The Life of a Fruit Cutter

My part-time job while at school is a diverse one. There are multiple facets to what I do in the 15 hours I am there. One day I could be a normal stocker; walking the numerous aisles. Looking for missing spots where merchandise should go. Writing down what I need and finding it in the back store room. Walking back to the place it belongs and restocking it. I am also a cashier, in the constant state of “Hi, how are you?” and “Have a great day!” with a smile plastered on my face. It is a rare occasion for the customer to be happy and answer with a matching smiling face or a fraction of my enthusiasm, it is also rare when a customer says nothing or throws their method of payment down on the counter and demand a plastic bag to hold their ice cream and condoms (which has happened, among other combinations of items).

Another position I hold at my store is Fruit Cutter. I wish it had a more appealing name, but it suits it perfectly.

For five hours, usually every Sunday and Monday shift, I cut fruit. Pineapples, cantaloupe, strawberries, and on the extremely rare chance, I get to cut broccoli. I box all of the items I slice and tear apart.

Five pairs of gloves per shift, the constant numbing of my fingers from handling fresh refrigerated fruit with one to two-minute breaks sprinkled in whenever you grab a new box of produce.

Spotify and Snapchat are my only friends usually. Being in the back of the store no one walks by, and that’s only when they need something from the back stock room. I’m not complaining one bit, I love my job as Fruit Slicer. I like working by myself and being away from customers so I don’t have to pretend that I’m having a good day. Not that I have bad days but the attitudes of fellow employees and other people affect you a lot.

Whenever a coworker decides to visit you in the cold back kitchen prep area you get super excited and talk to them for however long they’re able, it’s also weird for me to go from an independent dynamic where I control everything to an dependent moment where I converse with someone besides myself and contribute to a dialogue. Then they leave again and it is back to quietly singing along to your Spotify playlist and thinking.

After knocking out four or five boxes of pineapple and a random box or two of strawberries it’s time to thoroughly clean your work area. Sweeping, mopping, bleaching the counter and washing all of the utensils by hand with hot water, which puts the feeling back into my fingers. I dump the mop water and take the clean dishes back to their rightful place. I go back to the front and visit everyone in the front stock room as we wait to mop the rest of the floor to complete our closing procedures for the night.

This job is still one of my favorites jobs and I’m forever grateful to have it.

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The Struggle Of Recruiting For A College Organization

Alpha Phi Omega is a national co-ed service organization, who focuses on leadership, friendship and service. I was recruited the fall semester of my freshman year in college and I have stuck with it ever since. I’ve held a few executive positions and chair positions over the six semesters I have been involved with the organization.

My first position was the Public Relations chair where I gained our chapter’s facebook page views and followers by fifty (simply by being more active and uploading photos of events and the like). After that, I was the Secretary and I took notes and emailed information to other members.

Then I was the Fellowship Vice-President. I was in charge of coming up with events for the chapter to do that were fun and team building. I planned our Chapter Retreat, which was camping at Lake Perry, it was cold and there was an attacking goose but it was a great time that I will remember for years to come.

I am currently the Membership Vice-President. I am in charge of retention, recruitment and making sure the current and future members pay their dues and complete their requirements.

Recruitment is always a stressful time for everyone in the organization but mostly for the recruitment committee. Spring semesters are always difficult to recruit for because there are not freshman trying to find clubs anymore, most of the people who are on campus know what they want to do and are already involved with clubs.

Recruitment, in general, is an easy task to plan for and have ideas. Putting the ideas and plans into action and having something to show for it is the difficult part. Having information sessions and fellowships and service projects that are planned around getting people involved is a lot harder than you would think. It also does not help when you do not have much involvement from the current members or if something you planned for does not go as it was intended to go.

School organizations are not meant to stress people out. They are meant to push you out of your comfort zone and become an active person in society. They teach you to be a working member of a team and help you understand that without you, your organization could fail.

Joining a group that has the same outlook on life or the same goals in mind, is a heartwarming experience. Being with people who have the want and need to serve others and have fun reminds me that I am where I belong and I want to keep this camaraderie for as long as I can.

Alpha Phi Omega – Theta Sigma is a great organization to join if you are interested in meeting people, hanging out and serving your community. (Was this whole post about getting someone to join? I’ll never tell but feel free to email us at apo.okstate@gmail.com if you have any questions!)

Working on campus is the best choice for students

Working on campus is both a blessing and a curse. You sleep near your place of work so you’re never late, at least you shouldn’t be, but you can never really leave either. You meet so many people. You see someone you have a class with or work with someone who has the same major as you. It’s a neat experience to see like-minded people in the same close area that has passions for various things but they all still have one goal in mind – graduating college. It’s interesting to see how a strategic communications major (me) and an aerospace and mechanical engineering major (best friend) or a sports media major (another best friend) have in common. Management is another beast entirely. It’s nice to work for people who understand that I don’t want to work in this store for the rest of my life, or retail in general. You learn to be an adult and you gain real job experience when you have a supervisor or a crew of people counting on you to do your job, which rarely happens in my case.

Working on campus is great when you live in the same building complex that your job is in. On the days you don’t have class but you’re scheduled to work, you don’t have to brace yourself for a walk in the weather, you can walk down the stairs and be there in two minutes; unless you’re me and it stills takes you five minutes because the elevator is evil and you’re too stubborn to give up and take the stairs.

Working on campus usually takes away the hassle of planning for traffic and trying to find a non-existent parking space that is free or not five miles away from your workplace. Walking to work has its ups and downs but it mostly has ups.

Working for people who don’t truly care for their employees is easy. It’s a cold relationship to have but it’s doable because there are the simple pleasantries rather than working for someone you’re friends with. If you’re friends with your boss it’s difficult to leave niceties as they are and try and think of the business side of the relationship. Worrying about your personal relationship, not the dating kind, with your superior is too stressful for a job that lasts five years tops. You just have to be nice to your boss, they’ll be nice to you and you can go on your way.

When I was in high school, my first real job was at Braum’s, an ice cream and burger fast food chain. It was a horrible experience and I refuse to work for fast food again, or food in general. Looking back now I was probably being over dramatic but I only have bad memories and I still can’t willingly eat there. A convenience store is a next step in the “first job chain.” It’s still not an ideal job but it gets you money to pay off credit card bills and the Bursar. 

Working on campus has been one of the best experiences in my college career. I’ve had the same job for three years and I don’t regret it. I’ve met two of my best friends in this workplace and there’s so many great co-workers who care for your and they’re funny and they make the job go by quickly. If you can find a job on-campus, I highly recommend it.