Paper or Plastic?: The Grocery Store Chronicles

Paper or Plastic?: The Grocery Store Chronicles

by Rick Bylina


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This is my memoir of me, a senior-citizen night cashier chronicling the odd, uplifiting, and sometimes sad slices of life in a chain-based grocery store in the 'hood from July 2013 to November 2014. You might just be surprised.

When I paid off our house in January 2013, I put aside money for federal taxes but forgot about state taxes. On April 3, I realized with horror, my mistake. The next day, the pump for our 400-foot deep well died. A week later, the car demanded extensive repairs, depleting the remainder of our emergency funds. I didn't want to tap our retirement monies. I did want to keep writing my novels, but royalties didn't cover unexpected bills. I needed a job with a steady paycheck.

Being older, finding a good job in the early 2000s proved difficult. Interviews were few regardless of an excellent work history. My expectations plummeted until any job seemed acceptable. For me, that job was as a night shift grocery store stocker, a job better suited for a teenager.

I take a Zen approach to work. Regardless of what I'm asked to do, I do it with pride, and then try to do it better, to exceed expectations. I might not always succeed, but if I didn't try, I'd just be punching the clock without making a difference. And another thing: one of the penalties you pay for not trying your best in any situation-time drags. I hate that.

Despite my best efforts, I failed at re-stocking. The physical demands of the job and arthritis trumped my best efforts. Management must have liked my attitude though and made me a night cashier. In retrospect, it was the ultimate win-win. I was not a fast cashier, but I hated being idle and did all the required night cashier work, plus those little things I thought would make the store function better.

Writing on Facebook about what happened during work began as a lark. Small blurbs mutated into stories about my life, the customers, and after dark adventures. People seemed to like my mostly quirky postings about a different sort of nightlife. I edited the early blurbs so they would reflect a certain style, but the true stories remained. And I've included links to story enhancing information and entertainment.

I hope readers enjoy my experience as a night cashier, the lives I touched, and those that touched me.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781539499695
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 10/13/2016
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

Rick Bylina lives with his wife, and a 24-year-old cockatiel, Sydney, near Apex, North Carolina on five wooded acres. Ongoing corporate downsizing convinced him to tap into his passion. He scribed any crazy idea that crossed his mind. After gaining discipline, he wrote his debut novel, One Promise Too Many. Writing happens spontaneously between housework, gardening, cooking, and wrestling both alligators and grocery carts. He can be contacted through his website at .

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