“Tales of a Scorched Coffee Pot” — Chapter 79

Jason McGathey
16 min readJan 15, 2022
directions to nearest healthy hippie market

The closing of the Southside location fills all of them with unspeakable sadness. Many walk around snapping photos of what is now an even dingier location, with the product stripped from the shelves, and various case lights no longer on. By the time they are even ready to begin moving into Central, the land baron/Harry Teet consortium, all but spitting in the face of the whole slowing down expansion joke the city official had foisted upon Duane, has already knocked down most of the former Southside strip mall. The last piece to remain, in fact, all the more striking as a solitary object in the middle of a construction zone, is the north facing wall, the one with their specially commissioned mural.

Yet things are progressing far too rapidly elsewhere to dwell upon this. To properly kick off their Slingshot integration, a representative from that company, Aubrey, drives down from Boone to meet with Edgar and Melissa. A fair-skinned, freckly, auburn haired, but more importantly pleasant and soft-spoken female, of roughly the same age as they, she does a great job explaining what is needed from them, on a database (Edgar) and tech related (Melissa) standpoint. They are all three shoehorned in a row along the tiny shelf that now passes for Edgar’s desk, as she also demonstrates for mostly his exclusive benefit how to upload information, download reports, and accomplish many of the other standard basics in that system.

Though he feels like he already grasps this well enough to do so, Aubrey insists that he send her their entire item database, so that she can get the ball rolling for them. Also an employee list, for those discounts, and yet another for the local vendors they are not only hooking up to the tune of 10% off, but many of which also have a tax-free certificate on file due to their (allegedly) using the purchased product in the creation of their own wares.

They haven’t even gotten going yet, but it’s pretty obvious things are going to be much better with this program. One of but a litany of problems with Orchestra was that you couldn’t define two price points for the same UPC. The most common issue with this applies to soft drink and beer cans, which are just hanging there on their plastic tabs. No separate number exists to distinguish between buying a six pack versus a single. In the olden…