Don’t come at me with that Mega Bunch and bag of avocados, “T.J.”
6. He’s inconsistent. His saag paneer? Terrible. Chicken sausages? Gross. Organic dip chips? Terrific. But you never know what to expect from the Trader, which is like showing up to your local bar one night to find your boyfriend beaming at you with a dozen roses… and the next to find him sobbing on the shoulder of a hooker.
5. He’s pushy. You know how sometimes on a date you throw out your best impressive bit of trivia, like, “I loved Barbara Stanwyck in ‘Ball of Fire’!” and he comes back with, “Are you familiar with the rest of her early 1940s oeuvre?” The answer is no. I just threw out my one bit of awesomeness, you jackass. Checkout Joes do the same thing: They peer at your box of Flax Plus Multigrain cereal under the fluorescent lights and say, “Wow, good choice, I love this! Have you tried our enchiladas?” A staffer reveals that this sort of small talk is “encouraged,” not “enforced.” Still. Bite me, Joe.
4. He’s schizoid. Joe? José? Giotto? Ming? Seriously? Choose who you want to be in this world, man. It is a hard world, and you can’t be everyone at once. You are like that ex who paired a pearlescent button cowboy shirt (yes!) with brown leather pants (huh?) and a silver-studded black punk belt (what?!)
3. He’s cheap.
2. He overdoes it. Sometimes, man, I don’t want the whole bag of unripe avocados, not like that. Don’t tell me about your ex-fiancée or your mom issues on the first date. Sell me a single goddamn avocado.
1. He is horribly perky in the morning. When I wake up, I want coffee until the lights come on in my brain, and that is it. This is the bounce-out-of-bed guy, the “what borough are we traveling to in the next ten minutes?” guy. We hate him.
One morning I was standing in TJ’s at 8am with a $3.99 12-pack of toilet paper clutched to my chest. My bangs were on sideways and the rings under my eyes would have made a panda’s look tame. And lo was I not snapped to attention by a front-of-the-line-Joe, who shouted, “HOW’S YOUR MORNING GOING, MA’AM?” and when I moused, “Fine,” followed with, “ARE YOU OK?”
“Yup, just haven’t had my coffee yet.” He beamed. A solution! “WE HAVE FREE COFFEE RIGHT OVER THERE IF YOU WANT TO GO GET SOME.” Yes, because I am going to leave the line I have been standing in for 10 minutes to go back and get an ounce of your bad coffee in a tiny paper cup when I have Stumptown at home.
Please, Joe, please. Your tropical shirt looks great today. Someone is raising a flag in the air.