This is part 3 of a series of short stories from the counter of a retail store located in small town America. Observations on what’s missing for dinner because of fast food and fast paced America. If you would like to read part 1 and part 2 , click on “Food Snob or Bad Manners” and “Food Snob or Dinner Disaster“
Dinner at the counter standing up
As I walk through the store’s door I glance left. She is there. The nice cashier that works behind the counter. It’s dinnertime and I see her eating her take out food at the counter. I laugh a bit and then open my mouth and shake my head. Every time I come to buy something at this store one of the employees is eating at the counter. Again tonight it is the same story. Open aluminum cartons and Styrofoam at the place where the customers lay down their products to buy. A weird place for food to be. The employee’s main meal of the day eating standing up while ringing up customers. Counter staff taking money with a smile and biting into take out food at the same time.
Why do these employees love to eat take out literally on the job? Is it because they are too lazy to bring something from home? Why are they not allowed to take a short break at work and sit down and enjoy what they are eating? Do they have to eat in front of the customers? When I see scenes like this I feel like a food snob, because this turns my stomach.
As I walk up to pay for my items the cashier puts down her plastic fork and gives me a smile. So I ask her, “no more olives for dinner tonight?” (Last time I was in she was just eating a jar of olives for her dinner. Read the story here if interested.)
No, tonight is Chinese food. My husband was nice and brought it in for me.
Boy, you must have been hungry the other night, just having olives for dinner.
Yes, she said-I couldn’t sleep I was so hungry.
Why didn’t you eat some food?
Naa, I didn’t feel like getting up to eat. It was too late anyway.
I felt sorry for this smiling and sweet cashier. A boring job and stuck alone in the store, depending on her husband to bring her food. Doesn’t bring anything to eat in with her. Doesn’t cook at home when her shift is over.
Is she lazy? Or it is a type of food insecurity? Why doesn’t she have access to food at home and must rely on take out for dinner? Or maybe as two friends told me recently,
People just don’t even make sandwiches anymore. They think it is cheaper to order fast food.
I actually have another hypothesis which I will introduce in part 4. I’ll pre label it: Retail Eating Boredom. Tune in to see what that is.
One thing I will admit to you now: I find trends like this what is wrong about eating in America. And I don’t think this cashier at the counter is the only one doing this. You wouldn’t see this happening in France. This may sound food snobbish to say this, but that is what I think. But I do have empathy for these employees because eating standing up at a boring job is just not eating with satiety. Eating with pleasure is what life’s little pleasures are all about.
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