Small Hometown Vibes

I realize I’ve been writing a lot of poetry lately on the site, and I’ve been really enjoying it. However, in an effort to give you guys something different, I thought I’d tell you about my experience working in a grocery store. Thrilling, I know!

Let’s see now, I was about fifteen and a half when this story began. A freshman in high school with not much to do other than go to school, play basketball, and hangout with friends. But I was going to be getting my license somewhat soon and I wanted to have my own spending money when it came time for me to drive. So I got a job at the ideal place- the local independently owned grocery store in my small town where both my brother and sister had worked as well!

Since I was still far from being 18 in these days, I had to go through a process of getting a work permit. This required getting a paper signed by my employer, my parents, my school, and my doctor for some reason. Anyway, I bothered my mom or brother or someone to drive me around to get all the required signatures, then I turned that thing in the next day!

I still recall my very first day working there (my mom dropped me off), and the first memory that comes to mind was when I was being trained on how to stock the various products around the store. A guy in his mid-twenties was showing me the process of rotating the milk so that the ones with the shortest time until they expired were in the front. You wanted people to take these when they were shopping so that they don’t get ignored too long and end up expiring in the store. Yes I am now calling you out- yeah you, I know you reach to the back of the milk shelf for the ones with later expiration dates 👀 He showed me the basics and then told me to put the rest of them in there. I reached down to put the first gallon of milk on the shelf and came right back up CRACKING my head on the refrigerated sections overhanging cover.

He laughed his ass off and I couldn’t help but laugh too.

Fast forward a few weeks and I’ve gotten the hang of the grocery business. When I was a stocker, or bag boy if you’d rather 😑 , I’d have essentially the same responsibilities each night. There’d be a clipboard with my name at the top and a list of things I was supposed to get done by the end of my shift each night, and as I’d finish each task I was supposed to initial next to it.

Mason Schneider 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  • Keep all Meat, Dairy, Produce, Bread, Beer products replenished throughout the duration of your shift
  • Sweep floor
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Take out all trash in the store
  • Bring in carts from parking lot as needed
  • Help to bag for cashiers when needed
  • Vacuum rugs
  • Assist customers as needed

I’d usually knock out all of the things most people would do at the end of the night right away. That way all I had to do was stand up front and talk with the cashiers and bag for the customers they rang out. Nothing ever needed stocked more than a few times a shift because we were in such a small town.

After a couple months they trained me as a cashier which I realized is one of the easiest jobs in the world. You stand behind the register, and you stand there, and you stand there- and you become thankful for customers on the slow days. It was nice working as a cashier because I got to meet the people in my small town that I didn’t know and I got to talk with my friends and family who regularly came in the store.

Overall I am thankful for my experience working here when I was in High School. I got to know a lot of different people and got an even truer sense of that small hometown vibe than most people probably ever care to experience. But hey, it’s in my list of past experiences now, and I’m glad for it.

Now, onto bigger and better things 😉


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