• Cardboard crushing machine; crushes cardboard boxes for off site recycling.
  • A prime spot for socializing while at the same time seeming like you're being productive.

(the) box      

  • The refrigerated room used to store all of the perishables; about the size of a train boxcar.
  • A good hiding/make out spot; impossible to get into until at least noon, when enough product has been moved out onto the shelf.
  • The milk, eggs, and juice section.

box cut*ter

  • Essential; used for slicing boxes open and for ringing store bells. 
  • Great as a makeshift knife, or for safety during your walk home after a late shift. 

capped out swag*ger

  • Behavior displayed by a person who has spent many years working for the company, with so many raises that their wage is "capped out."
  • Characterized by slowly walking to answer two bells, and having no fear of being in trouble.
  • This status requires consistently good performance reviews for many years. 

crew tast*ing

  • A weekly all-day-food-sampling for the employees; each crew member is scheduled a half hour during their shift to sit in the break room, try samples, and write down their opinions on the product.
  • It's one of the best features of the job, especially on days when we taste wine. 

days out

  • Number of days until a product's expiration date; used for pulling spoiled (not actually spoiled) product.
  • i.e. "Hummus gets pulled two days out."


  • The head manager of the store; like the captain of a ship.


  • Spoils that are still edible; set aside to be picked up by soup kitchen volunteers.
  • Most of the time the only items we could give were nonperishable, since the box was too full to fit anything that needed to be kept cold until pickup.


  • Produce.

dry 'duce

  • Unrefrigerated produce.

first mate

  • Assistant store manager.

full tim*er

  • A store manager.


  • A crew member puts on a lei and walk around asking customers if they need help, talks up products, and  sometimes hands out treats like cookies or chips.


  • An English cucumber, long and phallic. (PLU #4593).
  • i.e. "so was it a code 4593 last weekend?"


  • A Japanese term for solving problems ourselves; in its application, it seems to mean temporarily fixing something without spending much time or energy. 

mid shift/mids

  • 3:30 to midnight shift; given to new employees. 
  • Mid shift ie: 10-7; this kind of mid shift is highly coveted because it means you can do things like go out to dinner with your friends and not be the only sober person at the bar when you finally get there at 12:30.
  • (It's all about the context).

part tim*er

  • A regular employee; cannot work over 39 hours a week, in order to maintain "part time" status. 


  • Little cucumbers. 
  • i.e. “I bet he’s only packing a persian.”


  • Parking Lot Helms; gathering carts from the parking lot while wearing a chic neon vest and dodging angry drivers who fight over parking spaces.
  • On nice days I chanted "PLH! PLH! PLH!" on my way to work, in hopes I'd get a chance to play outside. 

quart*er back/QB

  • The full timer in charge; decides where to delegate crew members around the store.


  • Tofu; fake meat; lunch meat; tempeh.

reg sand*wich

  • Getting scheduled on reg before and after lunch, making your break hectic and hurried; time is cut into your break if your register relief is late, and you have to leave lunch late in order to relieve the next person. 


  • To fill the store shelves with product. 

SKU [skyoo]

  • Product number written near the scanner bars on a food label. 


  • Food to be "pulled" from the store shelf; removed prior to its labelled expiration date so a customer won’t go home with something that will go bad in one or two days; it's all about the bang for your buck.  
  • ie: if a package of sushi has an expiration date on 8/15, then it has to be "pulled" from the shelf on 8/11; that's three days out; the "days out" depend on the product and its ability to last. 
  • "Pulling spoils" is the most heartbreaking job task ever; most of the time I had to throw away good food. 

trad*er ho

  • Used in reference to a flirtatious crew member, regardless of their gender; has a humorous connotation. 

trad*er joe’s univ*ers*ity

  • A training manual with a quiz after every chapter is given to new hires to increase their knowledge of how the store runs. 

wet 'duce

  • Refrigerated produce.


  • “WOW the customers!” 
  • It's just a term for good customer service.