Monday, May 24, 2010

Ode to My First Job

Way before my days of morning meetings and desks with fancy swivel chairs, I spent several high school summers working in a supermarket. My first real paychecks at the age of 15 came from 8 hour shifts wearing an over-sized pink smock, scanning groceries next to 60 year women named Roz and Pam. They were lovely, but we didn't really have much in common. Those summers were a blur of praying I didn't have to use the microphone to ask for a price check, asking the manager to void my millions of mistakes (gala or fuji - who knew?!) and having a crush on a bagger who only said "yo" and wore a gold Nike chain.
I really should have worked at the mall.

But to this day, every time I go to a grocery store, I give the cashier a knowing look. It communicates many things:

"I'm aware that strategically organizing my groceries in a paper bag is mind numbing, yet kind of fun at the same time"

"When people give you a "better than thou" attitude, you should totally "accidentally" smush their bread."

"I feel your pain when cheapskates tell you that 3 lemons are really 98 cents, instead of 99."

"I know you didn't choose to wear that smock. It's totally not your style. I'm not judging."

Looking back, I realize that being a cashier really wasn't so bad. I recruited a couple friends to keep me company, and learned some very important facts about produce ... and people. If you've ever had to take on an 80 year old woman who insists Borscht is on sale, then you can handle anyone. 

What was your first job?


  1. How about the hell-bent woman who said the receipt wasn't right by a dollar or something, and wouldn't let up on you..So, as the sweet, think on your feet 15 year old that you were, you handed over to her one of your own dollars - right from the pocket of your pink smock!!

  2. You raised that girl right Celia, maybe you will get some time on the "raising your children" blog!!