I was writing a job post about my job-related ennui and I remembered a video I watched recently. The video was by a channel I enjoy called Answer in Progress (I’m gonna be a hipster here and declare here proudly that I liked AIP when it was just Sabrina “NerdyAndQuirky” Cruz making videos alone). They partnered with Grow with Google to make a series of videos about changing careers.
In their first video of the series, Sabrina talked about quitting and job satisfaction. Based on “self-determination theory,” as explained by professor Richard Ryan in the video, Sabrina also created a survey to help viewers evaluate how much they are getting their needs met at their job. The core needs, Ryan explains, are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Watch the video for in-depth definitions of those terms! It’s a good video!
Anyways, I’ve decided to do this survey to see where I’m at. I don’t like my job all that much and I know I’m going to score low, but I wanted to see specifically using this framework what exactly I’m lacking and be able to expound upon the questionnaire with my thoughts.
1. Who are you?
Job: Currently, a cashier. Also a graphic designer but this will be about my cashier job.
2. How much control do you feel you have in your day?
(Note: The questions ask you to put your answers on a scale of one to five, with five being roughly “A Lot” and one being roughly “Almost None.” I put my explanation below my number rating like Sabrina did originally.)
I have a rough idea of when my coworkers work and therefore when I work at this point. But my hours change a lot; they’re never consistent week to week. However, the time I do have off does feel like it’s in my control.
3. How prepared do you feel for your responsibilities?
I still have a lot of questions. The company made me do a lot of training on the computer that didn’t feel relevant to my role, nor did it stick in my head since I wasn’t going through the actions of performing the actions related to my role. Still, cashiering isn’t too hard—I know how to scan, bag, and do my little customer service voice that I despise myself for and all that.
Since I work in a home improvement store in the lumber section, there are some processes specific to that section that I get to do that other cashiers don’t. Those, I was wholly unprepared for, and though I can mostly do them now unassisted, it took me a while to remember all of their steps. Not to mention the fact that sometimes I’m working in that section as the only cashier, so there’s no one I can tag quickly to ask my questions.
4. How much community do you feel with your coworkers?
I like the other cashiers I work with. There are several of my coworkers I enjoy and do feel in community with them in a sort of “us against the world” sort of way. Beyond that though, I don’t feel in community with my higher up (above the head cashiers, y’know?) because I never talk t them I don’t talk to others outside of one, my section, and two, cashiers. I try and be friendly with, for example, the loaders and associates in my section, but since the store is big, I don’t see them all that often anyway.
5. How much do you look forward to working? Why?
Customer service is hard. Cashiering is boring sometimes and other times it’s stressful. It’s always repetitive. Cashiers and all of these types of jobs are criminally underpaid My feet and back hurt all the time from standing on concrete and it physically exhausts me. There’s just no way almost anyone would look forward to their job under these conditions. Of course, I do enjoy some aspects of the job, or else I would have already stopped working there, but I can’t say I get up in the morning thinking, “oh boy! I can’t wait to stand for five to nine hours today!”
This is long enough. I probably will be expanding on this later, but for now, I’m tired and I didn’t take a nap after my shift like I usually do. TTFN.