Monday, 4 June 2007

16: rotting

The bananas are rotting. In the morning we get seventeen complaints. The complaints are about the bananas. We have put bananas all around the shop. We have put them in piles by the cigarette counter, and the doors, and in the frozen food aisle, and the beers wines and spirits section. Now they are rotting. They are a black brown colour.

People find them offensive.

People look at them and are reminded of their own mortality.

At least ten of the complaints come from old people.

One complaint comes from a young mother. She is almost in tears. She is very sensitive and lacking in sleep. She says what we are doing is ‘unethical’.

The complaints filter up the stairs and into my boss’s office.

He comes down the stairs and finds us.

Where’s Linda? he asks first of all.

Linda’s called in sick, I tell him.

Linda always calls in sick.

I have been working at the supermarket for almost a year.

I have never met Linda.

Then he says something which no one understands.

What? we ask him.

He says it again.

What? we say.

He says it a third time, then goes back to his office.

The replenishment assistants look at me.

I am in charge of them.

I make six p more an hour than them.

I pretend I’ve understood what he said.

He says we have to throw away all the bananas, I say.

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