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5/22/05

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Express Cashier

It was, once again, nice to be on a register again--the time went much faster than being on EZ Scan. I was on # 12, by the cigarettes and infant formula. The sunday paper was popular--one guy was going to buy the NY Times, but when he saw that it was $4.50, he changed his mind. I recognized this man as someone who was on the EZ Scan last night. People were buying Helman's mayonnaise on sale and coupon existed for it, watermelon, Pepsi (Star Wars all over it) green peppers, a lot of meat of every kind--mostly chicken breasts, and different cuts of pork and beef. One woman bought a flank steak for $30. It did look like a beautiful cut of meat. She paid with an EBT card. I thought of a friend who told me about shopping for an elderly man using food stamps, getting lamb chops, and having people comment on buying something so extravagant when on public assistance. I mostly think why not eat well just because you don't have a lot of money. I had another older couple, each using EBT, but buying things separately, who each bought pretty much the same things, a deja vu.

I noticed that the system was rejecting every driver's license number I was entering (this can be used instead of an Advantage card, if someone has one), and told PP. We had to close the register and reboot the computer and card reader. As I watched it boot up, I learned that the registers use Compaq computers and run on Windows 95, using some kind of Magellan software. After this, it had a time out, and PP had to do something upstairs, where the control panel for the computers are to fix the problem.

I do really like talking with people when they come through my line. Earlier, this sort of weird guy was telling me that he almost got kicked out of the store when he complained about the Coinstar machine not working, again. In his telling of it, he was pretty rude to whoever he talked to about it--telling them to fix the fucking machine or get to of them, like P&C has. He then said something about being in different store and daring them to call security, because he works security and knows how it works. He seemed quite pleased with himself. On the opposite end, later on, this really sweet boy was in with his parents and talking nonstop. He asked me to guess how old he was (five), and then told me he wasn't in kindergarten yet, and then talked about watermelon and seeds ( I had just rung through a watermelon). His parents joked that they would plant seeds in his ears, and we decided to plant watermelon seeds in one ear and potatoes in the other. He then asked me to guess his name, and I asked him to guess mine.

 

 
5/21/05

5:30 PM -9:30 PM EZ Scan

When I got in, I noticed in the front end book that I had to "see supervisor." Both LL and DD were talking to one another, so I just went to the EZ Scan. I later mentioned to LL that I was supposed to see a supervisor, and later AV came over with an overage form-- the EZ Scan draw was over $12.27 on Thursday. She said that they are now tracking this on the EZ Scans. I wasn't the only one on it, so three of us got the form.

It was mostly busy tonight, and I usually had 3-4 people on the EZ Scans at once ( I was on the small one--express). AC was working in the Photo section and said hi over the EZ Scan booths. I asked her if she liked working there, and she said yes, but don't tell anyone. There were many different people going through the lane today--a cop, a man who was my age ( I ID's him) who is a doctor (he paid with a check that said Dr.), and two different women with sort of hyper young kids who laughed when they were getting stern with them, telling them to quiet down, and almost ready to hit them. A couple of other parents had their kids scan things for them. I had a woman hit on me--I get this from men, but this is the first time a woman has (at least that I picked up on). One woman told me how much she loved the EZ Scan--that it was so easy. She asked me if others liked it--I told her there are people who seem to, but I also get people who are new to it. Later, a young couple complained about the stupid computer and the woman said that she hated it.

Another woman showed me some beef cut and asked me if I thought it was expensive (it was $10.58). I said I thought so, but thought to myself that I honestly have no idea, since I never buy meat. She decided not to get it. Several people bought claims and king crab--crab is expensive, around $22. Healthy Choice has a coupon to save $5 when you buy 10, and I saw several of them. One customer, a man maybe in his forties, was stooped over as he walked, and gave me a lot of coupons.

One of my former students came by again--I've seen him about 4 or 5 times now in the store, and we talked a little. I do like it when someone I know comes through, although I think I still feel self-conscious. BE, who mainly cleans up around the store (with his zamboni) came through buying groceries after his shift. He has been talking with me more, I think because we see each other more--the cleaning closet is behind the small EZ Scan. He mumbles, so I don't always understand what he is saying, but he told me tonight that he is 50, and has been working here for 16 years, that his parents were poor, and his son is 23 years old. At least, I think that's what he said.

During about midpoint today CB came through and did a cash pickup. I later closed down the small EZ Scan, and CB came by and told me I had to escort her while she emptied all the cash from the EZ Scan machines (metal containers go into a shopping cart) and took them into the cash office. We aren't allowed to go by the door with the cart. I then gave CA, on the other EZ Scan her break. She seemed to spend her time writing on small pieces of paper, and during her break did some grocery shopping.

 
5/19/05

12:45 PM - 6:00 PM EZ Scan

When I was signing in, PP gave me another form--I had messed up my punch for lunch last week. I knew something was wrong when I punched back in from lunch, the clock said lunch started, so I punch in again to stop the clock, and forgot to write it down. Anyway, I was written up for taking a short lunch. The other thing PP had to ask me about was that BB wanted to know if I wanted to work in Customer Service. I said okay, but now I am wondering if I really want to. They have to do a background check first, and while I'm sure it's just a credit check and to make sure I don't have a criminal record, I'm worried that other stuff will come up and they'll find out I lied about my qualifications when I applied. I also don't think I want to go through training, etc., when I will probably leave in a few months.

I also wonder if I should go along with what they want like a good employee, or else not take a job that someone else may want or need more. It also makes me wonder why I manage to get asked to do more, be responsible, no matter what my job is. I've been reading the articles the NY Times has been writing about class [click here], and how much just a certain upbringing gives such an advantage in moving in the world. I realize this more when I am dealing with customers than other employees--some seem so desperate and you can tell life is hard for them, that they are just barely managing. I know this is probably true for many of the people I work with as well, but I am able to see them work, and I think for the most part, the people I work with try to do a good job.

Luckily, PP didn't get to printing out the paperwork, so I can think about this, I hope. I was sort of hoping I'd have my three month review today--today is the date always on my paycheck for a review--but it didn't happen.

I seemed like it would be busy in the store, but it really wasn't until around the time I left. I was running the large EZ Scan. I saw a lot of the employees--many were in just to pick up their paychecks, and a few stopped by to say hi or bought a few things. BY was on the other EZ Scan, but we didn't talk too much to each other. She seemed to spend time scribbling on a sale flyer for most of the time. She did mention that she didn't realize BZ, who is new, is 8 months pregnant, which I thought was funny because she looks very pregnant.

Many of the people using the EZ Scans today seemed used to it, but I did have to show two people how to use it. There were several parents with their kids--but today at least three of them let their kids do some scanning, which I was glad about because usually the kids seem so bored while their parents scan everything. I couple of people forgot to scan their Advantage Card, and didn't realize it until after they had finished paying, so I had to take them over to Customer Service. I am used to people buying things, to a great extent, because of sales--this week it is eggs (1-1/2dozen), Oreos, some kind of pork, Coke 12 packs, toilet paper --a 12 or 18 pack. On the EZ Scan, people don't tend to buy much produce, I think in part because of having to enter codes, but bananas, onions, green peppers, am corn on the cob are always favorites.

 

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