Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A day in the life of the City Market...

8:30 a.m. I arrive, put my apron and take my post at Baleman's Produce, at the top of the City Market. Now I stand around and wait for someone to come buy something. At this time of day, usually a single banana. About 25 cents. Meanwhile my bosses Rob and Belinda continue to put out the fruits and veggies that have been hibernating overnight in the cooler.

8:35 a.m. Crazy old Alphonse arrives to buy his two bananas for the day.

9:00 a.m. I'm still standing around, not much happening. So I straighten the apples, make sure they're asthetically appealing, try to kill some of the big, fat flies sitting in the grapes, or see if any tomatoes have exploded overnight.

10 a.m. My co-worker arrives, usually Sarah but sometimes Courtney. Then I move down to the lower cash, which is where we sell the non-produce stuff: home-made jams and jellies, maple products, eggs, milk and canned goods like water chestnuts.

11 a.m. Sometimes, around this time an odd lady will show up and buy about 35-40$ worth of walnuts, chestnuts and brazil nuts for, that's right, her squirrels. Once she brought Belinda a picture of one of her squirrels eating a nut with a little word bubble saying 'Thanks auntie B!"

12:30 p.m. Woohoo my lunch break! Sometimes Jamie comes to meet me, and on Wednesdays we have Pineapple Club with the girls.

1:00 p.m. Amidst the chaos that is highschool kids on their lunchbreak, the guy with the moustache comes and buys his daily dose of two red delicious apples. Usually about 1.04$, sometimes a little over.

1:30 p.m. Look at the clock and marvel: Wow it's been 5 hours since I got here. My feet hurt a little and I wish I could take a nap.

2:00 p.m. Dead as a door-nail. Around now I'll eat the chocolate bar that the candy man gave me this morning. Old John who comes by and gives us a chocolate bar, every morning, without fail.

2:30 ish The Adonis-ape-like man with the luxurious long hair comes to buy is one liter of skim milk and one liter of chocolate milk. No bag, always exact change.

3:00 p.m. Still dead, so I'll bag some potatoes, or dulse, or beans.

4:00 p.m. Only a half-hour left! It starts to pick up as people get out of work and need last minute quick meals.

4:30 p.m. On the dot I zip off my apron and I'm outta here! My feet are killing me but as soon as I leave that strip of concrete they don't bother me anymore. I usually go visit with my good buds Martha, who works at Jeremiah's to my left, and Karen, who works at the Wild Carrot to my right. It's nice to have friends in the market.

So that's a typical day, a snapshot of a few of the quirky, precious people I interact with at the market. This is the 3rd year I've worked here and I believe that God has placed me at this little stand for a purpose. I've learned so much about serving people while working here. I see everyone from the street bums who come in to sell us their change, to the Mr. Irving himself who sometimes buys jumbo eggs. It's been an experience in coming to love Saint John as well, getting to know the different faces and flavors of our city. I'm so excited to be living uptown next fall and to be right in there with these people.


At Friday, April 28, 2006, Blogger Karen said...

yesss for being named in a blog!! woop..and what good talks they are usually!:) love karen

At Friday, April 28, 2006, Blogger Adam O said...

What a lovely look into the day of Marie-Hélène!

At Saturday, April 29, 2006, Blogger Andrew said...

im glad i got to read that! I had no idea your day was so predicatble! haha... i love the routines.


At Monday, May 01, 2006, Blogger Court said...

i thoroughly enjoyed this! haha...ohh the predictable life of a balemans employee!

At Wednesday, May 03, 2006, Blogger aliss said...

Hey marie-helene! i want your job! do you sell any bananas that are bigger than your face like the one i have a photo of you with? ;) hehe happy days xxliss

At Thursday, May 18, 2006, Blogger Arjan said...

Marvelous writing, Marie-Helene! In all you write you seem to say: this is boring, but at the same time you make it quite interesting!

Hurray for the one who looks on the bright side of life!


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