Suffering and Sacrament: On Finding Connection as a Grocery Store Cashier

Every day, I go to work as a grocery store cashier at a family-owned business in a prosperous region of the more generally depressed Appalachian mountains. This work has transformed my life, not because it is the exciting, high-impact, high-power job so many of us dream about in our twenties and thirties, but because it brings me into direct contact with humanity.

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Finding Fulfillment As a Grocery Store Cashier

“Wow” said the man, “you are still working at this store. I’m impressed. Most people with higher IQ’s don’t stay here very long.”

“Thanks?” I said, ringing him up.

“So what are you really doing with your life,” said another older gentleman as I bagged his groceries, “because clearly you’re just playing here.” I stared at him, irate.

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