Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

so I'm back at work...

Sort of.

My shoulder is much improved, although I still don't have the full range of movement.
Still doing the exercises 3-4 times a day, they still hurt, but it will be worth it in the end.

However, I've been told by my doctors to use the arm as normally as I can, as much as I can.
So I've been cleared to go back to work, with restricted duties.
No checkout work. I'm actually missing my "front end" workmates.

This means I'm there four hours a day, four days a week, doing......well, not much of anything really. I appreciate that I can't work to my full capacity, the injury is still there, surgery is still ahead for me. But.

(But, But, But. Must be one of the most commonly used words in the world. Not to be confused with butt, as in buttface.)

What was I saying? Oh yes, at work. I don't really "belong" to any of the other departments, so don't properly know the work, the routines, the methods. So I'm "helping out".
I'm a "floater".
Ha Ha, I hear you all sniggering, get your minds out of the toilet....

Checking the meat section first, any packages getting close to the use by date are marked down.
Meat department are usually so busy they run around like ants, trying to get everything done, so having me available to help is very handy for them.
So the "markdowns" are for me to do, as much as I can get done in the short time I'm there.

This is actually fun. There's a new whizz-bang item which scans the product, automatically calculates the discount and prints out a sticker to be attached. It's a great little machine. Unless the battery has gone flat.
Half an hour there, and I'm ready to do something else. Something that uses the arms/shoulders in a different way.

Because I'm not allowed too much repetetive movement.

So I'll wander up to the checkout area, collect any loose stock into a basket, just a few items at a time, and wander around the store putting things back on the shelves. Then I'll get the little trolley and collect the customer baskets and put them back near the entrance for the next wave of customers to use and leave by the checkouts.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of customers who remember me from my usual early morning shift and stop to talk, asking how I am, will I be back soon, they miss me. Miss you too, people.

I've helped in the fruit and veg section, stacking bunches of broccoli, (yum, love broccoli), filling the tomato shelf, where every single 1kg bag had already sold and it was only halfway through the morning! Rearranged a few apples....stacked bok choy, refilled the mushrooms.
No heavy lifting involved here, someone else put the produce boxes onto a trolley (called a flat top), for me and wheeled it out there.
Moving on to find something else.

Asked the dairy boy if any shelves needed filling.
Okay then.

Grab a duster, wander around the store, dusting produce on the shelves, finding stuff that people have changed their mind about and shoved into the nearest shelf. Irritating usually, but now it gives me something to do. Put these into a basket that I just happen to be carrying with me, and put back in the correct place as I come to it.
Check the shelves as I go, pulling items forward to be more easily seen by customers, if the front row of items has been sold.

One of my favourite parts is having customers ask me where they can find this or that item. It gives me a purpose! I can take them to the correct aisle, even show them where the item is on the shelf! I could just say, oh that is in aisle 7 on the left side about halfway down....but walking with the customer is a conversation opportunity. Never thought I'd say something like that! Me! The quiet one who prefers her own company!

I've done this now for four days. It seems easy enough. Help a little here. Rearrange a little there. Restock this or that shelf. Dust the dog food cans, the soup cans. Really, the amount of dust that comes from the warehouse is amazing! They could start their own desert!

But, (hey, there's that but again!), I can see this getting boring for me. Soon. Very soon.
There's nothing I can do about that.
I just really miss the fast-paced checkout work.


  1. Isn't it nice when people notice your absence and miss you?
    Actually, I found this very interesting because my days are all spent at home doing the same old same old.

  2. Toni; I had no idea I was such a big part of people's mornings. All those "regulars" who come in on their way to work for their snacks, the mums who rush in for nappies,or school lunch supplies, the ones who just like to get the shopping out of the way; they've all asked after me while I've been gone, and now take the time to talk to me now that I'm back.

  3. You're valued, River; it's as simple as that and yet so very very important.

  4. Do not complicate a life. All not so is bad.

  5. Kath; thank you.

    russian girls; welcome.