I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I hate to admit it but...

At the checkout lines at the Jetsons' Publix on the Beach, shopping truly is a pleasure...

Otherwise, that place is a gleaming heck-hole strolled by retard-zombies who block aisles, as I have previously addressed.

But come checkout time, the Jetsons' Publix makes me feel... like I'm not in Miami anymore, and I like that. The reason?

Their checkout ladies.

Something that I miss, not living in the south Mid-Atlantic area, is... uh... gosh, this is awkward.... FRIENDLY PEOPLE. Growing up, I remember strangers would engage you in public. (I never initiate conversation, but that's because my parents are from Boston, and we just... don't... do that.) People would do other nice things, like wave you into traffic, and hold doors, two conventions that have yet to re-appear in Miami after they were extinguished in the early 1980s...

When I was little (and through when I was 17) I remember grocery shopping with my mother at daJont (Giant.) Giant, back then, was a pretty good place to work, I hear, and the checkout ladies were ladies from Dundalk or Highlandtown or Essex or Timmonium, who had the thickest Baltimore accents, and who were endlessly cheerful and loquacious, beginning their routine with, "Papr'r'playssic, hon?"

Politeness in public doesn't take much effort, and it makes life a hell of a lot more tolerable. Seriously. You feel like you live in a community, with other... um... human beings.

While I'm not a conversation initiator, if someone engages me, I'll keep up the parry, and I'll do it graciously.

I gots to say, the Haitian/Jamaican ladies at the checkout lines in Publix are pretty funny, and surprisingly good conversationalists. It probably doesn't hurt that I'm cute and can insinuate that they got drunk and raised a ruckus during the Publix Store-Wide International Wine Tasting Event, with a broad, mischievous smile, coming off utterly charming. (I really am pretty charming.) They guffaw and scan my limes, and we bat a conversation back and forth over the check-counter...

And other people look on puzzled, jealous that I have such a good relationship with my checkout ladies.

And you know what?

That three minutes I spend in line is sometimes one of the highlights of my day - I usually spend 11 hours arguing with other people, and preparing to argue with other people, so to have an interaction with someone where no one wants anything, there are no ulterior motives, and there's no acrimony - it's just nice.

It's also nice to make someone laugh while they're doing what could probably be a pretty boring job.

I sort of took it at face value in the beginning while speaking to the Checkout ladies (if they make the slightest effort to talk to me, I'll engage them) that everyone brightened at their "How's your day been?" opening line, but apparently not.

Alls I can say is, whenever I get to Angel's checkout line (we're on a first-name basis, now) she chastises me and tells me it's been too long since she's seen me.

And while being recognized and acknowledged in public by someone you see on a regular basis is par for the course in other parts of the country, in Miami, it's a welcome surprise.


Blogger Rootietoot said...

I try to get the same check out person at Bi-Lo- Linda, because we always have a good chat. I do not, however, like it when Robert bags the groceries because he's bad about dropping a cantalope on the bananas if you aren't watching.

3:04 PM

Blogger SuperBee said...

The Publix people are pretty good about bagging, I have to say.

This is, of course, after my experiences at the Winn-Dixie, where I used to have to bag my own dented cans and spoiled produce...

7:49 PM


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