Yahoo CEO Used to Work in Grocery Store…Just Like Me!
I’ll ignore addressing the fact that I’ve been MIA for awhile by tossing up this noteworthy snippet from an interview with Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo (and also former 20th employee of Google). In high school she used to work in a grocery store, and it reminded me of my new weekend job (hence being MIA) of working in a grocery store.
The hardest part of cashiering at a grocery store is either memorizing the sometimes daily fluctuating produce prices, more often than not per pound (Georgia yellow peaches are .99/lb today; $1.29/lb tomorrow; next week they might go on sale for .89/lb); OR memorizing the PLU codes–a 4-digit unique code designated to every piece of fruit or vegetable imaginable. 4022 green grapes (seedless). 4023 red grapes, seedless. 4627 kale lacinato.
Most cashiers opt to memorize these PLU codes, and the most seasoned cashiers will be able to punch in a series of codes seamlessly without looking down at the code sheet (read: cheat sheet). The not so seasoned cashiers: they’ll stare down at your baggie of kale, wrinkle their nose, and ask, “Um…so like, is this collard greens?” You inform them of the contents of your little produce baggie, they punch in a series of numbers, and then on your way home, you stare down at the receipt and realize you’ve been charged $46.27 for that bundle of kale.
Despite the years I’ve been working on and off in a grocery store, I fall into the latter camp of cashier, namely because I am an anxious person and I’m too busy smiling at the customer and hoping I won’t piss them off, while proceeding to do something that will piss them off.
Anyway, here’s the quote from Marissa Mayer. And If you’ve got nothing better to do for the next two hours, knock yo’self out on the following PLU code list.
From the Los Angeles Times:
“Formative experience: At her high school job as a grocery clerk, “I learned a lot about work ethic from people who had been there for 20 years,” she said. “They could do 40 items a minute over an eight-hour shift. I was pretty routinely in the 38-to-41 range. I was pretty happy about that. I have a good memory for numbers. At the grocery store, you have to remember to charge $4.99 a pound for grapes and 99 cents a pound for cantaloupe by typing in a number code. The more numbers you could memorize, the better off you are. If you had to stop to look up a price in a book, it totally killed your average.”