Sometimes things happen to us and knock us off our feet and disorient us. We can dwell on it and let it eat us up or we can find solutions. I knew being forced in the house all day would hurt my mental well-being. I have suffered with issues of anxiety in the past when I had my nervous breakdown. (I talked about it in another post years ago. You can find it here: https://www.sheriarcuria.com/post/the-wagon-never-leaves-you )
After 2 weeks of sitting at home all day and not being able to go to my regular job other than a few hours a week, the anxiety of the unknown around us was starting to rear its ugly head and I was finding myself lost in my thoughts and knew this slippery slope could be dangerous, so I decided to go out and find a secondary job through this mess. I got hired at Walgreens as a cashier. It's a far different job that my regular bookkeeping jobs but I had retail experience before when I was younger so I knew I would be able to catch on quickly.
It's been over 15 years since I had done retail and in the beginning I bitched about it..... a lot. My body was hurting from being on my feet all day. Even though I was over 150lbs smaller, not being used to it and spending the last 15 years in offices and sitting around all day, my body just wasn't used to it. I also found myself complaining at first because my feet were screaming at me and customers were being jerks. It was MY fault there was no sanitizer, wipes or toilet paper. It was MY fault that the masks were irritating for them and they drove out here to not be able to get what they were looking for.
Was this minimum wage job worth my body being so sore that I was waddling at the end of my shift? Was it worth the attitude of the customers being irritated all day? Would it have been better if I just stayed home and rode this out? This was not what I was expecting when I signed up for this.
So I groaned the whole time I had to get ready for another closing shift. How many assholes will I encounter today? How much pain will I be in when the shift is over?
I got to work and clocked in and headed to the register. It was Tuesday, which is Truck day which means the store was going to be crazy all day with people hoping that we got stuff in and they would be able to finally find something they were looking for.
One by one I was ringing people up and it was busy. Some people were irritated but as I stood there and watched the faceless masks come and go, I started to get lost in my thoughts and I realized something. I'm looking at this whole thing the wrong way.
And right then and there, I shifted my attitude... I realized I’m lucky.
I’m lucky because I was able to find something and there are millions of people currently here that would give anything to have a job, SOMETHING to occupy their own minds as well. I'm lucky because I get to talk to customers all day and there are people living alone who struggle to have energy and wish they had another body nearby to talk to...and just feed off of SOMEONE. I’m healthy enough to be able to be out and do this and take all precautions while I am there to make sure you are comfortable waking in those doors that you don’t want to walk into. Yes my body was hurting, but it's temporary because just like these circumstances around us, we start to adjust over time and adapt to the changes. My body is no exception. Each day I saw people come in and say nothing. They complained that they couldn’t get everything they had been searching for weeks. They complained that this is the first time they left the house in a while. Some wouldn't let me even touch their items because they are scared. Some would barely look at me because they don’t want to be in there at all but they needed supplies. Some had mean attitudes because they are not able to get help or assistance and are just struggling to keep it all together. So Tuesday night, while my feet were hurting and my back was sore, I decided to try an experiment. I started to just be me and while I rang them up I would ask if they found everything okay and followed it up with.. “Okay, I have a serious question for you.” They would look at me strange or would respond hastily. “When this is all over, and you are comfortable with going to a restaurant again, where we goin?!” From that exact moment, I was amazed at what was happening throughout the rest of the night. One by one, customers let their guard down, their eyes squinted giving me the impression that underneath their mask, they smiled. Their eyes would light up as they just pictured what restaurant they were going to go to, and they would answer. One by one conversations were being had, not having to do with covid, masks, stress or sadness, but with something simple. They were having to do with food, and not in a gluttonous way but in a positive way. We were sharing our favorites with each other. Our favorite restaurants by the beach, or locally. Our favorite sushi places, Mexican places, Italian places, etc., and I would tell them I don't even care where we go, I just wanted to sit in a booth and be around the atmosphere again, LOL In our short conversations, they started laughing, making jokes and salivating over their favorite margaritas, crunch rolls, beach views, etc., and when they left, their whole demeanor was different than how they walked in. A few people thanked me because this was the first conversation they had in a long time and it was all because I shifted MY attitude and I asked a very simple question. We ALL have the power to change this outcome. It might be painful and hard at times but just realize that the smallest changes can bring a world of change. When my shift was over that night, it was the first shift in the 3 weeks I’ve been there where my body wasn’t hurting as much, probably because I was no longer fixated on it. A smile is far more contagious than this virus Being genuine is far more contagious than this virus Your attitude is far more contagious than this virus So how about you? I have a serious question for ya... What restaurant are we going to when this is all over?
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Change your Mindset, Change your Life!