“I have my own bags and I don’t want them heavy, thanks.” I glance up just in time to see a pack of reusable bags getting chucked at my face by an older woman, preferably not the nicest looking. Forcing a typical smile I unload the bags, only to become overwhelmed by the stench of rotten food, and sticky stains along the side. Minimum wage is defiantly not worth all this, but hey, it pays the bills. Long mornings and slow night shifts are what my social life has now become, and I often feel as though I spend more time at my workplace than at home. Unable to escape the numerous psychotic customers and their obnoxious children, I have to be a slave to their beck and call. If an item isn’t what they wanted, I’m the one who fetches a new one, similar to a dog. If they don’t want to lift their ten pound water case, I gladly bend down and lift it, only to pull out my back in return. However, according to store policy, “the customer is always right” so if I want to keep my job I have to be the happiest cashier they’ve ever seen. If a customer is unhappy, it’s my job to fix it, even if they whine more than a three year old in a toy store. Bagging groceries isn’t always a hell hole; only ninety percent of the time, and the other ten percent is the precious fifteen minutes I get to spend with myself and reality. It’s actually quite funny how working in such an awful environment can make you so sick, all the time. I mean, when I’m there, I feel as though I should be in a hospital because everything possible is wrong with me. From a headache, to stomach pains, lack of sleep, or pulled muscles in the back, you name it and I have it. But in reality, I don’t have anything. The misery of being around such unwelcoming people makes you want to die, but I find that once my shift is over, I feel like a million dollars. As sad as it sounds, I’m probably going to end up like the ten thousand year old cashier who rings your groceries just about as fast as a snail moves. Or the one whose dubbed nuts, and is always cranked up on coffee and energy drinks, with bits of her hair ripped out from her pleasant customers who couldn’t be nastier. For the most of the time, I survive the five hour shifts by simply smiling and cracking jokes, because if not for happiness, I’d be insane. As much as I hate walking through those doors, people can always count on finding me at a register, smile plastered on my face, uniform tidy. And if you study my nametag really closely, you’ll notice that the “Alex” is actually covering up my true identity. In fact, little letters spell out “save me” because at that point, I’m desperate.