Back to working in Retail

I have mixed feelings about returning to the workforce. There is a part of me that wants to pitch in toward the joint finances and having the chance to get out of the house to do what has brought me joy in the past. There is also that part of me that feels that I am in over my head and I suspect that my body can’t handle the physical demands.

Granted, I am a bit out of shape and I haven’t used various muscles in years, so to be sore the next day is to be expected. My shift yesterday consisted of me working through the online training which is mandatory for all new associates. Luckily a good portion of my online training carried over from two years ago, so I didn’t have as much to do.  With two hours remaining I met another Bakery associate and tried to help them in whatever way I could. She was in the process of stocking products, so I helped with that task.

It didn’t take long before I felt my body yelling at me to stop squatting. It’s not my back that is the issue this time, it’s my thighs and knees that aren’t happy. For the rest of last night, my knees felt weak, as if they were threatening to give out at any moment and my legs felt like jello. It was hard to ignore the pulled muscles as I stretched my legs out. Even this morning, walking down the stairs and any action that puts weight on my knees/thighs is brutal.

My first official shift starts tomorrow, bright and early. During my conversation with my new associate, it appears that I will be by myself for the first few hours of my 5am-1:30pm shift. New style oven, no training given, no instruction or walk through behind the counter to get a feel for where things are or what the opening person is expected to do, isn’t that nice.

While I do have experience, many things have changed since I was doing this two years ago. That much is apparent from what little I have been told. I guess I’m just going to have to wing it tomorrow and hope for the best. The only advice given to me was to start with the bread first. Thanks for the tip, but not super helpful. Hopefully, there will be a binder that indicates the morning bake process, that would at least give me a place to start until the manager comes in at 7am.

I made the attempt to get back into the workforce eight months ago on a part-time basis, which only lasted three weeks due to my back. While I mentioned I was looking for part-time hours, I was scheduled full-time with no description of my duties. I will do the best that I can for as long as I can. I suspect that I won’t last one month.

While I don’t sound too optimistic, I am determined to do my best and stick it out for as long as I can. I know that the first few weeks are chaotic as I am covering shifts for someone who quit without notice, hopefully, my hours will become constant. Right now I have six 5am-1:30pm shifts with a 10am-6:30pm, 7am-3:30pm and a 3:30-10pm mixed in.

While I am a morning person by nature and I can stick with the early morning shifts if that was my set schedule. I have encountered this mix-mash of hours before and it’s not fun trying to force yourself to sleep when you’re not tired. It’s especially not fun when you’re scheduled to close then have to get up for your opening shift. Which isn’t supposed to happen, but it does if you don’t have seniority and you are filling in last minute.

On the positve side, the location is really close to home and the 10% discount is a bonus since we do most of our shopping here. The department is much smaller than the one I was working at, so not as much product is needed. That was a determining factor for me. The smaller size has given me hope that I might be able to keep up in this small town supercenter.

Fingers crossed ~ Hannah

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