New experiences

22 Jul

We went through one of those new self-serve checkouts today.

I must admit, I appreciated the opportunity to not interact.

On the other hand, checkout chick was my first job. In the Grote St Coles. Pay came in your actual packets. Pay packets. Yellow envelopes they were.

We had 1 and 2 cent pieces back in those days and everyone paid for their groceries in cash. If anyone gave us a fifty dollar note, we had to ring the bell, hold the note in the air and say to the girl next door: ‘check fifty’. We used officious tones for that, and we didn’t have to say ‘please’.

*I am not at all sure how to use parentheses correctly, and right now I know I should go and double check, but I just don’t feel like it. I’ll put it on my to do list for next week.

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10 Responses to “New experiences”

  1. Stomper Girl July 22, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    Oh my lord, the olden days!!!

    For some reason I find the story of “check fifty’ very funny indeed. And I’m also having nostalgia for yellow pay packets. With cash inside.

  2. kim at allconsuming July 22, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    My first job was as a check out chick at Kmart in Chatswood.

    We wore those dresses with a zip up the front that were more a smock and somewhere between turquoise and teal.

    My first pay packet came in a little yellow envelope. You had to go to the little pay office window, knock and sign your name on the clipboard.

    My first pay was something like $40 and I was so incredulous I actually asked the wages officer, ‘is this all for me!?!”

    I remember having to do that with $50 notes – and if someone paid with a credit card you had to swipe it through the thingy machine with the triplicate paper – and check their number against the list to ensure it wasn’t stolen.

    GOSH. I haven’t thought of that time in ages.

  3. Mummy Crit July 23, 2008 at 9:01 am #

    i’m with you on the not interacting thing, someimes. i hate the self-serve checkout though, and my most recent job was in retail, where it was all about the interaction.

  4. suse July 23, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    My first job was in a Hot Bread Shop. And even that title dates me, no? I wore a supremely flattering golden yellow version of Kim’s zip up teal number and we did the Check Fifty! thing too.

  5. suse July 23, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Funny how I’ve almost forgotten 1 and 2 cent pieces these days.

    I remember the smell of them though. Different to the silver ones.

  6. drew July 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm #

    I was a paperboy. No interaction (apart from angry dogs) and no fifties to check.

    As for the parentheses, may I offer you this

  7. genevieve July 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Navy with a zip, yellow packets (I think), and ‘check 50’ YES!! Memories…
    Always liked G&S “Take a pair of sparkling eyes” for parenthetical nonchalance. Not sure if it’s a style guide though.

  8. ThirdCat July 23, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    You know, I have no idea why I put that sentence about parentheses there. Did I write a sentence and delete it? Was I planning a sentence that never got used? Was I just musing on the correct use of parentheses?

    The reason you haven’t thought of it for years, kim, is because it sucked. And the reason ‘check fifty’ sounds funny, stomper, is because it is. All of that officiousness. It was quite ridiculous really.

    And let’s all agree that with her yellow uniform, suse drew the short end of the straw.

  9. Helen July 23, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    Our local supermarket is populated by the local teenagers (I’m sounding a bit League of Gentlemen here, I know). I love them and will resist the robot checkout womanfully.

    -Were those parentheses OK?

  10. Mikhela August 6, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    Check fifty also. And I remember the first time I saw a hundred dollar note, and I thought it was a fake. Then we had to say ‘check a hundred’. Uniform was sky blue. K-Mart Altona Gate, that was.

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