Reality Check On Aisle 4

Illustration by Bob AulOur spirits are crushed, one chubby, middle-aged coupon clipper at a time.

On my first day at Albertsons, the biggest blow to my self-esteem wasn't the "Welcome to Team Albertsons!" indoctrination video I had to watch. It wasn't the apron I had to wear, or my manager's incessant reminders that I'd be earning minimum wage.

I figured on all of that. It was my encounter with you that caught me off-guard.

I was cleaning Aisle 4 when you approached me, squinted at my name badge and screeched, "Where's the prune juice?"

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I was supposed to follow the procedure outlined in our employee training video and lead you to the juice, grinning like a lizard.

There was just one problem: we were already in the juice aisle—hence the sign above our heads reading "Aisle 4: Juice"—and you were standing right next to the prune juice.

All I could do was sigh, walk a few steps to my right, slide a bottle off the shelf and silently hand it to you.

Thanks for shopping Albertsons—and for reaffirming the futility of my job.

Send anonymous thanks, confessions or accusations—changing or deleting the names of the guilty and innocent—to "Hey, You!" c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701-7417, or e-mail us at

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