Monday, January 31, 2005

The Circle of Life

Our store runs on chocolate. Chocolate and caffeine and cigarettes. Those are the essential nutrients for booksellers at Big Bookstore. I know people at Big Bookstore who only smoke during their Big Bookstore breaks. They don't smoke at home, or in their cars, or when they're out drinking. But when that break rolls around, they're out on the side of the store smoking Marlboro Reds down to the butt.

We're covered in the caffeine department thanks to the Big Bookstore Cafe. As for cigarettes, we're all responsible for bringing our own, but are always willing to share. (Our generosity with fellow smokers is fueled by the sense that we are a beleaguered group, doomed to extinction.) Chocolate presents a more difficult logistical problem, however. Big Bookstore sells chocolate, but it is expensive stuff. Good, but expensive. Given the amount of chocolate necessary to fuel booksellers at Big Bookstore, we would go broke if we didn't seek outside sources. This is where I come in. Once a week, I go to Safeway and buy a couple of bags of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey's Minis, and Dove Kisses, which I stuff in my locker (which doesn't have a lock). Whenever anyone needs a hit of chocolate, they can stop by my locker, conveniently located by the timeclock for that all-important start-of-shift chocolate hit.

Sometimes my cow-workers contribute to the chocolate acquisition effort. Chick Magnet or the Holler or the Dark Goddess will buy candy and put it in my locker. Last week, the Queen of the Flying Monkeys, disappointed to find the cupboard bare, placed a note in my locker which read, "Chocolate Lady, please buy some candy, I need a fix." He enclosed some money. This is where the Circle of Life begins. Well, actually it begins with QotFM's Big Bookstore paycheck. (QotFM works hard for the money. He works hard for it, honey.)

I took the money and pocketed it, because I knew better than to try and give it back to him. Later that day, Calendar Boy went out to Jerry's Subs and brought back lunch. To pay him back for my Big Bubba, I gave him the money that Queen of the Flying Monkeys had given me.

Even later that day, Calendar Boy and I were in the Cafe, which he now supervises, and he asked me to ring him up for the large Caramel Mocha which he was preparing for himself. I did so, and gave him the total. He pulled out the five dollar bill which QotFM had given me for the chocolate, and which I had given Calendar Boy for the Big Bubba, and handed it to me. I placed it in the Cafe till, and the Big Bookstore Circle of Life was complete.

I have to say that usually the Circle of Life is much more direct. We get paid. We buy books. This money actually made an intermediate stop.


Blogger Gerbera Daisy said...

Gee, I wish I worked at your branch of Big Bookstore. There are times when I could use a piece of chocolate before facing the customers. And I promise, if I took from your stash occasionally, I would replace.

10:25 AM  
Blogger ereshkigal said...

Start your own stash!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Gerbera Daisy said...


1:37 PM  

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