Lukewarm is the new hot
I'm standing in the checkout line at a local grocery store and I'm noticing my groceries are piling up at the end of the belt. No one is bagging them and the clerk says to me... that will be $107.50 please.
I want you to think about that number for a moment. How much do you work in a day to earn $107.50? Twenty-five minutes? Two hours? A full day? Regardless of what your answer is, that number is significant when you are earning it.
I start to look around and I see employees standing around bullshitting with the cute girl (who happens to be a manager at the store) when I realize.... this clerk is expecting ME to start bagging these fucking groceries.
I hear a small huff... and she walks to the end of the line and starts grudgingly bagging the items in no real order.. nothing makes sense. The raw chicken was in the same bag as the soap for fuck's sake.
As my items (now bagged) still sit on the belt in front of me, she walks back behind the register and hands me the receipt. "You saved $3 today".
And now I must make a choice. Pick up the bags off the belt and place them in my cart or take a moment to explain to this lazy piece of shit why I am not going to do that.
Now would be a great place to add one of those "Choose your own adventure" story branches. (remember those books?)
"If you think Ash should take the groceries and say nothing... go to page 105." lol
Are you kidding me? This isn't the wholesale store where you pay cash and bring your own bags. This is a "Signature" store in a very big chain. There are four employees (still talking to the Millennial front-end manager) within ear range.
I'm not going to tell you what happens next, but it wasn't pretty. It wasn't elegant and it didn't earn me the "favorite customer" award.
I had just finished a 125 hour shift that spanned between Christmas and New Years. I've been working like this my entire adult life. You work hard until the job is complete.
I am exhausted and the very last thing I want to have to deal with is someone that doesn't want to do their job. Especially when I just gave you $107.50.
It's just about everywhere you look. Mediocrity is so commonplace now that you are expected to expect it.
There's no "this food sucks tonight" discount or "my server hasn't been back to my table in 25 minutes because she's outside smoking and bullshitting about how this job sucks" discount.
You are expected to understand that mediocrity is the normal line now.
I'm saturated with it. I refuse to understand it. I don't accept this as the "norm" but I'm running out of places to shop on this planet.
Medium. Lukewarm. Mediocre. Three words that I have grown weary of dealing with.
Thanks for reading this... that will be $107.50 please.