Is it creepy/creepy or creepy/funny?
By: Lauren Bolden, Owner, Pie Bar
I am a people watcher.
Not in a creepy, I am going to learn your habits so I can murder you, kind of way.
More in a normal, I need something to occupy my eye line while I sit at Reformation and drink this beer, kind of way.
I socially watch people. This is acceptable.
People are fascinating because whether we think about it or not, all decisions that we make somehow impact everything around us. There is a whole Ashton Kutcher film about this concept (The Butterfly Effect) that I only recommend if you are comfortable with seeing Kelso in a serious role + have a VCR player because this movie was released in 2004..and did DVD's even exist then?
I go to Restaurant Depot about once per week. Restaurant Depot is the place where grocery stores shop, or at least that is what their tagline says. In reality, it is the restaurant world's version of a Costco or Sam's Club. It is the worst part of my week, but also gives me some of the best people-watching opportunities.
Like the time I saw an employee yell at her boss that she was "trying to do customer service."
Or the time that the guy driving the fork lift almost took out an old lady because he was simultaneously driving and streaming The Big Bang Theory on his phone.
My fellow customers are my favorite people to watch. They are small food business owners just like me and I am obsessed with seeing what is in their cart (#noseymuch).
I play a game with myself based on the items in their carts.
Hamburger meat, hamburger buns, pickles. They own a hamburger joint!
Celery, blue cheese, chicken. Wing spot!
Tiny glass jars, cough medicine, case of Twinkies. Meth lab?
I have yet to be stumped, until a muggy day this past June.
I was strolling around Restaurant Depot, dragging my industrial cart filled with flour, sugar, and butter (bakery!) and really soaking in all of the people and their purchase choices around me. As I rolled up to the check-out line, I spotted someone new at the register a few aisles away.
"I've never seen him before," I thought to myself, "and I know everyone that shops at this Restaurant Depot on Sundays."
(If you were stalking me and learning my habits, you now have a key piece of info to add to your "How I am going to murder Lauren" chart. You're welcome. )
He checked out and exited the store. I quickly did the same, and then rushed to follow him.
I HAD TO SEE WHAT WAS IN HIS SHOPPING CART!
As I made my way out into the vast parking lot, I saw him..loading his goods into an unmarked box truck. I pretend to casually stroll by and I took a peek.
Salt...and lots of it.
There were at least 25) 50-pound bags of salt.
(I counted them by pretending to drop a penny and running by his truck a few times. "Whoops, there it goes again!")
As he loaded the last of the hundreds of pounds of salt into his truck, he reached up and pulled the door to the back of the truck closed. He got in and drove away.
This was SEVEN MONTHS AGO, and there is not a week that goes by that I don't think...
What the H was that guy up to?
1,250 pounds of salt..and nothing else..so..road salter?
This is why I love people-watching.
This man just made a quick 1,000 pounds of coarse kosher salt run and without knowing it, impacted my life..and has now impacted yours..because you are now involved. This is our Butterfly Effect.
In a few days, Pie Bar will run out of milk or eggs or Karo syrup and I will need to make a Restaurant Depot trip. I'll keep a watchful eye out for him..not because I want to, but because at this point we are both invested and need answers.
So, tell your friends to come snag some pie..and LOTS OF IT..because I have some Restaurant Depot runs to make.