Understanding humanity as presented by my grocery store


@afffirmations on Instagram

“No one is safe.”

There’s no time I feel closer to understanding my fellow humans than my tri-weekly shift at the grocery store. A central, cultural hub is, I’ve learned, essential to deciphering the raw, unkempt actions of the general public.

Here are some generalizations about humanity, as perceived by me, as presented by my grocery store:

We love to pose questions, but we rarely know the answers.
I get questions all the time. “Where are the breadcrumbs?”; “Can you double bag that?”; “How much is this overpriced chocolate bar?”

Breadcrumbs? Who cares about breadcrumbs. Does free will exist? What are the monetary implications of society’s nuclear family structure? Why does the car fly at the end of Grease?

Perhaps if we took a step back every once in a while, practiced deep breathing, and just observed, then we’d be more content with our surroundings––– and in turn, more at ease with the uncertainties of our complex world.

Sigh. Third aisle on your right.

Perception is a curse.

Dark philosophers would conclude that we are burdened with a conscious mind, and then burdened yet again with our access to a mere 5% of it. So, not only does humanity make ill-informed decisions, we are also forced to observe the repercussions of those actions.

And I know what you want to say: Our nuance and perception are what make us human and our imperfection is wh— yeah, alright, sure.

All I know is that I once saw a woman bite an unpaid-for pear in front of me, proceed to fumble it on the ground, and then present it to me while asking very kindly: Could you put this back? It’s been on the floor.

I’ve seen things. Awful things. So yes, the conscious mind and its perceptions are absolutely a burden and a curse.

The objective truth is a lie. Or whatever George Orwell said.

As a human being, I value honesty. For the most part. Working at a grocery store has taught me the true face value of honesty and morals.

Sometimes all you can do is smile and nod. And if there’s a small, minuscule, trifling untruth that accompanies your head nodding… well… perhaps it’s for the best.

The music’s too loud? I’ll get right on it. The produce bags are hard to open and the entire stock should be replaced? I’ll relay the message to my superiors.

The truth is a powerful weapon to unleash and unveil at your own discretion. Use it wisely (if it even exists at all).

I’m not sure what it is about the grocery store that unleashes such a primal urge in its vicinity. Perhaps people think that they’re protected from the weight of human perception— but I’m here to tell you that no one is safe.