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7/10/05

1:00 PM -5:30 PM EZ Scan

I'm always a little tired on Sundays, it seems like it takes me a little while to get going. Like yesterday, there were a lot of people in the store today, and EZScanland was busy--usually full. BS was on the small EZ Scan, she told me she is usually off on Sundays, but someone called in and they asked her to work. At 1:30, BS took over. She didn't want to be on the EZ Scan, and would rather bag, but I guess Carla had first choice. I realized that I'm not meeting as many employees as I did the first few months, even though there are many new people, and its probably because I've been stuck on the EZ Scan and fewer people work over here, and usually ones who have been around a little longer.

BS was sort of funny--she complained about some woman who was contesting the price of everything, and sort of rolled her eyes in frustration at a lot of people. She came over to me and told me a man said to her that he liked her hair, and then asked for her phone number.

Today, there was a coupon in the paper or somewhere for $8 off any order over $50, so I was entering a lot of those. Although there were some single men, many of my customers today were African American women, often with kids along. I recognized several people as regulars, but none are eccentric enough to get a nickname. Many of the people I recognized are middle-aged women who always buy what's on sale.

After a few hours, I was actually getting tired of all the people coming through. Two women came through, both needed an Advantage card, and for some reason, I guessed that one of them would have a EBT card that wouldn't read, and I was right. This is only a minor annoyance, because I have to grab a supervisor and have them come over and enter the EBT card manually. But at the time, I remember thinking that I wished people were more self sufficient, but I always keep a polite facade.

Right around the time I had my break, things picked up. After I punched out, I heard someone call my name, and it was Dani Mosko-Wozniak, a member of the Foundation's board of directors. She was in with her mother, who was visiting from Germany. I spent my break with them as they shopped, and told them to come through the EZ Scan when they were done. While we were out in the store, I said hi to one of my former neighbors, and architecture grad student, who seemed a little confused at seeing me in my uniform, but I've stopped explaining to people I know about what I'm doing here. When I returned from my break, Ed from my softball team was on the other EZ Scan. I guess I just really like seeing people I know.

CF came by to say hello and hinted at going out for coffee, but he picked up on my non-committedness, and then said that since I work another job, I must not have a lot of free time. I do like CF, and wonder if perhaps before I leave, I tell him about the foundation. I have thought about asking a coworker to help select the artist the grant goes to, and CF seems like a good candidate.

After I punched out, I did my grocery shopping, something I haven't really done much of in this store since I started working here. AC, who was working in photo, even asked me what I was doing as I went around to my shopping cart, surprised that I was actually shopping.

 
7/09/05

2:30 PM -6:30 PM Express Cashier

When I went up to the break room to put away my stuff, I saw a ballot box to vote for your favorite "co-manager to come". WW was in the hallway at that moment, and I asked her what that was about. She said that she thought it was because of PP leaving, that she was some kind of manager. I asked her how we were supposed to vote if we didn't know who we were voting for, and she had no idea and thought it was sort of ridiculous. It's unclear exactly what the position we are voting people in for, as well as whether they are coming from this store or another. Democracy at its finest.

When I punched in, DD gave me an Associate Documentation Form- Overage/Shortages to sign-- the EZ Scan was under $19.89 on Sunday, and the two other cashiers who were on it got one as well. She didn't act as if it was a big deal, and I am getting used to getting one of these once in a while.

Working on the express line is slightly better than the EZ Scan. You are still a little isolated from the rest if the cashiers and baggers, but you are dealing directly with people. It was a really busy day in the store--I always had a line, as did the other Express lines. Some of the supervisors would come and run a register at different times to alleviate the lines.

People were buying dinner things, or else special occasion items, like party stuff (plastic cups, paper plates, ice, etc. ) One guy bought $90 worth of seafood, $60 of it was catfish. I sold a lot of beer as well. I realized I see more older people (60+) in the express line than I do on the EZ Scans. One older couple bought only things that were reduced in price--pasta at $.75--or else things they had a coupon for. In this week's flyer, there is are coupons which double the price of any Proctor and Gamble coupon, and so I saw a lot of these. Several times, people tried to use them with non-P& G coupons, and I had to explain it to them. I am pretty lax about coupons, and try to give people the benefit of the doubt when they give me a questionable one, but figured I wouldn't get away with it with these.

Several people told me my line seemed to be moving fast. At one point, I overheard two woman talking next to me, in line for the register behind me, which was moving slow at the moment. At first, they were saying that Peters and P&C are sometimes busy, but never as crazy as it it is here. Then they started talking about the bombings in London, and how they felt the response from the British was so much more mature that than of the US. I then looked up to see who was talking, and recognized one of the woman as a professor at SU whom I've been introduced to a couple of times. I don't know if she recognized me of not--we didn't make eye contact.

I know I've said this so many times, but I really do like being on a register.

 
7/08/05

6:00 PM -12:00 AM EZ Scan

I managed to switch shifts with someone else to get Thursday off (after several phone calls). I haven't worked on a Friday in a while, and the mood seemed very different. People seemed more tired and more in a hurry to get their stuff and leave. There were mostly people with small kids or young couples going through the line. It was busy for my first hour, then it tapered off, and got busy again around 10:30 or so--I was always in between boredom and busy.

Many of the parents were grumpy and were short with the kids. I started to talk to a girl, who was clearly bored, and she told me that she had a stomach ache earlier, but now felt better. Her mother was sort of mean-ish and would yell at her, and was with an older man, unshaven and just standing by while the woman scanned everything. Later, I was went to get a sticker to give to a boy, but was descended upon by people needing a coupons scanned, paying with a check, and the boys mother told him that they're going and he doesn't need a sticker. I managed to run after him and give him one as they left the store.

Other people were impatient. A rather eccentric older man, wearing elastic pants, sandals and socks, button down shirt and a baseball cap, scanned his stuff, paid for it, and then stood by looking through his receipt and slowly loading his groceries into his cart. A couple pushed their cart up behind him and told him to hurry up. A few other people, when they needed my attention, would shout out my name.

Two people I know work here also came through. One of them, a man who I thinks works in the bakery, I've seen before always scanning something at reduced price, and I can't help feeling that he's the one who made the sticker for the things with half price or whatever. Tonight, he scanned one thing but put two in his bag, and later thanked me, I think because he knew I saw him doing this but let it go. Another person is a woman who I thought worked in photo, but have only seen as a customer lately. She was with her kids and was in the grumpy parent category. Other co-workers went through, usually buying food for their break.

When I did take my break, around 9:30, there were more people than usual at night in the breakroom. A few were waiting for the bus. One guy, who's been saying hi to me for the last few weeks, introduced himself.

On the other nights I have worked, lights are turned down at 10:00, and then again at midnight. Tonight, lights were off at 8:30, and then 9:00, making it feel much later than it was. People started coming through wearing their work uniforms--two college-age woman wearing "Empire State Brewing and Music Festival 2005" T-shirts, which an graphic that was a combination of guitar and beer bottle, also people in Pizza Hut and Target uniforms.

People were also buying a lot of beer, usually Budweiser 30 packs, or Keystone. One man paid for his six pack with all coins and a bottle slips. At the very end of the night, an Eastern European man (accent) told me he did the grocery shopping when he was married, and now he does it now that he's divorced. He then asked me if I was married, and continued to flirt, but I made myself busy closing down the EZ Scans.

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