A few days after I had unpacked 200 outdoor plants for display at Store 448, I still couldn’t sleep from the pins-and-needles sensation in my right hand. I got about five seconds into my whine when my sister the doctor cut me off. “Overuse. You need a wrist brace, right now. When did you say you were going to quit Kroger?”
I’m not alone in these thoughts. Cody the Bagger Dude left Kroger for the Great Wolf Lodge, full-time in the laundry, $8.50 an hour. Zack the Checkout Dude is applying at the nearby health club. My young co-worker Bensari graduates in December and will likely get a science job at the P&G factory across the street.
A year ago, I took this minimum-wage job for gas and groceries. When I stayed in Ohio, the routine of the floral department tided me through rocky days. The Lebanese merchant in my soul thrilled to make a sale as the reporter rejoiced at the amazing stories that people shared. I got far more than I gave. Yeah, there’s a book in this.
One night last week, a man with a Bluetooth ear piece, a graying chin beard and a belly with its own area code slapped two large bouquets on the counter. I didn’t recognize him, but he spoke with familiarity. “Anne, someone told me you’re leaving.” I mumbled about more time to write and to help aging parents, you know, priorities.
The customer with the Bluetooth grinned. “I’ve been buying flowers from you for years, and I’m sad that you won’t be here, but I understand. Good luck,” and he grabbed his roses and left. A minute later, he was standing at the counter again. “These are for you,” and he gave me a fistful of $5 gift certificates to Red Lobster.
Causes Anne Saker Supports
Freedom of thought.