The large glass doors of the supermarket, with the yellow band and black writing-ENTRY, opened and shut.
It was our Rotary Club’s annual Xmas raffle-first prize was a trailer full of grocery items, and I was on duty from 11-1.
As I entered there was M, who I was to follow. We talked, as older folk do about the weather, who had died, and how ticket sales had been (“Steady,” said M), before I was given the money bag and began my shift.
Being at the entrance to a supermarket, one sees a good cross-section of society. There are the rich and famous, even if in their more casual gear, the poor, the chic-and not so chic; from anorexic to obese, young and old, short, tall, wide and fat. They all have to go to the supermarket at some stage of the week.
The doors opened and shut. A bit like an airport I thought-all those trolleys. My! Am I glad that our family has grown up and moved on. The amount of goods in those trolleys -all to feed a family!
“I’ll take 2 tickets, thanks” My, we are on a roll! In 10 minutes I had sold 3 tickets. Now in my 2-hour shift, if this continues I will sell 36 tickets.
There goes F.- God, he looks old! Well suppose I haven’t seen him for about 10 years, so guess that’s to be expected. Me. Well, I haven’t aged a bit, have I?
That doesn’t sound like English! Ah, they must be young German backpackers, I guess, from their speech and demeanour. They certainly bring a lot of money into the region.
Well, it’s a bit slow. Might have to downgrade those 36 tickets for my stint.
Hello! An ambulance outside! Wonder what it is doing here? Outcome 2 paramedics and through those doors, they go. What’s going on? As they enter the store, a woman passing by says” She’s all right I think. Blood pressure is back to normal” –an off duty nurse I presume. A wheelchair comes into view propelled by the store manager, with an elderly lady on board, looking a little pale and wan, but cheerful, as she is loaded into the ambulance. All’s well there, thank goodness.
My, that wind is cold! Think I will shelter around the corner, next to the back of the money machine. The foyer doors seem to be in line with that southerly that is whipping through at the moment.
Hmm…. There is Pak’n’Save’s community notice board. “ Right- 2 tickets? Many thanks.” There are some vacancies being advertised. As far as I can make out, there is a job being 2IC of the produce department. Do they teach you how to stack carrots, cabbages and cauliflowers, I wonder?
Now here comes a likely candidate to buy a ticket. Aha! They have their purse open and yes- I make another sale!
There is a whirring beside me! Ah! Someone is taking money from the ATM. Cash is still sometimes needed. I have even been asked if we had EFTPOS.
Another job opportunity catches my eye. 2IC of the bakery. Hmm… Well hope they can show me how to make lots of dough! Maybe I can learn how to put buns in the oven! Might be getting a bit long in the tooth for that!
Why do some people have to have tattoos all over their legs and other places? I just don’t know. Guess I am becoming an old curmudgeon! “I’ll take a book, please.” “That will be $20” I look at my prospective customer and think to myself- “He doesn’t look like the sort of person that can afford such a deal.’
“They’re $2 a ticket,” I say. “Hmm... then I’ll take 5 tickets.  “OK, “ I say, with a feeling of relief.
Did you know that the entry mat is about 3 m square, with 4 sections of strips with 15 rubberised strips to each compartment separated by steel strips?
Why do some people have to put dinner plates in their earlobes! Well, not quite dinner plates I guess. And the number of people with bits of metal stuck in various parts of their bodies. Can’t believe it, myself. Ah! What some people spend their money on eh!
As each customer comes out of the supermarket, they have their way of dealing with me and our trailer. Most just ignore you, some smile, others avert their eyes, while some come up to you and graciously buy tickets. Some tell you that they bought a ticket last week. Did they, you wonder-or is it just an excuse not to buy one? Some pass the time of day, others are brusque. Some you hope to win it, others, you think they don’t really deserve it.
A rather scruffy elderly gentleman comes forward and asks for 2 tickets. As he fills in the details he says to me-“I’m buying these tickets for the Salvation Army. They do such a lot of good in the community.” I thank him and tell him that I will see that the tickets are delivered to the appropriate people. Good to see some philanthropy, and not necessarily from the rich and well-heeled.
