Alright. Still riding the “post as frequently as I can” wave – just getting a little better at defining my rough schedule for this thing. Weekends are a bit busier for me, so I think I’ll keep my posts primarily rolling out during the week – see how that goes for me.
It’s 12:08 AM at the time of me writing this, on a beautiful 18th of July afternoon. I went a little too hard on a punching bag workout, and I feel like I’m going to barf.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
To get some meager pocket money, I work at a supermarket as a cashier. It’s not the only thing I have going on – I’m taking classes over at Rutgers, working on my own writing projects, writing for this blog, trying to snag internships, taking photos to post on my Instagram, playing Pokemon Go with everyone else, and KILLING it in Rocket League. But for the time being, scanning groceries is my job.
It’s what I do to be able to afford car payments, being out and about with friends, and alcohol, and I definitely don’t think it’s HARD WORK. And I’ve had a lot of time to think about that last statement.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel tired after a long shift. My legs ache from being on my feet for hours on end, my voice gets hoarse from repeating the same canned phrases over and over, and let me tell you -the dull *BEEP* of the scanners in the store are starting to bleed into the space between waking and sleeping – all Tell-Tale Heart like. But work for me boils down to lifting bags, cans, and boxes of foodstuff over a terminal scanner and shuffling it on down the line. It’s mindless drone work that, often, sort of gets relegated to the control of my peripheral mind while I’m making conversation with some of my regulars. It’s not challenging – so I’ve got no reason to complain about it like a lot of the people who work there tend to.
I think the main source of my ire for my part-time job is the slice of pie that my shifts there represent. Really, I’m not entirely miffed by any particular thing that happens while I’m wearing my shirt and apron. If customers are assholes, I never see them again. If the day gets hectic, that’s fine – it’s over soon enough. If management tries to flex, I’ve got no pride banked on my position with them, so they’ve got nothing over me. All in all, I think it’s just the time factor that tends to get to me sometimes. Six and a half hours per shift is a decent chunk of my day where I could be doing literally anything else. I could be working on more blog posts, signing up for more internships, working on my book, spending time with my friends – that’s what gets to me. The fact that my need to have pocket money takes resources out of the pool of time I need to actualize what I want.
But the beauty of that is that – reasoning notwithstanding – that’s STILL A MINOR GRIPE. The reality stands that this job is by no means who I am, nor does it altogether prevent me from actualizing what that is. And I wish that a lot of my co-workers could see that for for themselves. There are so many young twenty-somethings that work there, even a few thirty-somethings that are so weighed down by that logo-ed shirt they don for a few hours a few days of the week. It’s as if the experience is stunting them somehow – that the store is some kind of retail purgatory that’s got them in its grip, refusing to let them go. But there isn’t any shame in fulfilling necessity – as long as you don’t lose sight of the things ahead you’re really working towards.
To all my disgruntled retail drones out there – don’t forget that the uniform you hate so much isn’t the only outfit in that closet of yours. Do what you have to do to get comfortable, but don’t you EVER lose yourself along the way. Stay focused. Stay inspired. Get out there and make something.
You’ve got the time.