2019.07.16 00.49

coffee breaks

short nightmare

telehealth ontario

the netherfield ball

victorian subscription ball


more practice required


aches and pains

overheard on the subway

the time it takes

the last six cookies


041008 brother

Tonight's essay is being started far too late.

I felt like television, I felt like carbo food, I felt like meat food.

But now I want to write to you before I entirely forget the images.

Our security guard at the store has a name he figures is too hard for us. Also, maybe he has a lot of trouble with names.

So he calls us Brother, and expects us to call him Brother too.

At first I thought this some kind of avuncular reference, or perhaps the kind of religious title of Brother and Sister I'd heard before.

No; he does this just for humour and simplicity.

He's a big man, maybe six feet tall, strong Greek accent and Friendly. He's got eagle eyes when it comes to watching and catching the people who come into our store looking to shoplift.

Our Dominion wasn't always a corporate store.

Brother used to manage it, perhaps own it too. He gave it up when he had enough of the bologna that comes from head office. So he sold out.

Now he works for a security firm, and has a lot of seniority. Enough so that he could get a young guard (Alex) who *truly loved* working at our store out of that assignment.

Alex was alright, but Brother is better.

If you recall, I was threatened. It was shortly after that event when the store stopped bringing in tired worn out security guards like the one we had that night.

It's not too much to ask. A guard has to be fresh, listening and watching for trouble. We know they don't make much, but that doesn't diminish their need to be vigilant.

Tonight's work was **INSANE**.

Oh, I'm happy, life is good, the customers were friendly. It was still insane.

I got there just 4 mins late (after a short workout). and each of the cashiers had 20 customers in their queue. Once I arrived, two people left. Their shifts were over, and were just staying behind until they were certain I was actually there.

I took over Cash Desk 1, the express lane. I really hate it, because it has a strange rhythm: it has lots of tiny orders. The people who get into that lane are in a hurry, and believe by choosing express, the service will be faster.

It's a good concept, but I'm not fast for my first 30 minutes. It takes a while for me to warm up to all of the codes, how to get the bags open with the fingers of one hand, and so on. But the cashier who works Express has to handle some specific customer service jobs. We are the representative our customers get to see on arrival, and get to ask the minor questions (such as Do you sell eye drops? Is Dwayne working tonight? Do you have enough to cash a 500.00 cheque?). On a busy night, when courtesy desk's Two Clerks are tied up completely, the express desk isn't very fast.

But I digress. It was Insane; that is, far too many customers for us. It was like there had been some kind of federal announcement of stores closing.

The long lines for each cashier continued for hours. 9pm! 10pm! (That's normally break time for me) 11pm! I got a break at 1115pm, but needed to coax seven people to get into cash line 4. They were happy enough, as they all knew me. So half of them changed lines, I served the others.

When I got back upstairs, I took my place at the cash desk. I could smell cooking.

Our deli department doesn't cook this late!

It was Brother. He was preparing something distinctly Greek. Beef and Pork with Rice. Simple enough, but the pork reminded me of something I'd had at Astoria. The spices, the tenderness, the presentation, it was all so perfect, so Greek.

He made sample plates up for a lot of us. Yes, me too!

I had the last of it on the subway home.

Brother is an interesting security guard to have around.

He's one of the people in my universe.

That's all I know.

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