What's It Like to Work in a Deli?

What's It Like to Work in a Deli?

By Contributor

Gross, fun, and sometimes bloody. Here are the highlights and lowlights of one of my three summer jobs:

Highlight: My coworker Richard. He’s like 50, a complete hippie, and I love him. He’s always trying to get me to start a band with him, or at the very least, go protest something political. The other day he asked me if I “had a lover.” I giggled, then realized he was serious.

Lowlight: 9-hour shifts. You heard me right. They especially suck when you got 4 ½ hours of sleep the previous night, and the shift starts at 7.

Highlight: Shiny things! This includes, but is not limited, to, small knives, medium knives, big knives, massive meat slicers, and lots of tinfoil to play trash-skeeball with. Am I the only one fascinated shiny things? Yes? Moving on…

Lowlight: Chicken. Now, I’m far from a vegetarian. But I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to eat rotisserie chicken again, after deboning about 20 of them. You know what’s worse than trying to pry meat off a dry, overcooked rotisserie chicken? Pulling meat off a slimy, undercooked chicken, and finding bloody goobers in the spinal cord. Maybe goober isn’t the anatomically correct term, but I do what I can.

Highlight: Free samples of all the cold salads. To be eaten in the cooler, away from the staggeringly large number of security cameras in the store. Yet they still won’t bite the bullet and pay for alarms at the door! I just don’t understand their executive decision-making.

Lowlight: The music. Is. Awful. I think they’re trying to cater to the 40+ housewives, because I don’t think I can stand much more of the weird, country music, Christian Contemporary, Michael Buble, and Adam Lambert mix. Which is a shame, because I really did enjoy Michael Buble. Now, when I hear him, all I think about is greasy chicken.

Highlight: The bakery is right next to the deli, so I get to give free cookies to kids. This is always a wonderful part of the day.

Lowlight: The bakery is right next to the deli, so in the morning, when they’re making cakes and muffins and cookies and doughnuts… well, it’s painful.

Highlight: We sell eight different types of potato salad. I can tell them all apart, and I feel like this is an enormous accomplishment.

Ginger’s Song of the Week: Apparently this song was featured in a camera commercial, but I just happened to find it randomly. It makes me quite happy, but the music video mostly just reminds me how very hipster it is.

Anyone else have a job like this? We want to hear about it!

Related post: The Highs and Lows of Nannying

Topics: summer jobs, life according to ginger, college life, supermarkets

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