Grocery Store Tessa is back to the minimum wage hustle

Hi Internet Void!

I have had so many jobs in my 22 years that I feel like a barbie with different professions but without the cute outfits.  There’s nanny Tessa! pharmacy Tessa! and now grocery store Tessa!  I’m on the 2nd week of my job at a west village grocery store.  This means a lot of things but most importantly that I haven’t been paid yet.  It’s pretty easy because I’m a cashier and I’ve done this before.  The only big difference is that all the fruits and vegetables have a four number code that I have to memorize and that some of them have to be weighed and some of them are priced individually and I have to memorize what is what.

I also am getting used to wearing gloves and a mask for 8 hrs a day.  I have definitely found that my breath doesn’t smell which is a win.  And I’ve gotten a little smart with it in that I’m putting hand cream on before I clock in so that my hands can get softer and softer in the gloves as I work.  Also since the only part of my face that people can see is my eyes I’ve been having fun with my eye makeup.  I’ve been trying to wear fake eyelashes every day and colorful eyeshadow.  And under the mask, I’m wearing no makeup and sometimes pimple cream.  People compliment my make up and say it’s nice to see someone putting in effort during such hard times.  I want to tell them, all I am doing is putting in effort.  Me being here is putting in the effort, life to me seems like one big effort after another.

I’ve been feeling pretty depressed and down because so many people are dying and everyone is so stressed.  You can tell that everyone is feeling it.  Once again this city is full of death and you can see little shades of depression and sadness in everyone.  I know I’m feeling exhausted.  The act even of walking to the subway and getting on the bleak slow empty subway is a downer and takes so much longer than it usually would.  The trains are running every 30 mins so I leave the house two hours before work. Customers at work are snapping at each other for cutting in line or standing too close.  Customers are still walking into the grocery store without a mask even though that is now illegal.  We are telling customers to wear a mask and that same customer will show up non chalently the next day barefaced.  There are the overly cautious and the selfish and those who don’t think but it’s clearer than it’s ever been before.  Customers complain about being bored while I ring up their groceries and my knees ache from standing all day.  I’ve forgotten the cruelty of minimum wage jobs.  How you’re required to do so many things while getting paid the least they’re legally allowed to.  How the daily hours of 7am to 10pm haven’t been cut short even though people are suggested by the government to be home by 8am.  The cruelty of having to stand all day, of having just a 15 min break somedays and having to clock out and not get paid for it.  The having to wear the uniform every day and being given only one uniform shirt when almost guaranteed everyone who works there doesn’t have a washer or dryer.  The fact that there is no hazard pay, that there are still so many people who have to work even though to leave the house is to risk your life.

a day full of infuriation, exhaustion and also at least one good moment

Today has been a day.  My bra started cutting into me by the end and my leggings elastic was busted and I had to keep pulling them up all day.  Those things already had me wanting to scream.

I went to the eye doctor to hopefully have them fix the health issue that has been really bothering me for two years and I walked out of the Drs apt really optimistic that the end was in sight.  I have been literally crying (this is way beyond watery eyes) on and off for about 2 years now.  Lately, it is non stop which can so get in the way of life.  It’s gotten so bad my vision is usually really blurry from the water in my eyes and there’s no point in wearing makeup cause it streaks and drips off within an hour of application.  The Dr. was very professional, smart and treated me with respect (I’ve run into a lot of Dr’s who didn’t treat me with respect, unfortunately). She was also very young which made me jealous and had me feeling all types of ways.  I’m a college dropout (for financial reasons) so seeing people thriving and using those degrees makes me feel a little sad for myself (I really am such a petty selfish person lmao).  She asked if she could dilate my eyes and I said yes after being assured that 1) wouldn’t look crazy (“I work with kids”) and 2) that the blurriness would be over before.  As soon as it kicked in I couldn’t read words on my phone and everything close to me was to blurry to fully make out for 2hrs.  I looked crazy and my pupils were so huge (photo below) for half the day and the blurriness did linger longer than I would have liked.  I was worried that my boss would see and think that I was on some type of drug so I was lucky that I spent the first half of the day with just the kids.  They also took photos of the inside of my eyelids (she literally flipped my eyelids inside out and just thinking of the feeling makes me cringe).  She then asked me if I wanted to see said photos to which I politely declined.  They took some photos of the back of my eyelids with some bright lights and super expensive medical machines. She prescribed me two eye drops to take daily and I was on my way (to work).

I was happy thinking that the issue that had been making me want to scream for 2 years was now on its way to being fixed.  I had finally, finally stopped procrastinating it.  And I made plans to pick it up from my CVS after work.  Something off my to do list! Yay!

TURNS OUT, even though it was supposed to be covered by my insurance… it’s not.  And one of the eyedrops is $70 and the other is $40 ahahahaha.  I can not afford that right now.  I have too much credit card debt/toilet paper to buy/metro cards are expensive/we still have to eat.  So now tomorrow I have to call the doctors office ask if they have my correct insurance information and if so and they’re really not gonna cover it, ask if there are cheaper alternatives and look my to do list is growing.

Fast forward to the end of my day after the kids (quick recap: I’m a nanny to 4 kids) have been fed and showered and are all watching their pads before bed.  Cecelia was already in bed cause her bedtime is 15 mins before Charlie’s so hopefully she will be asleep before him and they won’t keep each other up. I walk around to check on the Charlie and Charlie had fallen asleep while watching his iPad.  He looked so peaceful and sweet so I immediately gave my self a pep talk about how I can get him into bed without waking him up (“you can do this, Tessa. Not only can you but you will cause you have to.”)  I picked him up and oh so gently and quietly carried him to bed.  He didn’t wake up and Cecelia was still awake so once I had gotten Charlie under the covers I turned to her and in my most serious and intense whisper I told her “Charlie is sleeping, don’t say a word.” Amazingly it worked and not a peep was heard from their room.  This was the best moment of my day.  My heart felt full and overflowing with love and I felt so deeply and truly blessed that this is my job (!!).  I really love these kids so much and I’ve only known them for a couple months.  It makes me so excited for when I have kids of my own and hope that I’ll be a good mother.  I know I won’t have a shortage of love for them.  I know that I’ll try my best to listen to them and to make sure they have everything they need.

Look how creepy I looked 😦

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This is my no I’m not an asshole wearing sunglasses inside my dr told me I have to cause my dilated pupils are really sensitive to light right now look.IMG_2073