Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cut Class

It finally happened. I was waiting in line at Natural tonight and it was my turn to go. Furthest cashier to the right called out 'next'. On my way down there (I had the boy with me) out of nowhere, somebody put their crap on the open counter. I expect it to happen everytime I make the long walk through the crowd to the open counter, but amazingly it never did - until tonight.

"Whoa" I said, but the cashier next to her became available and took my stuff. A few words were exchanged between me and the guy who took the spot - predictably from him "I didn't know that was one line" blah blah. I told him "I can't see how you could miss it" although in his defense I was the only one on the line. He was a white American for those who are wondering.

Maybe he really didn't know the line protocol at Natural, but still what he should have done was apologized and offered to get to the back of the line. But what bothered me was the cashiers seeming to take his side. I felt a little better when I purposely let the door slam on him on the way out (I had to hurry to get in front of him), but I should have gotten more backup from the cashier pit. I was in the right, I wanted at least acknowledgement of that. Instead he got the smile and I got nothing.

In fact, I never get a smile at Natural. At most, they give the boy a few dated crappy peaches that they were probably going to throw out anyway. Yes, I know it's something, but I go there a lot. A smile and hello would go a long way. My dry cleaner does it. Ming does it. Rita at Bonelle is practically my son's godmother. And I go to Natural more than any of those places.

I don't even know why I went there tonight. I got milk, chips, tofutti, and salsa - certainly a Trade Landable trip (I'm about equi-distant from each). Not only would I have saved a couple bucks, I would have gotten a smile. They're nice there, even if the surroundings aren't. But I don't want Natural to struggle. I've noticed the lines are a bit shorter since TJ's, but not enough to form a trend. They are one of the most important business on Austin Street and you have to show support. Plus, their stuff is superior to everywhere, including Trader Joe's.

So I'll keep going to Natural, but they can keep the peaches. I want a hello.