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Messy day

Wow, today was pretty disgusting.

I guess it started off when I got shat upon on my way to work.

Some sort of bird which had been eating lots of something chock full of chlorophyll took a big ol’ juicy, seedy dump on my right shoulder as I rode in to work.

I kind of freaked out because I had an enormous, runny, green bird crap on my shoulder, so I took my water bottle and did my best to hose the bulk of the poo off my white blouse (work uniform!). Of course that got rid of the chunks, but a quarter-sized green patch was left behind. Also, basically my whole right-hand side was sodden due to my overenthusiastic dousing.

Joel and I rode downtown together and I guess we were keeping a fairly smart pace, ’cause I arrived at work with plenty of time to spare. It was just as well as every available minute was spent trying to budge the green stain from my sleeve and/or dry the side of my shirt sufficiently so that my undershirt didn’t shine through obscenely.

I got myself to a relative state of tidiness only to have the third messiest day I’ve ever had at this job.

The first and worst was when I was working on register 2, which has a faulty shutoff switch for the conveyor belt. A lady set her paper cup of coffee (some kind of sugary latté confection) on the belt, and when it got to the end, the belt didn’t shut off. The coffee tipped over, the lid flew off, and sticky coffee went everywhere! Down the conveyor belt, under the produce scale, all over my blouse, all over the floor. Who knew 12 ounces of coffee could spread so far? And she had really sugared it up, so I was finding (and cleaning up) stickiness for the entire rest of the evening.

The second worst mess was the night I spilled hand soap while putting away the cleaning cart. I had been wheeling the cart back into the way-back storage area of the store, and got the supply rack on the cart hung up on the double-doors from the main store floor into the back area. The hand-soap refill jug obligingly toppled over and began to glug slimy soap all over the floor. The cleanup of that mess was like something out of Greek mythology. Cutting off heads of Medusa’s hair, of the hydra, rolling a stone up a mountain endlessly….something like that. Wiping up a substance that multiplies in foamy volume as you scrub at it could well be a modern day (puny) allegory for futility.

Today wasn’t a day of such epic messes as it was a day of continual messiness. Customers brought overflowing soup cups to be weighed. One customer brought the salad dressing for her salad in cups without lids which promptly spilled on the conveyor belt. Italian & raspberry vinaigrettes are a pretty close rival to over-sweetened latté for pervasive messiness. Another guy was eating gelato which had been over-filled and it turns out he’d dribbled a fair amount on to the floor, which subsequent customers walked through and tracked all over creation before I was notified of the mess and had a chance to clean it up. An enthusiastically drooly and snot-nosed toddler insisted on “helping” his mother with the keypad for the credit/debit-card reader, and I felt duty bound to sanitize it after they left.


After my shift, I went in the women’s restroom and scrubbed myself from fingertips to shoulders, washed my face, and re-combed my hair. I’m going to loofah the hell out of myself tonight. I just spent so much of the day feeling slightly sticky that nothing short of an exceedingly thorough bath is going to make it right.

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