“Reflection of the workplace in A&
P"Reflection of the Workplace in A&.P People are defined by the decisions they make in life because every person has a role they play, and they have desires, goals and needs they need to accomplish for themselves and their families. Therefore, in order to accomplish these desired goals and needs people have to work and in that case, people find that they spend most of the time in the workplaces. The workplace becomes a place where people attach themselves and learn to live with the surroundings as it helps in accomplishing the desired goals and needs in life for the family and an individual.
In A&. P by John Updike, there is a direct opposite of the reaction to the workplace in Sammy’s world because he see it as a dull and unchanging world that is a direct opposite of his personality. He wonders why Stokesie loves his job so much to the extent that he wants to become a manager of the A&. P (Updike, 342). Stokesie has a mission in life to become a manager of the A&.P because he will manage to feed his two children and wife as he will have a higher salary than when he is manning the lanes.
The workplace is a respectable place that every employee should respect, and every person who should come into the business should understand the nature of the business and respect both the employees and the customers. However, this is not the case with Queenie and the girls who walk in the store with Bikinis (Updike, 348). The customers of the store are saddened by the behavior of the girls. Sammy seems to appreciate how the girls are dressed to the extent of him quitting his job because the manager insults the girls (Updike, 352). Sammy does not see any fault in the way the girls are dressed because according to him they looked beautiful, and he admires then as they approach the counter. However, there is time for everything, and all things should be done at the stipulated place. Even though Sammy finds fault in Lengels statement when he tells the girls” this isn’t a beach” (Updike, 351), Lengel is not wrong because he understands that they are other respectable customers in the A&.P. Furthermore, such as dress code is for the beach and not any place of work.
Additionally, Sammy does not respect the customers in the shop as he constantly refers to them as animals. For example, he says, “the sheep pushing the carts down the aisles” (Updike, 349) and “Scared pigs in a chute” (Updike,). This is not the case for most employees as they are welcoming and ready to serve their customers. He further claims that in case there was a bomb in the shop the customers, would not even hear the sound because they are all starring the girls in a sheepish manner. Moreover, he describes his workplace in an offensive way where he states that makes the reader feel that the A&.P is not a place anyone would want to work (Updike, 350). There is nothing that Sammy appreciates about his life because everything that is happening to him is wrong including his place of work.
The decisions people make help in shaping their future and for that reason, it is important to make decisions that benefit oneself. In that, although Sammy is not happy in his work place he should ensure that before he quits he has found another place to work. When he tells the manager, he quits he is trying to please the girls only to look and see that the girls have already left. He states “so I say to Lengels quick enough for them to hear, hoping they’ll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero” (Updike, 351). Therefore, when it comes to decision making the decision people make should be for their benefit, and not to please other people. At the end of the story, Sammy regrets his decisions where he says ”My stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be me hereafter”(Updike, 352).
People are from different backgrounds, and when people go to the workplace, they are bound to meet every kind of a person. Therefore, it is always good to ensure that we do not compare the life we have or we want to have with those of others we see. For example, Sammy’s parents depended on the salary that he got as a cashier at A &. P. The manager reminds him severally that the decision to quit will devastate his parents, but he does not listen. Lengels says to Sammy” You don’t want to this to your mom and dad” (Updike, 352). Sammy admires the life of Queenie and that of his fields forgetting that they come from an affluent family, and they do not have to work to support their parents. Therefore, people should learn how to live their lives because they are the only people who understand their goals and desires in life.
Updike, John. "A &. P." Literature and the Writing Process Boston: Longman, 2011. 348-352. Print.