Organically random priced produce
Organically random priced produce

Melissa quits after about one month as the company driver. But then a few weeks later, she is hired back in the grocery department at Southside. Though this seems like a strange development — and objectively is — everyone keeps mentioning that Duane did so as a “favor” to her dad, the former president of this company, who is not even connected with this industry any longer. And whatever the case, it’s no more strange than any other development around here, or your average day.

Edgar likens it to driving a car, at exactly the speed limit, down one lane…


Healthy Hippie Beauty Aids
Healthy Hippie Beauty Aids

Inventory shenanigans are not limited to towers of honey charged to the next period, however. It’s a not exactly well disguised secret that Harry often has select members of a store’s grocery team engaged on what back dock space remains, using nail polish remover to scrub off the dates on expired product, before returning these items to the shelves.

Edgar’s still not entirely sure what to think about Harry. On one hand, he’s a hard worker, but on the other, he’s got a lot of wacky, outdated ideas. But then you’ll hear something like this nail polish remover operation, and…


The eighth column on the new items spreadsheet is a simple flag field, which everyone else is instructed to ignore, because it is meaningless to them. Here he enters a 1 if something is to be weighed at the register, which trips this function in the Orchestra system. Otherwise, it is left blank.

The ninth column is dedicated to a vendor’s item/catalog number, otherwise known as the SKU, which has no meaning beyond that particular vendor. In fact, most local and small-time vendors have no SKU number on their invoices, or price lists, or anywhere else, meaning he will often…


Organically random priced produce
Organically random priced produce

With everything else going on, Liberty Avenue has been even more neglected than usual of late. Sure, they have gotten their token peace offering of a hot food case, but that gain is probably more than wiped out by donating Russian Robert to Southside all the time. And while Edgar hasn’t exactly forgotten about Tonya, it’s clear that he’s not even been paying all that much attention to her, or remained in the loop about store happenings, because plenty has changed.

Plenty, aye, but not all! Though the amusingly batty cashier Linda is not here today, she has least left…


Actual meat being sold by the meat department
Actual meat being sold by the meat department

The structure of the deli here is unique as far as grocery stores are concerned, and each of the stores in turn remains totally different. Beyond pitching in a little to get Walnut up and running, for example, there’s almost no need for Christie to make that hour drive once a week, and she’s mostly exempted from the one-day-a-week edict. Southside continues to try and wrap the department manager and chef up into one individual, whereas Palmyra hasn’t even attempted this.

More to the point of Christie’s current visit, though, and this idea Edgar has, the deli is just one…


Healthy hippie bulk foods
Healthy hippie bulk foods

Though Craig Willis was able to successfully deflect Pierre’s attempts at forcing him to work weekends, he is nonetheless cajoled into driving up to Palmyra and helping that grocery department, for one full day, at time and a half. He returns to Southside the following Monday, flopping into Edgar’s “therapy patient” chair to relate his findings.

“Man, I think out of everybody working in that store, Trudy…your mom…and Shelly…those are the only three in the building who aren’t on drugs!” Craig tells him, shaking his head at the continued insanity vortex this store represents.

But even Southside has found itself…


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…

Jason McGathey

Habitual writer. http://jasonmcgathey.wordpress.com Also: https://lovelettertocolumbus.com/ (Columbus OH minutiae) https://aknownhistory.com/ (family stuff)

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