Friday, December 12, 2008

communal snow shovel

First snowstorm of the season today. As usual, many of the younger folk were taken by surprise when they found their cars plowed in. Since there is a parking ban tonight, they need to get their cars off the streets or they will be towed. Not prepared, more than one came and asked to borrow our snow shovel.

See if they could borrow a snow shovel at the supermarkets. I kind of doubt it.

Communal snow shovel. This is what it's all about with a neighborhood store.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Twinkle in his eye

Mr. T is an elderly man, with lots of opinions. He walks with a cane and has had some health problems recently. Most of the time we hear about politics, both local and national. He's not quite a curmudgeon, but close.

The day after Thanksgiving, it was my stock statement to say "how was your holiday." Most people gave stock answers - great, ate too much turkey, watched football, etc. I expected something as such from Mr. T. Perhaps he'd say "I was invited over to so-and-so's house for dinner" Instead, when I asked, I saw something I never have seen in him - a twinkle in his eye. His daughter had come to visit. He was tickled pink. A twinkle and a smile. What a wonderful site to see.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cast of Characters

We have names for certain customers, names which are not their given names. Mostly they are adjectives to describe the person. When we say the name, everyone on staff immediately knows who we are talking about. Some are funny. Some are sad. Here's a few of the names. In upcoming posts, I'll strive to tell a little bit about the person.

We've got

Cigarette Man
Shaky hand man
"Let me ask you something" lady
Traumatic brain injury lady
One bottle refund man
Wheat penny man
Sacajawea man
Half a tuna sandwich lady
"I'm here for my regular" guy
Meatball magician
Paper bag & straw beer lady
Old bum thief
I've got a tab man
"She's grounded" pregnant lady
"Oh no, it's you again" man
Soap factory man

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Common sense 101 - a hand sink is for washing hands

When we purchased our little corner market, the hand sink was unoperable. It had a huge hole right in the porcelain. A hand sink is where people wash their hands, and is a mandatory part of any food service establishment. It's surprising that the previous owner was not cited for this.

We replaced the sink, all the while wondering how a huge hole could have been made in the previous one. Soon we noticed how this possibly might have happened. Huge pots, waiting to be washed, piled on top of the little sink. We quickly put an end to that.

However, soon little things appeared in the sink. Knives mostly. How dangerous was that - knives in the hand sink. And beyond common sense. A notice went up - on the sink, that the hand sink was for hands only. Worked for awhile, and mostly knives have stayed out of it.

This morning, when washing his hands, an employee noted that the sink wasn't draining. Great. We'll have to deal with it after lunch, and hope the health inspector doesn't come in. I HAD noticed an employee putting a thermometer on the back of the sink the night before, and actually caught the thermometer before it slipped down into the sink. The employee told me "yeah, I thought about that before I put it there." Duh. Common Sense 101. A few weeks before the same employee called me to say they noticed a thermometer wedged in the drain of the sink. Duh, so let's do it again.

Well, today, it wasn't a thermometer. It was macaroni. Hmmm.... macaroni drained in the hand sink, meant for HANDS ONLY. If they used a colander, they missed it. When we took apart the drain to clear it out, we found at least half a cup of cooked macaroni and a plastic half a teaspoon. I don't know how long the spoon had been there.

Common sense 101. A hand sink is not a macaroni sink.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Common sense 101 - vegetable peeling

Is it so hard to peel a potato? Or a carrot? Or an apple? Didn't everyone learn how to do this when they were growing up?

Obviously not.

Is this implement, the vegetable peeler, such a complex tool that one needs a three credit course in how to use it?

It comes as a great surprise that employees, some in their mid 20's, do not know how to use a vegetable peeler. It shouldn't take five minutes to peel a carrot. There shouldn't be peel left of the vegetable when it's "done". This is not one person, or two, it's more than that. It's a growing trend that seems to be taking over the world.

It's painful watching them struggle with this complex tool. And then, you show them how to do it. You hand it over. You watch for one carrot; they seem ok. You come back later to find the poor vegetable either hacked to death or left with a complexion that only a hungry dermatologist would love.

It makes me wonder what other common sense things that young people were not taught.

At least I'm glad they were (mostly) taught to bathe.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Common sense 101 - the college course

In every college, there should be a mandatory course called common sense 101. One cannot graduate unless it is completed with at least a grade of B or above.

The course is all-lab.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No credit.

No credit. No way. No how. Not to anyone.

This doesn't mean me, does it?

Yes, it does. You're the reason we made this policy.

But if only I could get a pack of smokes today and pay you next month when my check comes in.

If had ears to hear the answer is still no.

I know the owner and we've got an understanding.

I AM the owner, have been so for well over a year and a half. The only word you need to understand is no.

I've got a sheet going.

A rap sheet? That wouldn't surprise me.

I'll go right home and come right back with the money.

That's good. Your order will be waiting here for you to pick up when you bring back all the money.

I'm good for it.

"It" doesn't pay my bills. I need cash. When I see the cash, you'll have the goods.

Call the owner and ask them if I could have credit. They know me.

Do NOT ask my employees to give you credit, and do NOT ask them to call the "owner" at home to find out if it's ok. Why don't you give me your boss' phone number and I'll call them to ask when you get paid.

I keep you in business.

Yup, uh-huh. I can't pay my suppliers, employees, landlord, utilities and the IRS with your word. Words and promises don't keep me in business, cash does.

I'm not coming back.

Thank you.

...and it's your loss.

I've won.