Saturday, December 24, 2005

Another Day at Bill's

My job at Bill’s Liquor Store turned out to be one that I really enjoyed. There was always something new happening and that was so much better than the tedium I felt when washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant. I actually looked forward to each day at work.

When I arrived to begin my shift, I would have to go to the big walk-in box and make sure that all of the shelves were filled to the brim. Since no one had done this chore throughout the day, I would spend close to an hour replenishing the supplies. This meant many trips in and out of the walk-in…first hot and then cold. Over and over. The fans would kick on to cool the box as I continued to open and close the big door on my trips to bring in more beer.

Once the box was in order again, I would check the back rooms to make sure that all of the deliveries from that day had been put away properly. Since Bill’s sold food items as well as liquor and soda, there were lots of boxes to stack and empty.

And every once in awhile, one of the distributors would offer a big discount if Bill would buy a large amount of some particular product. Then it was my job to find a place for it all and to stack it as high as possible…without it falling over, of course.

As I was doing this, I kept my ears focused on the telephone, hoping that someone would call and order something to be delivered. A delivery meant a break from the chore of lifting and stacking. It was only a reprieve; the cases would still be there when I returned.

If there was an order; I would quickly fill it, making out a delivery slip and locating the address on the map we had posted on the wall in the back room. But before I could go, I had to get my “bank”. Each day, I would “borrow” $40 in small bills and coins. This is what I used to make change for the customers. At the end of the night, I would have to turn in all of the money I had collected. We would add up all of the delivery slips, plus the $40 “bank”. Anything left was all mine! And if I had made a mistake in counting out the change to a customer, or dropped and lost some money…the missing balance was mine to pay.

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