On being a regular

My friend Candace and I are regulars at this coffee joint on 9th street. Excluding the new summer help, everyone knows our name and drink. I like the extra punches on my punch card that being a regular gets me but, Candace finds the whole situation unsettling. She says being a regular is just “an unequal exchange of information.” These people know your name, what you like to drink, how you keep your wallet, and what do you know about them? I used to think Candace was paranoid, but now I am starting to think she might be on to something.

            I’m a cashier at a university bookstore. Sometimes I work the candy counter, a register next to an entire wall of candy, microwavable lunch items, and crunchy salty treats. Every item on the candy wall is organized into impeccably neat rows and all light up with spotlights. In any other circumstance, this wall would be a mega-center of impulse purchases, but at our store it’s right next to the food court. On a six-hour shift there, I have 10-20 customers, tops. And even in this death valley of a shift, I have regulars. Like the old philosophy professor emeritus we’ll call Donald. Donald gets 2-4 lindt truffles from me and a fountain drink from the food court. Or “Sue” who takes summer classes and always grabs strawberry poptarts for breakfast.

             Somewhere between my customers and the two feet of particleboard counter that separates us, I cease to be a real person. I guess people think whatever they tell me gets sucked into some customer service vortex somewhere and the more regular they are the more they offer up. Seriously Sue, you show my your credit card and driver’s license, and then tell me where you had to park this morning and what type of car you drive? May I have your social security number today, Sue?

            Now I have a candy counter question of the day. I want to see the range of questions people are willing to answer if it’s presented in a fun way. This first one was pretty innocent “If you were a Pringles flavor creator, what new flavor would you introduce? Enjoy the answers and a few bits of commentary. By the way, I didn’t correct anyone’s spelling errors.



Spinache  Artichoke (It’s spinach, but hey, that word is hard to spell)

Jalepano and pepperjack cheese

Honey barbeque

Toasted Ravioli and marinara


Buffalo chicken

Red Bull

Jack and coke

Mojito fry flavor from Addisons (Addisons in a restaurant)



Fried Rice

Original (just like your answer, dude)

Red velvet cake


PeAnut butter (the “A” was just super important)


Crab Rangoon

Chocalote (Hooked on Phonics)

Carrot Cake

Banana!! (!!!!!!!)


A1 steaksauce

Quinoa and Teriyaki Chicken

Chicken Parmesan

Watermelon Vodka (I want to point out that everyone one who suggested alcohol and the Red Bull guy all work at the bookstore)

Chipotle ranch



Sweet Baby Rays


3 Responses to “On being a regular”

  1. sjmaaranen Says:

    Hah, so the title of this blog makes me giggle because instead of “On Being a Regular,” my silly self reads, “On Being Regular.” Giggle-tastic? Yes.

  2. Camille Campbell Says:

    Alia, I love this! So true. And I totally know have checked out the professor. 🙂

  3. Ha, I loved this. It is so true. I mindlessly tell clerks stuff all the time. But it is a sign of affection. They Like You!! I don’t say anything to clerks I don’t like.

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