“You can’t talk to customers like that. Yelling, giving ‘em attitude, never okay.” Frank leans in toward Katie, aiming for gentle but firm in his tone. She’s a good kid and usually a good employee too, so he doesn’t want to tear her a new one. It’s a learning opportunity for her, and, down the road, she’ll thank him for it.
The backroom is a mess of ripped plastic cases half-filled with Gatorade and Arizona Iced Tea taking up space on the floor. There’s not enough room on the metal shelves, full of the rest of the drink stock, huge cans of tomatoes, boxes full of pappardelle and linguini and spaghetti. After he’s finished talking to Katie, he’s going to ask her to take a beat and clean this room up.
It’s not the most private place to talk. Still, the only alternatives are Frank’s makeshift office next to the produce section where he’s got a table, a chair, and a notepad full of gift basket orders—or the non–air-conditioned office space upstairs, but the assistant manager’s up there printing out the new schedules. So Frank’s pulled two metal folding chairs out into the break room-slash-stockroom to have this discussion in semi-private.