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“Welcome to the Pig, Mike,” my brand new manager, Mike, said to me after my first day of working at my dad’s grocery store. His facial expression was naturally bland and stone like. His hair cut resembled Daddy Warbucks’, but his initial personality was that of a wall. The broad shoulders that molded his 6’5 frame were comparable to a professional football player, yet his middle was thin like that of a runner. Mike was straight faced all day, but now he broke down and slowly started to curve his intimidating lips into something that did not make feel me comfortable, not that I felt comfortable at all during the day as it was.

Embarrassment was growing red on my face. I chuckled twice self-consciously and felt my self esteem dwindle down to nearly nothing. I turned and left the store, dragging myself into my dad’s van and letting him take me home.

Dinner was almost as bad as the day itself. I lifted my head and looked over the table. Everyone was choking on their own tears, laughing over and over. No one even noticed there was food on the table because they were so engulfed in making my humiliation so much greater than it was during my time at work.

Let me take you back seven hours before dinner. I was stocking the cereal, or maybe it was the yogurt, or it could have been eggs. Anyway, a small Korean man approached me. I’d only known him for the past four hours, but for some reason, every time I looked at him, I couldn’t help but crack a smile. His small brown eyes that were hiding in the depths of his eye sockets were just meant to make people laugh at initial contact. He was extremely undersized for a man of his age, and for his authority. His name tag read—Jon, then underneath his name read his title, Manager on Duty.

So when Jon told me he had a special job for me with a suspiciously beaming smile on his face, I naturally, once again, laughed involuntarily. But I wouldn’t have laughed if I knew what job this miniature Jackie Chan had in store for me. He bounced his way through the back room of the Piggly Wiggly; even his walk made me giggle. His walk reminded me of a happy dwarf from a Disney move. He jauntily swung around and faced me. We were stopped in front of a slop sink with a mop guarding it. He told me to take the mop into the men’s bathroom.
“You’ll know what to do,” he said.

This was the first encounter with Jon all day that I wasn’t pleased with. So far he was nothing but a little bundle of joy. His contagious energetic bounce that he had with every movement made me feel so comfortable with him. I made my way through the store and went down the aisle that led to the bathrooms. A man was standing in the aisle that I happened to march past.

“Thank God!” he said through a mocking grin.

I realized 15 seconds later why he was sporting that grin.

The immediate stench that struck my nose forced me to gag heavily. I went out in the hall for a breath. If you’ve ever smelt the area around an open hole to a septic tank, you would know how I was feeling.

“Here we go.”

That was all I needed to say in order to motivate myself enough to turn right back around and trek into the blinding odor that made me want to spray an entire can of Axe body spray into my mouth.

I tried to work quickly. I found a bottle of Frebreze underneath the sink and unloaded in the air. Now that I could breathe, I searched for a source to the stench. I crept into the stall and attempted to claw out my eyes at what I saw. It appeared as if someone wasn’t satisfied with the old colors of the stall, so they painted the walls a wonderfully thick, goopy, brown. But this person seemed to have quit early with the paint job. There was a thick streak of brown across the wall of the plastic separator of the stall. This streak then seemed to trickle onto the floor. So I put on at least six pairs of latex gloves, made myself a gas mask using towels, and wiped clean the entire area. But it STILL reeked. I was about to give up on the whole project when I saw something behind the toilet. My heart dropped.

Did someone actually defecate directly on the floor behind the toilet?

Not quite. They actually put the pair of underwear that they were wearing that day, a classy set of blue Hanes Tighty Whities, on the tiled floor. But inside the blue delights was the true surprise. Yes, it was what you think it is. Someone didn’t make it to the bathroom in time. And in order to save their own embarrassment, they just left the underwear in there. Using another three pairs of gloves, I lifted the custom made diaper into the trash can of the bathroom. I then deodorized them with an entire can of Citrus Magic Febreze air freshener. I then took my weapon of choice, my mop, back to its rightful place in the back. There were two different reasons why I washed my hands in the slop sink for a good five minutes: A) I didn’t want to contract E. coli, and B) I couldn’t force myself back into the bathroom. Jon and Mike both opened the door to the back room right next to the slop sink. As soon as they saw me scrubbing my hands with an upmost amount of vigor, they died laughing.

Three years later, I’m still working at the Pig. Proudly, I can say I have yet to come upon another diaper dandy incident like the one that greeted me upon my first day of my career at Piggly Wiggly.





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