(Continued…...)...Katie planted her legs in a wide stance, dug her fists firmly into her hips and glared at the startled clerk. She was mad! But the problem was that she was just so darned cute that she was more reminiscent of Wonder Woman’s younger sister, Drusilla, played with amazing conviction by a young Debra Winger, than the fierce customer service advocate I think she had intended.
"....I...I’m...I don’t....” the clerk stammered while looking around trying to locate the final resting place for his airborne glasses.
Then the clerk’s face froze as all we heard what sounded like a pocket full of change getting louder and louder. Gina, Katie and I all turned in the direction of the clerk’s stare and saw a man dressed in dark slacks and a pressed white shirt bounding towards us. I knew he was the manager because one, he was wearing a name tag and two, he had keys. A lot of keys. And he had keys that jingled, jangled, jingled. Keys were a grocery store manager’s equivalent to war medals....and he looked as though he was heading towards his Waterloo, and he couldn’t have escaped if he wanted to.
“Leon,” the manager yelled, “what did you say now?”
“Why do you automatically think it wa………..” the clerk started.
“Because it is ALWAYS you, Leon. Always! Leon, just go! I’ll deal with you later”
So, apparently this was not the first time Leon said the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. And as the manager turned towards us, it was obvious he was about to give an explanation that he had given a few too many times before, possibly even that day.
“My name is Chuck Sorenson and I’m the store manager. I truly apologize for whatever Leon might have said to you. I won’t ask you to repeat it as I’m sure I have heard it before.”
Now I was curious and I had to ask, “If this is a common occurrence, why do you keep him on staff? I don’t understand.”
“Because Leon is the owner’s son.”
Now I understood. If fact we all understood, nodding to each other as if we just found out the answer to a test question we all had missed.
“We try to keep him busy in back, but eventually he wanders out. And it’s not like we can keep him chained up...legally. But it has been better since we turned off FOX News in the break room. That seemed to help. If I may,” he continued, “I would like to offer you all $100 gift certificates for the store with our most sincere apologies.”
“That’d be great!” I said.
“….Yes!” Katie added.
“Fine by me!” agreed Gina.
In fact, I was thinking I would have been glad to give Leon a detailed list of names he could call me if more gift certificates came my way when the manager said, “You know it’s funny, we have to keep moving Leon around from store to store because people always try to come back hoping Leon will be rude to them so they can get free groceries.”
“But really, who would do that?” I said……….mildly disappointed.
To be continued………..