How Andy Stole Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great holiday. How can you hate a giant meal that’s made entirely of side dishes?!?

When I look back on Thanksgivings as a kid, I think about each member of my family saying what they were thankful for, getting to use the fancy tablecloth, and breaking the wishbone with my brother. 

When I think about Thanksgiving now, I think about how I have singlehandedly, utterly, and throughly ruined Thanksgiving for hundreds of people. 

As a butcher, Thanksgiving is the start of my busy season. What would Thanksgiving be without a turkey? That’s right, a Thursday.  It’s my sworn duty to ensure your family has it’s ham, turkey, or holiday roast. 

I take my job seriously. So seriously, that I agree to work on Thanksgiving. Yes, the store is open on Thanksgiving, yes I always work it. (14 years and counting). It started as a nice favor to my coworkers. I don’t cook on Thanksgiving. I realized how much goodwill I would generate by agreeing to work and quickly learned to jump on that turkey shaped landmine. 15 minutes into my first Turkey-day shift, and I saw how amazing Thanksgiving in a grocery store really is. 

Thanksgiving day at a butcher counter is an amazing experience of pure unadulterated schadenfreude.By agreeing to work I had, in fact, traded the Macey’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for something far more entertaining. The Clueless Thanksgiving Customer Parade. 

Most customers are good at planning out their holiday meal. There are a few (I’m being conservative here) that seem to forget the special day is coming. They parade into the store hoping to get enough ingredients to put together their Thanksgiving spread. To most of these unaware shoppers, I am the sole reason why their meal is ruined. (Heavy is the head that wears the hairnet.) 

The following is a selection of 100% true interactions I’ve personally had, working on Thanksgiving Day. 

"No ma'am, we are all out of fresh turkeys."

"Yes ma'am, it is ridiculous that we're out of fresh turkeys on Thanksgiving. "

"No ma'am, I don't have any in the back."

"I'm sorry ma'am that we ruined your thanksgiving. "

"No ma'am, that 18 lb frozen turkey will not be thawed out by 2:00"

"No ma'am, I don't recommend cooking it frozen."

"Happy Thanksgiving to you too, ma'am. "

(These were all from the same woman.)

Customer : Do you have any oysters in the jar?

Me: No ma'am. I don't have any oysters.

Customer: What about any in the shell? I can just shuck them.

Me : Sorry. I don't have any oysters.

Customer : How does that happen? I mean it's not like the oyster has gone extinct.

Me: I've just sold out. They're very popular this time of year.

Customer: That's shady practices. You engage in shady practices!

Customer: Where are your roasts? And do you have any neckbones ?

Me: I'm out of neckbones. What type of roast did you want?

Customer: I don't know. Any neckbones?

Me: No neckbones. Everything from here to here is a roast.

Customer: Cool. What about the neckbones?

Me: I'm out of neckbones.

Customer : Why would this company make people work on Thanksgiving?

Me: Well, as long as there are customers in the store, someone needs to be here.

Customer : That's just dumb and inconsiderate.

Me : Happy Thanksgiving.

Customer : You too!

Customer: You sell gizzards?

Me: I do. I'm out right now. All I've got are chicken livers.


(A customer slams a half wrapped turkey hanging out of a pan on the counter)

Customer: The turkey you sold me is to big to fit in my fucking pan!

Me: I'm sorry ma'am. What size did you ask for?

Customer: I don't know!

(I look it up in our order book)

Me: Ma'am, you ordered a 14lb turkey. This one is only 12 3/4. I'm really sorry.

Customer: Fuck your sorry. What are you going to do about it.

Me: I've only got one turkey left. It was from an order that someone didn't pick up. Problem is it's a 20lb turkey.

Customer: Well that's not going to fit in my pan.

Me: We do sell those foil disposable pans.

Customer: I don't do disposable pans. Happy Fucking Thanksgiving !

(She storms off)

Customer: Hey! I don't need anything, but can I ask you a question?

Me: Of course! What can I help you with? 

Customer : My wife is making something called a turduckin. How do they do that?

Me: You mean how do they make a turduckin?

Customer: Yeah.

Me: They take the bones out of a chicken, duck, and turkey. Then they stuff the chicken in the duck and the duck in the turkey.

Customer: Well, now I feel like an idiot. I thought they had created a duck/turkey/chicken hybrid. I was wondering how they got those animals to breed.

Me: No, it's just a stuffed meal.

Customer : That would be some real Dr. Moreau type shit.

(Phone rings)

Me: Good morning. Meat department. This is Andy. How may I help you?

Customer : Just calling to see if you're open.

Me: Yes sir. The store closes at 2.

Customer: Closing at 2? That's fucking ridiculous! You're store is open 24 hours a day!

Me: We have amended hours on holidays. 

Customer: Bullshit! I can't get there until 4. Someone will have to let me in.

Me: there won't really be anyone here past 2:30.

Customer: Fuck that! Happy Thanksgiving! (Slams phone down)

Customer: Are you out of oysters?

Me: Yes, sir. I'm sorry.

Customer: (to his wife) Great. Thanksgiving is ruined.

(They leave Their shopping cart and walk away)

Customer: This turkey you sold me has no arms or legs.

Me: Ma'am, that's a turkey breast. Not a whole turkey.

Customer: Are you sure? I thought this was just a small turkey.

Me: I'm positive. That is a turkey breast.

Customer: Why are the holidays so hard? 

Me: Happy Thanksgiving.

Customer: I'm here to pick up a turkey I ordered. Name's Smith.

Me: Sure thing. Here ya go!

Customer: it's kinda big. We ordered a 10 lb turkey.

Me: 10 lb turkeys are incredibly rare. This one is 12.18 lbs.

Customer: The guy said 10 lbs are almost impossible. Got anything smaller?

Me: Not really. The deli just brought me an extra turkey they had for the meals they make. You can take a look at it.

(It's a 11.95 lb turkey)

Customer: Perfect!

(He hands me the turkey that weighs a quarter of a pound more)

Customer : Do you have any bigger turkeys in the back?

Me: literally every turkey I have is in that counter right now.

Customer: Damn it! I'm not thankful for you this year.

Customer: I bought a turkey a couple of days ago. I'm looking at Your thermometer it says like 33. Does it have to stay at that temp?

Me: My cases run really cold. You don't have to do that; you just need to keep it refrigerated.

Customer: Crap. Really?

Me: Um....yes. It needs to be kept under refrigeration.

Customer: I've just had it sitting on my kitchen table.

Me: For two days!?

Customer: I put it in a freezer bag.