Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stocking Up at No Frills

There's a blizzard warning issued for tomorrow, so with Holly working, I was sent out to pick up some groceries for ourselves and her mother.  Her mom needs cat food.  Well, the cats need cat food and that trumps anything.

Since I hate crowded grocery stores - or crowds in general - I decided an early morning trip to be wisest.  This plan brought me to Drew and Jen's No Frills (it used to be Dave's, but I'm not sure what happened to Dave) around nine am, where, after loading the necessities (including some rather scary looking baby spinach that is supposed to be good until the 31st of the month, which sounded more like some highly wishful thinking given their sad, wilted look) into a Walmart cart to avoid having to fish for a quarter in seventeen below temperatures for a heavy duty No Frills cart, I maneuvered myself into the lineup at the only open checkout.

After a few moments I noticed we really weren't moving due to an older lady - sixtyish perhaps - at the front of the cash searching her pockets for some money to pay for her groceries.  Her longish graying hair was pulled back and tied into a ponytail, exposing the weathered skin on her face.  "How much do I need?" she asked the cashier, who had begun to look around for some assistance with her awareness of eyes from those in line looking for her to take control.

"The total is $9.59 and you have $4.77, so you need... just a second," and her focus shifted to her calculator.

The older lady, the calmest personality involved, gave me the impression of a stage actor a little bored of a too familiar role, continued to reach into pockets and glance alternately from her food to the amount displayed on the register.  After a few minutes, which seemed longer for everyone present, a lady about three customers back came forwards and asked the cashier if she could put the difference on her debit card.

At this point a rather managerial-looking man (Drew himself perhaps?) had come to the front of the store and picked up the phone and called for another cashier over the loudspeaker, for which he received thanks from the young cashier.

The older lady casually thanked the person paying for her groceries, tied her hood tightly over her head, placed the last of her food into her plastic bag and left.  By this time the line had thinned thanks to the other checkout being opened.  The lady who paid was paying for her own items now - a number of bags of Covered Bridge potato chips on sale for $2.50 per bag, quite a bargain for this local treat, prompting me to grab a bag for Holly and I - explaining that she only likes the sea salt and cracked pepper flavour.

After my items were rung through, the lines back to early morning quiet, the second cashier asked the other, "How much was she short today?"

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