No Mo’! (A SoCS rant)


I’ve got that knot in my left shoulder from working so hard in the bakery last night. My boss wanted me to make a tray of Fudge Bar Cakes before my usual cleaning and weigh some to see if they are within 50g of 375g.  The first one was 603 g the rest were in the high 500’s.

Lifting a large tray of bar cakes is where I first get the knot. Then it is strengthened by trying to pull stuffed garbage bags out of bins that are up to my waist, washing heavy trays and endless scoops while slightly bent over to reach the bottom of the sink, scraping burnt cheese off the oven floor and the final insult; mopping floors as fast as I can because the store is closing in 10 minutes.

I’m not going to work like that again. I wrote a note for the second time telling him; “there wasn’t enough time!!!!!”

This shift used to be 4:00 to 9:00. In the winter there is less to do and less clean up but Easter is coming, cakes are running out, the day crew makes a huge mess: they don’t even break down the corrugated cardboard boxes.

Now I’m coming in at 5:00 and he’s asking me to make a tray of cakes first! He aught naught do that!

Thank You, Stream of Consciousness Saturday for letting me get that off my chest. I was pissed off last night.

Corporate Greed


Yesterday I saw this in Facebook and it reminded me of a post I wrote a year ago.

I had just started working at the grocery store and was disgusted by all the wasted food that is thrown out. It was already bugging me that all the chain stores were starting to sell food, too, resulting in tons more food being thrown out. How can this be sustainable? I don’t think it is.

Just to drive the point home, at work yesterday, two women balked at the price of their squashes….. $4.46 for an Acorn squash and $7.76 for a Butternut!  The first said she didn’t want it, the other took it reluctantly because it’s part of her Easter dinner.

Then you see a huge burger on TV with a bun and some anemic vegetables on it for $2.49.  That’s a piece of a COW. Look what it takes to raise a cow, butcher it and send it out refrigerated.  I can see the price of beef in the store as I ring it up. What the heck is going on? How much does it cost you to make a burger?

In last years post I commented that Raj Patel, in his book “The Value of Nothing”, calculated that a burger should cost about $148 considering all the costs of raising the cow and the cost to the environment.

If I want to go out for a vegetarian meal I have to drive somewhere (far from here) and get a plate of rice and beans for maybe $10.  Nice vegetarian Indian dish….. $15.   Needless to say, I don’t go to restaurants. If I want something delicious, I have to make it myself.

Beef and pork farmers are subsidized. Big corporations have big corporate farms with big farm subsidies. Who is making the profits? How can this be; with all the wasted food thrown out? With all the water being used to raise beef, the use of fossil fuels, insecticides and pesticides, how can our earth replenish herself?


This post has been in draft for a couple of days so I could chew on it for a while but today’s Daily Prompt gives me a chance to air it……

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I’m a vegetarian and have been true to it for about 35 years but I don’t begrudge anyone who doesn’t want to give up meat. I’m not vegan and do not want to give up my dairy products. I get it.  People are going to eat what they want to eat….. maybe we should just re-think how we get it.





nothing more than feelings…….

I read a great article this morning about how women should not suppress their feelings. It’s an interesting read but this really jumped out;

Well, keep in mind that we’re half of society and we can change society. What the world needs more of, in my opinion, is this receptive, sensitive, compassionate, empathic, connected energy. And if we, as women, have that within us, we owe it to ourselves and to the world to bring that to the foreground, fight for it and not have it be oppressed.”

so there! Let it all out, ladies, you owe it to the world!

Catch Her in the Rye

If you could have any author –living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose?

At first, I thought of Tom Robbins or Hunter S. Thompson, but that would only be good for a short period of my life when I did drugs, had sex often, went out at night and drank alcohol.

Robbins would only poke fun at my quest for enlightenment: Thompson would make a mockery of it.

