“Tales of a Scorched Coffee Pot” — F1

Jason McGathey
10 min readMay 29
Healthy Hippie meat case

Though its weekly sales amount to roughly half of what each of the other two are pulling in, one oddly colored feather in Liberty’s cap is that it is nonetheless the most profitable store. Palmyra and Southside both appear to be rising ships, with slow and steady upticks in volume, but money is nonetheless continually poured into both in the name of various improvements. Whereas, apart from utilities and its bargain of a lease, expenses are almost nonexistent at their oldest location. The Locke family likes to characterize Liberty as HHM’s reliable, if unglamorous, cash cow.

Up in college town, Palmyra, tinkering with the help remains as big a project as anything else. For starters, they’ve already made one major change up top. Edgar barely got to know the store manager, Kate, who seemed like a sweet, soft spoken, middle-aged lady, given to wearing these highly professional looking pantsuits with and without the jacket. But apparently Kate was a wee bit too fond of her pill prescriptions, if rumors were to be believed, explaining a great deal about her distantly dreamy persona. Whatever the case, though, the numbers were bad and discipline lax, so they’ve shown her the door. Corey Brown is now the new store manager.

Some bubbly blonde cashier named Samantha moves up the ladder accordingly, elevated to Corey’s old assistant manager post. This despite her young age — maybe twenty, tops — and the chirping, hyperactive maturity level to match, and having only been with this company for a few months. Not to mention that she’s already announced a pregnancy which will put her out of commission not too distantly down the road. Edgar gets the feeling that nobody else at this store particularly wanted that position, though, plus he’s noticed a persistent tendency at retail stores, for whatever reason, to consider front end people before anyone else. So Samantha gets the nod.

Elsewhere it’s basically business as usual. One of the more longstanding dramas around these parts concerns that between Dolly, the deli manager, and Nick, her meat cutter. While these two departments are separate entities at just about every other grocery operation known to man, they’ve been combined here at the Healthy Hippie, physically and financially. It’s treated as one big department, with the meat sales flowing into and under the deli…