Monday, September 9, 2019


Chain Store Hell

Thirty-year-old male supervisors
wore white shirts, black ties.
Possessing high school diplomas,
they earned lofty salaries,
passed themselves off
as the privileged elite.

We were “girls”,
chain store cashiers
paid minimum wage,
without benefits,
unwitting stars
of their erotic fantasies.

As we hurried from check stand
to break room, through
backroom warehouse gauntlet,
groping hands reached
over Kotex and toilet paper cartons
to detain and harass.

When their wives arrived
with crammed shopping carts,
we were cautioned not to act
too friendly or speak without adding
a respectful “Mr.”
in front of their names.

Powerless, we punched
price keys with a vengeance,
slammed merchandise
across abrasive counters,
wondered what would happen
if the tables were turned.

--Jennifer Lagier

No comments: