I hate Publix.
No I don’t.
I worked for them for a total of about seven years. I started with them in Port Charlotte-the huge one on Peachland. I began as a deli clerk. Talk about a fricking physical job. I think we had 12 slicers-at least 10. I once weighed the carrier part of the slicers. This is the part where the item, cheese or meat or vegetables, sits to be sliced. I’m sure that is not it’s technical term but, anyway, that part alone weighed eight pounds. You can just imagine how difficult it was to close down the deli each night. We were always the last department out the door at 11:00-11:30 pm. Later on “case night.” That’s when every hunk of cheese or deli meat was removed from the case, which was probably 15 to 20 feet long, and put into the walk-in coolers. Every removable part of the inside of that deli case was washed in the sinks and the inside of the case was literally hosed out first with soapy water, then plain water and then sanitizer. Then it was all put back together and refilled with deli meat and that was stashed in the walk-ins. For most of the time I worked there, I had to change into cycling clothes and ride my road bike home. I actually liked that ride. It was very quiet. When he could, Brian rode his bike up to ride home with me. Cycling is like a drug for him-still.
Wow, did this veer off. It was supposed to be one of my goofy stories on another experience at the store known for, “Where shopping is a pleasure.”
The Big Green P, I stole that nickname from this cool deli co-worker. I think her name was, Gail. She had a VW Beetle. It was sunshiny yellow and she loved it. She knew Brian and I wanted one. One day when I was going on break she pulled her keys out of her pocket and threw them at me and said in her fun Boston accent, “heruh, take it fora rahd.” I squealed, “Really?” I did take it for a ride and I fell in love.
However, my experience working in a Publix deli isn’t why Publix is evil.
It’s evil because I went in there today for toothpaste. Including ten bucks cash back I spent 70 bucks. Crest ain’t THAT expensive, folks.
I made the mistake of needing to tinkle before shopping. That meant I had to go to the rear of the store. Those retail building planning devils. They apply Organizational Psychology to the store layout and do that so customers can peruse the sale signs on the way to the potty. This makes my alma mater evil too. University of South Florida has one of the best (and first) graduate I-O Psych ( that’s Industrial-Organizational) programs in the country.
My unconscious soaked in the sales: chocolate, cheese, juice and, oh look, toothpaste. Yay!
I went through the produce department on my way to get a cart. I grabbed bananas, Bing cherries ( my favorite!) and blueberries, which were on sale. Still on the way to get a cart I spied deli sales. Damn Boar’s Head. Eergh.
I got my cart and stuff just flew into it. Community Coffee was BOGO. It tastes good but, you have to fiddle with the ground version, if you have a cone or basket drip maker because the beans are ground just a hair too course but, not course enough for French Press. We have a Mr. Coffee maker that is a basket drip. So. I always put an extra scoop of coffee into the filter basket when I brew.
The coffee was in a big bin next to another big bin of BOGO Thomas’s English Muffins. Ooh, look there is blueberry and corn. In they went.
I rolled over to the deli and saw that Boar’s Head Irish Cheddar was on sale but, I found the cheddar next to the Boar’s Head Fontina. Oh drool, drool. It wasn’t on sale but, it was cheaper by weight. I tossed it into my cart. I love cheddar but, like anything else, if something is slightly less common or more weird, I’m all over it. This extends to my taste in men. And, I wonder why I have bizarre romantic experiences. Sheesh.
I pushed away from the cheese case, that I used to call the, “cheese explosion,” when I worked in the deli. That’s exactly what it looks like. It’s a coffin cooler (grocery jargon for, “long, narrow, lidless cooler”) that is almost perpetually disorganized. I wormed my way through other coffin coolers till I reached Hummus World. Stupid Boar’s Head hummus was on sale. Ooh, I think I’m in the mood for Traditional. Now, I had hummus so I needed Pop Corners chips. They are chips made from popcorn and are triangular shaped. They are evil. Never, never buy these, Never ever eat them. Do as I say, not as I do. This is one reason why I have no human children. Well, that’s one reason. Another reason is that we’d be conducting too many food experiments in the microwave. I’d be going through a lot of microwaves and be on a first name basis with all the local fire fighters. Wouldn’t be pretty. Oh yeah, then there’s all that pelvic pain.
Before leaving the deli a package of the Publix Tarragon Chicken Salad threw itself into my cart. I didn’t notice until I was walking to the check out area. Gremlins. Publix should really call pest control and, maybe, a shaman.
I was magnetically drawn to the candy aisle where I found a new chocolate product. Snacking chocolate Bark named, “Bark Thins,” Oh goodie, they are on BOGO. I grabbed coconut and mint. I’m trying to go for the chocolate that isn’t in the form of cake, brownies or cookies. I’m sure this plan will eventually fail miserably.
My store travels brought me past the BOGO oatmeal that was also next to the BOGO Community Coffee in the bins up front in BOGO World. At least I got the reduced sugar versions. I will probably have to add honey.
Toothpaste, oh crap, that’s why I’m here. I went over and snatched some Crest. While I was in that aisle an employee was making an announcement about something in the seafood department. Oh, Geeze, my mustard sauce! I’m addicted to this sauce that is usually served with Stone Crab claws in restaurants in these parts that emphasize Florida cuisine. I eat it with ALL my seafood or on sandwiches.
Of course, I wasn’t done. The dairy case is right next to the seafood case. I spied butter. We had less than a stick at home and margarine is an abomination. I refuse to eat it.
I headed to the checkout. I hadn’t brought any bags because I was just getting toothpaste. I asked for double paper. I put paper recycling into those bags.
$63.16, plus ten bucks for gas and a lottery ticket. Oh yay. I did donate a buck to Special Olympics. If I was rich, it would be a lot more.