register required knowing the numbers item numbers for grains and produce; the customers were supposed to write them down, but many of them neglected this rule, and as such it was dependent on the cashier to either memorize or run and find the number when the customer forgot. Subsequently, during the busy periods the lines got long, and I had to rely on Joyce to help me with the item numbers. In addition to the item numbers, she helped me out with all the small things about the job that you don’t learn in training – which were the important managers, when to pretend you’re working hard, and when to slack off. Over the first few weeks we became very close and Joyce introduced me to her family. She had two daughters she was taking care by herself, as her husband had left her a few years earlier. One day Joyce came in visually distressed and wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. During our break I ate with her and finally got her to tell me the problem. She told me that she had come on difficult times of late, as her husband had stopped paying child support and she was facing eviction from her apartment. Joyce was considerably older than me and I didn’t have much experience in these situations, but I felt very bad for her situation, and consoled her and told her that I’m sure things would be all right.
The next day I worked Joyce was in and she seemed better. I noticed that she was much more standoffish than she had previously been, and I thought that maybe she just didn’t want to discuss what she told me before. During one of the busy periods one of Joyce’s daughters came through the checkout line, and I noticed Joyce not charging her for a number of items and place them in a bag. I wasn’t sure if I had seen the incident accurately, so I chose not to say anything. The next day I worked I watched Joyce closely and noticed that during the same time her daughter came through again, and Joyce similarly didn’t charge her for the items. At this point I was