‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the store
Everyone was insane, and the shoppers did roar
The displays were ransacked and sales out of stock
Cashiers were praying to be bashed by a rock
The dairy crew hid in their coolers in fear
While visions of eggnog made them shed a lone tear
And meat in their coats, and deli in their caps,
Had just revved up for a week of time and half
When out on the floor there arose such a clatter,
Management left the back to see what was the matter.
Away from my smoke break, I flew like a flash
Walked out on the floor and dealt with the backlash.
The fluorescent lights shined down on the insane;
I wanted to scream something vile and profane.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a train full of carts and eight cases of beer,
With a little old driver, so slow and so drunk,
My day would be ruined, my heart would be sunk.
His questions all sought me like moths to a flame,
He whistled and shouted and called me “shit-stain.”
“Now bastard, now faggot, fudge-packer and queer!
Show me the baking soda; were you raised by a steer?!
To the top of the case! To the back of the freezer!
Get me this! I want that! Oh, just give me a teaser!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
His demands became crazy: the chicken must fry.
So up to the backroom the employees, they flew,
As they read his demands, they sighed, “I need a brew!”
And then in a twinkling, I heard over the comm,
“SALE ON CHRISTMAS HAM! THIS DEAL IS THE BOMB!”
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
‘Cross the store the nuts came with a leap and a bound.
They were all dressed like shit, from their head to their shoe,
Clothes crusted completely with mustard and spew.
A bundle of deals they had flung in their carts,
Eyes crazy and wild, breath smelling of farts.
Their eyes looked so dead! Their spirits wore thin!
They fought like wild dogs as they dug through the bin!
Bakery put out cakes draped with ribbon and bow,
But those soon became trampled like the fresh-fallen snow.
The CSM watched and then sobbed from the front,
As the store was destroyed by a cruel, little runt.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a mean little child,
And he laughed when we saw all that he had defiled.
A twitch in my eye, a pounding in my head,
Stupid liberal laws, he had nothing to dread!
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work.
Destroying the store, the devilish little jerk.
And laying his finger aside of my nose,
I just couldn’t wait, for the store would soon close.
He sprang to his mother as she paid for her food,
I wanted to yell, “MIND YOUR KID! SO DAMN RUDE!”
When his mom turned away, I leaned over his meal,
And said ever so softly that “Santa isn’t real.”
Customer Service/Front End: miserable from dealing with customers all day.
Found – front end or break room
Demographics – Made up of teenagers and the elderly.
Clique – Only hangs out with other front end employees.
Sick of hearing – “It didn’t ring up? It must be free!”
Most likely to have an emotional breakdown at work.
Grocery: The unicorns of grocery, near impossible to find a grocery employee when you need one.
Found: Outside in a group on a cigarette break at 3 in the morning.
Demographics – Younger people (insomniacs/potheads)
Sick of hearing – “You’re tall, can you do the top shelf?” OR “Do you have any more of these in the back?” (added by /u/rebeltactics)
Clique – Only hangs out with other grocery people
Most likely to pipe Radiohead over the speakers between midnight and 4 AM so they don’t kill their buzz.
Produce: Usually first sight upon entering a grocery store.
Found – setting up their department in the morning
Demographics – Late 20’s-30’s family men
Clique – Hangs out with meat department
Sick of hearing – “What is the difference between a Fuji apple and a Gala apple?”
Most likely to be be perfectionists after years of working in the most visible department in the grocery store.
Deli: Department that needs the most hours to produce the smallest profit.
Found – Trying to avoid eye contact with the angry woman staring daggers at them while they try to finish what they are doing.
Demographics – Middle aged women and former restaraunt employees.
Clique – Hangs out with Bakery
Sick of hearing – “Just a biiiiiiiiit thinner.” … “No, now it’s too thin.
Most likely to be the first department to get their hours cut. Also most likely to be asked “Why is your customer service and product quality suffering?” after the hours have been cut.
Bakery: Very similar to deli, but generally better morale.
Found – Trying to figure out where the hell something is in that mess of a freezer.
Demographics – Middle aged women
Clique – Hangs out with deli
Sick of hearing – “Is it fresh baked?”
Most likely to have a 65+ year old woman who is 5 foot 2 and 95 lbs and can break down a pallet of 50 lb boxes better than anyone in the store.
Meat Department: A lot easier than it was years ago, but still requires a strong back and a lot of knowledge.
Found – Trying to impress the cute ladies in the front end when they come around with “bring backs”
Demographics – Mainly men
Clique – Hangs out with Produce
Sick of hearing – “So it is organic and gluten-free? WHY ISN’T IT FREE RANGE?”
Most likely to believe they are the rock stars of the grocery world.
Dairy: The hidden department. These guys and girls keep to their coolers and provide a lot of staple items.
Found – In their coolers
Demographics – Young people
Clique – Hangs out with frozen
Sick of hearing – “Hey, can we keep our backstock in your cooler? We’re out of room.”
Most likely to be conveniently loading milk when the soccer moms come in and bend low to get their gallon.
Frozen: They don’t necessarily provide staple items but still provide a valuable service.
Found – Freezing their asses off
Demographics – mixed age/gender
Clique – Hangs out with Dairy
Sick of hearing – “Where are the frozen pizzas?” Said by a person standing in front of the sign that says “frozen pizzas”
Most likely to wonder why the hell Deli and Bakery can’t come and break down their own god damned load.
Bob: Bob goes by many names and is in many stores in many states. He has worked grocery since he lost his factory job in ’73. He has no specific department, but gave up his management position in ’98 because of his ulcer.
Found – moving pallets, helping customers, answering “damn young people’s” questions, and being grumpy.
Demographic – 60+ male.
Clique – “Fuck off”
Sick of hearing – “Bob, you’re the only one who can help me…”
Most likely to call the 48 year old store manager, “that kid.”