… not to be confused with the Summer of Love which could also be considered a summer of life lessons.
Today my stream could be maudlin but I am hopeful. If one reads between the lines, you may catch glimpses. Hope you fickle bitch! I haven’t called you bad names in a while. Hope you are sustaining me.
I thought I might have a modified category. But in actuality, that didn’t pan out. Why? Because the life of a retail cashier is not amusing. There is no humor in the stories. Well sometimes a funny thing or two happens but usually at someone’s expense. To me, that is not humor.
I won’t write about the panhandling addict who everyone knows. He is told he can sit in the shade of the tree outside the store just don’t ask the customers for money. Or the moms who come in stressed out yelling at their kids. Or the attempts to pay with cards that decline. Or to not have 8 cents for the tax (she dropped her own dime in the till so as not to be short and get written up).
The lights are fluorescent, the re-stocking is unending, and the store has been without A/C for over a week. Customers are … well customers. No explanations necessary. Her co-workers are late or no-shows while she is there at least 15 minutes early and covers shifts at the drop of a hat. Would be easy to make lifetime employment of this and some people do. Both A and N have told her not to do as they do. At 26 and 31, they say their lives are over. Don’t be like us Lulu, stay in school.
And she is returning in August to continue towards her degree in psychology having cracked under the pressure A&P. She switched from pre-nursing which was never really her dream. She assumed being a nurse was expected of her. It wasn’t. What’s weird is she went out on the dean’s list the semester before she switched majors. She was making herself sick for those grades though.
And while she still doesn’t know exactly what she will do with the rest of her life, she knows what she doesn’t want. Every crappy minute at the Dollar Tree is chock full of life lessons. She endured and gained confidence. And that my friends is worth its’ weight in gold.
I will end with a little anecdote from last night because I thought it was cute. I want to be that G’ma. When Lulu told me this, she said she was so relieved because she didn’t want to have to bust an almost four-year-old with only one week of work left.
Store closes at 9 pm but a G’ma and her granddaughter got there with 5 minutes to spare. They were buying party supplies for the girl’s birthday party today. Since the store was otherwise empty, Lulu was able to give them her full attention. She helped them find plates, cups, napkins, streamers, balloons, snacks, candy and bubbles. The little girl was upset … I don’t want the bubbles for babies! I want Silly String. G’ma said no ma’am. Silly String is a mess.
Sulking the little girl crept up to the checkout and took a box of hot tamales, hiding them behind her back and under her shirt. Lulu and G’ma both saw this. As G’ma started placing their items on the conveyor belt, the conversation went something like this:
G’ma: See that camera up there, it has eyes on you.
Girl (looking up): So?
G’ma: So, you going to put those back or am I going to take off my flip-flop?
Girl: Put what back?
G’ma: You know what. C’mon do the right thing. I’m not raising you to be a thief.
G’ma to Lulu: I have to teach her. That’s my responsibility.
G’ma to Girl: C’mon, we don’t have all night.
And back went the hot tamales.
As always, more to come.