Monday, 25 June 2012

My brief retail adventure.

This weekend just gone was all about community.  Well at least, it started and ended with community and included a bit of rugby union in the middle.

There was so much community I've had to divide it into two blog posts.

Josh's age group was hosting at home this weekend, which meant volunteering for duties on canteen and bbq for me and Mike.  After racing away from a nail biting 2 point netball loss we made it to our posts 10 minutes late.

No-one minded.  You do what you can.

I entered the canteen, knowing nothing.  But I learned quickly.  Not without a few hiccups.  

In what I believe is a unique situation, our canteen comes with it's very own Gen Y cash register operator.  In fact, he may not even be Gen Y.  He's only 16.  What comes after Gen Y?

Anyways, he is doing his 'Duke of Edinburgh' award (which means he needs to do 40 hours of community service) so he's been hanging out running the canteen and keeping us Mummys away from the technology.

The canteen has a very specific and brief inventory list consisting of chips, kit kats, m&ms, killer pythons, muffins, 1, 2 or 3 filling sausage sizzle (any combo of bacon, egg, sausage), water, soft drink, gatorade and mixed lollies.

That's it.  What more do you need?  And don't say fruit.

Each inventory item has its very own cash register button.  Cool hey? If someone buys a killer python, you just press the killer python button.  Except I'm not allowed.  Mr DoE has to do it.

Nutritionally you can choose from protein and sugar.  Most parents attempt to engage their children in something containing protein before succumbing to a second purchase involving sugar.  Pythons are popular.

When someone wants something from the bbq you have to hand them two bits of bread in a napkin (serviette?), and a little casino chip thing with 1, 2 or 3 on it.  Get Mr DoE to ring it up on the till. Give change if necessary.  Sounds simple doesn't it?

I forgot to give bread to my first 3 customers, forcing them to return for it, after already waiting in the bbq queue.  Lucky, it's a little kids sporting ground and everyone's pretty cheerful.

No fancy blue gloves at our sausage sizzle.
I also forgot to give someone his soft drink.  I am not a canteen natural.

We rode the waves of full time- big rush, lots of sausage sizzles, the queue five deep.   Half time brought bored siblings, parents worn down to purchasing sugar as a pacifier.

About halfway through my hour long shift, I was convinced by my loitering children to buy them all a python, just so they'd stop nagging.  Issy kept sneaking in and clutching my leg with her thumb in until I bribed her with a python to let go.
Aaaah, bribery. Sometimes it just works.

Sometimes I think we're like a big power point, and they sort of need to plug in to us occasionally.  She definitely didn't like me being on one side of the canteen and her being on the other.  But the python helped bring her around.

We kept busy in quiet moments extracting information from Mr DoE, what school was he at, what other activities had he been doing for the award etc.  He was faultlessly courteous and completely unflappable.

We comforted the small boy whose team mate called him an idiot.

We helped an indecisive small girl come down in favour of chips over chocolate.

It's a big job.  And I'd be more than happy to take another shift any time soon.  I was sad when my replacement arrived and I was free to go.  But Joshie was playing by then and my place was elsewhere.

After the games all finished we helped take down the little goal posts, the post protectors and generally returned the ground to one big field instead of four little ones.  The kids were all energised by how we'd spent the morning.  They really 'got' it.

More community involvement tomorrow.  Betcha can't wait.