Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6 Things I Learned at Walmart

I intended to do this post right after I quit at Walmart, but life got in the way and here it is February already. I'm sure I've forgotten some of the pearls of wisdom I was going to impart, and I don't want to wait until I lose the rest!

Lesson 1: Bag Your Fresh Foods
I'd never thought of this before working in retail, but that belt gets REALLY dirty. People are plopping their meat on it all day long, and those packages leak! Meat juice gets on everything (including the cashier's hands), then people come along and put their fresh foods right on the belt. Gross even if you eat meat. Keep your fresh stuff in plastic bags to prevent cross-contamination.

Lesson 2: I'm REALLY Glad I'm a Vegetarian:
I've been a vegetarian all my life and never spent a lot of intimate time with dead animals until Walmart, where I discovered a key concept (with apologies to my meat-eating readers): meat is gross. I handled all of it as little as possible, sometimes picking up the grossest packages with my thumb and index finger to drop it in the bag. I hope nobody ever noticed! :) But by far, the most disgusting meat was lengua, which comes across the register looking like exactly what it is. A huge lump of severed tongue. Plus it really stinks.

Lesson 3: Give the Cashier a Break
When your cashier leans sweetly forward and offers to come around and scan something, let her, for goodness sake. I used to think they thought I couldn't lift that bag of cat food or bucket of pain easily or something, so I'd say "Don't worry about it," and heft it onto the belt with a muscular thump. What I didn't realize was that everything I lifted onto the belt the cashier had to lift off of it, and she had to do it all day long.

Lesson 4: I'm Turning Into a Cougar
At Walmart, I saw a lot of ID's. I quickly discovered the disheartening truth that all the gentlemen I thought were nice looking and about my age were about 8-10 years younger. And the people my age were old. Not just that, but people younger than my age were old. I'm not sure how or when that happened, but it speaks to a future of cruising around town in my wheel chair whistling at all the hunks 60 years my junior.

Lesson 5: Pick-up Lines Shouldn't Induce Nausea
My most indecent proposal was from a man who came through my speedy checkout line with some fried chicken. He asked me if I wanted to eat it with him and told me suavely, "I'll even lick your fingers off for you." Eeeeew!!!!!!!! Two months later, I still want to hurl every time I think of it, but as Noni pointed out, it did achieve the feat of earning him a permanent place in my memory.

Lesson 6: People-greeting is the Most Mind-numbing Job on the Planet
I only had to do it once, to cover a break, but I nearly died of boredom. Take pity on those poor souls who have to stand there for hours on end (less to greet you and more to manage 'inventory control', but don't tell anyone I told!). Smile and say hello....they'll be grateful. Trust me!

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