Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Update on my new job

I have never worked retail before. I did work for a short time in a furniture store but it was as more of a personal assistant to the owner than anything else. The store was owned by the proverbial little old lady. She had run the store for over 50 years and continued to run the store until she no longer could. I drove her to and from work, did her personal shopping, and ran errands for her. I also stayed at the store with her so that she would not be alone. The amount of retail experience that I got from this job was minimal as the store was not very busy. When a chance for a full time job at real wages came up, I took it.

That job ended in November. I was not aware that it was really ended until February. I started seriously looking for a job and, in March, went to work for the giant mass-market retailer in our town.

In the course of 1 week, I went from part time to full time and was cross-trained in lots of areas, including cashier. It is EXACTLY like playing store when you were a little kid! I love it.

There are parts of it that make me insane. There are decisions made by management for no discernible reason. It finally occurred to me that these decisions do not need to make sense to me. They are NOT my responsibility. Following directives is my responsibility.

Being friendly, courteous, helpful and conscientious is my responsibility. I excel at all of these things. I think I have found my niche.

I was not prepared for being on my feet for eight or more hours a day on concrete. The first few days I thought I had died but then I realized that if I were dead, I would not hurt so much. A friend of mine, who also works at the same store, wore a pedometer his first few weeks. His most strenuous day? 9 miles. Average? 5 miles. At least there was a reason that I was in pain.

I invested in some good insoles and life got better. I learned to schedule myself to two fifteen minute breaks and a lunch hour. I learned how to ask for help, from my coworkers and from my family. I learned how to say “no” to those people to whom I always used to say “yes”. I used muscles that I have not used in years. I familiarized myself with our products and their locations. I had my first days off and came back. I refamiliarized myself with our products and their locations. I got used to everything being moved on a regular basis.

I got my first paycheck last week. It was not what I had been making last year. On the other hand, it was a part-time paycheck. My next one will be better. There is already talk in the department where I work of a promotion.

I am still tired at the end of a day but it is a good tired. It is a fatigue brought on by hard work, some manual labor, and a LOT of walking. It is not the mental fatigue with which I had recently been plagued.

This job is not the job I thought I wanted. This job is the job I applied for while I tried and tried and tried to get the job I really wanted. This job is the job that I love.


Anonymous said...

Congrats! You can get an free pedometer when you join AARP. I'm old and I now own one! It doesn't even register on my daily trip to the end of the driveway to check the mail. :)

Alison said...

yea Sandy...I am so happy for you and so glad you love your new job!

laurie said...

what a wonderful surprise, to find that you love it. but you are very sensible--insoles, realizing what's your problem and what isn't, asking for help.

i'm really, really happy for you.

i bet you have some good adventures there. you can change the names/details of the customers and share them here, maybe?

Anonymous said...

You are already in the realm of promotion? That is GREAT. I'm so happy you are loving it. And, you don't have to worry about hitting a gym if you are averaging 5 miles a day!! Talk about perks!

-Ann said...

I'm glad to hear that you're loving your job. Fantastic. I worked at a supermarket in Ohio for 3 weeks - I did not love it.

In Ireland, all checkout cashiers get to sit down when they do their jobs. Seems so much more humane. It was the standing on concrete for 8 hours that killed me at the supermarket.

ChrisB said...

I'm so glad you are happy in your new job and one that gives you exercise is even better! Promotion sounds good~especially if it's accompanied with a good pay rise!

nikki said...

Yay! Good for you! I'm glad things are working out for you. My first year working retail I lost 50 pounds from all the walking!

kitten said...

Good for you! I'm glad you are enjoying your new job and hope all keeps going great!

Megnificent said...

One of my favorite jobs of all times was being a cashier. I love visiting all day long, so it was perfect for me. Somehow, I think you're the same way.

Sayre said...

Sounds like you landed on your feet - literally!

bermudabluez said...

Good for you, Sandy! That is absolutely terrific!!! I have done retail on and off over the years...the last was about five years ago at Bath & Body Works. I loved it! I mean, LOVED it!!! Unfortunately, my illness prevented me from continuing. My body just couldn't handle the hours on my feet...no matter what I tried. I even went to four hour shifts, which worked for a little while. Some days, I kind of miss it. Terrific that you might be getting promoted. YAY!! WOOHOO!! So happy for you!!!!!

Dianne said...

last October I took a second job at a giant retail store. I work about 20 hours a week there.

I know exactly what you mean about the feet and the muscles. For Christmas my son got me one of those massage foot bath things, it helps! when I'm not too tired to fill it and move it LOL

good luck. you sound like the perfect customer person.

tiger lamb girl said...

Oh, I'm SO pleased for you, Sandy!!!!

Karmyn R said...

I'm so glad you enjoy your job! There is nothing worse than getting up in the morning to go to something you dislike. And hey - now you can eat chocolate and know you've worked it off in that 5 miles of walking a day!

When I worked retail - there were days when I came home grouchy because I had to wear a smile the entire day and my face hurt.

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