I Repeat: Never Try New Things

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After I failed at a full-time position a year ago, I was permitted to remain on the floor part-time. Now, I can’t even do that.

I learned recently my position was reverted to cashier entirely because I was terrible on the floor, even part-time. It’s worth mentioning I wasn’t told this until I questioned why my position was reverted back without my knowledge. While I’m more upset about being lied to for more than a year, and that they had no intention of telling me, the fact I’m incapable of nothing beyond the easiest job in retail is not helping my self-worth.

Yeah, yeah, work’s not supposed to be fun in the first place. I get that. But does it have to crush my soul too? I already I can’t do anything besides retail since retail is all I know. Now, I know I can’t do retail either. I’m going to be that person whose only work experience is decades spent as a cashier. And I know there are people who willingly do that, but I do not share the same goal.

My boss did ask if I want my position to be changed again, but warned me I won’t get as many hours (What hours?? Their payroll is in the toilet!). I declined. What’s the point of holding a position I’m considered awful in? But I’m not enthusiastic about literally being stuck in one spot for 8+ hours either. Not that I was ever in a rush to clock in, but let’s just say being contained in a small space for several hours lowers the priority.

I’m really wondering why there are even interviews for cashier positions. Yank a warm body off the street and throw them on the register. I imagine that would save every workplace ever a lot of time. The only requirements are the ability to read English and move your fingertips in whichever way you want them. Not kidding. Why the heck my boss over-exaggerates the so-called “importance” of this job is beyond me. I ought to just ask my boyfriend if I can let his niece do it. She gets excited about everything. She’ll learn in a day and no one will know the difference.

No, I’m not being sarcastic. This is very much how I feel about the “job” of a cashier. Yes, I know some people enjoy it, but I don’t, and I very much resent being “good” at it. I’m good at a job that can easily be replicated by someone a third of my age. And this job is supposed to matter in retail? I have an easier time believing there really is a tooth fairy.

If a small child has the capability to take your job, and the only reason they can’t is due to child labor laws, it’s useless. And while I’m not looking for my self-worth in a store, of all places, I can admit my job is useless within its industry. As much as I appreciate attempts not to hurt my feelings, lying (about my job performance) and over-blowing a job’s value is worse. Just tell me immediately so I can get over it.

I’m a cashier. I’m a dime a dozen. And there is nothing valuable about that, in or out of retail.

Though, Princess Luna is beautiful, even when she’s sad. Cheer up, Luna. Your job is more valuable than mine.

A Different Perspective

For the most part, I like going to work. Maybe not the actual “work” part of it (who does?) because it is tedious, but I like being around my co-workers and getting out of the house every once in a while. They’ve been slowly increasing my hours, and I think they did it well. They started me off with 10 hours a week. Then, they gradually increased it until it was 19 hours for a while. Now, I’ve been working over 20 hours per week as of late. Granted, in one case, that was due to being called in because another person called out and I accepted, but besides that, the hours have been scheduled for me.

However, there’s one particular thing at my job I really appreciate.

I’ve talked about my family plenty of times on this blog. Sometimes, it’s been positive, but most of the time, it hasn’t. Most of my family members are very judgmental people who make me feel like I live in an eternal high school. They criticize the tiniest things, and I don’t mean only myself. It goes without saying I’ve struggled with my self-esteem most, if not all, of my life. I don’t believe I had any esteem until my late teen years, and while that was partially due to over a decade of school bullying, my family was worse than any bully ever was.

At my job, it’s the total opposite. Not only is there no judgment, but much of the time, I’m discouraged from being hard on myself. I’m told to relax and go slowly. I feel guilty and incompetent when I make mistakes, but instead of being yelled at or criticized, I’m simply told it happens and to be a little more careful. If I need help, I get it without hesitation. I had a customer get angry with me because I didn’t know the answer to a question. One of my co-workers told me not to be bothered by it.

It’s not only the other cashiers who do this. The supervisors are the same. One supervisor outright told me to my face, “You’re human. You’ll make mistakes.” He then proceeded to tell me about much worse mistakes previous cashiers have made, that, in my opinion, sounded like there was no way they could’ve been mistakes. This same supervisor had previously told me about customers attempting to return items that belonged to other stores not of the company’s.

I love the lax attitude and it really does help me feel good about how I perform at my job. At the same time, it feels so strange. I’m so used to being criticized for something as small as the color of my headband, it feels odd to not be told off for mistakes I do make. The person at my job who kicks myself most for screwing up is me. Staying calm about it is easier said than done.

I do try to learn from my mistakes and figure out something that’ll prevent it next time. Most of my mistakes, ironically, are a result of me working too fast because I feel self-conscious and like the customer feels impatient when I work slowly. To be fully honest, I’m surprised I’m even capable of holding down this job. Being a cashier is by no means the most difficult job on Earth, but as someone who’d never held a job before, it was nerve-wracking to me. Of course, now, it’s another part of my weekly routine. I feel like I’m going to miss it when the seasonal period is over. Or, more specifically, I’ll miss my co-workers.