The Crazy Suburban Mom: A bag of skin...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A bag of skin...

The three hardest jobs I ever had were:

1. Camp counselor
2. Maid in a motel
2. Cashier

The camp gig was my first job and I was thrilled with my $9.33 paycheck every two weeks. The promise of 'tips' loomed large but never happened. I worked 1-5 everyday but Monday... for a whole summer.

And never once did the parents in my group tip. It wasn't that we werent' good, or kind to their kids... I think they just felt that they were paying enough for the camp...and maybe they were.
The camp used the "they get meals free" loophole and so the Dixie cups we ate with the kids at snack time was salary. I suppose. I've never been able to look at another Dixie cup without cringing. I understand woman are better tippers than men. I'm sure it's from being scarred early by Dixie Cups.

Best thing about that job:
1. Flip-flop attire

The maid job. What can I say? You think your son has bad aim in the bathroom? People who stay at motels don't even attempt to aim. I once told someone I thought they should take out the entire bathroom and replace it with a room-sized porcelain bowl and the flush thingy. And leave off the pesky bathroom door. People did seem to have remarkably good aim as far as the door was concerned. Or they were attempting to hit the bowl from the bed. In either scenario the door is pain in the neck to someone.

Another job that should have netted me a tip here or there. All I can say is very few. Very few indeed. Since that place had a restaurant they also used the 'they get meals free' thing as a way to keep salaries down. Meals was the soup d'jour. Better known as yesterday's stuff cut up much smaller than it was yesterday.

Best thing about that job:
A TV in every room. I developed an addiction to All My Children and General Hospital that lasted for years.

Third job? Cashier. This is one I did more than once and no free meals at those places. They paid me top hourly dollar! Minimum wage.

Boy, I hated that job. I still start to twitch when I'm in a check-out line and the person in front of me asks for a bag for their pack of gum.

As bad as the other two were, you're not on display. You can sit down...or hide. Perkiness is generally not required. But as a cashier, you are front and center. The face of the store. And the lowliest of it's employees.

Best thing about that job:
Employee discount (Much more helpful at some stores than others... I don't think I ever used it at the Lumber place but I bought a crap-load of discounted ...Well, crap from Quik-Chek.

The boy's a cashier now. I guess it's an early job for a lot of people. But it's not the perfect job for him. He's got food issues. He doesn't like a lot of stuff so working as a cashier in a grocery store is a horrifying thing.

Ma. You should see the stuff that people eat.

Oh? Like what... (Trying to hide my Sushi dinner from him)

Ma. This stuff... it was .... It was awful.


It was a bag of... I don't know...liquid. And things. Pieces.

Can you be more specific?

It looked like a bag of skin, Ma. I almost threw up on the register.

I put down my sushi and we went to work trying to figure out what a bag of skin could be. It took a while but we nailed it.

I've not been able to eat the stuff since and I realize the boy shouldn't work with the public. Or food.


Rob 4/21/09, 2:10 PM  

I have to say that I like the cashier job. I have done it for years on a part time basis as my kids are growing and I love it. There is never two days that are the same, in general most people are friendly and I did it in a clothing store so I was able to get a discount!


Please visit me at

El 4/21/09, 3:56 PM  

My sister and I were both compelled to work as cashiers in our teens. She, loving people, loved the job. The store had only one cashier at a time. Too bad she got married and I had to take over. Me, love people, not so much.
It was a lovely gift store in a very wealthy neighborhood on Long Island and many of the customers went bananas went stuff went up a dime, a quarter.
So one day a guy complained that a box of Barricini candy he was getting for his mother (weekly visit to the home) had gone up maybe 35 cents. So he threw it at my head (reinforcing my love of the public).
"I want that for {the lower price}," he growled in a menacing voice. Whatcha gonna do?"
What could I do?
I turned toward the office in the back of the store and yelled "Daaaaddy!"
And the guy turned and ran.

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