Saturday, September 01, 2007

Let's Go Shopping!

One of my favorite belly dance ensembles, Gypsy Caravan, has a couple (at least) of numbers where one of the musicians cries out 'Let's go shopping!' and the dancers do a basket dance or a piece where the movements suggest shopping in a bazaar or at a souk. The music is always lively, the dancers wear infectious smiles and I too want to jump up and go shopping.

Well, someone must have started the music and made the announcement, because everyone in the known universe went shopping today, and not just all over, but to our specific store.

At one point, flabbergasted by the sheer volume of customers, I wondered aloud "I thought that during Labor Day weekend everyone went out of town." And then I realized, also aloud, "Oh yeah, for a lot of folks, we *are* out of town. I guess."

During a typical day, I will spend part of my time facing nearby aisles, pacing, sweeping my area and the surrounding areas, wiping down my counter and counting my media, among other chores. On a busy day, several times during my shift my line will be three customers deep. I'll have only a few minutes here and there to count my media, and I might spend five or ten minutes here or there putting back returned items or facing end caps.

Today was, well, chaos. It felt like frickin' Christmas, except that there were only four of us with two backups instead of eight all-day checkers, so technically we didn't have as much volume as the pre-holiday rushes. But still, sheesh! I mean everyone was shopping at our little store. I was not at all surprised when Thor showed up. He'd just gotten back from Norway. (I'm not making this up.) His neighbors were there as well (of course they were, because everyone was at our store, remember?) and they introduced him to their parents/in-laws, who were of course also there with everyone else. Apparently Thor is a construction manager for a local municipality--this makes perfect sense to me.

People from Hawaii were in our store. They kept going through the lines over and over because they'd remember one more thing and they were very excited about our low prices--well, I think about every place has low prices compared to Hawaii.

All day I was happy if I could check fast enough to have no more than two transactions backed up in my lane. I was lucky to be in Lane 1 which has a little secure side counter where I could dump my media, which must be kept secure at all times. That way I could count the media during the very rare times when I managed to clear out my line and had about fifteen seconds before the next person rolled their cart up. Now mind you, I'm not complaining. We must have had an incredible day at the store. The day zipped by very quickly. And I had no nasty customers, at least, not that I noticed. I personally rang through enough fishing and camping gear to outfit a nice little tackle shop, including the live nightcrawlers and extra mantles for gas lanterns. We ran out of weird things, like parakeet food (more should come in on Tuesday!) It was fun.

But by the time I got home all I wanted to do was sit, have a glass of wine, and drool while staring at the view from the deck. I didn't actually *see* the view from the deck, but staring in that general direction was satisfactory. I couldn't hear the ding dong of people coming into the store. The printer was no longer printing reciepts and detail tapes. I didn't have to say all my lines four times a minute. Paper or plastic bags? Did you find everything okay?

Welcome back from Norway, Thor. You were missed. Tomorrow, let's not go shopping, though. Let's stay home, where it's nice and quiet.

And on Monday, back to work. I wonder if it'll be busy, or if once again someone will announce, "Let's go shopping!"


Kai Jones said...

Heh, I shopped yesterday too, but at Fabric Depot. It was packed *and* they were having a sale: 30% off everything in the store! I want to go back...I didn't get fabric to make harem pants with.

KamiZM said...

Did you make it back?

Man, it's been a long time since I've been to a Fabric Depot sale. I sure do miss those!

Kai Jones said...

Nope. I didn't really have any money left to spend, and some emotional work I needed to do became more important.