Tag Archives: this week's tales

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 7

Christmas shopping has begun! People are lining up again here in Ontario to get their shopping done. And we cashiers are working as quickly as we possibly can, so please be patient!

At the store I work at, we have a donation bin, as well as donation bags pre-made that you can purchase and add to the bin. People have been so incredibly generous so far this year and it makes my heart warm knowing that there are going to be people getting donations for Christmas.

But then, there are those who just cannot see the good in anything. I had a customer who complained quite loudly to me that this year is not the year to be asking for donations. Too much has happened with Covid-19 that we should be thinking of ourselves rather than others. I politely kept my mouth shut, all the while thinking that no this is the EXACT time to be thinking of others who are less fortunate than we are. I have never had to use a food bank or get donations even when I was a struggling single mother of teenagers but I always knew they were out there if I needed them. I think the true spirit of Christmas is giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. I am pretty sure that’s what Christmas is all about.

I also had an incident with a customer who angrily tossed a box back at me (it was empty and did not hit me) but she was annoyed that it took me so long to get an answer on the price. Sorry, but again, I do my best to go as quickly as possible without messing up! Some people….

Anyway – I hope you are all well and enjoying the decorations going up around the world. We may be going through the holidays during a pandemic but that doesn’t mean we can’t still feel the joy of the season.

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 6

Christmas season is upon us, and the store is getting decorated and ornaments are being sold. Garland, small Christmas trees- the works!

Our store is not the biggest grocery store but I am amazed every day at the selection of items we have to purchase. We are also in a somewhat “boujie” area of the city so we have some items that cater to that lifestyle. I can honestly say I never realized how many people eat brussels sprouts! Maybe that’s not a boujie item but to me it is bewildering. Not a fan of them personally but hey whatever floats your boat!

Not only are we getting busy for Christmas, but also for the potential complete lockdown of Ontario which may be in our very near future, so people are stockpiling. This past week didn’t see any unusual behaviour for customers. We were mostly talking about the continuing election situation in the States, and the pandemic. People seem to be more and more nervous about both. Which is understandable – no one wants to go back to a complete lockdown but perhaps that is the only way to bring the numbers down.

One thing our store is doing is allowing customers to add a donation to our local Food Bank to their bill. I am so happy to see how many people are willing to do that! It warms my heart that there are still generous people in the world who are thinking of others, especially this time of year.

I anticipate that customers will be getting more stressed as we approach Christmas, and I just hope I can put a smile on their face and bring them a bit of joy when they come through my till. It’s the least I can do!

Have a great week everyone and remember to smile behind those masks – your eyes will show us that you are !

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 5

For some reason, unbeknownst to all of us clerks at the store, this week has been insanely busy!! My shifts are flying by, which is always a good thing, and the sales just keep ringing up!

I partly believe that people are stockpiling again in anticipation of further lockdown procedures and winter coming. I have, despite the rules against this, been helping the older people with bagging their groceries when they bring in their own bags, and also putting the bags in their carts. They always look so happy and appreciative when I do these things. Again, I would hope people out there who maybe see my mom struggling some days would do the same for her. And it makes me feel good inside to help and make their life just a wee bit easier.

But with the sweetness of the old people comes the people who I swear talk quietly just to hear me yell at them and then get annoyed that I am yelling! I know the masks are a struggle for some people, but it’s not because of the masks that I cannot always hear what they are saying. Its the plexiglass screen separating us and keeping us safe. And I also know that DEBIT and CREDIT, when said quietly, sound the same and so please don’t get upset with me when I have to press the other button because I heard incorrectly. Seriously it only takes another few seconds to do that. Chill out people.

In Canada, this is the time of year where we get our anticipated MILK calendar for the next year. Our’s are being given out at the store, and I love it! I excitedly am giving one to everybody and telling them all about the great recipes in the calendar. ~~ Side note for those who know about my addiction to notebooks – I have a similar addiction with calendars – I presently have at least 4 2021 calendars laying around here ~~. In any event, I love seeing the people’s faces look so happy that I am giving them something free and they all go away in a good mood, even if they have spent a whole lot of money on groceries! It’s the little things.

So there we are – another week done. Keep smiling and be kind to all of your front line workers -even us grocery store clerks. It only takes a second to smile !

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 4

This past week, I have been noticing more and more of what people are buying and looking at the unique things people buy – our store carries an amazing array of items and I really need to take the time to wander through and check some of them out!

But one disturbing thing I have been noticing is the heavy use of plastic people use! There are a good majority who will put all their vegetables in two bags – which makes it difficult sometimes to find the codes to punch in. They also package their food in plastic bags and then will come to the check out and ask for the reusable bags because they are trying to help save the environment. Really? Perhaps use less plastic on boxes of things you are buying then? It’s baffling that so many plastic bags are used by people who actually tell me that they are working hard to save the environment. Incredible!

I have also learned that people really don’t listen. At all. We have very strict instructions at the store, and there are multiple signs around to explain them, about waiting at the checkout. Stand behind the line. Wait for the cashier to call you forward. Be sure she/he is cleaning the belt before placing your items on the belt. Pretty simple right? Apparently not, as there are many people who march right up and start putting their groceries on the belt, while I am still trying to check out the person in front of them. I ask them politely to remove the items so that I can clean the belt first, and the attitudes I sometimes get! You would think I had asked them for money or something! Sometimes they will go to another check out only to be told the same thing. Umm yeah – it’s not like I singled you out in particular to tell you that.

Most people are great, albeit the use of plastic, and I really enjoy my time there getting to know the customers.

Hope you all have a pleasant week!

Tales of a grocery store clerk – Part 3

So unlike last week’s tales, this week has shown me how sweet and kind the people are that come in to the store.

Late last week, this lovely older lady came to my till and had her own bags. In theory, we are not supposed to help people bag their own groceries – and this is strictly because of Covid. She was clearly struggling to put her groceries on the belt, so I thought that I would help her, despite the rules. Well she was the sweetest old lady and she looked teary-eyed when I told her I would help her put her groceries in the bag. Once I got everything in her bags and let her know the cost, she started telling me how sweet I was, that I reminded her of her daughter, and called me dear about 100 times. She made my day that’s for sure.

One thing about the Covid crisis is that people are getting very creative, and the beauty is coming out in everyone’s masks!!! There are so many women who have matching masks to their outfits, little girls who match, little boys who have become superheroes, men with masks on that have a beard, mustache and lips. The creativity is endless! I love seeing all the different masks.

So, while I may get annoyed by people who call my darling, I am so grateful to work at a place where I get thanked EVERY SINGLE DAY by numerous customers for being there for them, working through the pandemic and coming in every day, putting our lives at risk so that they can feed their families.

Yes, I really do love my job!