B randi Weiland is covering a shift at Emporium on Sunday evening.
She got in about 5 p.m. — an hour earlier than she needed to be there — when a student employee was still in. She’s working alone now. “Give a Little Bit” by Supertramp plays overhead on 103.5, WGRR; she didn’t put that station on, but she likes to see what each employee chooses to listen to.
She has platinum blonde hair put up in a tight ponytail. She’s wearing a light, tan cardigan. Weiland smiles a lot. Even though it’s 6:15 p.m. on a Sunday, she doesn’t seem to mind being at work. She likes to see what weird combinations of items different students buy.
She likes seeing students buy Nerds gummy candies with a coffee, wondering how someone can possibly pair those two oddities together.
There isn’t much action right now — or any Sunday evening, for that matter. There isn’t a student in sight. No students wandering around looking for strange pairings of snacks. Not many weird pairings. But Weiland doesn’t mind. She’s spending her time restocking the York sandwiches and making sure nothing has expired.
She likes to keep things neat. She likes organizing. She likes her job a lot. She likes to get in early to keep things the way she likes it.
The radio shifts to “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams.
She doesn’t touch the radio, even though it isn’t her station of choice. Each employee has a different station they’ll pick, and Weiland enjoys hearing each person’s music taste.
“Oh, you listen to that …? OK …” she’ll think to herself.
Weiland is looking forward to picking up her 5-year-old daughter, Zaylee Howard, from her dad’s. The next student employee comes in at 9 p.m., and then she can head over. The two of them don’t have any big plans because last night was movie night and nail painting — Zaylee’s a total girly girl.
A pair of students walks in. Checking every item and giggling between themselves. They’re the first ones in a little while.
It’s 6:30 p.m.
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