Thursday, January 3, 2019

Work Diaries #1


On my way to work as a cashier (yay me), I decided to stop at the pharmacy inside of the grocery store to pick up my meds. I thought to myself, I haven’t been feeling so grand, lately, so maybe I should pick up my happy pills (anxiety meds). 

As soon as I walk inside, the line is literally in front of me. I checked my phone – oh, cool! Ten minutes. Maybe I can do this. But with every person that goes up to get their meds, they ask for the pharmacist. Dude, why does the pharmacist have to tell you how to apply cream to your ass? I start getting anxiety.

The sluggish line moves little by little full of people who need a pharmacist to tell them how to take and use simple meds. Right when I’m third in line – I need to leave; it is one minute until work starts for me.

I reluctantly walk out of line and make way for work, blasting my headphones to get rid of my anxiety that I needed my meds for but got more anxiety for waiting for my meds.

As soon as I clock in, the line resembles the one at the pharmacyt. Handsome, I say in my mind.

My first customer was a fucking angel – just kidding. She was rude. After I place her two plastic storage containers with her boxed honey buns and cans of pineapple, she says, “I want those separate. You’re not supposed to mix food with that other stuff. You’re supposed to separate those – like you were trained to do.”

Oh no in the hell this bitch didn’t. Trained to do? There was no video training me on the importance of separation between food items and plastic containers. Your mother should have trained you to be respectful.

I smile and say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll separate those for you. It’s usually chemicals and toxic, liquid stuff we separate food from.”

She ignores me and mumbles something under her breath. I imagine it isn’t anything about how charming or pretty I am. She leaves and I’m glad.

The store was pretty clean for once. So that meant that a lot of the shopping carts were used for go-backs and damaged items. That also meant that disgruntled customers were bound to happen. One man walks in and feels I personally didn’t want there to be available carts. Like I kept them in the back, laughing maniacally as people walked around without a cart.

“There’s no carts here?” He booms loudly as I’m ringing someone up.

“Um – no. Sorry, sir. They are all being used.”

“Why isn’t there no carts?” I imagine his eyes are bulging, seeking answers. His square sunglasses hide any emotion.

“They’re being used, sir. I’m sorry.”

“But where are carts? There’s none.”

Try looking up your fucking ass, sir. 

I smile. “Would you like to—”

“Are you done with this?” He points at a handbasket on my station.

No, I’m shopping. I’m fucking shopping while ringing someone up and being interrupted by your super concern over the shopping carts.

“Yeah. I’m done with it. Go ahead and take it, sir.”

“Thank you,” he booms and walks away.

•••

An hour later, a really nice man comes in, buys some items, and waits over by the candy machines as he is doing something out-of-towny on the phone. He is from California. He let’s us all know.

A bald man with an Italian accent walks in with his sister and asks about the carts. “Where’s all the carts at? Sheesh! Is that go-backs? Oh my goodness!”

I fake laugh along; it’s part of the job.
When the guy and his sister are checking out, the nice guy from California says, “Hey, thanks Eddie. I appreciate your help today.” Then he took a left turn and started talking about John the apostle. “It’s like John the apostle said…”

And at that moment, I hear nothing he says because the bald man says, “And you’re not supposed to be preaching his shit either. Go outside with that shit.”

The California man hears nothing because he then starts having a Bible conversation with the bald man’s sister.

•••

About thirty minutes later, a blind man and his spouse? walk in. He is talking loudly on his phone while his companion laughs at him.

When the man comes to check out, his girlfriend? walks away, stands by the candy machines where John the apostle’s words had been spoken and waits.

The man can’t see, and he obviously needed help. The woman he came in with is just giggling by the machines as he struggles. I help him, of course, but this woman is ridiculous for letting this man give a stranger his credit card pin. And before he whispers his pin to me, he places his face right up against mine, cheek to cheek. He repeats the numbers slowly and breathy.

When it was time for a break (finally) twenty minutes before I leave to home, I decided to go to the pharmacy again. The line was longer than it was before. Once again, I shit you not, I was third in line, but I had to go. But after work, I get my pills and there was no line.

By Steven Reyes

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