Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Nipple Height

Everyone's job is hard in its own way. Part of that is undoubtedly related to personal growth - when you're shiny new to the employment scene, probably most everything seems like a challenge. Take, for instance, this conversation I overheard at the grocery store a few days ago:

Gangly young produce employee (nervously): "Umm, how tall should I stack these mandarins, sir?"

Shorter, middle-aged produce manager (with booming confidence): "Nipple height!"

See how difficult things are when you're new at a job, and how easy they are when you're not? When you are new, you don't even have an expectation of what the expectations might be. Can I, should I make even the most basic of fruit display assembly decisions on my own? What if there is a Mandarin Stacking Standard I'm not aware of? Let me not be a mandarin Icarus, flying too close to the fluorescent glare above! Help, I'm paralyzed with indecision!

And the manager - oh, the authority with which he spoke! All those years of experience culminating in this glorious demonstration of prompt and confident decision making, really showing those young pups how it's done, whipping out those tried and true and not terribly sensible Stacking Standards like a pompous-ass gunslinger...

"... Umm, your nipples or mine, sir?"

Touche, young pup! I had the same concern with the manager's glaringly non-standard standard as soon as he said it. Unfortunately, I was laugh-choking to death on my coffee and didn't catch his response.

I worked at a neighbourhood grocery store in my late teens, and the produce department was one of my favourites to help out in. If only my mandarins were stacked as tall and proud now as they were back then... They were truly a sight to behold. sigh

It was surely the height difference between the two men and not the relativity of this measurement over time on his own person that caused the young fellow to question the nipple-height Stacking Standard, but I still felt a bit of solidarity with him for bravely noting the obvious flaw in his boss' statement. I decided to circle back around with my cart a little while later to see how our lanky hero was faring with his boxes.

The two were nowhere in sight, but I had to reach over my head to get a box of oranges down so I guess we know whose nipples prevailed over logic that day.

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