Stocking Chips and Taking Names

by Olivia Joy

I will soon be leaving my oh-so-precious job in a mere two weeks, so, it only seemed fitting that I publish a few little tokens of knowledge, mementos, or little memories that I have compiled over the past few years of working for Frito Lay, doing a job that most people respond to in this way: “What? People actually do that?”

Well, here I go:

  • When I woke up at one or two in the morning, I often thought: “All of…this…for the sake of…chips?”
  • I almost forgot my own name on a few occasions, as “chip lady” seemed to be a suitable replacement for nearly everyone I spoke to.
  • No, I don’t know where the clove oil, tonic water, and packaged gravy is — I work for Frito Lay, but let’s be honest, most of the time, I would search the store as though I was on the treasure hunt of a lifetime to help them find what they were looking for.
  • I often felt like I was being followed by some gem of a middle aged man, and I was, so I went and hid, often.
  • Looking for every opportunity to interact with customers made my day go from ground zero to feeling like I should be walking down the aisle to my own poppy-funk anthem, while simultaneously doing “jazz hands.”
  • Gloves saved my life every single day.
  • If only I had a nickel for every store employee that walked past me saying “Havin’ fun yet?”
  • I wanted to cry tears of joy each time a store’s chip aisle was shared with the beer cooler, as I was saved from sweating what would accumulate to be able to fill the Mississippi River; okay, that may be a bit of a hyperbole, but you get the idea.
  • The best feeling in the world was proving people wrong, who thought you weren’t cut out for the job.
  • Spending hours making the supermarket look flawless, only to come back an hour later to see it completely destroyed broke my heart more than any T-Swift or J-Biebs song could ever articulate.
  • After a bad day, no one, and I mean NO ONE could understand the depths of my rage, unless they were there, ya know?
  • I have never felt more in the way. And “I’m sorry” seemed to be the most common thing to come out of my mouth.
  • It was more than possible to make this job fun. It took a lot of effort, but I found it to be a lot more rewarding when I was able to incorporate “play” into my work day. “Play” was and is important for sanity, people.
  • I talked to a lot of old people…on purpose. Why? Well, they’ve lived a lot of life and have wisdom spewing out of them and are so eager to share life’s joys.
  • I grew to be good friends with many people who worked at my stores over these past years. But that one is kind of a double-edged sword because I love and adore them, but sometimes (most of the time) people have to move on, and this job made it really hard to keep those relationships, but I count it a blessing to have shared the many laughs, jokes, and life lessons with those people.
  • Sitting criss-cross-applesauce to reach the bottom shelves saved me great agony on those long days.
  • I have shaped a lot of my opinions about grocery stores based on my experiences working in them.
  • I’ve never seen so much cardboard, for real though, there was so much cardboard.
  • People are seriously so cool, I knew this before working for Frito Lay, but I’ve learned a lot about people and the way they operate just from being around so many of them.

There’s a whole lot more, maybe I’ll post them later, or maybe I won’t, but yeah, Frito Lay, it’s been so real and you’ve offered me a lot of cool experiences and have put me in just the right places to allow me to learn and grow in extreme ways. I’ll miss a lot, but also, let’s just put it out there, I’m excited to move on.