Dial 240 Please

I worked in several different grocery stores for many years. I had lots of job descriptions, but mostly cashiering/ bagging groceries. I did a lot of stocking shelves which is a promotion from cashiering, believe me. I also worked dairy, frozen foods, deli/sandwich meat, bakery, overnight stocker, truck sorter, etc. Pushed a lot of carts, sorted a lot of bottles, and I can sweep and mop like it's nobody's business.

When I was 20, I was promoted to shift manager at the largest grocery store in my state. When the salaried manager was not about, I was IT. I was responsible for over a billion dollars of inventory, 20 workers on average, many thousands of dollars in cash and credit statements, two forklifts, etc. I knew the combination to the store safe and held keys to the store when I was there.

We had these radios we used, with a mike and an earpiece, to talk to one other across the store- it was that big. When managers went home we could sing, cuss, complain on them, whatever. We could use the store phones to dial into them, use them to hook up to the PA system and page people. One guy who was skinny, could crawl over the manager's office wall and change the muzak channel- we'd have real music. Aerosmith and Billy Squier at work... yeah.

I could run the evening shift and the morning (1st) shift. Fact, sometimes when I was on turn-around shifts, I would give the keys to the 3rd shift manager, talk about the night and go home, sleep for a few hours, then come in and relieve the guy who had just relieved me.

Some of the best friends I ever had I met there. In our own little way we suffered together and got close.

I liked it. Workin for peanuts and falling behind in college but I loved it. I guess I just got tired of the grocery business, tho. Nothing good lasts forever. I'm happy in what I do now, but I can't help but want to spend a few nights a month working in a grocery store again. Every other Saturday 3-11 pm or something.

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Mar 21, 2009