That Girl’s Blog: Red Cabbage or Radicchio

I was in line at the grocery store this this weekend, watching the high school-aged cashier struggle to look up a series of produce items she had probably never seen before (endive, radicchio, cilantro, etc).  

People in line were huffing and puffing and not offering any help. I even heard someone mutter under their breath, “these kids don’t know anything anymore.”

Seriously? Here was a young woman who has the initiative to work a job on her weekends instead of sitting at home playing video games, and you are complaining? There are literally thousands of individual items in this store that these cashiers are expected to know, and some of the most difficult ones don’t have PLU numbers stamped on them. And, for the record, working a cash register and dealing with customers all day is not the easiest job in the world. If nothing else, it is a lesson in both communications and patience.

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, the young woman at the scanner is 20 years old. When you were 20, could you identify the difference between a ginger root and a horseradish? How about red cabbage vs. radicchio? Did you even know what endive is?  Even now, could you tell the difference between parsley and cilantro?  And what do you use each one for?

Given the situation, are you likely to huff and puff? Grumble under your breath? Pick up your items and go to a different check-out lane? I saw people do all of the above.

Finally, I spoke up so everyone could hear me. “It must be great to work someplace where you can learn all those new veggies!”

There was an awkward pause and then everyone’s posture changed. A couple of people in line began telling her the names of things.

“Is this red cabbage?” she asked.

“I think its radicchio,” someone said.

“But red cabbage would probably ring up cheaper!” someone else called out and a few of us smiled.

Every day you have a chance to learn something new. In the process, you also have the chance to help someone else learn something new, as well.

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About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.
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