Poetry

False Advertising (Sourpuss In A Christmas Hat)

Ever gift-wrapped an item of clothing?
It’s lame,
If you don’t puncture the wrapping paper in the process of wrapping,
you’re bound to puncture it during transport to
your Dad’s house, your friend’s home, or the white elephant work party.

This morning, after a trip to Fred Meyer department store,
I decided I needed to wrap one particular gift (because it was fabric)
first inside of a box, then inside the flashy
black and candy cane wrapping paper
At this point, I was long gone from Fred Meyer’s,
contemplating the wrapping clothing items bit while
stopped at a red light

I’ll head to the neighborhood grocer for a box!, I decided
Jolly, I turned the radio dial to Christmas tunes
(the guy and I have really been loving them this year!)
and headed toward the Red Apple Market, the grocer closest to home

I parked the car, thinking I’ll be out of here in a snap!
Just a couple of mornings ago, I’d seen a cashier entering
inventory behind a big, pile of luscious sand-colored boxes
Upon entering the market this morning,
I saw that same pile of boxes, and behind it, a cashier man

Hi! I said to the cashier man
I was wondering if I could get just one box — small to medium sized
I was eyeing the exact box I wanted, it was teetering on top of the big pile,
opened, with nothing in it, and, yep, small to medium-sized
The cashier man looked at me in the eyes, said:
I haven’t got a thing. I won’t have a box for you until
I do produce and I’m a good hour behind on that!

Oh.. I said, looking at him from behind the huge pile of
gorgeous Little Debbie boxes.
You can come back then if you want, he finished.

I, through gritted teeth, cheerily replied, Hm…well, okay, thanks!
Reminding myself: kill ’em with kindness, kill ’em with kindness.
Two things:
1. I shop at Red Apple Market at least once a week
2. I personally despise when clerks, servers, flight attendants, etc.
(and, hey, I’ve been one!)
use phrases like “I don’t have any boxes right now or
I juuust ran out of key-lime pie or
I’m all out of peanuts but I do have pretzels.

You are working for a grocer, restaurant, airline,
You are not the owner of the boxes, the pie, or the peanuts.
Get over yourself.
You have coworkers! And bosses.
Look around you.
Try: “we unfortunately sold out of the key-lime pie”

Oh, and give me one, just one, of the boxes I’m
standing behind over here
Have some holiday spirit, man,
else take off that cheery santa hat!

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