Bait and switch and other tales

My first star card for being complimented by a customer.

Hmm, where to begin this blog? I guess I could start by saying that my new job is turning out to be a little underwhelming. Is that the correct word? I’m not sure.

Again, let me stress that I am grateful to be done with Walmart. I am grateful to be employed and have have any income at all. Walmart is a company that is contrary to my spirit. Sprouts is more aligned with my spirit but, there is some friction, on the store level.

I feel as though I was interviewed by one lady and am working for her twin who is slightly….evil. That’s not the right word either. She seemed much more warm and fuzzy during my phone and in-person interviews.

It’s an odd feeling but, I feel as though she’s kind of envious that since I began two months ago, I’ve had five customers tell managers they thought I was awesome. This last time it was an elderly woman who was with a lady a little older than me. The younger one was the daughter. I knew that because she referred to the older lady as,”mom.” They bought almost $260 worth of groceries-this was Monday night.

I saw them approach, Isabelle (not her real name), and speak to her. I know these women are regulars because when I was ringing their order, Isabelle walked by and they greeted each other with familiarity. On their way out, the women stopped by my register and told me, “We just told your boss you were wonderful.” “Thank you so much. You’re so sweet,” I replied.

Isabelle has yet to inform me of this event. It happened three days ago. I’ve worked with her for at least part of my shifts both yesterday and today. This is not the first time someone complimented me to her and never heard a word about it from her. On my first solo shift-one in which I worked after only ringing five orders the previous day as my, “training”- a customer called the store to speak to my boss to brag about me. I would not even have known except for regular cashier, Jessie (not her real name), who answered the phone and had to page Isabelle. This happened after I’d gone for the day. Jessie told me about it the next day I saw her.

How rude. If I’m in charge of a crew I always pass on compliments. Interestingly, the General Manager, George (not his real name), seems to love me. When a customer went to him and complimented me-in front of me and subsequent customers-it was an entirely different story. He congratulated me and wrote out a star card for me, which is a reward management doles out to regular team members. Star cards are worth $5. George even said to me, “Now that’s worth five dollars and you won’t get change back so, make sure you get your five bucks worth.”

He does seem to have more class than Isabelle.

So, that’s just one reason I’m feeling as though I need to set myself higher. This is the way I see it: there are assholes everywhere. Every job has its jerks and rude or mean people who may be in charge. I don’t expect to work in a totally jerk-free environment. That is absolutely unrealistic. However, I have to compare the level of dissatisfaction to the degree of reward. If retail was my dream career and I was well paid, I would shake this off easier. But, I am working a job for less than $13 an hour and I’m selling myself short; compromising my soul by not feeding it joy. If I was working as a journalist or author or professor or photographer- and was getting a true COGNITIVE reward besides a healthy monetary reward-I would not feel so insulted by her attitude. The cognitive and spiritual reward would, at least, partially mitigate the insult.

I witnessed Isabelle rudely correcting one of my co-workers today. I believe his version because I’ve never seen this guy, Bob, for this story, slack off or misbehave. Isabelle scolded him for looking at his phone while at his register. I must note that he had zero customers anywhere near his register. He said he was silencing the ringer which he forgot to do after clocking in; he had arrived only moments earlier. I wholeheartedly believe him. I’ve worked with him a lot and have never seen him poking around on it. Isabelle was rude enough to correct him in front of me and other employees. Not cool. Not professional in the least.

This event reminded me of how much I want to write at home or, even just work another meaningless job from home.

I did some googling on my lunch break.

It was interesting that all these content writing jobs are for companies in India.

I’ve always believed being paid to do something you love is obtainable. I think this is a goal that is not encouraged in almost every culture but, probably more so in very capitalistic societies. I will go to my grave at least trying to have that kind of life. Creatives NEED to be creative.

And, creativity is not solely the bedrock of the arts. Creativity exists within the sciences. Creativity includes problem solving.


There are a lot of good things about my job at Sprouts. For starters, I’m meeting fruits and veggies I’ve only heard rumors of and learning about how people eat their turnips or rutabagas or lemongrass or Chinese eggplant. I’ve encountered golden beets; I never knew they existed. This week we got these tiny kiwis that are not fuzzy and are about the size of grape tomatoes. We have pink lemons that are mostly yellow but have green lengthwise stripes. I’ve finally seen what lemongrass looks like. We have both pink and golden dragon fruit. I’ve seen the inside of a jicama because we sell it chunked in clear plastic containers that are prepared in the produce department

Lordy, we have a lot of varieties of apples. We have golden opals, pink ladies and cosmic frost apples. The honey crisp apples are bigger than softballs right now.

Onions have also been pumping iron. Earlier today I rang up a yellow onion that weighed 1.7 pounds.

I’ve become addicted to a couple of things we sell. One of them is an apple. Go figure. They’ve never been my favorite fruit, except maybe as juice or pie. Before working at Sprouts I’d heard rumors of snap dragon apples. One day I bought an opal and a snap dragon. The opal was very good but, I went nuts over the snap dragon. It’s just different.

A complaint I always had about apples is that so many of them are pithy-that grainy texture-and taste kind of dry. The snap dragons we carry are from New York and are sweet with a great texture. I’ve been bringing one or two home every shift I work. Cut into wedges and eaten with tiny chunks of cheese, they are a dinner side dish. So far, I’ve eaten them with fontina, smoked gouda, gruyere, cheddar and havarti. I think I liked the gouda the best.

The snap dragon apple I ate tonight. I actually always felt kind of guilty not really liking apples they are such a healthy food. Also, it seems so unAmerican to dislike apples.

We also sell a wide variety of soups that are not sold in typical grocery stores. Many of the soups we have made by Pacific Foods. The company is based in Tualatin, Oregon, which is southwest of Portland. Unfortunately, I discovered that they were bought by Campbell Foods but, I think the parent company basically lets Pacific be Pacific. I’d eaten their butternut squash soup before and it’s very good but, I tried a weird one that sounded interesting. Cashew Carrot Ginger soup-I’m definitely addicted. It’s delicious. I had that for dinner.

Today I tried something I’ve been trying to avoid but, I knew today, after work, was going to be challenging so, I treated myself. The bakery makes cookies everyday and for impulse buys at each register is a metal basket the bakery crew stocks with individually wrapped brownies and two kinds of cookies: regular chocolate chip and chocolate salted caramel chip . Oh my God. I got one of these pancake sized cookies at my lunch break. Luckily, I ran out of break time and couldn’t finish it. I brought it home and ate the rest of it for a snack. They are evil. I will have to try hard to ignore them.

The remainder of my lunch time cookie.

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