November 12, 2007
The following story was written by Cheryl, from Arthur, Ontario. Cheryl is enrolled in literacy classes at the Wellington County Learning Centre in Arthur.
I work at All Day Snack Bar and Variety Store. It's a neighbourhood store. Most of the people who come in are regulars. I work part-time - about 10 hours a week. I cook food for the customers and I also have to run the till for the variety store. It can be crazy sometimes! People wanting their food and people wanting to buy lottery tickets and the phone ringing!
I think of it like a balancing act. I don't want to burn anyone's food or not cook it enough, but I need to go to the till so someone can pay for their milk or whatever they want. If the phone rings I have to take a message. I have to make quick decisions about what to do first - what is most important. I am a quick thinker.
I'm always polite and courteous. I tell people
"I'll be with you in a minute" if I can't get to the till right away. If someone is walking up and down the aisles I ask
"Can I help you?" I know where everything is so I can help that person find whatever it is he or she wants.
If a regular is looking for something that we don't have, I write it down on a list for the owner and I'll say something like
"check back on Friday, we should have it in by then." We like to order things for our regulars so they keep coming back. It make sense.
Cooking food isn't something I like. We do things like bacon and eggs, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches. We don't deep fry anything because we'd need different insurance to do that. If someone wants the egg to be "over-easy" I don't want to mess it up. I'll say something like
"Well, I'll do my best."
I like being helpful and it makes me feel good to help someone find something in the store. I also like being in charge of the store when the owner isn't in. I feel like I'm doing a good job and that makes me feel good about myself.
Most of the people are regular customers. You get to hear about their kids or their pets. You learn what is going on in their lives and it makes me feel like I'm part of the community. If someone misses a day, you wonder why and then the next time they come in you're happy to see that person.
It's a good job. It suits me. I now have really good customer service skills and I know from how people act with me that I'm doing a good job.