You didn't ring up people's groceries for years without learning about human nature
I had the unique opportunity - I still can't bring myself to say it was a pleasure - of working for a grocery store for two years, three months, and four days. The actually horror of it all, combined with the ascending number combination is the only reason I remember the exact length of my sentence. I have to admit, though, that I did take away from the experience a greater knowledge of myself and others.
My coming out to others started there. A co-worker I barely knew but somehow instinctively trusted, asked me one day, and for the first time, I didn't feel it necessary to lie. I believe she was the first person I ever got to cruise guys with. Lisa, wherever you are, thank you.
It gave me the chance to see the community I grew up in an entirely different light. People who I hated and was hated by at school were my friends at work; people who were "upstanding members of the community" treated their kids like shit.
I finally learned not to put people on pedestals. A manager, someone I greatly respected, turned on me and made my work environment so painful that the only emotion I experienced when I walked out in the middle of my shift was relief. Her need to play office politics was more important than my feelings, so she gladly used me when she had a chance to make herself look better. On some rational level, I think that this should shouldn't hurt any more, almost five years after the events, but it still does. Her clay feet really kicked me in the ass. This isn't really related to me and the grocery store, but she got caught embezelling a few months later. I know it shouldn't, but I enjoyed that, knowing that I wasn't the only one she was lying to.
Felpausch brought Stephanie and Bill into my life, and they are two of the closest friends I've ever had.
I learned that I had limits, that it wasn't possible to take a full class load, have a co-op in a high school, and be the full-time night manager.
I learned that some people will not like you, no matter how hard you try. Of course, just because I learned this lesson then doesn't mean that it doesn't still bother me sometimes.
I learned that a cucumber is PLU 4062. It is such a waste of brain cells that I still remember that, and many more register codes, years later.