J.D. Salinger would understand what I wanted to convey about my life. He could dress it up to make it readable:

I would be a female Holden, combined with Esme, observing life and questioning society’s constraints in my childhood. Franny, in my teens, melodramatic and swooning at the difficulty of life in general.

But wait…… Tom Robbins would really do justice to my ten years of caving experiences…… or the guy that wrote “Shibumi”.

To tell the truth; I’m already bored by the thought of my biography!  Even I’m not interested in reading it.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ghostwriter.”

Haunted Campground

Many, many years ago, when I first met my husband, I had a Volkswagen camper and we spent six weeks out west going to different National Parks and hiking.

One day we were looking for a campground to spend the night and came upon one at a First Nations reserve in the Bow River Valley in Alberta.

It was weird right away as the gates were wide open and no one was at the kiosk.  There are many campgrounds were you find a spot then walk back to pay for it so we looked for a good spot.

That was easy because there were no campers there at all. Every camp site was empty. We walked around a saw an old trailer at the back but no one came out as we walked by.

The whole place was eerie and silent; it didn’t have a good feel to it. Usually we liked being alone but this time I would’ve preferred others to be there.

Back at our campsite we started to get set up to make dinner but I had to pee first.  I figured since no one was there, I might as well pee in the woods behind us rather than walk to the outhouse.  While I was squatted and peeing, I heard a low, deep growl but so low I wasn’t sure if I heard it. I heard it again, stood up while still peeing and walked quickly to my van while pulling up my pants.  What was weird is that it sounded so close, as if it were whispering the growl just over my shoulder. I wasn’t sure if I really heard it and didn’t just imagine it.

I got in the van and started to prepare dinner. The pop-top had canvas sides with screened vents so it was like standing in a tent. I first heard dogs barking in the distance, then drumming,  then furious barking and the sounds of women screaming, drums beating faster and louder…….I stood frozen….. I was listening to a massacre. I was hearing the sounds of women and children screaming in horror.

Doug was lying back reading.  “Stand up!” I said, and he did. The sounds continued, we were looking at each other, aghast.

Then we threw all the dishes in the little sink, pulled down the pop-top and drove the hell out of there as fast as we could!

I will never forget it. It may have been the most intense ghostly encounter I’ve ever had but still, to this day, remember the old trailer. I think a ‘medicine-man’ lived there and scared us away.

The whole incident was certainly surreal.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Whoa!.”   What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

Babbling Brook


Well, ‘I’ has got to be the easiest prompt of all!  Part of editing is going through and finding ways to take ‘I’ out .

I have a day off. I had someone visit me yesterday! I might just have a new friend that lives around here.

We sat on my deck in the sun yesterday, a hot spot, and talked about how we got here; how we ended up working at a grocery store late in life, living on our own.

She had a wonderful husband, “larger than life” she said, “everyone loved him”.  He was good to her and they loved each other. A year and half ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within a few months.

When I met her at the store, I had just started and was not feeling very good or confident…. I felt sorry for myself.  She started within weeks of me; her husband had only been dead for six months. She would blank over and tear up.

This morning I found her on Facebook to send her a friend request and saw photos of her husband. He was very good-looking and had a big, genuine smile. There was a photo of them together with his arm around her. They were obviously happy and in love.

Life can really suck sometimes.  Another cashier I work with who is old and tired, too, owes $25,000 to the franchise she once owned. They say she owes it for past unpaid GST (tax). She works 8 hour shifts and pays every penny she can toward her debt.

Another, younger and more together than us, is in a family that lost two teenagers within two years; one to cancer another in a car accident. Trying to heal from the first, then experiencing another loss, the family has been in pain for years.

When you scratch beneath the surface a little, everyone has a story.

I am humbled by the pain some people have gone through then had the courage and strength to rise to what they must do even when they feel like curling up into a ball in bed.

We talked on my deck for a while but said she had to go to work. I said, “so do I!”

