Sometimes, a little life experience is needed to do a job well. Or even acceptably. There's a new cashier at Country Mart. He's been there a little over a month. A really nice young man, probably between 18-21. He was nervous the first few times I went through his line, but now he seems at home, and is just the right amount of chatty and personable.
He really tried to bag my groceries right. I had a frozen Freschetta rising crust pizza, which he laid on its side in the bag. And he put my package of mozzarella cheese sticks on top, after asking me if it was all right. I had to also suggest that my deli big salad in the flat square container could go with the pizza, too. He put Hick's antiperspirant, and the triple antibiotic ointment, and non-stick foil, and my orange citrus dish soap together. But then he put Hick's bottle of whiskey in a bag with a jar of cherry peppers.
"Careful! This one is all glass!" he said as he double-bagged them, together, letting the glass clink.
I had four potatoes in a bag. The sign by them in the produce department calls them Giant Baking Potatoes. They're really huge, and perfect for when I make Terrible Taters, and stuff them with pulled pork and cheese for a filling meal. Sometimes they're on sale, but today they were not. They were $1.29 each. I wanted those potatoes, so I put four in a bag.
New Guy got to my potatoes, and was baffled. "I'm not sure what these are." He picked up his glossy color chart of about 100 produce items.
"They're the Giant Baking Potatoes. The sign said $1.29 each. I remember that, because sometimes they're only 99 cents, and once they were 89 cents on the sale ad. But today, they're $1.29 each."
"I guess I would call them russets?"
"I don't know. They look like they could be russets."
"Yeah. I'm going to say they're russet tomatoes."
"I just know they were $1.29 each. In a bin. Labeled Giant Baking Potatoes."
"Oh. Here. $1.29 apiece. Yeah. They look like russet tomatoes to me."
Where to start? He was giving me the right price. But surely he knew the difference between POTATOES and TOMATOES!
That dear sweet boy. He just was not picking up what I was laying down. When I checked the receipt later to see if he'd charged me for "russet tomatoes," I saw that he had not. But he HAD overcharged me!
There's a wrinkle in the receipt, but take my word for it. Instead of $1.29 each, he'd weighed them, and charged me for 4.12 pounds @ $1.29 per pound. So $5.31 instead of $5.16. No. I did not take them back.
Bless his heart! At least he didn't try to sear a steak in vegetable oil, and burn his hand...