Health and Safety and Stupidity

One of the main advancements in modern health and safety is the fact that food service workers wear sanitary gloves when handling food items. But this begs the question: is the glove truly sanitary? Not when a stuper (short for a sensationally stupid person) is involved.


I waited patiently on the public side of the bakery counter at a huge health food market so that I could get two innocent loaves of bread sliced.  I eyed the lone employee’s profile as she expertly ignored me from the other side of the counter. She fiddled with her cell phone, scratched her head and licked some chocolate off a gloved thumb that accidently scraped against a rogue cupcake sitting on a nearby prep table. She continued  texting.  All while wearing food service gloves.

I cleared my throat. She didn’t flinch. I slapped the palm of my hand down on the glass countertop. No reaction. 

“Excuse me!” I cried out for attention.

She didn’t budge. I swear. Granted Madonna was playing from somewhere overhead, possibly completely taking over the sense of hearing of those not properly using their minds. I felt…frustrated. Did I mention that I wanted two loaves of bread sliced?

Finally, I huffed so loudly, she turned her head toward me and asked, “Did you need something?” 

I mutely lifted the unwitting loaves of bread, one in each hand, which I held up for all to see. By this time, an appreciative line had formed behind me.

As you likely predicted, the distracted worker proceeded to slice my bread with the same gloved hands used on her phone, her hair and her tongue. 

“Please!” I kindly screamed. Just in the nick of time.


My one word said it all, as she quickly changed out of her gloves and donned a fresh pair. But this tale doesn’t end here, as stupidity is perpetual. Once the bread was sliced, she removed the sanitary gloves to use her bare hands to shove the bread into plastic bags to hand over to me. To add insult to injury, instead of tying the ends of the bags with those ever present twisty ties that come in all the primary colors plus green and black, she decided to tie the ends in a knot. A double knot. All this in plain view of yours truly.

My mantra lately has been to “lighten up,” as I find myself taking life far too seriously. I tried to grin and bear it. I took the bread when it was offered to me. Double knots, bare hands and all.  Did I mention that I was on the last lag of a 240 mile trip at the time?

When I returned to my car, I forced open a bag and ate a slice of bread. I’m happy to report that was four days ago. I didn’t grow a third arm, turn different shades of purple or even gag intermittently.

Beware of stupers. 


6 Responses to “Health and Safety and Stupidity”

  1. omawarisan says:

    she sounds like the kind of stuper who could convince herself you were wrong for complaining if you’d said anything.

  2. MC says:

    Didn’t you just want to smack her on the back of her head with a loaf or two? It may have knocked some sense into her.

  3. Jules Laverne says:

    Those gloves are just a front to make thinkers “think” there’s some sanitary stuff going on. In reality, I believe hands that are washed often or sanitized in between transactions are probably cleaner. What dumb luck you had!

  4. Elaine says:

    Well I hate to say it but you were probably taking less of a risk eating the bread that she shoved into your bag (ungloved) than walking through a busy mall/hospital/day care center.

  5. Ferd says:

    okay. got it. lighten up! i always try to leave here with a lesson learned.

    i guess there’s no getting totally rid of stupers in the foreseeable future, so working on stuper tolerance would come in handy. we probably all have some degree of immunity already, having steady daily exposure to these toxic elements in our society!

  6. Still gagging but not surprised. Stupers are everywhere. Great story! (I’m a friend of Ferd’s… found you on his blogroll.)

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