We didn’t know. The call came late. But it was the day before and that worked out all right. Cauliflower for $1.88 a large head from “Steinbeck Country Produce, Salinas Ca 93901” right down here at “No Thrills” on good old Fourth Avenue.
That’s when the fight started. Kidding! But hysterical news reports of cauliflower at $7 a head had us in a froth when we saw these babies. We’re serious. $1.88 a head. Time to stock up.
So we loaded the old SUV and cut on out of there. Chock-a-block.
The super speedy young fellow at the till kind of flinched when, as we were staggering away with the goods, I told him “You’re the fastest cashier I’ve ever seen.” He’d processed 68 head of cauliflower in about 12 seconds, plus all the other stuff we bought.
He mumbled something that may have been a sort of semi-strangled “No”. “Ewk.” “Negk.” Something like that. It was humility mixed with maybe he didn’t like anyone talking to him too much because he’s not used to customers doing that. The shoppers at “No Thrills” commenting, like a bunch of comedians, on his cashiering style.
It was like he just wants to do his job, do a good job, and get out at quitting time. He wants invisibility and durability. He doesn’t want to be picked out for how fast he is because then he’s brought attention to himself. And it’s supposed to be about the customer. And he’s not overly crazy to be doing this.
I wonder if he slowed down a bit after us. But I haven’t thought about it too much. Just to prove he’s not pretending to be a robot after all. The super, highly efficient robot. Turns out these robots are so good it’s because they’ve gone a step beyond being robots. They’re actually human beings. Red shirts, black pants and clown-yellow walls.
The cashier and everyone else down there do a great job. It may be no thrills but it’s work. “Everything is directed at saving you money”.
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