Dim Sum Diaries
Its amazing what you can take for granted. Living in the U.S., I assume that the local supermarket will always be fully stocked with the goods I need. Throw a protracted supermarket worker strike into the mix however, and chaos ensues.

The first day of the strike (a Monday), the local Albertsons was mostly stocked. The picketers pretty much kept to themselves; though they would cheer every time a passing car would honk, signaling its support as it drove by. The only differences I noted were the meat department was low on inventory. Also the rotiesserie chickens they offered for sale in the deli department were more burnt and crispy then usual (maybe the replacement workers were still perfecting their roasting techniques). I loaded up on the basics, figuring the fewer trips I made to the market the better.

So this weekend I ran some errands and I was in a hurry to get home. I still needed to get some coffee creamer and orange juice. Instead of driving to an out-of-the-way-non-striking market, I stopped at Vons. During the week, a co-worker regaled me with horror stories of striking workers actually spitting at customers as they walked in. The manager finally told them to desist else he would call the cops.

With the horror stories in mind, I adopted a brisk thugs don't screw with me or I'll bitchslap yo ass manner as I walked towards the entrance. Hopefully there would be no confrontation. There is a little area by the door where shopping carts are lined up for customer convenience. Five or six striking workers trudged around nearby. As I went to get a cart, one of them (a tall male) blocked my path, preventing me from moving the cart any further. The look he gave me spoke volumes. How dare you shop here in the midst of a strike, he seemed to say.

Now I was getting pissed off. I glared at him and was getting ready to bean him with my purse, when he finally stepped away. I guess he felt he made his point. I gave him a particularly dirty look and pushed my way in to the market.

The bustling store with the gleaming aisles and the fully stocked shelves I'd known was gone. In its place was a ghost town. I wouldn't have been surprised if a tumbleweed had blown through. Most of the fresh fruits and vegetables had been picked over. In the asparagus bin, only five browning stalks remained. They'd been arranged so that they were spaced evenly in the front of the bin. All departments, including the deli, meat, seafood, florist and Panda Express were closed. Many of the dairy products were close to their expiration date. The only thing in abundance were the dry goods, such as canned goat’s milk and various cooking oils. I hurriedly picked up my purchases and went to the checkout counter. I waited somewhat impatiently in line as a scab cashier debated with a customer whether 2 lbs of bananas cost .20/lb or .20 lbs of bananas cost $2.00/lb.

My parents came to visit and they stopped by the non-striking market. They reported that it was complete bedlam, with people stocking up on food as if they were preparing for an earthquake or hurricane. It’s so crazy. I hope both sides resolve their differences soon.


Much later, we went out to dinner with my parents. After indulging in an excellent dinner, we drove back home. I was pleasantly drowsy. My daughter asked if she could sleep in my mom's bed that night (my parents were spending the night).

"Please?" my daughter asked.

"Okay, but if you sleep with Pou Pou (what she calls her maternal grandmother) then you can't play around. You have to go right to sleep," I told her.

"Okay, I'll try," she said.

"No, there is no try. There is only doing," I lectured.

Hubby glanced at me. "Are you tired or something?" he asked curiously.

"No, why?"

"Then why are you resorting to Yoda-isms as a mothering technique?" He starts to laugh.

"Shut up."