A lot has happened since my last blog about life at the till at a local grocery story. As you can well imagine, the last three weeks have produced some very unexpected turns of events. All of a sudden, I started to go home feeling weary, sore, and beginning to second-guess my original decision to go back to work after six years of retirement. For one, my queries as to what was starting to insidiously affect body – painful feet, throbbing elbow and wrist – were starting to pile up to the point that I needed answers. In the staff room was a hard-to-miss poster that became the starting point for my inquiry. It showed a diagram of a wrist inflamed from repetitive stress action. Below it was another picture detailing the making of a small muscle tear at the base of the elbow, indicating the start of tendinitis. Checking out these two problems later on the internet, I discovered that both were interconnected through the sheath of muscles in the forearm. Sudden lifting, torquing and flipping of wrists across the scanner could result in serious joint damage like carpel-tunnel syndrome and inflammation of the ganglia in the wrists, or tennis elbow, both chronically painful. My immediate solution was to don a wrist brace that Belle bought to help her through an earlier Colles fracture. When that only eased the strain, I got management to open a medical claim and reassign me to lighter duties on the express lane. That seemed to work until the other day when I started to develop hot spots on my quads, followed shortly afterwards by a throbbing pain in my heels. Right away, I knew the evil plantar fasciitis was back. Two months of continual standing on a hard floor with little chance to move has resulted in this aggravation, which I now have to treat with my own form of deep muscle massaging. At that point, I decided to do the honorable thing and give my employer notice’ knowing full well that the majority of my fellow cashiers and grocery clerks suffer from similar complaints of varying degrees. It is just part of the job that fewer and fewer people want to do for donkey wages. Today, I received the best news a Valentine’s Day can bring; the company has agreed to cover my final days on the job in recognition that they don’t want to see me sustain any more damage. I have to humbly concede, even though I have learned a lot, that grocery clerking may not be suitable for old men.