12:00 PM - 4:00 PM Express Cashier / EZ Scan
I started on an express register, and AL was on the register behind me. I could hear him tell a customer that the windows to his room don't open, and it was hot during last week's heat wave, and that his father hasn't gotten around to fixing them. A lot of people were buying Father's Day things--steaks for dinner, and a lot of beer, in fact, I think I sold more beer today than I ever have. One young man told me he was making dinner for his father and grandfather, but that he didn't even like Labatts Blue, which he was buying. A woman came through with finger nails which were at least 4 inches long. I asked her if they were real and how long she had grown them. She said they were shorter now, and that she started growing them in 1992.
Around 1:00, WW came buy and told me that BB hadn't scheduled anyone for the EZ Scan for this afternoon, so I would be moved over there. About a half hour later, I was over at the express EZ Scan. It was fairly busy there, for a while there was a line for the EZ Scan, which I haven't seen much. A boy, around 11 or 12, bought a toy on one, and a few minutes later came back and asked if he could return it. Another woman came through with 3 little girls, who were full of energy and totally into all the toys in the display behind me, pulling out the hula hoops and asking what the water guns were. The woman seemed a little worn out by them, but not angry. She let them help her scan things, but then got frustrated because they did it all at once and she couldn't tell what was scanned and what wasn't. We got it straightened out and I wished her luck. Another woman came through with her two daughters, and I recognized them. She told me I drew pictures for them once, and I immediately placed them. She said they would be done with school in a week, and I asked one of the girls what she would be doing over the summer: swimming in Thorden park, seeing her friends, and maybe going to summer camp. I told her I lived near Thorden park and that maybe I would see her there. I was glad I had a shorter shift today, after yesterday.
3:30 PM -12:00 AM EZ Scan
The EZ Scan was down when I started. I am not sure what happened, but TT was rebooting one of the computers when I got in. After trying to get it started over the course of a half hour, I was moved to bagging while TT waiting to hear back from tech support. I bagged for VV, who is graduating from high school on Saturday. A guy she new came through the line, and he said something that I didn't hear, and then told me it was a ghetto term. He seemed to want to tease me about being a white girl who didn't know doesn't know anything about the ghetto, which he just assumed, and is correct, but it was uncomfortable. He asked me if I was working for VV--I made a bowing down gesture towards VV, and he told VV I said she was a low nigger. I can't get a good read on VV, I think in part because of her age, but she likes to tell me how to do things, and later in the day she walked by while I was looking up a produce codes and said something like "you still don't know those produce codes yet?"
By around five, I was put back on the EZ Scan. HH for the second time called me Miss Woodward--she somehow has my name mixed up with Joanne Woodward. I joked with her about it,. She said even though she's been up hear for 17 years (from Mississippi), some words are still hard to say/remember, but she did get my name right by the end of the day. During my break, I saw AL, whom I haven't seen in a while, and he asked my how far I had gotten reading his thesis (answer, I read the first chapter when I first got it and still haven't gone back to it) He did get accepted to Hunter College for grad school and is leaving for NYC July 2. At the end of the night, I saw BM when she came through my line. she told me she wasn't at Price Chopper anymore, and is working at the Post Office now. Right now, she is on her sixth day of working ten days straight, and is very tired. She said she missed Price Chopper, and asked about NN. A few minutes before NN had come in, but he is now the complete opposite towards me--he tends to ignore me, but when he can't, he is mopey and seems hurt. BX was complaining to AV about why it is only the guys who have to clean up around the store--he said wasn't this was the feminist movement was about? AV responded by asking him if he would rather be on a register, which he replied no, and that was the end of it.
Most of the night, again, was people watching. There seemed to be a lot of young couples going through the EZ Scan. One couple bought beer and stuff from s' mores. Most, though, just seemed to be doing regular grocery shopping. A woman came in which her two grandsons, who I distracted by showing them the video monitor of her scanning her groceries, which we named "Grandma Scan TV." One woman was excited by the 10 for $10 sale on sour cream, because you never get it at this price. I wondered what you did with 10 containers of sour cream--can you freeze sour cream? Ragu spaghetti sauce was also on sale 10 for 10, and around 10:30 a guy in his forties came in to buy Ragu--he told me he had to set his alarm clock, because he usually worked nights and tonight was his day off, but his mother wanted him to go and get the sauce on sale and told him to get here before midnight when the sale ends. I also had a discussion with a man about sales tax--he wondered what was state and what was county tax. He thought some counties were up to 10% sales tax. He seemed to travel around the region, and knew the sales tax for Oswego and Oneida counties.
