Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I am employed! At a grocery store! I am the supplements girl, and work in the Health And Beauty Aids part of the store. I really prefer the beauty section because I'm more familiar with the products and the stakes are so much lower- "Where are your facial scrubs?" vs. "Do you have anything to reverse the effects of lead poisoning?". But I'm getting the hang of supplements, to an extent- I at least know where the mushroom tinctures and the multivitamins and the women's health sections are, and all the other sections, but I'm not neccessarily able to find individual items, such as kelp or Gaia Milkweed or charcoal tablets.

And employment is about the best thing ever, because it's like being in a club except accomplishing things at the same time. We have teamwork and a work schedule and familiarity with long term trends in sales and a staffroom that isn't exactly dirty, because that wouldn't be allowed, but is much less polished than anything in a grocery store, or any other store. And we have a bulletin board and a label maker and an intercom and an employee health drawer and ALL SORTS OF THINGS!

And half my job is "facing"- turning and dusting and straightening products so that they look new and tidy and appealing. You would not believe, from looking in my purse or at my bedroom, how much joy this brings me. People do chaos, I undo chaos. Over and over, all day until they go home and I count the drawer (with the help of supervisors with various levels of expertise)and mop.

There are some things I don't like very much, such as the concrete floor and the confusing ancient operating system and ringing up customers (because I'm really, really slow at it). Also, very few people work full time at that shop, and so every shift I meet new people and the old ones are gone. (Well, I've only worked 4 shifts so far so I imagine that will stop soon.)

But the really lovely thing is people come in convinced of a need, a deficit, and I have only to direct their need. This is great because whenever I used to sell things, cookies or balloon animals or bumper stickers, I felt really uncomfortable trying to convince people "really! your life will be marginally better if you exchange money for this item!" And luckily no one asks me what I use, because that would be "Whatever people give me" in the beauty section, and "I try to stay hydrated" in the health section.

No comments: