Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last Day at The Chopper

Wednesday was my last day at The Chopper. It started like an ordinary day. A little work on signage. Then, as is usually the case, later in the morning my boss pulls me out of the price accuracy department. Usually this means I run the front end, assisting cashiers with customer service issues, scheduling their breaks, getting cash for them when they're low on $1s, $5s and $10s, etc etc.

I should've known something was up when my boss asked me to hop on a register.

This isn't unheard of. Usually once or twice a day I jump on a register for 5 or 10 minutes, when it's wicked busy or when I need to float a cashier's break. Wednesday mornings aren't particularly busy, though. In fact, they're usually quite dead. Everybody's stocked up on groceries from the previous weekend and don't need to restock for the upcoming weekend yet.

Then I hear over the store intercom, "Phil, please report to the CSM (i.e., my boss's) office. Phil to the CSM office, please."

And I'm such a doofus. I definitely should've known something was up by then. But I was stressing out, thinking about any bad customer interactions I've had lately, because normally when someone gets called into the CSM office, it's not to tell them what a great job they're doing. It's the supermarket equivalent of being sent to the principal's office.

Instead, what was waiting for me was a cake, from The Chopper bakery, with "Good Luck at Your New Job, Phil" inscribed on it. And a card with well wishes from my boss and all the cashiers in it. (Of course, this is why I was thrown on a register, to distract me from the cake being brought in and everyone signing the card.) Also, my boss gave me six stars, which in non-Chopper lingo means I get a $25 gift card.

I'm not gonna lie, I was starting to feel my eyes get a little damp.

This has been a very difficult, transitional and turbulent year in my life, for some reasons I've discussed and others that I haven't. I was only at The Chopper for 5 1/2 months. Before this I've never worked in a supermarket in my life. I made a shit-ton of mistakes. But I can't tell you how great it feels to receive this kind of warm reception on the way out.

Part of me wishes I could've stayed. Unfortunately there were some logistical issues (loooooooong commute, opportunities for better pay and benefits and a more consistent schedule) that prevented that from being an option. It's great to know that I made some really good friends, though. And that transcends a paycheck.

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