‘Nobody likes grape!’
I leaned out from behind my car,
a whirlwind approached.
‘Doesn’t matter!’ Another voice answered
from somewhere across the lot.
‘If it’s not in stock, then it’s not in stock!’
The rain had picked up.
‘…not my point.
Not disagreeing but...
not my problem to tell customers
about inventory issues.'
My person paused beside my driver side door
‘It's Mike’s job to make sure people know.’
He checked his device.
It blurped quizzically.
‘You Chris Cluff?’
I nodded and tried to find my opinion
about grape flavouring.
A fading voice continued-
‘NOT worth it. Why d’you have a beef
with Mike over this? It’s not worth it.’
He looked at me for a second then
got to unpacking the goods.
Items moved quickly
into the back of my vehicle.
He was deciding something, then offered-
‘Mike is our manager.’
His tablet pinged again.
'He ordered too much grape.'
The device's pleas were muffled. Distant.
'He doesn't want the head manager to know.'
Aidan had set it inside a red crate,
while he was emptying a green crate.
'So we are supposed to sub grape for lime
and tell the customer that we are out of stock.'
Now a blue crate sat on top of the red.
There was momentary panic,
I pointed to the bottom box.
‘You got one of the last lime Bubly.’
He pronounced it Bublé
and smiled to himself.
‘The next client that orders lime
will get a sub of grape instead.’
Non issue for me.
'Even though we got stock.'
I waited for more,
then filled the silence-
'Dude I am good with grape or lime.
It's all the same to me.'
It definitely wasn't the same for him.
He was dismayed.
With a sigh he advised-
'It ain't right.'