“Hey, Sally,” Kassandra said, pushing her shopping cart around a corner.
“How may I help you?” Sally asked sarcastically, pointing to her new name badge that read “Hello, my name is Sally.”
Kassandra shrugged. “Just thought I’d say hello.” She paused. “And get some shampoo,” she added, pointing into her cart. “I’m out.”
“You know—” Sally began, but was cut off by a coworker coming from another aisle holding several rolls of paper towels.
“Sally, would you hold these for a second?” he asked, and waited briefly for her to nod in return before disappearing behind a shelf.
“The middle of my shift isn’t the best time for a social visit,” Sally continued to Kassandra as though she had not been interrupted.
“I’m just saying hi,” Kassandra protested. “Okay, and asking where the Advil is. I don’t actually know.”
Sally laughed. “That’s what happens when you use a grocery store across the city from your house.”
They were interrupted once again by Sally’s coworker. “Hey, Sally—?” he began, holding out a box of tissues.
“Yeah, sure,” Sally sighed, adjusting the paper towels in her arms to make room for the tissue box.
“He does know about setting things down on tables, right?” Kassandra asked. “That’s a thing you’re all aware of?”
Sally shrugged. “Hard to have them plugging up the aisles of a grocery store, I guess.” As she said this, the coworker came and set some laundry detergent at Sally’s feet, as she’d run out of room in her arms. Sally glanced at it, bewildered, and turned to give the same look to her coworker, but he had already gone.
“Do they just make you hold stuff all day?” Kassandra asked.
“It’s really not—” Sally started.
“He could’ve just set all that stuff on the floor, you know.”
“It’s not exactly a common—” Sally tried again.
“I know what’s happening here,” Kassandra announced dramatically.”
Stock holding syndrome.
“What?” Sally asked blankly.
“You’ve got stock holding syndrome.”
“Please stop,” Sally requested, setting down the paper towels.
Sally’s coworker waited a few aisles down for Sally and Kassandra to finish their conversation. When they did, Kassandra walked up behind him.
“Hi, Kassandra,” he said. “How’d it go?”
“Totally worth it,” Kassandra declared.
“I’m unconvinced,” he commented. “Not that I’m complaining,” he added as she handed him a five dollar bill. “You’re just the only person I know who would actually bribe someone to help them make a pun.”
“Like I said,” Kassandra repeated. “Totally worth it.”