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January 31, 2007



I worked as a cashier at Safeway and that was a nightmare. It was so bad that I transferred to the deli, and it was like the sun came out and the world became a better place. Those same usuals who were MONSTERS at the cash were completely sweet to me in the deli.

Money makes people change, and not for the better.

It's why I try to be unfailingly polite to people who are in the service industry, especially if they make a mistake.

Julie Anne Long

Mear, that's funny -- why do you suppose people cheered up at the Deli?? Maybe people tend to buy things at the deli for special occasions, and you're more likely to be *happy* about upcoming special occasions. LOL. Whereas going through the usual checkout line upfront was just part of their chores in a busy week?? Who knows? Yeah, if you've ever spent any time on the service end of things, from then on you really learn to appreciate the people behind counters and at checkout lines who smile and talk throughout.

I forgot to mention the guy at the Post Office who always smiles and jokes (and makes fun of my handwriting!!), even when the line is practically out the door. I'm always glad when *his* window is open.


I'm pretty sure that people were nicer to me at the deli because they weren't thinking about their money and how much they were spending. And if I made a mistake in the deli I would just change their order, and it wouldn't cost them a thing.

As for nice people, last year there was this post office employee who actually opened a post box for me (free of charge!) during the Christmas holidays. He was super nice and even learned my name, though he knew I was leaving within the year.

I'm even nice to phone services people because of my stint as a cashier.

Julie Anne Long

Ah, good point, Mear. Spending a LOT of money does typically make people grouchier than when they're spending only a little, unless they're buying, say, a Porsche. LOL.

What a nice thing the P.O. guy did for you! And you'll probably always remember it. Yeah, I really appreciate the P.O. guy in particular, because people are generally impatient and in a hurry waiting in line at the post office—and it's so fluorescent and GRAY and plastic in there, usually—and something as simple as a friendly face up at the counter can change a mood for the better in an instant.

ON the flipside, we have, for instance, various waiters and waitresses in the Haight who are much, much, much too cool to be waiters and waitresses, and make sure you know it. LOL. Ah, it amuses me every time.


Alas, nothing really here. . . I do love going to Best Buy because they have the best people working there. They are always helpful, friendly, don't push. So when we need to get something that we have to ask about (such as in November when I had to get my new laptop), they were incredible. :)

But elsewhere, at least at places I am trying to imagine at the moment, are like anywhere else, mostly nice people, some you just want to stay away from. LOL :)


Julie Anne Long

Lois, that's so funny about Best Buy. A few years ago it seemed like I couldn't get service in there to save my life—the store seemed staffed by teenagers who liked to stand around and talk to each other. Recently, though, everyone seems very happy and attentive and knowledgeable. IT's a pleasure to go in there. New management? New employees?? Who knows??

I have to give a shout out to Nordstrom here in the city, too. They're a bit pricey, sure, but now that I"m older, shopping isn't quite the leisurely sport it once was, and I have less time and patience and I'm much more particular than I used to be. And without being too intrusive, someone at Nordstrom will always cheerfully and quickly help me somehow find exactly what I want and even offer reasonably honest opinions about how it looks on. So I'm grateful for them, too.

Kathy K

I don't have a Julius ~ sounds like a great guy ~ but at the safeway I go to, many of the staff know me...my daughter used to work there, and now they've transferred the affection that they felt for her to me. It's a pleasure to go grocery shopping ~ disregarding the money spent of course ~ 'cause it's a friendly place to be. Biggest reason I do so much of my shopping there too. I'm a loyalty freak.

There are also the guys that work at the two comic / manga /anime stores that I go to, and some of the employees at two of the bookstores that I spend time, and money, at. They're always ready to talk and ask what I'm reading...and of course I've had some excellent recommendations, because they know me and what I usually read.

LoL..it's funny going to any of these places with anyone in my family, especially my husband. He just shakes his head and sighs. *grin*


I'm not really chatty unless I know someone well, so there's not really someone like Julius in my life. I used to work at Peet's Coffee and Tea, so I do appreciate when people in the service industry are nice and helpful. I make it a point to be polite and patient to them because I've been in their position.

