one of my favourite books in middle school was a young adult book called "hope was here".
it's about a girl named hope that lives with her aunt. her aunt is a diner cook and all of the diners they work for keep flopping, so they move all over the country constantly. hope becomes a waitress and they move to wisconsin when she's sixteen. she thinks she's going to hate it... but then she gets swept up in a political rally.
it's a really good book, okay?
anyway, hope's been a waitress for a few years and it's something she picked up from her mom, who abandoned her when she was a baby, blah blah blah.
and she says this about working in restaurants: "you see the best and worst of people when you're waitressing."
THE SAME CAN BE TRUE WHEN YOU'RE A PRODUCER AT KROGER.
first off, let's talk about the word producer.
kroger description of producer: get paid minimum wage to cut fruit, haul heavy boxes and carts, and dump vegetables and fruits into their proper bins. answer customer questions and find things for them in the back. apologise when we're out. (that goes badly and is kind of the point of this post.)
linkedin's description of producer: COME TO HOLLYWOOD AND DO SOME ENTERTAINMENT STUFF
no, linkedin, no.
anyway, where i'm going with this is that hope says that you see the best and worst of people and parenting in restaurants and i see it at kroger.
EMILY'S KROGER PEOPLE OF THE WEEK
i think it was... last week? i was working the salad wall, which is my primary job besides slicing strawberries for eight hours.
the salad wall is where all the bagged and packaged salads are. i spend all day stocking bagged and packaged salads, vegetables, and weird protein booster drinks that look delicious. i'm also in charge of the packaged mushrooms.
so i'm stocking the wall and this lady comes up to me and she looks furreal angry. it's nine thirty at night on a sunday and she's like, where are your individual lemons?
i direct her to where the lemons are. there are not any lemons left. i tell her i'll go check in the back for them.
me: DO WE HAVE LEMONS
me: ARE YOU SHITTING ME
so i go back out and do my little apology spiel and here's how this goes over
me: i am so sorry, but we are currently out of stock for individual lemons. we do have bagged lemons if that's something that you're interested in.
lemon lady: you're out of fucking lemons?
me: i'm sorry-
lemon lady: I NEED TO MAKE LEMON ZEST. I NEED TWO LEMONS. NOT A BAG.
me: again, i'm terribly-
lemon lady: I CAN'T BUY A BAG OF LEMONS, THAT'S TOO FUCKING EXPENSIVE. I GUESS I'LL GO TO EARTH FARE THEN.
me: ... is there anything else i can help you with?
on thursday morning i was having a really good morning. which means that i found all of the salads that i needed in the freezing cooler before my fingers fell off and this really nice guy took the time to read my name tag and thanked me personally, which boostered my morale like, eight hundred percent.
this middle aged guy approaches me. there's hardly anybody in the store because it's nine in the morning on a thursday and he looks super distraught. he's like, WHERE ARE YOU AVOCADOES
at kroger, we're taught to drop everything we're doing and help the customer. we're not supposed to point to where things are, we're supposed to guide them. it's part of the fresh and friendly initiative for customer satisfaction and such. so i walk the guy over the avocadoes and say, "is there anything else i can help you with?"
he stares at me expectantly.
like a puppy.
(i wish he'd been this cute.)
i can't figure out why he's staring at me. then he says, "i need six soft avocadoes."
and it dawns on me.
he wants me to select his avocadoes for him.
so i start feeling up the avocadoes looking for soft ones and he starts going on this huge longwided spiel about how he and his wife are going to the lake this weekend and he's making his famous avocado dip but he's never actually bought his own avocadoes and he doesn't know anything about them, just that they need to be soft and he needs six of them and he doesn't trust his weird constipated man knowledge to pick them out himself because obviously fruit and vegetable picking is for women.
i smile and nod and give him six avocadoes and ask him if he needs anything else.
of course. he needs cilantro.
guess who picked out his cilantro bunch.
when i went back to the prep room, i told laura, a middle aged lady that cuts fruit, about him and she looks at me and says, "what a dipshit."
today this little boy, he was maybe two or three, was sitting in the approved part of the cart (DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY KIDS I SEE RIDING IN CARTS IMPROPERLY? THEY'RE PARENTS ARE GOING TO KILL THEM ACCIDENTALLY) and his grandpa was pushing him. i was stocking bananas and he yelled BANANA and then noticed me. his grandpa said, "can you say hi?" and he gave me a little wave and smiled at me and it was SO CUTE.
then his grandpa says, "can you say broccoli?" and he got EXTRA SHY and tried to hide but there was nowhere to go so he put his fingers over his eyes. his grandpa told me that broccoli was his favourite vegetable.
way to go, kid.
i gave him a high five and told him that my favourite vegetable is peas and he went YUCK and then his grandpa took him away before i could kidnap him.
OVERLY NICE SALAD LADY
today about ten minutes before my shift ended, this lady came up to me like, "yo where are your 20 oz garden salads" and i was like, "we're out of stock, i'm so sorry."
i'm expecting her to be like, "WAHHH I GUESS I'LL GO SOMEWHERE ELSE" but instead she goes, "oh that's totally fine i'll come back tomorrow, have a nice day"
WHAT A NICE PERSON. LIKE, SERIOUSLY.
again, today, this nice old lady comes up to me. i'm by the strawberry bin and they're two for five dollars.
she says, "i'm so embarrassed that i have to ask this, but if the strawberries are two for five, what's the price of one?"
AND I WAS STUMPED, YOU GUYS.
it took me a good thrity seconds before i said, "that would be two fifty, ma'am" and she winks at me and says, "see, i'm not the only one who's not good at math. i've never been good at math. i'm horrible at it. it's something i've never told my children but now i've told you and i feel like i can die happy because i told someone i'm bad at math."
she didn't buy the strawberries.
there are some really interesting people at grocery stores.
the best and worst of humanity.
i'm really hoping that i won't be at kroger for much longer, since i'm applying for a big kid job in big rapids like a big kid. (big big big!)
but before i venture out into the world and leave this hellhole behind, how many more interesting people am i going to encounter?