I think one of the strangest things about working in a grocery store is the lack of privacy. I am so used to sitting in my own office doing my work with little to no interaction with other people. Today I felt even more odd as women in general stared at me all day. At last count I was at 5 that stared me down and gave me their best ‘spiteful’ smile. That was not the end of the attention either, 4 different men squeezed my biceps today! When I asked one of the cashier if this ever happened to her, she turned to me and said, “you want to look like a meat head in public accept the attention. Does anyone else look like you that works here and that is why no one is squeezing them.” I had no comment on this subject after that because I felt like I was being punished for not looking ‘normal’. What is normal anyway, is it the accepted average body that people have or is it what we see in the magazines or on television? The way I see normal is through a skewed image of myself and I can never be good enough. When I look at the general public at the store I am disgusted by their gross fatty arms and legs. Yesterday I commented on a girl’s great fitspo calves because normal people don’t have defined calves. I get told I have sexy legs all the time and my co-workers still wont leave me alone about them. I would say that the girls envy me for having the legs they wish they had and the guys envy me for the arms they wish they had. I sound so conceited but I am actually really shy. I think that one of the main reasons I do workout so much is to feel like people have one less criteria that they can pass judgment upon me. When I look at a big fat person I instantly think that person does not care about their appearance. When in fact that fat person may have been struggling with their weight their whole lives. If you believe in the set point theory, then you might be willing to believe that our bodies are in constant struggle to stay at normal weight for our size. The weight you want is not necessarily the weight your genes want you to be. As for an example, we have this need bagger at the store. He is about 6’4 and thick according to my co-workers. When asked if we thought he was in shape, one bagger chimed in and said, “I don’t think he is in shape but he does have big bones.” When I asked that same bagger today if he would do Jane the cashier, his face lit up, with a bright smile, “who would not do Jane?” Anyhow, working in retail is still very strange.
I tried to get ready for bed at 8:30pm last night because I knew I had to get up early. Well, that did not work out and I slept right through my alarm, at least the first ones. By the time I opened my eyes to see what time it was it was 20 minutes till I was supposed to be at work. I felt like hell riding my bike to the store but at least I was not going to be late.
It was time for my first break and I walked around mindlessly thinking about what to eat so early in the morning. When you are surrounded by food picking just one thing can be a monstrous task. I finally went with a lunchable and a Monster energy drink. I ate it fast in the break room while I talked to the janitor about animals. He is not exactly all their mentally, I would guess an IQ of around 80. He is functional to the point where he is 50 years old and has been a janitor at a few stores over his lifetime. He always tells me that he does not understand whey management won’t promote him to deli or produce. I finished eating the last bite of my break food before I heard my name over the intercom telling me to get my lazy ass back to work.
I had to push the carts on at least four different shifts but what really stands out about working these hours is the one odd request. A big burly firefighter asked me to carry out his groceries and put them into his giant pick-up truck. I was kind of taken by him asking me because he was more capable than I was to carry out his own food. The worst part is he complained the whole time about the prices being too high. I don’t have much sympathy for people that are obviously not making minimum wage. After that an old lady handed me a dollar after I finished bagging her groceries. I just handed it back to her, I think she needed it more than I did. She sounded like she had a European accent but I could not make out where. It was one of those dark countries like Romania in Eastern Europe.
For my last break I had greek yogurt with chocolate milk. I don’t know why I like those all of sudden now but they are very good. I like the yogurt that has the strawberries in the bottom a lot. I say a lot but I don’t mean that I actually crave them, they are just better than grabbing a candy, you know like the regular baggers do. I think that is what most of the baggers spend all their money on, because most of them only work there for about 15 hours per week. All afternoon I wondered if the customers who come there a lot notice how much I am there because I rarely see the same two people. To me the ‘regulars’ sort of blend into the background of a place I really hate being at. It was also around this time that the brainy bagger came over and asked if I would stay an extra 2 hours so he could go home early. I needed a few more hours so despite how tired I was, I agreed to stay for him.
It was time to punch the clock and I always leave just a little early but today I was stuck being the bagger for the new nerdy manager. After a really big order that took two carts I turned around to head for the punch clock. “Where do you think you are going, the store still owns your soul for five minutes,” he said. I let out an auditable moan and started bagging more.
I have these short stabbing pains coming from my right arm so I am trying to bag all the stuff that is heavy with my left arm. I also bag small orders with just my left arm so I can keep some of the stress off the other arm.
After having a long conversation with the butcher about what meat I should buy and why, I picked up my tube of ground beef 94 percent lean. I have decided that I am going to try all lean percentages to see which tastes better. “You know what makes meat taste good is the blood and fat, the rest of the stuff is just tissue,” said the butcher. That sort of grossed me out a bit but oh well, I got to make tacos somehow. On my way back to the front of the store I stopped to pick up one beer and hot sauce. One of the old baggers was working the register and I asked him if cashier training was hard. He told me it was really easy and I told him I flunked out of the training. There is only about 4 baggers left from my original clan that I started out with and I don’t really care for the new recruits.
I got home in a rather sad mood because I am so used to being at the store late into Sunday nights. I think I got off work at midnight last week. I always work the evening but since so many baggers have graduated high school, the morning shifts are being redistributed. I came in the house and I put my beef in the fridge and I asked my roommate if he ever got bored sitting at home on his days off. “I get bored all the time but it takes money to do stuff and I am really cheap,” he said. I filled my clear plastic cup with V8 juice and I went back to my room to sit in the dark till it was bed time. I tried to play video games but I got wicked good and it was not fun anymore when the players on the server were terrible. I literally tied this other player for top spot for 30 minutes. When I first started playing that ‘Cody Jam’ guy could kill my player faster than I could raise my gun and aim it him. Now I can kill him 5 times in one round and the other players are not nearly as good as us either. I had a body count of 29 dead and got killed 7 times when logged off. When I die its usually running into a claymore or falling off something but the most common mistake on my part is killing myself with napalm. I am off from work tomorrow.