Still not Enlightened / Further Adventures, pt. 2

I drove to Ralph’s supermarket. Normally, I would have walked, but I had been working a lot and was a bit tired. I don’t shop at Ralph’s all that much anymore. It’s so expensive. There was a time when I did all my shopping there. I was either unconscious or Ralph’s was a better store at one time. I used to live in a one-bedroom apartment just up the street and I used Ralph’s like my personal refrigerator. When you live in a one-bedroom apartment with 3 musicians you don’t leave anything in the refrigerator. So when I wanted to eat, I walked a half block down the street and walked into my personal giant refrigerator and pantry and got what I needed.

Lately, I only buy one or two things from Ralph’s. I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s cheaper and the employees seem happier, which leads me to believe they are better treated or are not drug tested.

Anyway, I park in the Ralph’s parking lot and get out of my car. As I shut the door, I realize – too late – that my keys are still in the car. My car is not idiot-proof, obviously. Anyway, I say fuck it. I have a hide-a-key on my bumper in the event of such and incident. So I’ll use that after I do my shopping. I don’t want to get my hide-a-key out (which is then no longer hidden), get my keys out of the car and then go in. What if someone sees my hide-a-key spot and decides to steal my 17-year-old car that runs a little funky in 1st gear? I decide I’ll deal with it when I get back. I say some curse word out loud to myself and walk in the store.

I grab what I need and walk right past the personless check-out machines. I think people should have jobs if they want them and I am going to encourage this by checking out the old-fashioned way, even if the people working at Ralph’s are not as happy – or whatever – as the Trader Joe’s employees. As I’m waiting in line, a girl walks in the door. She’s on her phone and talking really loud.

I’m a little tired and still a bit pissed about the keys locked in the car thing so I just put my head down and look at my feet. Cause I know me, and if I get a chance, in the mood I’m in, it’s going to be hard not to give her the evil eye and get all judgemental. Which is rarely productive.  Why do I care if she’s on the phone? But the voice keeps getting louder as she walks more and more in my direction. I keep saying to myself, “It’s a semi-free country. She can be on the phone if she likes.” Although I really want to scream. I just keep looking at my shoes. I can’t believe how close she is getting to me. She is standing right next to me talking on her fucking phone. I can hear every word she is saying. Then she says, “Can you hold on a second?” And she takes the phone away from her ear and she says, “Excuse me.” I look up and say, “Yeah?” And she says, “I take the yoga class you teach in the park all the time and I just wanted to say hello and thank you.”

The  first thought that comes into my head is, “Why is god always fucking with me?” I say, “You’re welcome,” to the girl. She gets back on the phone, gives me a big smile and walks away. As she walks away I realize the key chain that is attached to my keys that are locked in my car also has my Ralph’s club card on it. I hate club cards. Can’t they just give me a decent price without having me carry a stupid little piece of plastic with me everywhere I go?  So I ask the guy in front of me – who is just finishing his transaction with a human, not an instant check-out machine – “Can I use your Ralph’s card? I forgot mine in my car.” I say forgot because I felt I would look like less of an idiot if I forgot rather than locked my keys in my car. It seemed logical at the moment and I didn’t have time to come up with a better, less embarrassing lie. He says, “Sure, no problem.” The girl behind the counter, whose job I am trying to support by not using the automated check-out aisles says, “I’m sorry we don’t let people do that anymore.” I say, “Are you fucking serious?” Before she replies I say, “Why the hell does it matter?” She says, “Sir…”. I hate when people call me sir. But she says, ” Sir, it’s the rules!” I clamp my mouth shut, walk out the door, get my hide-a-key, get in my car and drive to Trader Joe’s. If this doesn’t work, I’m going on a hunger strike.

In a world full of lies, Truth is like a naked man standing in the supermarket with nowhere to put his club card.

Advertisements

6 Comments

  1. Abigayle said,

    January 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    This article is brilliant, Daniel. True. Raw. Almost hostile. Something everyone can relate to. Simply human. Cheers.

  2. rosalind said,

    January 2, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    You have a wonderful writing gift. (I was going to say “special” but I didn’t want you to take it the wrong way…. It’s just not that easy to write and for the message to be received in the vein that it was meant. Congrats!

  3. Anonymous said,

    March 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I enjoy reading your blog. I think people seem happier at Trader Joe’s because they are are actually paid less than those that work at Ralph’s. They believe they enjoy their job because of the cognitive dissonance created by being paid poorly; hence they have to compensate for feeling bad they aren’t paid well by ‘loving’ their job. Oddly enough, I was hired for a job citing this theory.

    • March 29, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Interesting

    • Whitney Vickers said,

      June 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      haha, i have a few friends who work at Trader Joes and they all LOVE it. They get full benefits, paid time off, as many hours as they wish, because as you see, TJs always has about 20 people working at a time, and they earn more than minimum wage. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: