Yesterday I went to the grocery store. Not the meat and potatoes grocery store that I frequented long before my naturopath got his hands on my diet but the grocery store that sells only overpriced organic produce. The grocery store that requires a two bus commute. And the grocery store that charges me extra money whenever I ask for a bag because I never bring a reusable one.
It is at this grocery store that the cashiers make me feel like I am the cause of global warming and every other natural disaster that is befalling our planet. Actually, it is one cashier in particular whose indifferent smirk, aloof stare, and total disregard for my witty banter that makes me feel this way. She does not smile, she does not laugh, nor does she talk to me. Rather, she talks over me to the customers behind me who are almost always holding bicycle helmets and reusable shopping bags.
I try to avoid these encounters but I almost always duped by bad timing. Whenever I unload my produce onto the conveyor belt waiting for a more kindly cashier to fondle my purchases they are always relieved of their duty – just before I am to be rung up – by my cashiering nemesis. I silently beg them to stay with my puppy dog eyes but they do not.
So my items are left in the hands of my nemesis. She looks at each item with the careful scrutiny of a research scientist. And even though she does not make her thoughts known to me I can see in her eyes that she is judging my selections. Pears – too big for one serving; apples – bruised and too much sugar – even though it is natural sugar; celery – not worth the effort and no nutritional value, and roasted cashews – salt induced heart attack waiting to happen. I dread these encounters.
But yesterday I believed we had a breakthrough. Even though my cashiering nemesis smirked indifferently, spoke to the man behind me – holding his own bicycle helmet and those of his three kids, all under the age of five, and scrutinized my produce, we had a moment. She, without speaking directly to me, acknolwedged her admiration by giving me a 10 percent discount on my bill.
When I looked at the screen and discovered this discount I smiled broadly content in the knowledge that this cashier liked me. She really, really liked me. So before I left with my grcoeries I winked at her in an effort to silently acknowledge the favor she was doing for me. She just stared.
Then on my way out the door I glanced at the sign promoting a ten percent discount for all customers on that day - customer appreciation day. Needless to say, I can never go back.