The Target Food Court

Kristin Rowan
Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Yesterday I want on a quest to find some new shoes for my kiddo. I thought I was being brilliant by strolling to Target at the beginning of his usual naptime because that meant he could get his nap in the stroller and I could shop in peace.

He didn’t fall asleep. I didn’t want to get too haphazard with his usual schedule, which is lunch after nap, so we stopped at the food court for a snack.

“Could we have a grilled cheese and a pretzel?”

“Um…” It appeared that this was Joe’s first day. His supervisor was sitting in the eating area, either attempting to take a break or testing him.

“We don’t have any grilled cheese,” he continuued, “and we only have pretzel bites, not pretzels.”

“Oh, that’s okay. We’ll have some pretzel bites and a frozen lemonade.” I could see that they had frozen lemonade.

“Do you want 6 or 18 pretzel bites?”


“They’re small,” his supervisor said and made a small circle with her fingers, about the size of a bite.

“Yeah, that’s okay. We’re just looking for a snack.”

I believe that everyone has an interesting life story, but I’m very curious how these two people ended up working in a Target food court. They both looked to be at least twenty years older than me. Now that I’m a stay at home “Bob” every job looks fun to me. My current dream job is to work in the kitchen at a hospital and deliver food to all the patients.

Joe filled up a cup with frozen lemonade and then had trouble finding a lid for a little bit. He found one eventually just as the lunch rush was showing up.

A woman bought a personal pizza. I had considered pizza briefly, because I could also see those. They weren’t out of those. They were in a grab and go style food warmer. But we had just had pizza for dinner the night before and it was pretty likely that we would have the leftovers for lunch once we got home. I like pizza but three times in a 24 hour period felt excessive.

The supervisor stood up and started heading back to the kitchen. “I’m just going to start the pretzel bites,” she said.

“Oh no, I can get them,” Joe said. After he helped the next person in line he disappeared in the kitchen. I got the sense that this was his first time making pretzel bites.

While he was out of sight in the kitchen two kids came in. The boy grabbed a personal pepperoni and the girl grabbed a personal cheese pizza. Their mom came rushing in. “No, no, no,” she said, “I meant one pizza for both of you.”

“But I don’t want pepperoni,” the girl said.

“I want pepperoni!”

The mom looked at both of them. She looked briefly at me as if I was going to solve the argument. She ended up letting both of them get their own pizza. The kids also picked out juices with cartoon heads on top. They sat down and started eating while the mom stood awkwardly, unsure how to pay. The supervisor glanced over but didn’t do anything.

Joe was still working on the pretzel bites. A minute or two later he came out with them and asked if I wanted cheese. No. He apologized because they were running out of salt so there wasn’t that much salt on them. One of my favorite things to witness to people trying really hard and minor things going wrong anyway.

I was hoping Joe would have to confront the kids eating unpaid for pizza, but once he was back at the counter the mom walked up and paid.

Kristin Rowan

Written by

Comedian, stay-at-home mom, potato lover, writer

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