Julie Anne Long

Diana, if you went through Julius's line, he'd MAKE you talk to him. LOL. I really don't know how he does it—keeps up the patter all day, that is. And Peets, eh?? The people at Peet's are generally pretty nice, I've noticed. Maybe you handed me a cup of tea some years ago, who knows??

Are you following the Gavin scandal, btw?? Oh, Gavin. Our foxy mayor has fallen from grace.

Kathy -- there's a Safeway in Edmonton?? ARe there Safeways all over the world, and I just don't know about it? LOL. I love helpful people. I started thinking about Julius and other people like that, because I've encountered others who just *aren't* helpful (a certain cell phone company springs *instantly* to mind), and it's gotten to the point where I've become so grateful for people who are good at and enjoy their jobs that I always feel like writing to their managers, or something. LOL.


Julie, there are definitely Safeways all over western North America - the one that I worked in was in a small town in northern British Columbia! As far as I know, no one east of Manitoba knew what Safeway was. Is that the same in the US?

Kathy K

Huh...I had no idea that Safeway wasn't across the country, mear! And according to my resident expert (dh who sells stuff to grocery stores) that Safeway is, indeed, confined to western Canada; the eastern chain is Loblaws and they don't come west of Ontario. Joe says that Safeway is out of California and is a western-based company; here it's called Canada Safeway. Hmm, what you can learn, eh?

My first job was as grocery wrapper for a local grocery / dept chain called Woodward's. The job was the least stressful and I swore that I'd never willingly work as a cashier or for the public. Too many people came through the tills with such a bad attitude. And when my daughter worked as a cashier at Safeway, for two years, some of the stories ~ sheesh! But there is a flip-side to that, thank heaven, and I always try to be on that side. People who work with the public and that are unfailingly polite deserve a medal at the least!

Just my two cents for the day!


Julie Anne Long

You know, Mear, I don't actually know if we have Safeways all over the U.S.! Now I'm curious. I'm about to ask a couple of friends in the midwest on the east coast. LOL. What about Target, or Trader Joe's? Do you guys have those? (Hard to imagine living without those these days. I don't think they have Trader Joe's on the East Coast, though.)

And I'm totally with you, Kathy. My cashier job at Round Table in my teens was the "glamour" job of the crew, because it was on the front lines, and I made 5 cents more an hour than everyone else. LOL. But man, when you stood there, you get to talk to people who got the wrong pizzas, or the burnt or raw pizzas, along with every other lunatic on the planet. It could also be a fun job for that very same reason, but it was grueling.

Does anyone else have a cold?? I'm indignant. I never get sick, but I went downtown the other day on the DiseaseMobile (MUNI) and apparently I came back with one. LOL. Ugh. My colds tend not to last very long, mercifully, but still. I'm movin' slow.

And one more thing: here's a really sneaky contest. Well, it's not so much a contest, in that you've already won if you commented here yesterday or today. LOL. I have a new Cafepress store, at http://www.cafepress.com/julieannelong. On a whim, I designed a bunch of JAL t-shirts! Go there, pick one out, tell me via email what size you want, and I'll send it to you!! I'm giving away up to five of them. So Mear, Kathy, Diana and any two other folks who comment on this particular post will get a t-shirt!

Kathy K

As far as I know there are no Target's or Trader Joe's (like the name tho *grin* as my dh is a Joe) up here, at least there aren't in Western Canada.
And a cold, yes! My husband and youngest daughter had theirs last week and I've been fighting a *baby* cold since then. Nothing major, just lots of little sniffles, coughs, etc. Certainly enough to be annoying ~ either get the danged thing and get over it, or go away. LoL (I wish that's all it took, eh?)

Off to email!



LOL about our mayor. I've read a couple articles on the affair he had. I didn't see him at the news conference on TV. I heard it was brief and that he didn't take any questions. I was never one of those people who found him all that foxy. I can't get over all that gel in his hair. :P


P.S. I do have a cold, but I think I'm feeling better every day. I agree that MUNI is indeed the DiseaseMobile.


No cold, and I don't plan on getting one! *knocks on wood*

Thanks for the t-shirt!

