Goodbye Aisle 11


Today was my last day working at the grocery store.  That means I’m down to 2 jobs in case anyone is counting.  I am.

I liked working there; in a specialty aisle filled with organic and natural products.  Everything from diapers, hair colour, skin care, vitamin and mineral supplements, gluten-free items, cereals, potato chips and more, more, more.  I got to know this stuff pretty good.  I knew what belonged and what didn’t.  After a while I started to know the rest of the store too.  Keep in mind, this is a “big box” store aka HUGE.  Regular customers knew where to find me and sought me out.  These were mostly sweet little old ladies and gruff old guys and sometimes the other way around.  I would lead them right to what they were looking for in another part of the store.  I was always surprised at their faces when, after telling me they already looked down that aisle, I found it.  I would get so excited sometimes I would actually say, rather loudly, “Oh oh there it is!”

I know, not very dignified but I never claimed to be.

It always gave me a thrill when they knew my name and I totally forgot I wore a name tag.

When I started out in this job I could barely bend over, I huffed and puffed after only walking a few metres, my hips hurt so bad I hobbled and my feet were so swollen I couldn’t put shoes on.  This was all before I started work for the day.  Before each shift I took to taking some Arthritis Tylenol I found in the house.  Amazing how well it worked.  I realized today, my last day, that I hadn’t taken any of the Tylenol for a few weeks.  I was bending over, picking up boxes, and running around the store, on “No Tax” day no less, with barely a heave.  Mind you I’m still tired but I do have a crazy schedule.

There was one guy who would come in on a Sunday when I was working.  He had a basket and gradually filled it with different things from my section.  He would come over to ask me questions or my opinion on a product.  Often.  Very often.

After about the 3rd Sunday of this and he finally left the store, one of the grocery guys came over with a very annoyed look on his face and a full basket in his hands.  He asked, “any of this stuff look familiar to you?”  Of course it did.  It all came from my department.  All of it.  The grocery guy informed me this was the 3rd week in a row where they would find a basket filled with Aisle 11 products in it.  Gulp.

The next week the guy came in again.  I went to the bathroom.  For a long time.

The customers were great and the experiences I had with them were so good.  Even if something was negative (I can’t think of anything) it was always positive.  The staff, on the other hand, were just downright rude.  There must be something about earning minimum wage that puts an edge on people or a chip on their shoulder.  I barely had a friendly conversation with anyone, and not for lack of trying.  One guy I did talk to a couple of times told me something that curled my already curly hair.  He had been working there for 7 years and earned .35 and hour more than me!  Seven Years!  No wonder people are miserable.  The managers lord it over the staff; I heard, at least twice, a manager speaking to an employee in a very derogatory way.  No skills at all.  Another one today was so rude to a customer it was horrible.

Good to get out of there.  Now instead of the 75 hour weeks I’ve enjoyed the last little while I will be working 60.  I just spent 1/2 hour on MSN with my fella and going over my schedule and booking time with him.  Booked time with my sister at her cottage too. 

Schedules are great.

Please don’t give me shit for all the hours I have to work.  I know it’s a lot and I will soon have enough money to get a lawyer so Carly and I get what we need.  Then I can go back to one job and not be so desperate.  I care very much about myself and have already made changes about important things.  Since my days are going to be very long, I am eating a lot better.  I rest whenever I can and I plan to keep up with exercise (we have 2 flights of stairs to climb at my government job).  My meds are in order and my fella still loves me.  I have plans to grocery shop after work since Sobeys is now open 24 hours and so is Wal-Mart.  On my days off, my time is with Carly who, by the way, has a very busy summer all planned out for her.  When this contract with the feds ends, she and I will take a little vacation until the next one begins again.  Oh and she and I will be moving next month.  We shall bond over boxes.  And pizza.  We could afford pizza.

New adventures for me all over the place!  I hope you all stick with me as I know my writing may become sporadic. Here’s hoping it doesn’t.  I still love it and I love you.

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14 responses to “Goodbye Aisle 11

  1. Hi Marie! I’m always happy to see a new post from you, and will stick it out while your posts are sporadic! My posts have been pretty sparse lately. With my oldest daughter about to leave home this week we’ve been having more family time– and I can’t seem to concentrate to write anyway!

    Wow! You are one amazing lady to endure such a hectic work schedule. I don’t know if I could handle it. I’m glad that you have a bit more time in your week now. I also hope that you get things straightened out in the legal department to get the money that you and your daughter deserve. I’m also glad that even with your wild schedule you’re still remembering to take care of yourself.
    Best of luck with your move. I wish you and Carly much happiness in your new place!
    Oh, one funny thing about your title–My daughter worked at a retail pharmacy all through college. Aisle 11 is the Family Planning aisle at her old store! (You know–the condom aisle!!) When I first saw your title I immediately thought it was going to have something to do with condoms!! 🙂
    Have a great day!

    • Oh Sprinkles! You always seem to get it done. Funny you should mention condoms…my former job was working with persons with HIV and condoms were everywhere. We even decorated a Christmas tree with the flavoured ones, as they were the most colourful. Now if I could only find a fork at my new job I could eat! lol, bringing my own, ya don’t have to tell me!

  2. Congrats on surviving — and enjoying — your grocery store job. It’s neat that you enjoyed it as much as you did. I worked PT in a clothing store for 27 months and, when the customers were nice, really enjoyed it. I was lucky that of our 15 staff I liked all of them (and vice versa) except two. My new book talks about what it’s really like to work retail; you might enjoy reading it (even from the library). I remember my feet hurt so much at the end of a shift I could barely walk.

    http://malledthebook.com/

    • Welcome Ms. Broadsideblog! Thank you for taking the time to comment and especially for reading my blog. I will be sure to look up your book. Can’t wait to read it.

  3. Just in case I haven’t said it in awhile….I love you:)

  4. “in case anyone is counting. I am.” I would be, too. I hope you are proud of yourself for working so hard and managing to have a diligent perspective about it all. I know too many people who whine because they have to have one job. You go girl! Here’s to wishing you some rest and reward soon!

    • Hi Tori! Always good to see you on here. I am actually getting some rest this morning as I don’t go to work until 4. Day off on my day job. AND I took this long weekend off! I guess I’m proud of myself. The sacrifices piss me off though. Grrr.

  5. I am always amazed at the strength my fellow women have! You are an inspiration to us all. I would love to work with a fun and nice person; we spend so much time there it should be a good place to be. At least you had nice customers. Sounds like that fellow really liked your company but just couldn’t afford (or need) the products in your aisle. Sweet but sad. I am so pleased about your upcoming move! Pizza and boxes to bond over! Enjoy the vacation when it comes; I know you will! You will eventually get where you belong and I look forward to that time!

    • Thanks jeley! Wow. More like perspiration I think. I can’t wait for vacation indeed. Hopefully I’ll get it. Haven’t heard from one job yet. I do feel there are more strength in my poor bones and my battered sprit. It’s a never ending circus and I seem to be sitting at ringside. That’s entertainment!

  6. Hi Marie – I love reading your stuff and I’m so glad things are working out for you. Keep writing – you’re really good,

  7. How did I miss this entry until now? What an amazing entry it is, too! That probably has something to do with the lady who wrote it. It’s hard to say goodbye, but indubitably the right thing to do here. It’s awesome to think what will spring from all your hard work. Awesome, too, about the schedule component. It’s so freeing to know which hours exactly you’ll have to spend with your loved ones . . .

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