After ten there would be small, short bursts of customers, but otherwise it was quiet. I watched guys restock the shelves and make end cap displays, and would take a zen-like approach to cleaning all the EZ Scan stations, although there is only so much you can do with spray cleaner and paper towels. It just seemed like a long day and I wondered how long I could stay here if this is what I would be doing all the time. After I punched out, I went up the breakroom and noticed that the other video used in orientation was out, so I borrowed that one as well and copied it.
6:00 PM - 12:00 AM EZ Scan
Yet another night of slight boredom and people watching. WW was on the other EZ Scan, and throughout the night would state how bored she was. A new display of Dora the Explorer kick balls was next to the EZ Scans, and WW would constantly be playing with them. For a while she flirted with one of the guys who worked at the bank behind us. She talked to him about school and college. A young guy and his father went through her line, and apparently the son was in pre-med, so WW talked about that for awhile--another cashier's boyfriend is in med school. WW is about to graduate from high school, and is taking all her Regents tests now.
In the earlier part of the evening, I noticed that both HH and AV were bringing customers over and showing them how to use the EZ Scan. I asked HH about this; she said that some customers are going through the regular lines with not a lot of things, and so they are trying to free up the lines be directing them to the EZ Scan. I also noticed that HH and AV now had clipboards, and a glance at once of them revealed a sheet listing different things to make sure were done--cleaning, carts, etc. The front end supervisors did seem more on top of things lately. Around 7, a really strong smell of bleach/cleaner was coming from the women's bathroom. AV told us that one of the toilets was clogged, and even though they locked the stall and put an "Out of Order" sign on it until the plumber can come, people still crawled under the door, flushed it, and re flooded the bathroom.
Some people watching:
The woman last week whom I gave 18 cents when she was short came through again. She gave me 18 cents and asked me if I remembered her. Tonight, she came in which other people, and seemed more more together.
When I came back from break, WW, who was covering for me, had a Watchtower magazine, so I must have missed the man who gave me one last week.
Three businessmen came through--ties, suits, cell phones clipped to their belts, and ScanDisks USB drives hung around their necks. One initially was in the Express Cashier line, but another started teasing him that he couldn't do the EZ Scan, so they went and got him and showed him how to do it. The third man asked me if I could believe this guy, who was in human resources, couldn't use the EZ Scan, and I commented that perhaps he liked the human touch. This man shared this comment with the others. They then discovered the kick balls, and I suggested they play dodge ball with them. The leader said "yeah right, bring that to a meeting with Congel." I said that Congel could use dodge ball, and the man didn't say anything, so I told him to tell Congel I said it. The man said, jokingly, " I ain 't saying anything." By this time, I realized they were all a bit slurry in speech.
A man, after finishing his order, came over to me and said that this was the "hatchet store," in reference to Price Chopper's logo. He said he grew up in Glens Falls and so knew all about the Golub brothers.
A lot of people talked on their cell phones while scanning their groceries. Around 10:45, I noticed that 3 of 4 people were talking on their cell phones. One woman was talking about getting some other person to go out, another talked about the end of school.
At around 11:15, a woman came in with a man, and she was complaining about her itchy pants--her tight jeans were washed in something that she was having a reaction to, and she blamed the man for this. She was very wired and wouldn't stop complaining while the guy bought beer. They were short 11 cents, in part because the woman didn't want to break a 20 dollar bill, and so she send the man out to the car to get change. I gave her 11 cents. A different man came back with change, and told her to chill out.
CF talked to me a little at the beginning of the night. He asked what I did, and I told him I was an artist. He asked if I could draw a cartoon, and then told me his idea of a man milking a cow in central new york, and looking underneath and seeing a BMT subway exit with people coming out. At the end of the night, CF said he was getting together with friends and invited me to join them when I got off. I told him I was tired and passed. His friends were three people in their twenties, two in trench coats, the woman wearing a motorcycle cap and combat boots--sort of like the bohemian-artsy clique in high school but older. One of them told me he was homeless.