Julie Anne Long

Sorry everyone (or many of us!) have colds. Ugh. Hope you guys are feeling better today. Mine's kinda like yours, Kathy -- tiny and annoying, but I feel much better today. Though I'm supposed to go out for Ethiopian food tonight, which you share communally, typically, and eat with your hands. I'm not sure my friends would thank me for putting my germy hands in the food. LOL.

Yeah, Diana, Gavin does have tall hair. :) And when it's gel-free and straight, he looks like a 12 year old!! I hope they stop talking about the "scandal." Ugh. Is this news? Thankfully, most people (at least when you read or see opinion polls) don't think it is, either. I don't want to have to see that in the news EVERY DAY. I think he's been a good mayor. He did a STUPID thing, but he's good at his job. :)

Lois, if you're out there, pipe up if you want a t-shirt! LOL.

Kathy K

Thanks for the shirt Julie; I'm quite excited! I've been bragging to my family and I think they're ready to send me somewhere...just not sure where they've picked yet. LoL

Have a good one... or a good evening anyway!



Well, come to think of it, I just found such a jewel here in our little drugstore. She's unfailingly cheery and upbeat and about 40. I add the age because the rest of the cashiers are teens or early twenties and make you feel like a nuisance when you come to the cash register, even though I'm just as polite to them as to any other cashier.

I worked part-time at a K-mart near us for a while. I started off at the cash register-- which was a disaster for me and everybody else--especially in light of my more-than-painful, slow fingers.

I was transferred to help shelve, etc. in the hardware department which went okay. Then I was put in charge of the ladies' and children's foot coverings, i.e. pantyhose, stockings, socks, leotards, etc. I liked doing that especially when I had to count stock and suggest amounts to be ordered. What I did *not* like was having pantyhose and stockings just lying around or pulled out of their packages. No matter what we did, that never stopped. I had a wonderful time trying to match socks and knee-highs. Of course, a lot of panty hose had to be put out of its misery. And then they took away the only part of the job that took any brains and I left soon after that.

We had some sales personnel that was really rude to customers and yet these were the people that got the employee of the month awards. They always seemed to know exactly when to be nice. So in a way I was very glad when I was able to leave--except of course, for those colleagues who had become friends.

But I can't think of anyone who's quite like your friend Julius.

BTW, it's so cold here that the registers on the empty floor downstair froze and the temperature up here dropped to 50. But we're having a really cold couple of days here. Yesterday I was out quite a bit and had to battle temps of 1F (-17C) with winds that gave us "feel like" -28C (don't forget the two scales meet at -40). Today the actual temperature went down to -20 and feel-like -32 (all C because I can't get my brain to figure out the minus temps at the moment. If I looked it up, it would displace this and I'd have to do it all again. But it was really windy yesterday and today.

I'm still not completely moved but I'm living up here now and after the horrors of packing come the "joys" of unpacking and trying to find things. I can't even find my cutlery. Actually, neither is really much of a joy. But I do have more room here and I certainly hope to get things better organized.


I've been behind on your blog due to job stuff. Now I'm catching up. As far as people who make my life easier, I'd have to go with my soon-to-be-new landlady. I went up to apartment hunt last week, had the people I'm going to work with recommend some good places and places to stay away from. This place was one of them, and the lady showed me an apartment-a nice, spacious one- and then pointed to a tiny little weird spot in the carpet that was barely noticable and said, "Say, because of this I could probably give you this one without the pet fee." I stared at her in wonderment for a bit. Then I filled out an application, lol. That's a $350 pet fee I won't have to pay now. And even if I had to pay it, she was only going to make me pay it once since technically it's that much per pet and I have two cats. So wow. That was really nice of her. And the apartment is cheap as well, since the place I'm moving to has one of the lowest costs of living in the country. So yay to that. And she was even showing me how I could open the screen door on the balcony and let the kitties look out there, as long as they don't tear up the screen. So she's a real sweet lady, and my apartment is almost across the street from the public library and close to work. So I don't believe that could have worked out any better.

I worked at McDonalds for three weeks when I was 18, as my first ever job. Then I quit before the evil manager could fire me. So yeah, the less said about that the better, ha.

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