The name on her plastic badge read "Doree." I met her on a Saturday afternoon in the express lane at the Winn-Dixie. After a long wait, I reached the counter and laid out my groceries.
Doree scanned the bananas like a pro. But then she looked baffled by the green onions until I identified them. The shallots stopped her cold. "And these are what?" she asked.
I'd named them earlier, anticipating the question. "Shallots," I repeated. "They're a kind of onion."
She scoured the product code list. A full minute passed; the shopper behind me fidgeted disgustedly. The cashier in the next lane searched her code list. "Found it," she said sharply, rattling off the numbers. Fumbling for the numbers, Doree gave way easily when the other clerk elbowed her aside and entered the code in a huff.
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