Today I had to clock in at 7 in the morning, meaning I had to wake up at 6 in the morning. That was the first time I had to start my shift so early, the earliest I had to before was 10 not counting having to show up at 8 for the orientation.
At first there really wasn’t much for me to do, the cart reservoirs were full and the corrals were empty. After an hour or two things started to pick up, and soon it was same as any other daytime shift.
At Walmart we have what’s called the “10 feet rule” which means employees are expected to interact with any customer who comes within 10 feet of us. I’ve never been one for asking random passerby “how’s it going” or such, but I do tell customers “welcome to Walmart” if they are walking into the store and “thanks for shopping with us” if they are leaving.
I was in the middle of loading some carts onto the cart bay when I told an exiting customer “thanks for shopping with us.” She asked me what my name was, I told her, then she told me she used to me a manager and that I’m “doing a kick ass job.” I thanked her and moved on to the next row of carts, but I overheard her tell another employee how great a job I was doing.
On the 17th of this month I reached the four year mark since I flew to Tanzania. I’ve been so busy with work that I’ve really been slacking off with my blogging, but this is certainly an occasion worth writing about.
Going to Africa had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. At least since I saw the Lion King for the first time. Travel has always been a passion of mine, one that has been slow burning in its fulfillment. When I first started college I had no idea I would go to Africa by the time I graduated. I first entertained such an idea when I transferred to my four year institution. During orientation week I found out there would be a trip to Tanzania, rather timely since I was taking African Civilization I at the time. Once the applications went live I filled one out and submitted, and to my utter shock I actually was accepted (though it turned out everyone who applied was accepted.)
The acceptance email came during Fall semester finals week, so I finished that first term on the highest possible note. During that Spring semester the other students and I attended weekly classes in order to prepare, I additionally took African Civilization II. We embarked about a month after the school year ended and were their for five weeks.
Four years. Damn. As a child the thought of traveling the world as an adult seemed like a distant dream. Hell, being an adult was a distant dream back then. Yet four years have slipped by with me hardly noticing.
Today marks the end of my first week working for Walmart. I’ve been working long hours and have been to exhausted to remember to update here. My days off seem to be rather random, I had today off but I didn’t post here until just now because I was busy finishing up a short story for an anthology with a deadline at midnight.
Turns out being a “stockman” doesn’t mean being the one who keeps the shelves stocked with merchandize (which I what I thought I signed up for), stockman are the ones who organize the carts in the parking lot. At first I was a little upset I didn’t get the job I wanted, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Its a nice physical job and affords a lot more freedom than the one I thought I was going to get. Much easier too.