Friday, February 23, 2007

A Kroger Love Story Part 1

I wrote this a long time ago, and am just posting it now, so do not judge it too harshly.

There are probably several stories from my younger days that are worth telling. However this is the one I want to tell. Just as Mike from Barely Legal Blog worked at Kroger, I did so too. However, I do not have ten stories to tell, just one (though I was wearing the polo that Mike instituted).

It was so long ago, I cannot even remember what year it was. I think it was the fall semester of my sophomore year in college, when I came to be employed by the Kroger in my college town. A friend of mine had recently begun working in the Deli there, and told me it was an easy job and they were hiring. Me needing money to pay those older than me to procure beer for me, decided that the Deli at Kroger’s was the perfect job. I quickly set about filling out an application and was hired (I think there may have been an interview, but who knows). I naively figured that this would be a good chance to hang out with a friend of mine, and getting paid to do so. This assumption turned out to be erroneous quite quickly. We both worked at night, but since we were both part-time, we were generally paired with a full-timer, and thus worked on different nights. Apparently there were some people in town who felt that working in the Deli at the Kroger was a career. After all, there were Union benefits (biting my tongue).

I generally spent my three nights a week working with Bertha. Bertha was a regular townie. She looked the part and acted the part. She was maybe a hair over five feet, but weighed a good 150 lbs. (a solid two ‘poons). She also had a nice pair of coke bottle glasses. In other words, the three-month old honey ham was more appetizing than her. While we worked together, she talked incessantly, not really to me (or so I thought), but at me. I usually grunted a reply, but because I was too nice a guy I could not tell her to shut her hole. She would yammer on, and I would say things like “yup,” “MMM-Hmmm,” “that’s interesting,” “wow,” “huh,” and “cool.”

To this day, I have no idea what she was talking about 90% of the time, but in the three months I was there, she told me one story twice; How she found her husband. From what I could decipher, one day Bertha decided she needed a husband. To accomplish this monumental task, she set up three dates. The details of the first date escape my memory, but it probably involved the guy seeing her, excusing himself from the table, and fleeing through the bathroom window. At the second date, the guy did not show up, even though Bertha was to pick him up at his home. But, as Bertha told me, she had a great time with his parents. Apparently, this guy still lived with his folks, and then skipped out to prevent meeting her, and his parents were forced to deal with her. According to Bertha, they were very nice folks (which I do not dispute, there were some folks around these parts that are salt of the earh), and she proceeded to hang out with them for a few hours.

Fortunately, on the third date Bertha struck gold. She met her soul-mate, Billy. Three dates was all it took to find love. If only that could work for us white-collars. Anyway, when Bertha met Billy sparks flew and they each knew that the other was the one. After all, Bertha worked in the Deli and Billy worked in the Meat Department, both at Kroger. It was a match made in heaven, or at least a recipe from the Kroger Bakery. After what was probably an exciting and eventful courtship, Bertha and Billy got married.

However, shortly after I began working in the Deli with Bertha, they began going through some problems. Unbelievably the marriage began to fall apart. This of course, was completely unknown to me, because I never listen to what people have to say. Had Bertha said something to me, I probably would have grunted. Of course, that may have happened, and Bertha found my grunt to be the sexiest thing ever. Because I came into work one day, and Bertha was scheduled, but no where to be seen.

With Bertha gone, a kid my age, (but not in school, though a cool guy nonetheless) named Tom was forced to stay late and work with me. As I recall, I was scheduled to come in an hour before Bertha, so after about an hour and a half of hard Deli work, the word began to trickle down. Bertha and Billy broke up. They had a huge fight the previous night, and no one knew where Bertha was. I, of course, did not care, I was more concerned about who would help me close up the Deli that night. I spent the better part of an hour convincing Tom to stay and help me close up. I talked him into staying until closing time, though not until closing procedures were completed, but that was good enough for me. Then the bombshell came.

To be continued….

1 comment:

nicolle said...

i want to hear the end of the story! it's interesting, and you're leaving me hanging!