Life + Arts

A day in the life of a c-store lead cashier

When students mention that the UC Satellite c-store doesn’t offer certain supplies or when students crave new snacks, lead cashier Mary A. Cooper works hard to satisfy their needs.

Lead cashier of the UC Satellite c-store Mary Cooper has been working at UH since 1999. Throughout the summer, Cooper is the sole worker. “All these years, I haven’t encountered a true problem,” Cooper said. “I really cherish my job here.” | Monica Tso/The Daily Cougar

Although the store opens at 7 a.m. throughout the school year, Cooper arrives at 6:30 a.m. everyday to ensure that a full inventory of snacks, drinks and supplies are available for students.

“I enjoy this job, and it’s a great place to work. I love being around the crowd of students,” Cooper said.

“It’s my home away from home. Even after vacation, I’m always well-rested and eager to come back to school.”

With her relatives living in Third Ward, Cooper spends much of her time in the area. She attended Texas Southern University for several years and received a nursing license from Prairie View A&M University.

After her mother passed, she decided that nursing wasn’t her forte.

“I started as a part-time cashier back in 1999. After my children went to college, I had an empty nest and I’ve been full time ever since.” Cooper said.

Cooper, who asks for autographs instead of signatures during checkout, said she stresses the importance of staying positive.

“Everyone has bad days; it’s understandable. Here, it’s all about keeping customers happy,” Cooper said.

“Asking for autographs can brighten their day,” Cooper said. “If you come in here, you’re famous to me.”

Cooper insists that after 14 years, she doesn’t have complaints about the job.

“I try my best to be a problem-solver, and so far, there hasn’t been a problem that doesn’t have a solution. In all the years I’ve worked here, there has been only one incident when a student cursed at me, but that’s it,” Cooper said.

She has both accumulated countless memories and revisited a few of her best moments while working at UH.

“I remember the day Beyoncé and her mother visited back in October 2011. My daughter was so excited. I also remember when Obama visited Houston in 2012,” Cooper said.

“For me, everyday is a new, lasting memory.”

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