We were both working last night; she was closing seafood, I was closing the bakery. I had to pass her often to take garbage out, get a mop and bucket, etc.  She had to put away fishy stuff on display, shovel the ice into a large cart to be taken outside and dumped, then clean everything.

We stopped and talked a lot, joked around with the young guys. It made the night a lot less depressing!


Badge of Service


I wear a badge with my employers name on top, “better food for all.”  is written beneath, then My Name and “serving you since 2014”.  That way you know our name and how long we’ve been serving you.

This badge says that I am going to make your shopping experience the best it can possibly be. I am going to make your day and leave you smiling with something new and delicious to eat.

If I’m working in the bakery and see you looking at our cakes, I will stop what I am doing and go out to ask if I can help you in any way. Even if you don’t know what you want I will stand and listen to you think out loud. I will try to pick out a cake with no calories or ‘not too sweet’ then secretly agree they are way too expensive.

I will slice your bread at 8:30 p.m.  even though I’ve already cleaned the slicing machine and mopped the floors over there. I will get some pastries out from the glass display after I’ve turned out the lights and find the codes for the cashiers at 8:55 p.m. who are waiting to cash out and go home.

If am the one on cash at 8:55 and you are wandering around the store because we can all wait for you…… I will politely say, “Excuse me, we are closing now……”  (If they are doing that….. they already don’t care)

If I am on cash I will make eye contact, smile and say ‘Hello, and how are you today?!”  even if I’m crazy tired and can’t tell you apart anymore. If you just got back from your winter in Mexico, are having the grandchildren over for March Break and spending $200 on great food, snacks and treats I will bag it all for you, too, while you tell me all about your winter and/or grandchildren. All the time smiling and nodding and say “oh, you are so lucky! Have a great time!”   Then turn to the next tanned grandparent with a cart load of groceries, all in a flap because she ‘just got back’.  and say “Hello! ……..” [do it all again] “…… Have a great time!”

If I am the only one on cash all afternoon and you are lining up and staring at me, guess what?  I know you are staring at me! But when it’s finally your turn I will look you in the eye, smile and say “Hello! and how are you today?”

This is a badge of honour and strength. I am proud I can live up to the challenge.

sob serve

What day is it?

Yesterday I checked the guide in my TV to confirm what day it was. That’s the trouble when you work over a 7 day schedule with different days and shifts….. you lose track of what day of the week it is.

Sometimes, on my day off,  I get a tiny rush of panic that my days are mixed up and I really should be at work. I keep my schedule on the fridge and check it constantly; stare at it like it will change before my eyes.

I had yesterday off and don’t go in until 4:00 today so it almost feels like a day off. Tonight I’m cleaning and closing the bakery and that’s fine with me. After three busy days on cash last week, going into the bakery at night to clean feels like a blessing. I’ll take cleaning and mopping over the insanity of the ‘endless line’. Far in the back of the store, no one even notices me. I’m at the invisible age anyway, and people rarely look into the bakery unless they want their bread sliced.

On cash, the shifts are anywhere and everywhere, for instance; 11:30 to 5:00,   2:45 to 7:45, 10:15 to 3:15   and the most dreaded for me, 8:00 to 1:00.   Sure, I get off at 1:00, but really tired. Sunday I am on until 9:00 at night then go in Monday morning at 8:00….. that’s just cruel.

I’m getting to like the 4:00 to 9:00 shift, or even better …. 5:00 to 9:00; only 4 hours!  I can get things done in the morning and still have time for a little rest before work. There is so much to do cleaning and closing the bakery, it goes by fast.

Yesterday it was finally nice outside and I had the day off. What did I do? Go to another grocery store!  I needed some things you just can’t get around here (paneer and unbleached coffee filters) and I needed to go somewhere else!

I live alone and have no friends around here nor nice neighbours.  I’m going to work and going home and going out of my mind. This morning is very foggy which adds to the feeling of living in my own world: a world of 7 days divided up into varied 5 hour increments; changing all the time. It just keeps going and going……

What day is it?