First Day at the Drugstore

Yesterday evening Mr. Lewis called and left me a message saying that I had passed my drug test and could start work as soon as… today. So I called him back this morning and was like, uhh, do you still want me to work today? So I did indeed work today, from 9am to 5pm…

First, I was sent to learn from Lorie how to run the registers. I learned to ring up lots and lots of cigarettes, because apparently most of Columbus, OH comes to our store to buy smokes (or “cancer sticks,” as one addicted customer described them). And I checked a lot of IDs, because apparently there are undercover, underage cops (who knew?) that try to buy cigs illegally, and if you don’t check their ID, your store will be fined (and can lose its cigarette-selling-license) and you will be fired. And since cigs seem to be half of my stores’ sales, I think that would be really bad for both me and my store. So I was particularly scrupulous, and I think I carded a 45-year-old woman. She was thrilled that I thought she might have been seventeen.

Sweet photos: "Carlos," by Brian Auer

This is me, guarding your smokes.

In the afternoon, I got trained in the photo lab. Which was pretty scary, because I was working with machines bigger and fatter and tons heavier than I am, and quite incomprehensible. But I was taught to tear apart disposable cameras to get at the film (definitely fun!), to feed the film into the machine so it could be turned into negatives (?), to feed the negatives into the machine in another slot so that photos could be produced, to cut the negatives into strips to be stuck in sleeves (also fun!), and to put it all together in the little envelopes for the customer. It’s not too bad once you get used to it, but I’ve been told the machines malfunction occasionally, and need constant refueling with about seven different chemicals (none of which I understand) so I’m still a little nervous…

Yeah. That was my day. I got off work 2 hours ago and my feet are still sore, so… tomorrow I’m going shopping for some more comfortable shoes! …….I do feel really bad about one thing though: before I learned how to void items, I charged this Mexican $1.50 for a drink he didn’t even buy, because my register scanned it by mistake. He looked all confusedly and foreignly at me and paid anyway. I feel terrible about it. I mean, it’s not like this construction-worker-guy had a ton of money. I hope he doesn’t go broke and my store’s inventory isn’t totally screwy because I overcharged this guy… ….

P.S. apparently today is the one-year-anniversary of the day that Pres. Bush declared that the war in Sudan was a genocide (what a weird anniversary). And the Sudanese are still butchering each other and raping each others’ women and refugee-camping people they don’t know what to do with. And in Asia, millions of people are still trying to piece together their lives and communities again after the tsunami. In other words, while Hurricane Katrina is still dominating our news media (and rightly so–it’s our own people), there is a lot still going on outside of our view.

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