When I go grocery shopping, it’s once a month. I get up at 4:30 & get home before 7:30. This time period is a personal preference for me. First, I don’t have to interrupt our schooling. Second, my husband is still home & I don’t have to take the kiddos. Mostly though, it has to do with avoiding mass chaos.
I hate when the stores are packed. Thus, most of my Christmas shopping is done on-line. But, all the noise & pushing & waiting just aren’t my bag.
The night before, I streamline my list with the sale ads & of course, my coupons. I sort & make a list for Wal-Mart & a list for Giant Eagle. I’ve come to know & understand the crew at Giant Eagle. It is essentially the same overnight shift every time. There are 2 self-serve lanes & one cashier manning the express lane. I always go self-serve & pack my cart. This has earned me mad respect from the crew. The like the way I pack & have been a huge help to me when prices ring wrong & I can’t find something. I have a fantastic rapport with them & this makes me happy.
Wal-Mart is its own beast. I can honestly say, I haven’t seen the same person more than twice. Granted, they have a much larger crew. One morning, I counted 50 team members scrambling around like kids at an egg hunt. But what is most amazing to me is the cashiers. Now, I’ve been using this system for years. I still get a different cashier every time. The August trip was no exception. This time I had a cashier who not only gave me her take on how management is run, but also her story of a girl trying to steal her boyfriend. This lady was middle forties at best & was livid that she wasn’t on express. I’ve had cashiers ring with their eyes only partially open. I’ve witnessed crew meetings & deliveries. Most of the time, I feel like a bartender from Cheers. Who’s mad at whom & who thinks they’re the best cashier in Wal-Mart history. It never fails to amaze me. These men & women pour out their hearts to me- a lowly 5 AM Wal-Mart shopper.
I don’t mind the stories. They could probably provide adequate material for a novel. It just slays me that they share such feeling & personal info with a stranger. I don’t know that I could. I was a retail manager for years. I’ve seen a lot of cashiers who’re people persons. But Wal-Mart’s cashiers by far, are the biggest people persons that I’ve come across.
My advice to them is usually the same. Tell your manager why you’re upset. Ask for a break. Tell your boyfriend to keep his eyes on you. Find a better boyfriend. Yes, I think you ARE underpaid. No, I can’t believe you’re up here alone. No, the bathrooms are nasty here. I agree. No, I’m sure you are better in layaway.
I will not be deterred from early a.m. Wal-Mart trips. My family needs stuff & I have to provide it. I will go there with my list, coupons, & arsenal of therapy-type consolation to those dedicated overnighters.
Pull up a buggy & join me.