At the grocery store here in Kingston I have “my guy”. When you have finished filling your cart and you wander up to the front of the store one of the employees will snag you to help you. These nice employees unload your cart onto the belt, take the cart away, bag your groceries, place them into a second cart, come with you to your car, and load it all up! The regular grocery carts aren’t allowed outside so they have different & special outside carts to go to your car.
Sometimes I tip, sometimes I don’t. One particular day it was pouring rain and I mean pooouring as I walked outside while the bagger was following close behind. The employee, who is deaf, motioned for me to unlock my car. I unlocked it with my remote and he ran out into the rain to load up the car. I felt like he really went above and beyond (all the other guys were just standing around) so I tipped him 500 JMD, about $4.15 USD. From that point forward he became “my guy”.
Every time I go into the store he waves, gives me a big smile, and lets me know he’ll be ready to help me when I’ve finished my shopping. He is a really, really nice guy and I’m happy to have him help me.
This most recent trip shopping was no different. As I wandered through the aisles he caught my attention, waved, and made sure I knew he would be waiting for me.
When I had everything I needed I wandered to the front of the store and started looking for him. I couldn’t find him and while I was searching a different employee grabbed my cart to help me. He pulled my cart into one of the check out aisles when I told him “oh actually I’m waiting for the young man who helps me every time.” He replies, “there is no waiting. You go with the person who takes you.” I’m quite sure that’s not a rule!
I was still looking for my guy but I couldn’t see him. There was a person in front of us so this other guy hadn’t started unloading my cart. I told him “okay, since I can’t wait I will just go walk down the aisles some more. I’m not done shopping.” He totally knew I was lying and was not backing down. “No ma’am, you have to stay with the person who takes you.”
Just then, like a knight in shining armor, my guy comes to save me from this other guy! It was like slow motion as he came sprinting and waving across the front of the store. I said to the other guy “There’s my guy!!” But we were just about to the belt to unload my cart. He was basically Usain Bolt in that moment. His moment of glory.
As my guy came and took my cart to another check out line I could tell the original guy was very much annoyed. They exchanged some heated glances as my guy was unloading the cart. Luckily, both me and my guy made it out alive.
I’ve never been given so much attention in the grocery store before! As we were walking out to the car my guy gave me the old “I’m always watching you” sign. He didn’t really have to tell me that. It was very clear from the sprinting!
I felt really badly. I didn’t have any small bills with me so after all of that I didn’t even give the poor guy a tip. But I gave him the old “next time” sign so he knows to keep his eyes peeled for me!