Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm just the janitor here....

Current gas price: $3.35 for a gallon of Regular.

On Nov. 7, I'll mark 10 years of working as a cashier at our little gas station. I don't want to think about that too much. At least I have a job....

The past month I've mostly spent just cleaning up after everyone else. I come in to work, stock the cooler, clean the restroom, stock sodas and energy drinks and beer, vacuum and sweep, fill up the ice machine, clean the cappuccino machine, take people's money, try to stay awake, bag ice, mop the floor, and go home before it gets too late and I start collecting too much Overtime.
Most nights, I seem to be the only employee stocking the cooler, stocking sodas, cleaning the restroom, filling the ice machine, emptying garbage cans, bagging ice, stocking beer, cleaning the cappuccino machine.... Clearly I was put here to clean up after everyone else.
A talk over the weekend with our newest employee revealed that when she was trained she was told NOT to stock energy drinks or sodas or beer -- that I'd get mad at her if she did. Really?
WELL. I may have felt that way 10 years ago, when I wanted people to rely on me and not worry about whether I'd hold up my end. But now that I'm a tired, grumpy old man I'd welcome any employee who wants to do more than they're absolutely required to. I ain't as young as I used to be, do what you like, be my guest, knock yourself out.
But it's never gonna change, and there's no way to address it through my boss without her saying "We all work hard, we're all overworked, we all do our share...."
Time for a raise? Ain't had one in three years. And with business slowing down for the Winter, now seems like a REALLY bad time to ask....
Thank Ghod for old Soul/R&B tunes to get me through the evenings awake and in one piece. Songs by Junior Walker and the All-Stars, Booker T and the MG's, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Spinners, Marvin Gaye and my comedy brothers in Parliament have gotten me through the last month -- keeping me moving and motivated and happy and even laughing sometimes.
The rest of the experience has pretty much been shit.
Last week I got chewed-on for the first time in a couple of years by a guy who was trying to fill-up and the gas pump shut him off at $50. That'd be enough of an investment for me, but it wasn't enough for him. He came in and asked what our guidelines were. And I tried to explain it. But you know the type -- he knew all the answers up-front. And he kept cutting me off after a couple of words.
"I've got $4,000 worth of credit available," he said. "Why would your pumps shut me off at $50? I called my bank -- they said it had to be you guys because THEY didn't do it...."
Well, I didn't do it. It's automatic. Well, it's a security thing. Well, maybe you don't have as much available credit as you think. I used to get one of my charge cards declined whenever I tried to buy a snack at work and didn't have $75 in my account to cover it. Well, I don't know. I'm just the janitor here.
The guy said he wanted to talk to my Manager, and I told him her name and when she'd be back in to work next.
And of course he never came back. They hardly ever do. That's probably a good thing.
Shit, for $4,000 he could have bought half of what was in the store. He could have bought most of the gas we had available when he tried to fill up.
But I don't know. It's over my head. I don't know what's going on. I'm just the janitor here....

Sorry, this one's a bit of a downer. I need a change. I'm gonna go shave and cut my hair and take a shower and do the dishes and cook dinner. Anything to stop feeling this overworked and tired all the time, like I never leave the store. As soon as I leave, it feels like I'm right back there again. And it's only eight more months 'til vacation!
Hoping you are NOT the same....

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