Training Gap

Is on-the-job training non-existent?

The day was a normal day, like any other. I had typical errands to attend to, a trip to the grocery store and a trip to a big-box home improvement store. I do not particularly enjoy doing either, so the plan was to zip in and out of each store while checking off all the items on my list. That was unrealistic considering the training gap.

First stop, home improvement store. I needed to purchase some gardening supplies and some PVC trim that was priced per foot. I was a little distracted crossing off items on my list when I realized the nice young man at the checkout counter having the toughest time calculating the amount of PVC trim I had. There were five pieces cut into eight foot lengths. As I raised my eyebrows, he quickly rattled, “Eight times five is thirty-five.” I said, “Uh, no…eight times five is forty.” The young man asked if I was sure and I replied, “Why would I lie to pay more?” He thought about that for a quick second, smiled and nodded and said, “You’re right, sorry. I don’t math.” I paid the total and pushed the gigantic cart out of the store confused. Why would someone that doesn’t math, as he put it, (I’ll save my rant about the omission of words as a new form of annoying slang for a later date) get assigned to work the cash register?

Next stop, my favorite hoyty-toyty grocer with the big organic product spread. Yes, it is expensive but that is why I stopped at the hardware store. I’m going to plant my own garden just to stick it to the grocer. Just kidding…about sticking it to the grocer. I am totally going to plant a garden, however. I grabbed lots of fresh produce and perused the fish. The whole trout looked great with clear, cloudless eyes and the price wasn’t bad, either. Good thing too, I had been too cheap to buy a trout stamp for my fishing license, this year. I asked another nice young man for two whole rainbow trout. Sea trout fish isolated on white backgroundAs I waited for the fish to be weighed and wrapped, I took out my list again and crossed off the produce I selected. When I glanced back at the counter I see the young man with his hand in the cooled display case hovering over red snapper and his face looked like a giant question mark. I asked what he was doing. He said he was getting my fish. I replied, “That’s a red snapper. I want trout.” He nodded feverishly and then his hand slowly moved to another fish. I shook my head and said, “No, that’s a mackerel.” Then I guided him to the trout. He was relieved but I was confused again.

I finished walking the maze of a store and headed to the checkout area. With my items on the conveyor, the young lady bagging the groceries asked the cashier what time it freshly turnipswas. She thought her break time was close at hand. The cashier, another young lady, pointed to the clock on the wall. The bagger exclaimed, “I don’t know how to tell time with that!” The cashier giggled while saying, “Me neither!” I helped out. “It’s 3:42.” “Thanks,” the bagger said with a flush. I could feel my brow furrow with more disbelief and confusion. I had to come out of it, though. The cashier was holding up a turnip and asking me what on earth it was.

Sigh. I don’t think I can get the garden planted soon enough.


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