This is not the blog I wanted to write but, hey, the creative process sometimes just takes over.
I’m starving, like, going to eat my arm and the cats starving. I worked a five hour shift today. Such a short shift merits only a 15 (20 if you are cashier who has to deal with returns) minute break. I had enough time to munch on a banana and some cashews. I had to cover two 20 minute breaks at self checkout (SCO), the last of which ended at around 1 pm. My shift ended at 1:30 and I had to take a CBL (computer based learning) course that was due on 10/21. So, I was deployed to the training room to take the tobacco sales refresher. Oh the joy. I hate cigarettes. As a former smoker, I especially hate cigarettes.
I got to the training room and two of the three available computers were in use. We have four but, you know, COVID….social distancing. I started the course. The sound was blaring out of the computer speaker. Headphones were not properly inserted. I found out why the blaring noise. Headphones were not working. Grumble, grumble. I went back to the podium, up front, and consulted with my boss about snagging a new pair from electronics. She said, “Yeah, do that but, save me the bar code.” “Ok, will do.” I picked out the cheap headphones and returned to the training room. It turned to NOT be the headphones because the new pair wouldn’t work either. Damnit.
By then it was about 1:22. I had eight minutes and I had no idea how long the course was. The E-Commerce Department Leader was next to me and said, “Pam, I’m about to go to lunch, you can use this computer.” “Ok, but, I’m about to hit five hours without a clock out, will the computer lock me out like the cash registers do?, I asked her. “Ooh, I don’t know but, I don’t think so.” Whenever we work at least five hours we have to take a meal break or the register cuts us off. I’ve never had that happen-in four years there-so, I don’t know what happens if we are ringing an order when we go over five hours. The registers send out a text box that says something like this, “Operator approaching lockout.” We just clear it off but, it keeps reappearing. It would be pretty humorous if the register just quit-or maybe not. Anyway, it turned out that I did get the course done and got 100% on the quiz; it ain’t quantum mechanics. But, I clocked out ten minutes late. By then my stomach was banging on its walls screaming, “Hell-low, can we get some vittles down here?”
I’d already decided to bring my orthopedic doctor and his staff some sweet treats from the EVULL PUBLIX BAKERY. I was afraid I’d show up at the office with brownie frosting smeared all over my face (yes, I know, masks but, I never graduated completely from the wearing your food stage) and a half a box of brownies. Yeah, that would be tacky and cruel. Like I said, the Publix bakery is evil. But, I partially placated the stomach demons by eating two bananas.
I arrived at Dr. H’s office with the seals on both boxes of goodies in tact. I felt so accomplished. His receptionist was pleased with the treats and he was busy. Go figure. I was kind of relieved because he terrifies me; he’s an adorable, probably married man. So I just said, “Tell Dr. H. I said, ‘Hello,’”’and ran out.
NOW FOR THE PUBLIX IS EVIL PORTION OF THE STORY
By the time I’d arrived at my Publix in Winter Springs I could have eaten the upholstery off the seats in my car. High in fiber. I was there for milk, mushrooms and sub rolls. All I could think was: London Broil Boar’s Head sub. It was a loop in my head.
I headed to the deli first and did my usual apologies to the deli clerk, “You’re gonna hate me because you have to cut it but, I want Boar’s Head London Broil with one of the….Goud…no, make it Havarti (might as well go full fat)…the plain Havarti.” She graciously complied. Publix employees are pretty well compensated. They get lots of bonuses and stock dividends that begin accruing the second a new employee punches in for the first time. Consequently, most of their employees are happy. It was part of founder, George Jenkins’s, plan. His belief was that if he made his employees happy they would treat his/their customers well. He was a visionary and a Southerner way ahead of his time. I used to work for Publix but, my last store was a political mess and I just quit. I think my Lamictal (for bi-polar disorder) had begun to not work so well; I should have transferred.
While my deli clerk cut my beef and cheese I found sales. Oh yay. Open wallet, insert sucking device.
Tarragon chicken salad on sale-two for $8. This is the most amazing chicken salad I have ever eaten. I discovered it at my first Publix-in Port Charlotte. I worked in the deli there (hence, my guilt at having to ask clerks to cut my sandwich fixin’s- either that or residual Catholicism). I’ve tried to reproduce it. Nope, no go. I think it contains crack. To quote Dr. Stenmark, my hilarious Abnormal Psych professor at USF, “I don’t care who you are, if you do crack cocaine three times, you are gonna be addicted.” We’ll, I’m pretty addicted to this damn chicken salad.
I was about to roll out of the deli when I spied Boar’s Head Hummus on sale two for seven bucks. Damnit, throw in some more guilt by slapping those pink rimmed Breast Cancer Awareness lids on the containers. I succumbed to the power of the Everything Bagel flavor. Can’t Boar’s Head make something that is horrible, besides head cheese? I’m not eating anyone’s head cheese, except maybe if the head cheese people are paying off my student loans and giving me perpetual road trip money. And, that includes money for the brand new shiny metallic blue VW Tiguan because the bloody Volkswagen Fairy is on another bender, apparently.
The produce section is next to the deli. I found mushrooms on sale. They were the sliced ones which I usually don’t buy because they rot faster. I saved twenty cents. Whoohoo. My roommate and I are part hobbit; we love mushrooms.
I put on imaginary blinders on as I rolled past the Noosa Yogurts and went on to pluck my moo juice out of the fridge. I’m switching from 2% to 1%. One thing I learned from my Portland barista days is that milk cannot be labeled as, “low-fat,” unless it’s 1% or below.
Then I got my purified water and went to a cashier. Whew! Not a complete wallet cleaning this time.