My Last Shift at Kmart

Hey folks, Quinn coming to you LIVE after a little time away from the Beantown Blog. No, nothing is wrong. I just haven’t felt very creatively inspired under quarantine. I wonder how common that is? A lot of musicians and artists have managed to do a lot of live streaming and such but I tell you what, I just haven’t really felt motivated or inspired from either an art or a comedy perspective the last 3ish months. I don’t really have an explanation for it. That being said, times are wild right now. It’s hard to know how to feel, so I thought I’d share with you a funny little story to perhaps brighten your day for 5 minutes.

So anyone who’s known me for a while knows that I worked at Kmart in high school. The Big K. It was a family affair. My dad worked at Kmart. My brother worked at Kmart. I worked at Kmart. And it was cool because I was the token male teenage cashier. That’s not a common thing…most of the males who work at Kmart do stuff with stocking or loading/unloading. Me? I was signing people up for Shop Your Way Rewards and memorizing manager codes to correct prices that were consistently way off. To say the E State Kmart was poorly run would be…generous. Anyways, I started working at Kmart right after I turned 16 at the end of my sophomore year of high school and held that job for awhile. There were good times and bad times (mostly bad times), and I think I made somewhere around $8.00/hour, but hey, gas in those days was literally around $4.00/gallon, so you needed all the work you could get. When I went off to college, I knew I’d be getting that classic DePaul 6-week Winter Break, so I decided when I moved to Chicago, ‘Hey, I might as well keep this job. It’ll be nice to have when I come back home.’ According to the Big K policy (which I’m 95% certain was made up on the spot), I had to work one shift per month to keep my job. This was going to be a pain in the ass, but I decided to give it a shot.

October 2013 rolls around, I’m in my first couple weeks of school at DePaul, and I decide to come home for a weekend to work my one monthly shift at the Big K. I communicate to them beforehand that I’m coming in Saturday morning to work 8a-1p, and when the day finally arrives, I throw on my blue polo and head on in. In I walk, and it’s not long before I realize that no one at the store got my message, and I wasn’t on the schedule. That didn’t stop me from punching in! At first, I decided to kind of be a wildcard and tidy up and restock some shelves. However, after about an hour of that, I got really bored. Before long, I came to the conclusion that this was just going to need to be a run out the clock situation. So from about 9am to 1pm, I literally went into the men’s room, posted up shop in a stall, and stayed there for the duration of my shift. No smartphone. I might have grabbed a Sue Grafton novel but I really don’t remember.

Once 1pm hit, I casually clocked out at layaway and mosied right on out of there. Two weeks later, I mailed them a letter from Chicago that basically said ‘I’m outta here, fam.’ I think that’s really when Kmart started their downward spiral. RIP to the Big K and RIP to my first and hopefully only ever retail job.

P.S. I was going to write more but the ‘A’ key fell off my keyboard at the start of this post and it took me about an hour to write this much plus I’m grumpy now.

3 thoughts on “My Last Shift at Kmart

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