November 10, 2005

'employee' of the month

It seems that I've become a floating customer service representative at my local Key Food. Now, as it is, I'm already one of those people forlorn tourists stop in the street and subway to ask for directions. I'm assuming it's because I've got that knowledgeable-and-self-assured-yet-approachable look about me. If you ask me where Little Italy is, you can be confident that I'll not only get you there, I also won't beat your ass for daring to make eye contact with me. I'm very good that way.

So, back to Key Food... As I've stated before on this here blog, I'm tall (5'8") so I've helped my fellow shoppers out more than once by extending my gangly arms to grab the desired can of Manwich or the bag of Solo cups from the top shelf.

I love my height and I welcome the opportunity to put it to good use. By the by, it also comes in handy when I want to make some men feel inadequate. I ain't one of them man-hating types but every now and then I do like to chalk up a quiet victory on behalf of all females who've been dicked around. HOO-RAH!

In addition to fetching out-of-reach items, I've also been approached by consumers for product advice. Like, strangers find me trustworthy and crap. So, at the request of fellow shoppers, I've given informal reviews of scrod, Stroehmann Honey Cracked Wheat bread and Francesco Rinaldi tomato sauce. I even helped a poor dude pick out tampons for his girlfriend who, no doubt, was holed up in the bathroom until he returned home with the goods.

Last night I swung by the grocery store to pick up some milk and toilet paper. As I made a beeline for the Scott Tissue, a woman sporting a head wrap and a thick accent asked for my assistance. She pointed to the bright yellow sale sign taped to the shelf and said, "Yes, which of these is two for $5?"

"Hmmm, let me see... oh, it's the Double Quilted Northern, four pack." I spotted it on the shelf and handed it to her. She took it and then proceeded to squeeze it in such a way that would have given Mr. Whipple a coronary.

"No, I don't like this," she declared bluntly.

"Yeah, it's not good for the plumbing." Realizing that it could be misconstrued as a digestive double entendre, I clarified my statement: "I mean, it's thick and can clog up the pipes and stuff."

"What about that?" she asked while pointing to the Key Food generic toilet paper.

"Hmm... that stuff is kind of scratchy. I prefer this," I advised while picking up the Scott Tissue.

"Yes, I know that Scott is the best but how much is this?" she asked, again referring to the generic sandpaper-y stuff.

Clearly, this woman mistook my denim jacket for a Key Food smock and I was now in it for the long haul. I bent down and moved a few rolls out of the way to find the sticker on the shelf. "59 cents," I informed her.

"How do you know that?" she asked in a somewhat incredulous tone.

"Well, the price is right there. See? 59 cents," I explained while pointing to the sticker.

"Now how much is this? Is this one on sale?" she asked in reference to an enormous 24-pack of Marcal paper towel shrink-wrapped (shrunk-wrapped?) together.

"Uh, I'm not really sure. Why don't you get a circular and see if it's advertised?"

That is when I became useless to the woman. "Eh, you don't work here. I ask for real help."

She muttered a half-assed thank you, turned on her heel and walked away. Whatever. I just shrugged, grabbed my T.P. and headed towards the milk aisle where I encountered the same woman's son (he was her total Mini Me) horsing around on a shopping cart.

I excused myself and tried squeezing through the limited opening he left and then wham! The cart whirled around, rammed me right in the thigh and pinned me against the meat case.

Accidents happen but that fucker didn't even say he was sorry. So, I shoved the cart -- with the fucker still on it -- into the Herr's display. Um, apologies in advance to my neighbors if your potato chips are crushed.

I hate that kid. He was hogging up the whole aisle acting like a real asshole. I could just tell he was a real shit punk* who gets away with murder. He won't for long though because if he keeps that crap up, he's going to get clobbered. His mother best pick up some of that quilted toilet paper because his ass is going to need something a bit more forgiving after it gets kicked repeatedly.

Oh and, Key Food? I hereby demand a consulting fee... and workmen's comp. Now pay up before I start picketing.

* Shit punk is a term coined by my friend Beth's 6-year-old son. He was being picked on in school by some douche bag and got so frustrated that he grabbed two words from his vocabulary, mashed them together into an insult and unleashed it. Of course, the teacher overheard and told Beth. Naturally, she advised her son not to speak like that but she gave her own friends permission to go forth and spread her son's brand-new put-down to the masses. Shit punk -- use it often and well.