Friday, June 29, 2007

The steer is back!

I visited a new BiLo store today and they have a steer on the top of the store. Now to most people, that doesn't mean much. But back in my day (makes me feel good to say that), all BiLo's had steers on top. These were made out of fiberglass and were frequently the target of drunk rednecks who needed some practice, but they were there.

The number of steers on top of the store somehow related to the size. A one-steer BiLo was small, a two steer was medium and a three steer BiLo, well, that was something else. I, of course, worked at three steer BiLo (there should now be an atmosphere of hushed respect and awe in the room as you read this).

We were proud of our three steer BiLo. When the company went through a buy-out in 1977, we were the three steer BiLo closest to the main office. The buyers-to-be were slated to tour our store early on Saturday morning. We brought in specialists from all over to make sure our store was the finest. In the meat department, where I worked, all trays were stacked to a perfect 6 inches. I saw the specialist for my area measure each tray carefully.

Saturday came and, since it was the first of the month, the customers came. They liked the fact that the trays were stacked nealty and some even noticed that the meat seemed a higher grade (it was - trying to seduce the buyers). Funny thing was, they bought stuff! Which meant that the perfect 6 inch trays weren't perfect any more.

We constantly fought to keep everything looking just so. Mean time, we had extra workers so that the prospective buyers would see how good we were. From 8am until around 5 or 6 pm, we fought to keep things pristine (a losing battle). Finally, the prospective buyers came and after a fast walk through where they barely looked at my department, they went away.

Dilbert could have been there.

But the steer has always been important to me and sometime around 1981, the new owers decided to upgrade the image and get rid of the steers. I guess they all went out to fiberglass pasture (you can't let a steer go to stud).

Today the new BiLo Superstore has a steer on top. Just one, it's not the same class of store I worked at. But at least the steer is back...

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