In the religion of buying organic and local, Whole Foods is like the big, showy megachurch. There's two-hundred plus of John Mackey's paeans to healthful eating in the U.S. and in each store there's a throng of cashiers bleating the Whole Foods motto: "Would you like five cents back for bringing your own bag or would you like to make a donation to charity?" The prohibitive price of the groceries (Whole Paycheck, anyone?) coupled with the granola (and we're not talking merchandise here) the company emanates attracts a certain kind of customer. If you're one of those customers, know that even though your actions may come from a benevolent place, you might be driving your cashier nuts. Here are some helpful tips (culled from a former store employee!) to help preserve their sanity.
Don't joke about your ID being fake.
You're handing over the limited-edition six-pack of microbrew or a bottle of biodynamic wine and you crack wise about the validity of your ID. Understand that this happens one to two dozen times a day and by the 15th time, it is as fresh as any sitcom tagline. They see the smirk on your face, and it's almost like they can hear Joey Lawrence exclaiming, "Whoa!"
They don't run the store.
This may surprise you, but your cashier probably does not run the store. Don't complain and/or chastise them because the herbal eyedrops have been moved and you can't find them or the bulk lentil bin is empty. Again. It's not their fault, and they don't care that things are done differently at [insert name of your locally owned organic grocery store that you aren't frequenting anyway].
Don't talk on your cell phone.
Actually, go ahead an talk on your cell phone. Making small talk is part of the job, and if you're on the phone they get to forgo the ritual. Just be prepared to answer all the pertinent questions, like, "How are you going to pay for these biodegradable picnic utensils?"
Don't assume they buy the Whole Foods hype.
Just because someone works at Whole Foods doesn't mean they buy into your piecemeal spirituality. Don't tell them Mercury is in retrograde or lecture them about the latest international cause you've taken up. They've been standing in place for seven hours, trying to pretend they love every minute of it for fear of losing their job. You're paying too much for your food, and they're not getting paid enough to pretend they care.
Put your kids on a leash.
Okay, you don't have to put them on a leash. It's demeaning, we know. But learn the line between raising kids to be "free" and respecting others. Maybe they let Dakota express herself like that at Montessori school, but keeping her from scattering peanut butter pretzels everywhere won't stunt her emotional development.
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Slipknot at Concord Pavillion
Slipknot, and Lamb of God performed at the Concord Pavillion on Wednesday, August 26, as part of the Summer's Last Stand Tour. Photographs by Richard Haick.