10:30pm.

Beep.

Beep.

Beep.

My hands glide over the conveyor belt as cereal, eggs, and frozen pizza join the rest of the groceries waiting at the other end.

“That’ll be $36.82.”

The man takes his receipt and tells me to have a good night.

Beep.

Beep.

Beep.

“$60.11” I say as the woman peers sharply up at the screen. I look too, but not at the total. The bottom of the screen tells me that it is 10:44pm. Sixteen more minutes till I am free. The woman raises her voice and disputes the fine print on several coupons; her voice intensifies my headache. I decide that fifty cents is not worth an argument.

“$59.61.”

She pays and leaves.

Beep.

Beep..

Beep…

10:56pm.

My hands are slow. After twelve hours of work, my concealer has worn off and I catch a glimpse of red eyes in my register mirror.

“Your total is $172.40.” I look at the customer worriedly, but she wants to get out of there as much as I do. She hurriedly writes a check and my eyes, weighed down by heavy lids, do not see the “This paper contains security features” warning at the top of the check. I take it and hand her a receipt.

11pm. I am able to sleep easily tonight, but tomorrow’s realization of my mistake will ensure against that happening again over the next few weeks. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.