I had only worked at the high-end kitchen store for about a month when The Boss said three words that struck lightning bolts of fear in my brain: “Paychecks were lost.” No, not really. She said, “Front and face.”
I had no idea what front and face meant, except that maybe I was supposed to face toward the front of the store (but then wouldn’t that be “face the front”?). I stood as close to the front entry door as possible, practically breathing on the glass. I made sure I was facing out toward the mall.
“What are you doing, MOV?” inquired The Boss impatiently. “I thought I told you to front and face.”
“I thought I was?” I replied.
“What are you talking about? You’re just standing there. I need you to pull all the food perimeter products to the front of the shelves and make sure all their labels are facing forward.”
Oh—front and face!
Queen Virgo was happy for the task, which was seemingly designed just for her. Front and face became my new favorite past-time. If the store was not busy and other salespeople were offering to re-stock the shopping bags or Windex the glass display cabinets, there I was jumping up and down: “And I can front and face! Let me front and face!”
The Husband was not so pleased with my new little habit at home. “Sweetie,” I’d say encouragingly, “I really appreciate you doing all the grocery shopping this week, and, well, every week come to think of it. But you know what I would appreciate even more? If you could front and face the product out on the shelves, label side toward the viewer.”
“Product?” he mocked. “Did you just say ‘product’? And ‘viewer’? Because last I checked, this is not a store. This is where we live.”
My newfound hyper-vigilance transcended kitchen borders and needed to be applied to the bathroom cabinets as well. “Honey,” I’d begin helpfully, “remember we had that little chat about front and face? We need to put the shaving cream and deodorant facing out on the shelf. It’s more consumer-friendly that way.” I’d give a smile, cementing the validity of my essential critique.
“Have you been drinking? I already own the deodorant. I’m not worried about it being consumer-friendly on the shelf. What is your deal?”
It went on like this throughout every shelf in the bathrooms, kitchen and refrigerator, as well as almost every room in the house (including the basement storage closets and the garage) for the next several months. The Husband even seemed annoyed when I kindly mentioned his sunglasses and pens in the glove compartment of his truck could stand to be arranged so the brand names faced out.
“Sweetie,” I’d purr, “front and face is designed for maximum visibility and organization. It really is the only way to go. I don’t get why you are so resistant to it.”
“MOV, enough! Geesh. If that is how your boss wants you to do stuff at work, fine. Last I checked, we don’t live in the high-end kitchen store.” He glared at me, his face a cocktail of pity and contempt. “If you wanna live at the high-end kitchen store, I’ll help you pack a suitcase.”
Ah, but he’d pack it wrong. All the labels would be facing down.
(“Mania Of Virgo”)