Cash vs. Bakery

I really hated being on ‘cash’ at the grocery store I work in. A few months after they hired me for the bakery, they asked me to go ‘on cash’, too. My bakery boss would give me his hours first then ‘cash’ would fill in more hours.

At first I was happy. I didn’t have to wear a stupid hat and hairnet, could wear earrings that dangled, and maybe meet people (a guy, perhaps?). I soon discovered that being on cash is not a good job for an introvert. You are always ‘ON’…. “hello! how are you? Do you have your own bags? Will you do our survey? Do you have Air Miles?” and smile! It’s constant and fast moving. You have to talk A LOT!  All eyes are on you as they wait in line;  staring as if that will make you go faster. Go fast, don’t make any mistakes and don’t hold us up.

It’s awful!  It gave me such anxiety going in and being ON. When I made mistakes it would hold everything up while I called the supervisor to fix it; restless people clucking because you are holding them up one minute.

Not only that; there were so many cashiers, someone calls in ‘sick’ almost daily and they would call me on my day off “Can you come in today?”  I did learn to say ‘no’ after a while but it’s hard when I need the cash.

The first summer I thought I would lose my mind. I ended working so many days I was crying going into work. Too much at my age; some people can do it, I can’t. Especially going in on ‘cash’ days, my anxiety would be excruciating, my stomach in knots.

I did it because I need the cash. I can’t say ‘no’ when it’s an opportunity to make more money. I am cash-poor, meaning I own my house but have no income. I have to work and couldn’t turn it down.

Fortunately when our new manager took over, I was asked to choose what I wanted; ‘cash’ or ‘bakery’.  Bakery! was my immediate response. Get me back in the back where people don’t even see you unless they need something. I could do a jig in front of someone looking at cakes and they wouldn’t notice. The hat helps hide me …… I’m practically invisible!

And when I make a mistake, it’s cake, not cash. I used whipped icing instead of buttercream or I charged $64,000 for 3 croissants. (that really happened)

Last night I worked from 5:00 until 10:00 cleaning the bakery. Although going in is SO HARD, once I get going time passes quickly because I have so much to do. When I walk past the cashiers, standing and waiting late at night between customers, stifling yawns, the time dragging by so slowly, I don’t envy them, I can take physical work over that. Two are left on until 11:00 p.m.   Torture!

I wish I had a stack of cash so I could quit my job. Lately I’ve wanted to quit so badly. Then I look around and realize how many people feel that way. I think of the line; “living quiet lives of desperation”, working much longer hours than myself and having 20 or 30 more years to go. How many wish they could win the lottery and quit their job? Most of them.

I have only one year and four months to go before I can retire. How much cash do I need to get there? At least the end is in sight.


4 thoughts on “Cash vs. Bakery

  1. My husband recently retired and I still work – self employed – from home. He has now invaded my space and it’s so hard to make myself work while he doesn’t have too. We should have thought this out better. So retirement is on my mind too! ~Elle

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