Retail Is Actually a Nightmare


Yes, I Dealt With This

Those of you who have had to deal with the public know this is true. For those of you who haven’t, I’ll do my best to portray late-night grocery duties as accurately as possible. 

My sleepy hometown had more than one grocery store, but of course, I picked the mom and pop store to apply to. Little did I know that Walmart would have been just as bad. I still can’t believe those words are coming out of my mouth. Walmart, where people are constantly in the way, is just as bad as a small-town grocery store. 

It really came down to the people. There were the people who didn’t have time to drive elsewhere. These people were quick: in and out with a cup of coffee in each hand. No words, just rush.  

There were also genuinely nice people. I would chat with them as I took their groceries out to their car. Yes, it was a little old-fashioned, but they would give me a tip sometimes. It was a win-win for me.

There will always be bad apples, whether you shop at Walmart or any other place. I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share while shopping. Karen screaming for a manager. Brenda demanding that you accept a coupon that’s two years, four months and twelve days expired. I bet you’re thinking, “Damn. Glad I don’t have to deal with that.”

I Dealt With This For Three Years 

All of this is manageable. After a certain point, I learned how to ignore these people and stay calm. Not to say I was perfect like Danny Devito. There was still one woman who got on my nerves. 

The store closed every night at ten. She was a regular, so she knew this. About once a week, she would come in ten minutes before closing. This isn’t so bad on its own. I’ve done it before, so I do the polite thing: grab my things and hurry out the door. This lady would shop like she hadn’t had a drop of milk in her house in three days. 

She’d end up leaving around 10:30 p.m., and we could finally close the store. Sure, I saw a little extra money in my paycheck, but I could have been playing “Call of Duty.” 

Speaking of closing up, have you ever mopped a floor until your hands were raw? For the first two years I worked at this store, we would have to mop the entire floor manually. Trust me, this store was on the bigger end of mom and pop stores. Think a decently sized Piggly Wiggly. 

It wasn’t until about a year before I left that we got a machine that mopped the floor for us. All I had to do was drive the thing!

Besides the floors, we also had to clean the bathrooms. I’ll spare you the details on that little bit.

I loved working there. I wouldn’t trade getting soaked in the rain as I carried groceries to a car for the world. It was the best job I’ve ever had.