Reponse Essay

Submitted By laszlopapp
Words: 1307
Pages: 6

Laszlo Papp
Professor Tomb
English 1B
13 February 2013
John Updikes story, “A&P”, had strong relations to me, because I myself used to work at a local Savemart here in San Jose. As I read the story I saw how some of Johns stories related to my own experiences. As I read it gave me feelings of happiness and gratitude, it reminded me of the fun times and bad I had at Savemart. As Updike did to help pass the time, my coworkers and I would watch females walk into the store, we would play jokes on each other, we would do anything we could to help pass the time quickly. But we also had many angry customers that would require expert customer service in order to help them get on their way. More often than not we had angry customers coming into the store, instead of the pretty girls and fun, interesting characters. But most importantly this story brought back the best feeling of all, the day I quit. Working in a grocery store was not one of my favorite jobs, to say the least. In fact, it was one of the worst jobs I have ever had. I did meet some awesome people there and we had some fun times while we would work. Working in a grocery store during the spring time was great, because I would get to see and meet a lot of pretty ladies. Just like John Updike, I would catch myself stumbling while helping some of the females and would have “to remember if I already rang it up or not.” (Updike 87) This would always lead to an awkward moment with the customer that I am sure the character could relate to as well. The women that would come into the store would be of varying ranges of beauty. The pretty girls knew that they were attractive and they would carry themselves in a manner that suggests a kind of dignity. When John wrote about the queenie and her followers he wrote about a confidence level that only few can achieve. The words he used to describe what took place put me in his shoes as it happened. He writes “She must have felt in the corner of her eye me and over my shoulder Stokesie in the second slot watching, but she didn’t tip.” (Updike 88). The way he describes her walking by makes me recall every time that has happened to me, every time I have been snubbed by someone that thought themselves better than me. I can imagine what he felt like at the moment and I am sure that this only enraged him and drove him closer to the point of quitting. As often as we had good customers coming in to the store we would have ten times as many angry customers coming into the store. The bad part about dealing with angry customers is that more often than not, they would be upset about something that I had nothing to do with me or my place of work. And even though I had nothing to do with their problems they would always find a way to take it out on me and make the time they did spend with me the worst possible time they could. There was a regular customer that would come in twice a week, at first we always dreaded when we saw his car pull into the parking lot. We learned his routine quick, he always wanted rain checks for the sale items, he would always want his groceries in paper bags, and he would always demand help outside to his car. I did not know his routine when I was first starting out and when I started putting his groceries in plastic bags he started yelling at me in front of the store and mad a big scene over the paper or plastic preference. As Updike experienced, the “customer starts giving him hell.” (Updike 87) This situation made for an unforgettable first impression, I still remember this customer to this day. After the horrific first impression made by this older gentleman time went on and it actually became somewhat of a joy to help him. After meeting him and talking to him I found out he was a war veteran and had done so much to help the country. Helping this type of customer gives a sense of satisfaction. There were many vets that came into the store, as well as police officers, fire fighters, and even a city