Chris Traverse

  • Age: 21 /
  • Born: Placentia
  • OCCUPATION: Cashier, North Atlantic Orange Store /
  • Hours: 40 PER Week /
  • Salary: $12 per hour

“It’s your standard kind of job,” says Traverse. “There’s not a whole to hate about it, but there’s not a whole lot to love about it. You come to work and do your thing, talk to people, be pleasant. You get through it.”

Landed the job

A friend talked to his manager about him wanting a job. Went in to the store and got hired later that day.

Responsibilities

Deal with customers, tend cash, keep shelves stocked, including coolers and windshield wash outside.

Monthly expenses

Traverse says his expenses are very close to what he makes a month. “I have a car, insurance, gas, rent, and I’m saving for school.”

Enjoys earnings

Saving to attend trade school. Playing electric guitar with his band Skies Ablaze.

Best part

”The hours are good. I usually get my weekends off because I’ve been here for a while,” says Traverse.

Most challenging

“The Nevadas: the break-open tickets. Some people are pretty into them, unfortunately. They spend a lot of money and you see a lot of money go to waste ... These same people, they keep coming back and they keep spending more and more money with what they’ve won, and they never seem to get enough, and it wears on you to be honest.”

Future plans

Attending the Union Hall Pipe fitting course. Work in Newfoundland and Labrador or Alberta. “I like to be hands on. It opens a lot of doors,” he says.

WHAT THE BOSS SAYS

North Atlantic Orange Store Manager Dominica Tuff says working the front cash is the best training ground young people can get to prepare them for the rest of their lives.

“You are dealing with customers, you’re dealing with people, and you’re dealing with irate customers. You’re dealing with the good, the bad and the ugly. If you can’t do this, this is the basis for whatever you choose to do in your lifetime,” Tuff says.

She says she was able to work up the corporate ladder, but those same opportunities are fewer for the generation coming up.

“I’m not saying the motivation isn’t there, but I’m glad they are going to university, and getting other things because sometimes when these positions fill [like mine], they tend to keep them.”

Crime and staffing: 24-hour challenge

David Button is the retail operations manager for North Atlantic. He says the company is meeting the challenge of busier times on the northeast Avalon and staying open 24 hours a day.

“We offer training, robbery prevention programs through the RNC,” says Button. “We’re trying to be proactive. We have 16 cameras - cameras in every direction.”

To meet the demand, the company advertises a starting wage above minimum wage. Working as a cashier pays $12 an hour to full-time employees. Part-time workers receive $11 an hour. A benefits package is also provided to full-time staff.

“We have been very successful in all honestly,” says Button. “Our turnover rate is lower than the norm.”

He says Orange Stores have been most successful hiring a mix of young and more mature workers. “Lots of times, more mature people are looking for full-time hours and students are looking for part-time hours, evenings, weekends.”