That can’t really be the natural colour of her hair surely! Guess it came out of a bottle. Doesn’t do much for her. Well in my eyes, that is. Others, in my humble opinion, need to see a good barber or hairdresser. Why some older guys want to have a scruffy ponytail is beyond my comprehension! Stop being an inconsiderate old fart, I say to myself.
Here comes a young family and the young fella is getting stuck into his ice cream in a punnet. Looks rather delicious! Wouldn’t mind one, myself.
The large glass doors with the yellow bands with ENTRY on them open and shut. What’s the time? Almost an hour is gone, and 36 tickets as a target doesn’t look to be on. Still, you never know. We’ll just have to wait and see.
By the outside trolleys, some teenage boys appear, with their bikes. One had obviously been to a flash hairdresser as he runs his fingers through his hair from front to back every time some young girls of his age enter. Ah- to be young again!
I’m rushed! Again I have 2 customers at once! 36 is starting to look good!
Time to check out the floor patterns. The square tiles are in a blackish colour, 4 to a square, and round them, we have tiles of a pale ochry colour. The pattern changes as you go into the store. Must have taken some working out!
Well, here come 2 teenage girls in their T-shirts and ripped off shorts. Must have been hard getting dressed this morning as they each have socks that don’t match.
Sales do a takeoff. I have 2 customers at once! They each take 2 tickets. That target may yet be achievable! Someone even asked about the Save a Life aspirin holders, but they don’t make a purchase. That sounds like Neil Young on the sound system. A rather sombre 20 year old lass, come and sits on the wooden seat opposite. (It has 4 slats along the back you know). Her hair is in a blonde ponytail. She does a few neck exercises. She is dressed all in black with a long, grey cardigan. She appears to be in a rather sad mood. A customer appears-“Yes, the tickets are $2 each. You’ll take 3? Many thanks”
Is the girl opposite about to burst into tears? She looks at the loaf of bread she has bought rather pensively. Time ticks by. After about 5 minutes, she gives a wan smile as two of her mates appear and off they go talking quietly as they go.
Must check the watch. Only half an hour to go, ¾ done!
Those large windows act as reflectors. As well as looking through them, if you look at the reflections you can see all that is happening, behind you, in the carpark.
Back to those community notices-someone is having a garage sale, can’t make out who, you can become a foster parent, someone has a house for sale-I can just make out the photograph, there is a certificate of appreciation from William Colenso College, Harold’s Fun Day at the Park is advertised-wonder where that is?
“2 tickets please.” My 36 sales looks to be on.
The free taxi phone is being put to use, as I make this sale.
My! Yes! That sounds like Josh Grogan.
This looks like trouble. It’s the security man. No! he’s only going for a coffee.
The staff rubbish man empties the bins.
Poor buggar-there is a bloke with his leg in a moon boot. Achilles problems I guess. They take some time to heal.
Farmer Brown’s eggs are cheap $3.30 a dozen, and Wattie’s baby cans are 90c
“ Mark, from produce, can you go to the service desk?”
Only 10 minutes to go.
Sounds like ABBA on the sound system, “Waterloo”
My word that couple is really well dressed.
Now, who is after me? Oh not him. He is rather notorious for not being on time. And I have left my cell phone behind! Buggar!
12.56. Wonder what people do with all those empty boxes they are taking out. Like the 3-year-old in his dinosaur suit. Rather natty.
13.05. Where the hell is he? Who shall I contact if he doesn’t turn up? And how?
13.07 “I’ll take 3 tickets, thanks” As the money changes hands, there he is-my successor has arrived!
“Sorry I’m late,” he says. “Just been doing the lawns.”
“That’s I OK, “I say. “At least, you got here. Sales have been steady. Reckon I’ve sold about 50 tickets.”
So, I beat my initial target.
Now I think I’ll go and buy a ticket- a Lotto ticket that is.
Once more those large glass doors with the yellow bands with ENTRY on, open and shut.
Oh, and by the by, the Lotto ticket was, as usual, a dud!