Saturday, February 21, 2009

Valentines Day (minus a week)


After a particularly calm night a week before valentines day, an older, native american woman came into the store. (For some reason, the couple of native americans who shop at my store love to point out their heritage, like, a lot.) She stumbled slowly in on her stocky little legs, made it past the icecream cooler and leaned a little on the corner of the counter that houses newspapers and a little lotto checker.

She asked me a few questions to the tune of "What time is it?" and "What day is it?" which I happily answered before she continued her shamble down the front aisle of the store. She smelled of cheap liquor, likely whiskey, and was positively obliterated. I smiled.

Stopping at a corner display(1) housing several 2'x3' horrible valentines day cards, she picked one up and inspected it. It is worth noting that these were the only seasonal or holiday related items we had whatsoever.

"Valentines day stuff? What the hell?" she asked. "The hell is this doing here?"

"Well, Valentines day is next friday, so there they are," I said, "Don't ask, I have no idea."

"OH GOD!! Valentines Day!" she yelped, scurrying into the chips aisle. "I... I forgot about valentines day! I wanted to get my son something!"

"Oh! Good thing you remembered then!" I put on the 'I'm respecting my elders!' hat.

"Do you have vienna sausages? He loves those! He absolutely loves those!" she called. Gross.

"Er, yeah. They're just down the aisle."

"Oh! I see them!" I could hear her fumbling through the shelf picking up a bunch of cans. She came back around the corner and to the counter with four cans of vienna sausages.

Vienna sausages, if you're not already familiar with them, are little pressed-particle-meat-product extruded into nasty little cut up hot dog shaped things and stewed in what I can only imagine is some ungodly combination high gravity lager and purified liquid heartburn. They were my highschool art teachers favorite thing to get as a present from students, because he delighted in seeing people squirm as he ate the foul things during class. I have never been brave enough to try them, much as I've never had the balls to try SPAM outside of some sort of Hawaiian sushi like deal.

"What is this?" she asked as she continued stumbling about the store, more hurriedly now than before. "Is that the only valentines day stuff you have?"


"None of those little heart candies?"


"No boxes of chocolate?"



"Not a very festive one?"

"I should complain to the owner!"

"You could do that."

"No chocolate?"

"Well we have chocolate, just not any holiday chocolate."

"Oh! Chocolate!" she blurted and made a bee-line to the candy aisle. I held back a bemused snort.

She proceded to wander the store talking to herself for about five minutes before returning to my counter.

"You're such an excellent clerk. You're so nice. Thank you honey, you're wonderful. Oh! A bag! Thank you so much oh you're just so nice! They should give you a raise." She said these things and more as I rang up her purchase. She appologized for being upset about the lack of valentines goodies, too.

"Oh shucks, and yes they should!" I happily chimed back, and she stumbled drunkenly out the door.

When she had finally made it outside and on her way, I noticed on the corner, out of my sight she had also brought four cans of vienna sausage, no doubt for her (apparently disgusting) son, and forgotten to buy them. I half grimaced and half smiled as I put them away and returned to boredom.

Those little cardboard stands that are always in the way and blocking the aisles? I call them corner displays because no one I work with has a fucking clue what their official name is. Not even my area manager. This bothers me.

1 comment:

  1. Off fixture displays (OFDs) or Merchandisable units (MUs) are what they're called here.