I Am Too Sick To Shop At Food Lion

I never have a whole good day anymore. Rather I wake up and cannot always judge by my ability to get out of bed whether or not I’ll do well for awhile. Once I’m up and moving around I can tell by the pain – by how much there is – whether or not I should even tackle any chore today.

It’s nobody’s fault, but mine. I bossed this body around for years. I made it do things it didn’t feel like doing, or probably shouldn’t be doing. Now for the last few years it has started to rebel.

I took some children to roller skate one day as a substitute teacher one day several years ago. One of the regular teacher assistants got out on the floor with them. She waved at me to join them. Yeah, my body hissed at me . . . go on out there . . . go get a pair of skates, they’re free for you today, you know? I’ll go with you. Put them on your feet and SKATE! I shook my head at the teacher assistant as she skated by, but I did go stand by the rail so I could see the children better. It wasn’t long before the teacher assistant was flat on her back on the skating rink floor. That could have been YOU! my body hissed. “I know, SHUT UP!” I hissed back.

The rescue squad had to be called and the teacher assistant was whisked away. She apologized as she passed by me on the stretcher. “I’m only fifty,” she said. I nodded my older head at her.

Once my body realized it had the upper hand, it has seemed to enjoy the limitations it places on my activities. Now it’s demanded that I stop working. I loved my job. I didn’t want to stop. I tried working half days, but could not even do that. I’m out to pasture.

Because of my ailments, I like to stay close to home. There is a Food Lion less than a mile from my house and I love how close it is to me. I do not love how it is run. Recently it had been remodeled. I believe remodeling is still going on. It looks nicer. However, they have moved the Customer Service Desk all the way across the store from the Office. Before when you walked up to the desk, someone would come out of the office within five minutes. Now you can wait, and wait and wait, and you have to get loud or obnoxious for anyone to care that you are WAITING to be waited on.

I was in there day before yesterday with my son. He helps me shop as part of my body’s rebellion includes my not being able to stand or walk for prolonged periods of time. I cannot walk up and down every aisle anymore. Four aisles are about my limit. So I got my few items and met him at the front of the store where he transferred the contents of my cart into his. Then he got in line to check out. I hobbled over to the Customer Service Desk. No one, as usual, was there. I stood waiting. I looked around and noticed my vision was beginning to blur. I looked behind me for the bench that is so handy to sit on. It was gone! So I continued to stand. My son was checking out when I noticed three people come out of the Office on the other side of the store. Surely they saw me standing there. Surely they’d be over in a minute. My son finished checking out almost $100 worth of groceries and he walked to the Customer Service Desk. “Are you ready to go?” he asked.

“No,” I told him. “No one has come to wait on me yet.” I pointed towards the three laughing, talking employees who stood by the Office door. I told him, “Those three people came out a little while ago and I thought one of them would come over soon, but they haven’t.”

He looked over at the group of employees. “There’s FIVE people standing there laughing and talking,” he told me.

That set me off. I got LOUD. I asked the nearest cashier in a LOUD voice if anyone was ever coming to the Customer Service Desk? She looked embarrassed and confused. She glanced at the group by the office.

I got LOUDER. “DOES ANYONE WORK HERE WHO CAN HANDLE A PURCHASE AT THE CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK?????” The five conversing, laughing employees gawked at me. One reluctantly tore herself away and wandered over. I made my purchase. She thanked me and I didn’t say anything back because the only words ready to come out were unacceptable.

I told my son as we were leaving that this was our LAST trip to that Food Lion. He nodded.

There is another grocery store that isn’t as close and the prices are higher, but the service is great. I’ll drive a little farther and spend more, but I won’t have to stand on shaking legs with my vision getting more and more blurry as employees, who think they are at work to socialize, ignore me.


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