When Everyone Is Jumping Ship

The Ship

I am barely into the fourth week of my new position at the grocery cathedral and people are jumping ship. In a production meeting our manager informed us that almost everyone in a leadership position of the department is leaving or attempting to leave the glass house that is prepared foods. Every industry is different but that’s the name of the game in the grocery world. The turnover is high and change is constant. It’s a revolving door of personalities and staggered ambitions.

For many people, like myself, I suspect this life on the grocery line isn’t a “forever job” or career. It’s only a phase of their journey to wherever they are going. That’s not to say these people don’t take pride in their work, because they do, but the reality is that everything is a building block onto something else. And if you look at the work you do as a product, then you should probably want to get the most from what you produce on whatever scale you choose to qualify the reward. Whether it’s the joy, sacrifice or money that matter to you in your career, you should seek to have a satisfactory amount of it.

Cooler Ship

When I heard the news I was disheartened for several reasons: one, I just started and don’t want to take on extra work when I’m writing a book on the side, and two, I haven’t had the chance to really get to know some of the people that are leaving. The shit talking and good natured teasing has only just begun. I want to know their stories. And I don’t want to start over with new people. 

But maybe that’s the existential lesson I’ve been searching for in the madness of 2020, that is to say, starting over is a good thing. Life isn’t static despite how bad I may want it to be from time to time. Hell, that’s what makes it fun. And change is a good thing, like a snake shedding skin, I should take these opportunities to discard the old and grow.

Aisle Ship

My initial reaction was unneeded, ego-laden silliness, and for at least a moment, I wasn’t looking at the big picture. People that want to climb, will. Others will move laterally because of boredom or a host of other reasons. I like to think that I’m properly optimistic when the time is right too. And it seems, yet again, another opportunity has been dropped in my lap. The fluidity of life is on full display in a grocery store. Rapid change is completely normal. Comfort is fleeting. And the luxurious pity-party I wanted to throw ended before it began.

The world we thought we knew is still here but it’s not stopping or considering any of our feelings. Pandemics and social unrest be damned. We have to change, adapt and seize opportunities when they arise. I won’t pretend to know how that looks for each individual person, but I know that for me, learning new things at work and possibly growing my resume are only going to benefit me in the long run. And someone will need to steer the ship when everyone jumps.

One thought on “When Everyone Is Jumping Ship

  1. I love reading your stories, I worked grocery for 20 years, starting when we still used 10 key cash registers. Back then this was a great ‘career’ for a woman. Not so much anymore.
    Your stories are spot on, keep them coming!

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