Organically cluttered market office
Organically cluttered market office

They begin moving into the Walnut location on the first, which gives them a month to get this operation up and running. Under normal circumstances, this would be nowhere near enough time, but unlike the last store opening — Southside, some seven years ago — occupying a corner space of this indoor market, the infrastructure’s in place, the permits needed minimal. Also, though a highly controversial move that Duane has hatched out on his own, they’re forgoing any sort of computerized operation here. He’s weighed the pros and cons and determined that it’s not worth the effort and money to…


Healthy Hippie bulletin board
Healthy Hippie bulletin board

As they begin moving into the Walnut location, it makes perfect sense to roll this into a company-wide rearrangement. Palmyra’s produce manager, Johnny, has requested a transfer to work in Walnut, as he lives nearer there, and some laidback, seemingly rational and middle aged mom type, Charlene, is hired to fill his former post. Meanwhile, a basically sweet but grouchiness-projecting older in woman in vitamins, Alice, though grousing daily for years about her hour long drive to Palmyra, is offered a position at Walnut — like Johnny, it’s much nearer to her home — but she declines this assignment.

Brady…


Spaghetti Junction
Spaghetti Junction

The little blurb people put beside their name in Twitter is usually far more comical than anything they ever post. This is one thing Jack Lincoln has noticed, scrolling through that social media time suck in his down time.

But then again, these sites all have their winning attributes. With LinkedIn, he likes the mayhem of their connection suggestions. At the top of their endless doom scroll, the first name is seemingly always someone you’ve never met nor heard of, followed by some random ex-coworker who isn’t a mutual connection with anyone else. Whom you haven’t seen, talked to, texted…


Well okay, now she has officially seen just about everything. As Glenda Jackson is opening the latest manila folder from Liberty Avenue, what tumbles out is not only the expected modest stack of invoices, but also a clipped together bundle of…word search answers? From the latest Healthy Shopper Market newsletter? Yes. Along with a little post-it note atop these, which reads, LIBERTY’S PUZZLES! Employee crossword puzzles to Be turned in!! And then a smile below the dots of those two exclamation points, which are supposed to be the eyes.

As a recipient of these newsletters herself, albeit in emailed form…


Healthy Hippie Market
Healthy Hippie Market

Some conspiracy theory type cashier, a thirtysomething dude that’s been with the company for maybe three weeks, sticks a post-it note to the monitor up in Palmyra’s office which reads, Friends: be careful what you’re doing on here! “They” are watching!! He has drawn some eyeballs up above the message, a set looking to the left, and another set looking to the right, while at the bottom, much as you can infer such from a simple drawing, there’s a big old sarcastic smiley face.

This message cracks Edgar up, the first time he sees it and beyond. While the sentiment…


It’s strange how certain topics get lofted into the air, and begin to catch fire due to their momentum, when you’ve mentioned your own recent preoccupation with them to no one. Of course, skeptics will claim that it’s only because you are currently paying attention to this subject, that these perceived coincidences do not exist. But while that’s certainly true to some extent, and while there are also unseen threads connecting chain reactions invisible to you, this can’t possibly explain away everything.

Edgar’s over in the managers’ office at Southside, one afternoon immediately following the Sean incident. He’s listening to…


Walnut is a city of approximately 40,000, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The interstate neatly cleaves into two distinct sections, one of which is modern and heavy with strip malls, the other considerably older, with very few developments over the past decade or two. …


Organic dust atop premium wine
Organic dust atop premium wine

Out here in the wild and woolly retail landscape, it’s often unclear whether keeping these incidents to oneself is the right thing to do. You could certainly advance a valid argument that sweeping something like this under the rug is not in the company’s best interests. Yet to run and complain to Duane about it wouldn’t really feel right, either, would leave Edgar feeling more like a third grade tattletale. He is seriously trying to picture a scenario that would find him contacting Human Resources about somebody, and is drawing up nothing but blanks.

But this opens a whole other…


Healthy Beer Hipsters Toasting
Healthy Beer Hipsters Toasting

The last week of the year, Southside and Palmyra both finally hit their magical $100K mark for the first time. Duane is on the floor at both locations, handing out $100 bills as promised to every employee, and shaking hands with a thanks. Some particularly star-struck workers have only been with the company for a couple of days, and can scarcely believe their good fortune.

As the calendar turns over, however, they don’t experience any sharp decline in sales. These weeks are nearly equally as strong. The reason for this is that, which Edgar has never experienced anywhere else before…


Organically arranged office
Organically arranged office
This isn’t to suggest that Palmyra has cornered the market on personnel — or personality — struggles. Naturally, after months of relative calm, many of these bombshells just so happen to arrive during the busiest months of the year, when they can least afford to deal with such distractions.

The first major bloodshed arrives when Aria is escorted off the premises by police. This move doesn’t just signal the end of her employment with the company, but finds them pressing charges against her as well. Although the exact details are murky to those who haven’t dealt with front end paperwork — and probably even many who have — she had apparently perpetuated some scam for years which involved pocketing cash, and adding that amount to the daily credit card total, having realized that nobody was verifying this. …

Jason McGathey

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