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Former Cashier Characterizes Love-Hate Relationship With Retail Work

March 14, 2024

In Adam Kaat’s quirky two-part saga, Life on the Grocery Line and The Patron Saints of Grocery, he invites readers for a spin through the revolving door of retail employment, where colorful characters find themselves in absurd situations — some of which are laugh-out-loud funny.

Kaat’s real-world, extraordinary experiences as a cashier in a high-end grocery store at the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic prompted him to write Life on the Grocery Line, a book that juxtaposes the global angst, paranoia and uncertainty of the time against a backdrop of darkly humorous, offbeat scenarios. His new book, The Patron Saints of Grocery, continues the story of protagonist Daniel, a relatable everyman who was plunged into an unprecedented reality.

“Both books are meant to be humorous time capsules,” Kaat said. “Where you get a look behind the scenes at the lives of retail workers, both the good and the bad.”

Although works of fiction, both books draw generously from Kaat’s own experiences and real-world interactions with customers and other employees. And both books offer eye-opening glimpses into the world of retail, where grizzled veterans butt heads with transient teenage employees, and where some of the country’s lowest paid workers are tasked every day with the immense burden of keeping their communities fed.

In The Patron Saints of Grocery, Daniel is feeling the numbness stemming from an underappreciated life. New pressures from climbing the corporate ladder, protocols and regulations from the government, and the increasingly restless public all impose their wills on Daniel’s dreams. Working hard to climb the ranks feels meaningless without any recognition, and the slow grind of retail life begins to take its toll. Will he finally get the push he needs to prioritize a secret alternative life moonlighting as a panda for Social Media, or will he just fade away into the retail abyss?

“It feels so good to round out the story — to tell the whole story I wanted to tell about that time in life,” Kaat added. “I think it’s going to be something that matters to a lot of people. I hope they laugh. I hope they cry.”

About The Author:
Author Adam Jonathan Kaat worked in a grocery store as a cashier and then as a prepared foods supervisor from January 2020 until May 2021. After college, he bounced around through the corporate world until leaving it all behind in the fall of 2019 to write his first novel. By January 2020, he had taken a job as a cashier to earn money while preserving Mental Energy for his creative pursuits. Once the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, everything changed, and he began to blog about his experiences. Eventually, those stories informed his two novels: Life on the Grocery Line and The Patron Saints of Grocery.

The Patron Saints of Grocery: A Novel
Amazon Link:

Life on the Grocery Line (Second Edition): A Frontline Experience in a Global Pandemic
Amazon Link:

For more information, please visit: Home - Adam Kaat - Or follow him on Instagram at: @kaatadam. On X at: @kaatadam and Facebook:

Home - Adam Kaat
Adam Jonathan Kaat is the author of Life on the Grocery Line: A Frontline Experience in a Global Pandemic and Th...

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