Sunday, September 30, 2012

Journal - On the Job

So last Wednesday I had orientation at Walmart. Me and two other new hires started at 1:30 pm and we basically spent four-and-a-half hours filling out papers, touring the store, getting talks from various managers and learning about the company history. We were there until 6pm. The other two are overnight stockers so I’ll probably never see them again. That was my official start day and I’ll get paid for that time.

I had Thursday off because it takes a couple of days for them to get all our information in the computers and get us activated.

On Friday I had a full 8 to 5 shift. This whole day was spent in the training room completing a whole bunch of training modules on the computer. I didn’t count but I think there must have been about 20 modules which took anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes each. This was all general training on things like safety and customer service that all employees have to complete. Each module had a short quiz at the end that had to be passed with at least an 80%. I passed each one the first time through except for the very last one I did. I had to take that one twice because by then I was tired and had a hard time focusing. But I got them all done in a day.

Saturday was my first day actually working. One of the managers took me outside and introduced me to the cart pusher that would train me. When I interviewed for the job I had asked if there was enough work as a cart pusher to keep a person busy all day, thinking that there might be a lot of downtime when you would have to find other things to do. She assured me that cart pushing was a full time job, and on Saturday I learned that she was right.

At slower times there are two cart pushers on duty, one covering each side of the parking lot. Saturdays are busy, and yesterday was a game day making it doubly busy. During busy times like that there are actually two pushers on each side and since I was only training there were actually five of us working and we were busy trying to keep up with it. It’s pretty amazing how quickly those carts can pile up.

So anyway, I learned how to gather carts by hand with a rope that allows you to handle 10 carts at a time, and I also learned how to use the mule, which can handle 20 at a time. A mule is a battery powered cart pusher that pushes a row of carts from behind. You can operate it by remote so that you can stand at the front of the row to steer them. That thing is pretty cool and fun to use.

By lunchtime my feet were already feeling sore. I’m just not used to being on my feet that much. Also my hands were starting to feel a little raw. The mule saves a ton of work but it’s still a pretty physical job. You have to stack the carts on and then unstack them, plus with a full load of carts you really have to throw your weight into them to steer the thing. On my lunch break I picked up a pair of those fingerless weight-lifting gloves that a lot of the cart-pushers wear, and also some cushioned inserts for my shoes. I had intended the inserts to go in my boots, which I will be wearing through the winter, but I decided to try them in my shoes for now.

Well, it was a pretty long day. I worked an 8 to 5 shift and by quitting time my feet and legs were really hurting. Also my face and neck were sunburned.

I got home in plenty of time to eat supper and then settle down for a nice Husker game. It turned out to be quite an exciting game! Nebraska was down 20 to 3 early on and I have to admit I thought it was going to get ugly. But in the second half Nebraska rallied and ended up winning 30 to 27. Wow, that was a great game! I wish they would play every game like they did in the second half of this one. Next week will be a real challenge with Ohio State, who is looking pretty good this year. Periodically throughout the game I was getting up and stretching my legs and by the end of the game I was feeling almost normal again.

Today we decided not to go to church. I really didn’t want my job to interfere with that and I told them I couldn’t work Sunday mornings, which they didn’t seem to have any problem with. Once I get acclimated to the job I don’t think it will be a problem. I got up this morning feeling pretty much normal again. My feet and legs felt good and my sunburn had faded. I only had to work 12 to 5 so that was good. Another 8-hour shift might have been bad. It was much less busy today and there was actually time to take a short breather in between cart runs. I wore shorts instead of jeans and stayed much cooler, plus I wore a hat to keep the sun off my face. I also took a jug of water so I didn’t have to keep running in to the store to use the drinking fountain. It was a much better day. By 5 my feet and calves were getting sore again but not near as bad as yesterday. The inserts I put in my shoes helped a lot and the gloves keep my hands from getting sore.

Tomorrow I am off so it will be good to relax and rest up for my next shift. On Tuesday I have another short day and then a full day on Wednesday. I should be ready to go again by then. This job is going to get me in shape, that’s for sure. Today I got a lot of advice on how to dress for rainy and/or cold days so I’ll need to do a little shopping before long.

So my first two days on the job were hard, but good. I could grow to like this job I think; we’re left alone in the parking lot for the most part and the work is not complicated. And no office politics, which will be nice.

The fact that God prepared me for this job is not lost on me. Without keeping toned up with the exercise bike these last few years I don’t think I would have lasted out the day on Saturday. And a summer of yard work and gardening put some color on my skin so that my sunburn didn’t bother much at all. God knows I don’t like cold weather so maybe we’ll have a mild winter? Huh God? Huh? Well, we’ll see about that. Whatever comes my way I know that I can face it with God on my side.

Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” ESV

Luke 12:22-23 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. ESV

1 comment:

  1. I think you did great! It's just a matter of getting into a new routine. We've been through many routines shifts these past three or so years, and this is no different. God keeps us on our toes! We'll soar through this one too!
    We'll get back to church next week. He hasn't given up on us, we're not about to give up on Him! With God, ALL things are possible!
    I love you!