life, the joys of working

I broke the only part that doesn’t have a part number

During the summer of 1988 I worked in Nichols department store as a cashier. I needed to work for three months leading up to my first year of volunteer work in Georgia. Somehow I got the first job I applied for, they needed a cashier and I had experience, though I still had a lot to learn. The one day I worked the senior discount line I goofed up a couple of times. Ooops, they only got their 10% discount on the last item because I kept forgetting to hit the subtotal key before ringing in their discount, not the whole order. The head cashier explained it again and I recognized what I was doing wrong and everything turned out fine. I learned something new and the seniors got their discount.

One hot summer day I’m working and as I go to push the drawer back in I hear something snap. My drawer won’t close. I try pushing, it won’t latch. I let the next customers know that there’s something wrong with the drawer and to please go to another line and call the head cashier over. She gets me set up on a different line and the customers are happy that they don’t have to wait 20 minutes for the only other cashier on duty to ring up their purchases.

Before I get moved manager guy comes over and tries in a very guy like fashion (please do not read guy bashing here) to slam the drawer closed. It doesn’t happen. Oh dear. I’m starting to get very, very nervous.

Later on manager guy comes back over and tell me I broke the only part on the cash register that doesn’t have a part number. I think (now almost 20 years later) that he was trying to be funny but I was such a wreck thinking I’d actually broken the cash register I started crying. Never mind that I was most likely the 3, 287th cashier to work the darn thing and that metal does get stressed and that there are some cashiers who would slam the drawer shut . . .hard!

The lady manager walked by a few minutes later and seeing my tear stained cheeks (thank goodness I don’t wear eye make-up) asked me why I was crying and through sobby tears I told her about breaking the only part of the register that doesn’t have a part number. Lady manager reassured me that this wasn’t my fault and she’d have a chat with guy manager…go take a few minutes and get yourself together and come back.

I’ll tell you until that moment I was thinking I’d have to pay for a part they couldn’t order or worse yet, a whole new cash register! Yipes!

So there’s my story…I broke the only part that doesn’t have a part number.

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