Monday, March 31, 2008

It Really Irks Me

I am the manager of a retail grocery store, which is a challenging position for any human being. I dreamed of working in a grocery store from the minute I walked into a "Supermarket" for the first time when I was about seven years old. The hustle, the bustle, all the people picking out this and that; the cashiers in their matching uniforms, the male employees in their starched white shirts and ties; the lunch counter where you could buy a sandwich and soda, the ice cream counter where you buy a four scoop "Big Joe" ice cream cone for fifteen cents; the bag boys carrying the bags of food to the cars of the shoppers; the aisles of canned and dry goods; the mounds of colorful produce; the meat cutters in their white coats and hats; the smell of fresh baked goods wafting throughout the store; the sounds of the bells as each item was rang into the ornate cash registers, all of this was fascinating to me and I wanted to be a part of it.

In the early sixties, when I was old enough get a job in a grocery store, it was almost impossible to get hired. They were some of the best jobs available, as far as pay and benefits went, and the people who were lucky enough to get hired, stayed for years. It took me until the early seventies to get my opportunity. I had worked other retail jobs, which were great, but grocery was my dream, and I was thrilled for the opportunity, which was given to me by Buttrey Foods in Boise, Idaho. I started on the bottom rung of the ladder, learning everything hands-on.

The work is not always easy, the hours are not for the nine-to-five type person, especially now when stores are open 24/7, nor is it for the thin-skinned, shy and retiring type. I love it!

What irks me is the few people in this world who treat grocery workers like they are the scum of the earth. The people who talk down to you like you were some kind of mentally challenged drop-out from the third grade.

There are approximately one-hundred and fifteen people working in my store. A high percentage of them have college degrees, are attending one of the universities to earn one, or, at least, have graduated from high school. Some are still young enough to learn yet more about life but none are dummies, by any means.

So, when some self-important jerk (male or female) with their "better than thou" attitudes, come into my store, taking pleasure (and pride, for god's sake) in demeaning my employees BECAUSE of the work they have chosen to do, it irks me.

I admit, none of us in this industry is perfect, and I do have unpleasant issues to deal with at times with my employees, but overall, they are good, honest, hard-working people who have chosen to do one of the hardest jobs in the world.....working with the public. I love them for that.

With that said, I want to say KUDOs to all the retail workers of the world who deserve the same respect and appreciation as any other profession. And to those who look down upon us.........get a life!!


Sandee said...

AMEN! Since I too, work in a grocery store, have felt exactly the same at times. It is usually the poor slobs, who I'm sure we are paying for their groceries, that are often the worse. I get through it by thinking to myself, my job may not be ideal, but at least I make an effort and work. And...probably make more $$$ than them and will retire well off:)

Michelle said...

Very well said :)