Cyndi Timmons, Cynical Assistant Deli Manager


I swear to God these freaking hair nets drive me CRAZY!

How in the hell am I ever supposed to attract a second husband when I look like a refugee from a 50s hat rack?


I’ll just take it off for a minute, Rob is up front checking IDs on beer sales for the dingbat high school girl in the express lane.  There–now any eligible male walking by can see my thick, lustrous hair.  Thank God for Prell Concentrate Shampoo and Alberto VO5!

It’s tough being stuck behind somebody like Rob.  He’s only thirty, as a non-smoker he’s got a long life ahead of him, so even though I’m just a heartbeat away from succeeding him under the Big B Markets Human Resources Handbook (Tab 3, section 3.1.5(a)(i)), there aren’t that many assassination attempts on Deli Managers.  No thanks to the world’s crazy terrorists who go around killing everybody else who looks at them cross-eyed.

“I can make him talk–you wanna hear?”


If you ask me, he’s got a conflict of interest.  He’s my direct-report so he’s the one who gives me my “360 review,” yet I’m the one who’d take his job if I ever let it be known that I’ve seen him putting a Boar’s Head Honey-Baked Ham in the trunk of his car–and I’m pretty darn sure it wasn’t a catering delivery.


Oh great, here comes Sue Ellen Minorkle, head high school cheerleader who’s gone to pot faster than you can say “Sis boom bah!”  What do you want to bet she’s gonna ask for just a little taste of the German potato salad.  And the crabmeat dip.  And the ham salad (yuk!)  No wonder when she walks away down the Chips ‘n Snacks Aisle the view from the rear looks like two hogs fighting under a sheet.

Hi Sue Ellen, good to see you too.  No, I haven’t re-married yet.  I really enjoy the “single” life right now, free as a bird!

The German potato salad?  Sure. (What did I tell you?) Let me just get one of these little sanitary wooden dipstick thingies–can’t give away the candy store, you know!

What?  I know it’s not a candy store, it’s a deli.  That’s just an expression.  (And she wonders why she was on academic probation the moment she set foot on a college campus.)  I know, it is yummy, isn’t it.  (It’s also why your upper arms look like over-inflated footballs.)  The crabmeat dip?  Sure thing.


(Why don’t you just pull up a chair and make a meal of it, you fat sow.)

Just a half pound of ham salad?  Al-righty then!

(You probably won’t need it until tomorrow since you already chowed down enough for today.)

There you go–have a nice day!

God it galls me to have to say that to a world-class bitch like her!  But that’s the price you have to pay if you want to be Employee of the Month at Big B Market, and get all the perks that come with it: the check for $50, a one-pound package of Roseland lard, a year’s supply of Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks, the coupon good for two (2) strings of bowling at Roll-a-Way Lanes (shoe rental not included), and a volume of the World Domination Encyclopedia currently being sold in installments up at the front of the store.


Well, if it isn’t Jean-Marie Robaugh, Little Miss Foodie from over in the “International” department.  She didn’t have a hyphen in high school until she went on a foreign exchange trip her junior year and came back with a beret and hairy legs.  I have to suck up to her since her dad is the “Bob” who gives the Big B its name.

Hi Jean-Marie–what’s up?  You need to go on break and want somebody to watch your croque monsieurs?  (Or as we say in good ol’ American, “ham and cheese.”)  Well sure, I’ll keep an eye on them (while you’re back in the shipping department snorting coke with Virgil on the loading dock).  No problem–you know me, anything for the greater glory of the Robaugh family business.  Ciao!

What a bimbette.  She thinks she’s so special just because she knows a little French.  Even I know what croque monsieur means–“hit mister,” which is what I’d like to do to her daddy if I don’t win Employee of the Month pretty soon.


Dear God in heaven, here comes that old Biddy Mrs. Searles, the Sample Lady From Hell.  Big Bob found out that some people were swinging by her station three and four times every trip they made to the market–and she was feeding them!  He told her she had to start keeping track but unfortunately her mind stopped working around the turn of the century and now she has to check with me two and three times a shift to make sure she’s not undercounting.

Hi, Mrs. Searles, how are you today?  Thanks, I’m fine too.  Did I see a tall, dark-haired man go by?  I wouldn’t have noticed him unless he didn’t have on a wedding ring!

I’m KIDDING!  (Like hell.  Right now I’d jump the bones of any man with a car and a better health plan than our tin-plated “high deductible” option here.  Basically, you have to die to get reimbursed for anything, and there’d still be a $20 co-pay.)

Well, I don’t know if he’s taken more than one sample.  I’ll keep an eye out for–ohmygod.  Is that him?  It is?  Can you introduce us?  Well, do something–offer him a mini-pizza or whatever those things are.  Go on–skedaddle!



I hope she can “break the ice” with him.  It would be nice before I die to be on the other side of the deli counter, bossing around some loser like me.

Good Lord–he’s coming this way.  I . . . what can I say.  Can I help you?  No, it’s may I help you, I remember that from 4th Grade English class.

“May I help you?”

“I’d like to speak to the manager in charge.”


I gulped a bit.  Rob was still up at the front of the store.  I don’t suppose any man as dashing as this guy would want to speak to a mere assistant deli manager . . .

“That would be me,” I say, batting my Super Extend eyelashes faster than a hummingbird’s wings.  “How can . . . may help you?”

“I’m from the Board of Health.  We got a complaint somebody got hair in their ham salad, I’m gonna have to shut you down for not wearing a hair net.”

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