The Harbinger Online

Music Meltdown

A staple for any self-respecting grocery store is quality music. The soundtrack practically consumes the store as it fills the awkward space inbetween aisles and shelves. It gaps your thoughts when you wonder if Nabisco really offers better saltines than Zesto. It uplifts the spirits when it’s just you between the wide shelves of aisle 5, or stuck in the secret freezer behind the milk. It’s the most underrated team member of our entire store’s crew.

My store plays every which tune. I’ve heard the likes of Coldplay, ska rock and classic Stones all in the same day. It’s music good enough to tap your foot to at the end of the paper stacks. They don’t all make the cut for my iPod, but they definitely provide something to skip around to when I’m working past nine.

Yet the music system is incredibly underrated. Hallmark likes to take it’s stab with aging cards, “Is it just be, or is the super market music getting better?” Our church’s music director blamed the music because we were underexposed to hymn book songs, and that we could all sing better if the PA blared 18th century hits. But in truth, noise overhead has immense potential. I read in a book that stores buy music with subliminal messages instructing shoppers to buy more stuff. I don’t know if that’s true in my grocery store, but it very well could be. It’s traditional golden oldies or pop tunes could be stuffed with underground meanings and devious Ponzi schemes.

That’s why I was furious when the PA started carrying sqeels this Sunday from Avril Lavigne and Hillary Duff. Who did they think they were? Where did the love go? What happened to the good times? Obviously out that door, boy, because I never want to see you again.

To the inspirations for those whining tunes that a greed-producer likes to believe is music: I can’t blame you. If I had to deal with that every weekend, I’d be far far away from her, or any pop star Disney produces.

So I started a quest with my checker friend, Hank (real name has been changed), to find out where exactly this music comes from. We asked customer service first; one girl shrugged her shoulders, and the other gave me a big hearty laugh. I knew neither of them were responsible, and we continued. Hank speculated that a D.J. may be tucked inside the manager’s office, but neither of us had enough courage to go back and investigate for ourselves.

So we brainstormed and thought what was different today, as we pulled out a paper sack and started playing tic-tac-toe and dots.

Earlier that day, a new customer service rep had joined our crew, and no one knew much about her. She had supposedly worked at other chain stores, but had taken a hiatus the past few years. A lot of employees have been returning lately, one because they’ve been laid off in this sorry economy and need any funds they can get, or two because they’ve returned from college for winter break. But there was something about her that didn’t sit well with us.

I don’t want to start off on a bad foot with this rep, because I’m sure deep down she’s a very nice girl, but I’m almost certain she changed the satellite radio to this Nelly Furtado-riddled station. I can only pray that when I go back “Stawberry Swing” is still playing, or “I Will Survive” or even “Hey You! Get Off of My Cloud!” Those chops give me comfort and good feeling that I need to power through seven hour shifts and screaming babies, not depressing poetry about some dick skater boy.

Best Item You’ve Never Heard of: Orange and Pineapple sandwhiches, by Best Choice. Check the cookies aisle

Tip Tally this weekend: $3.50

Nuisance of the Week: Lexus trunk doors. They’re just too hard to open and close.

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