Guess what, folks? It’s the second Josie Leavitt guest post of the season! Josie writes:
This is not the first time I’ve written about snacks, and it likely won’t be the last, even though I’m officially retired from the store. (I suspect I will always fill in at the store a little here and there and pull some more shifts during the holidays.) I realize, since I’ve been away, that I equate the store with certain food rituals. The biggest ritual is raiding the snack bin in the back room. Back in my tenure that snack bin could usually be counted on to have a myriad of yummies ranging from cookies, energy bars (usually only there as a last resort if someone had skipped lunch), candy bars and some sort of other sweet thing. The expectation of food runs very high during the holidays when we tend to act like we’re under siege every day and unable to leave the premises.
I worked two weeks ago on a Saturday. I’d had a light breakfast, oatmeal—always satisfying in the moment, then finds me ravenous two hours later—and was hoping for some tide-me-over snacks during my four-hour shift. I entered the back room expectantly. I found the snack box and it appeared, while not full, to be at least promising enough to get me through to 2 p.m. This is what the snack box looked like.
Not great, but hopeful. That tin of butter cookies could be a gold mine. The mug with crackers probably not the tasty treat I was hoping for. But still I was optimistic. However, this is what I found:
Yes, that’s right. An empty tin of butter cookies. Empty! No, no and no. I moved on to other things and this is ultimately what I wound up with. A quarter of a Ziploc bag of stale popcorn and a small bag of “It’s Crunch Time” pretzels from American Airlines.
Wow, things have slipped since I was helping to stock the snack box. I shared my disappointment with my co-workers that shift, none of whom were Elizabeth. They laughed and went back to work. And I stayed hungry.
This past Saturday I worked and it was really, really busy. My shift was 1:30-6pm. I had an early lunch that day and by 4 p.m. I was feeling peckish. I ventured into the back to see if the snack box was in the same pitiful shape it had been. Well, much to my delight the snack box was a thing a of beauty.
Cheese, chocolate chip cookies, tasty-looking bins of nuts and chocolates and fruit all ready to provide sustenance for a busy retail day. There were even crackers and organic gummy bears. Elizabeth had gone above and beyond in stocking this little box of snack treasures and I was grateful. This all reminded me that food is a way of showing love, comfort and a pick-me-up. And I know it’s just a snack box, but being able to zip in the back, grab some food that someone else thought to bring, take a small break and eat something before heading back to the throngs of holiday shoppers can really turn a day around. I’m working again on Thursday and will be bringing some snacks of my own to add to the box. My plan is to actually have it overflowing with end-of-the-year snacks, so no one gets a crashing headache at 5 p.m. because they’re too busy to eat.