A lot of it is also due to the fact that I’ve been working a TON…’cause life’s like that, right?
For those of you who don’t know, I’m now a cashier at a grocery store. While I wasn’t particularly excited about the job when I started – let’s be honest, I was being snobby about it – I’ve actually grown to love it a lot. Much like I learned from being a waitress, I am so grateful for the lessons and insight I’ve gained from this job. And, I’m not gonna lie, I actually really, really enjoy it. Life’s full of unexpected little surprises like that…you’d think I’d start expecting it and not being so pessimistic. Alas, I am human.
So, here are a few things I’ve noticed/picked up/realized from working as a grocery store cashier. For the sake of not stepping on any toes, I’m not going to use the actual name of the store. I’ll just refer to it as the “Big Bird.” Honestly, it’s just another excuse for me to use a code name. ‘Cause using code names makes me feel cool. But I digress…
- Store music rocks my socks off – I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have come to look forward to listening to Big Bird Radio while working. We get quite the eclectic mix of Motown hits, 90’s boyband classics (I haven’t heard so much Backstreet Boys music since 6th grade.), Miley Cyrus (I secretly love her. Don’t judge.), as well as lots of Celine Dion, Rick Astley, Diana Ross, and the occasional Bob Seger. Oh, and Chicago; lots of Chicago. And The Carpenters…Basically, my life is complete.
- Store music rocks other peoples’ socks off, too – I can’t tell you how many times I get to have sing-along’s with co-workers and customers. It’s kind of wonderful. It’s also interesting to figure out which songs are the most polarizing. For example, everyone I’ve ever waited on agrees that about a milliondy years needs to go by before we hear “My Heart Will Go On” one more stinking time. Unfortunately for us, it plays on the reg. However, people will legitimately get down to “Lean on Me” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” According to my very scientific studies, R. Kelly still maintains quite the loyal fan base.
- People are shocked by friendliness – I make it a point to go out of my way to make people’s shopping experience enjoyable, or at least the check-out portion. This is not because I’m a great Big Bird employee, but rather because I believe that life’s too short to be in a bad mood. People are genuinely surprised that I’m so friendly. They’ve told me so on several occasions. And, honestly, this makes me sad. We should all be friendly to one another all the time, right? It shouldn’t come as a surprise to people that someone would want to demonstrate kindness. It really doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day, so why don’t we do it more readily?
- Life really is like those Allstate commercials – You know the ones I’m talking about, where somebody does something nice and another person sees them and then it turns into a big chain reaction of niceness. I’ve seen that happen a lot. Someone gives a person an extra quarter to cover their bill, or pays for a magazine, or reminds them of forgotten keys or whatever. It’s nice to see and a joy to be a part of. Kind of redeems that last bullet point. Goodness begets goodness – something we should all remember. All it takes is one person to be the catalyst…why not you?
- You should buy stock in Stouffer’s – I have never before in my life seen frozen food in such quantities. People don’t cook, my friends, they buy frozen. Now, I’m no economist, but in my estimation, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in on that action if possible. Stouffer’s, Totino’s, Hamburger Helper, etc…are all making an absolute killing. (They’re also probably literally killing consumers with preservatives, but that’s an entirely different topic for speculation.)
- People love pregnant women – This is a fact that I already knew, but I’ve never been able to experience it in this manner before. Working with the public is frequently surprising. I mean, I expected questions about due dates, comments on size, even the occasional delivery room trauma story. I was also prepared for someone to touch my belly without asking. I just kind of figured it’d happen at some point. I was not prepared for the demographic from which this person would come. I assumed that it would be maybe an older white lady. Definitely not. The only stranger who has ever touched my belly to date was – wait for it – a thirty year old black man. He had a four-month-old at home and was all about speculating as to when I’d deliver. The whole thing was so surprising and funny that I am still laughing over it. It was so not what I expected and I love it! He was so sweet and kind to me…and it just goes to show that you can never judge a book by its cover, right?
I’m sure there are a million more stories and observations I want to relate at another time, but I’m running out of steam. All I can say is, I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to learn and to serve. Remember, there’s no time like the present to be sweet to those around you. Your actions really do have an impact, no matter how small you may think them.