Archive for May, 2009


8 beers

Friday, May 15th, 2009

I had an interesting experience at my neighborhood grocery store the other day.  I was walking down the soda aisle, looking for my favorite caffeinated beverage (Coke Zero), when I passed a store employee stocking the shelves.  As he worked, he was also talking on a cell phone.  “Yeah,” I heard him laugh, ”especially after 8 beers!”  I don’t know who he was talking to, but my impression was that it was a personal call.  The rest of his conversation faded from hearing as I walked on.

The good news, I suppose, was that he seemed to be enjoying himself.  But enjoying your work is one thing.  Enjoying yourself at work is something else entirely, and not necessarily a good thing, at least from an employer’s perspective.  And by the way, this was not a teenager talking, if you’re wondering.  If I had to guess, I’d put him in his late 30s to early 40s.  Also, let me say that I have no problem with people drinking, in general.  (Though 8 beers does sound a bit excessive.)  My concern is with the message his conversation sends to me as a customer, and the questions it raises in my mind.  Does he have a drinking problem?  Should I be concerned about him?  Is he drunk right now?  Does management know?  Is this some sort of drink-friendly grocer?  They do seem chipper.  Is there something else going on?  Are other staff members drunk too?

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