When you walk into the wrong supermarket with the wrong color shirt (read this as, “The local store we like for bulk and produce wearing a shirt very similar to the shirt worn by the store staff.”), you shouldn’t be surprised if you get questions from some of the customers.
Today was my day to get a question on the cooking of organic quick oats. As the customer struggled to open the bin (the hinge was not where he expected it to be.), I stepped in to point out the handle cleverly disguised as a handle.
The customer seemed slightly embarrassed to need help with the bin, so he felt the need to engage me with a question. “How do you cook those?”
As I prepared to answer to answer, his eyes played across my t-shirt. While it was a close kin of the store’s employee shirts, mine was a lighter shade. He quickly had another question, “Do you work here?”
Never being one to run from a conversation, I let him know it was not a problem. “I have never done the organic, but I am guessing you double the water. If you use ¼ cup of oats, you add a ½ cup of water. Set the microwave for a couple of minutes.”
He seemed to feel comfortable with that recipe. I then went on to say, “If it runs over the top of your bowl, you know you did it too long.”
He also seemed to identify with the “messy microwave” phenomenon. He spoke with an accent and has trouble bins, but oatmeal allowed us to bond.