Page after page of mistakes, mislabeled boxes by the handful, and the wrong order pulls are in the dozens. You would think that after being in the industry for more than five years, a person wouldn’t be making such rookie mistakes. And yet, a person who just started no more than three months is correcting these mistakes.

I have no use for incompetent people. I should get rid of you.

Most of the open cases I see on the floor have a sheet of paper placed on top, listing the different wine bottles that should be inside. In every box at least two bottles were wrong, either it being a different vintage year or a different cuvée—and in some cases, a completely different bottle that isn’t even listed. At the bottom of every sheet is the same little scribble of an initial, a half-assed “TJ” that looks like a square disconnected at the corners.

I let out a tired sigh as I push myself up from squatting over the boxes to check them, “Goddamn it. I’m not replacing these damn bottles. He’s going to do that himself.”

The entire store is empty and void of customers. The only footsteps pressing down on the aged, wooden floorboards are the employees of the sales department, usually four members on shift at a time. As I’m trying to correct the names on the boxes to match with the appropriate invoice I catch one of the sales members approaching me out of the corner of my eye.

“Hey. Can I give you another order to work on? It’s an order for only six bottles.”

My eyes glance at my co-worker, a blonde haired woman who’s easily three inches shorter than me, “Is it a delivery order for the Uptown District, or a delivery within walking distance?”

“Neither. It’s for a customer pick-up later this week.”

Something like that doesn’t take priority at the moment. Somebody else can take care of it.

My eyes quickly return to the multiple invoices in my hand, “Put it on the back table. Somebody will get to it eventually before the day is over.”

The woman walks up next to me and slides the invoice right in front of my face, pointing down to the bottle of the page, “These bottles were already pulled, but three of them were wrong. Take a look at the name at the bottom.”

For my own personal gain I take a look at the invoice, memorizing the person’s name just in case somebody asks for it. In the middle of the page, there are six different wines listed: three French reds, an Italian red, and two American chardonnays. Scribbled in purple ink in the middle of the page are three completely different wines followed by a small note saying, “Wrong bottles, please correct.” I don’t even have to look at the initials at the bottom to know who fucked up this order.

I look at the blonde co-worker, our eyes meeting and shake my head, “Another TJ screw up?”

Her tired eyes roll and she nods as an answer, “That’s why I came to you. I heard you were checking all of his orders today.”

“Unfortunately. Feels more like a chore, considering how many boxes I had to check today. Just leave the wrong bottles and the invoice on the back table and I’ll get to it later today before I leave.”

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