I Smell Like Christmas and Biscuits

This is my third year to work at Cracker Barrel in Athens over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
I work in the gift shop, I can’t tell you how glad I am that I do not work with the food. I usually describe my job as follows: I get to smile and talk to people. If you know me those are two things I do VERY well, maybe a little too well.  Most days I am excited to go to work.
I really like working at Cracker Barrel for the month I work there each year. Especially when my other jobs require me sitting behind a desk most of the time looking at excel spreadsheets or preparing letters.
Like any job there are some days that I wish I didn’t work at Cracker Barrel. Like When they tell me I am working Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve.
Or even worse my freshman year of college on my very first day of work I was informed that I was scheduled to work DURRING the Iron Bowl. It was 2009, we were 11-0 going into the Iron Bowl. I had been to every home game, watched every away game and I was going to miss the biggest game of the year!?!?! Let’s just say I cried about that one when I got to the car.
But other than a few exceptions I love Cracker Barrel! It is not required but I try to greet EVERY single person who comes in, so somedays I do get tired of saying “Hello!!! Welcome to Cracker Barrel!”, and “Welcome In”…
*Random Tangent- for some reason “welcome in” doesn’t sound right if you think about it. I’m not sure that it is gramatically incorrect, but it sounds weird if you think about it (so don’t think about it or judge me).
but a lot of people who come in do not look very happy (this is both customers and fellow employees) so maybe a smiling face is all they need.
On a typical day at the Cracker Barrel there are a number of things I can expect to experience:

  1. Straighten up the toy corner after a mob of rambunctious children have visited it

  2. Answer the phone a few times

  3. Say “Welcome to Cracker Barrel” like a broken record

  4. Clean the windows on the door that seem to make their own finger prints

  5. Be asked what the price is of an item (when the price tag is on the product)

  6. Be told by a customer how many people are in their party (please see hostess)

  7. Wrap presents, presents and more presents (including all shapes and sizes EVEN a rocking chair for one lady)

  8. Be hit on by the older men who come in for breakfast

  9. Accidentially greet someone who you have already greeted once and be reminded “we have been here for a while now” (Is there anything wrong with being welcomed twice? Maybe I am really happy you are here?)

  10. Straighten the toy corner a few more times

But at the end of my shift no matter how crazy the day has been I clock out and walk to the back of the parking lot to my car: smiling, covered in glitter
smelling like
 Like I said, I like my job. Its definitely not something I want to make a career of, but right now it is a nice break from school work. Also working in Athens I see pretty much everyone I know and usually meet and observe some interesting people.
So if you are in Athens, Alabama over the next month, stop in. I’ll be sure to give you a hearty “Welcome to Cracker Barrel!” or an awkward “Welcome In”. You can tell me how many are in your party or that you want a to-go menu, I can’t help you, but like with everyone I will smile and point you in the right direction.

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