Alrighty then, now that me and all my lovely little remodel friends are all settle into our new positions and I'm not worried about them anymore, the novelty and glee of last week is starting to wear off a bit, and I remember why I told them in my insensitivity that I was going to 'Hell' when I found out I was being transferred to the front end. It's called the beginning of the month, particularly the 3rd of each month and the days that follow thereafter. The third is generally when food stamp cards are reloaded with funds. Now, first allow me to make myself clear on one thing -
I do not have anything against people who honestly need food stamps and I bear no ill will towards those less fortunate than me. However, not all people on government aid are necessarily like this. some of them, in fact, are inconsiderate, bumbling morons.
Let's say that Rhonda Redneck's monthly aid comes to around $150 each month. Been this way for years. And yet every month, Rhonda will fire up that old Dodge minivan with all the different colored body panels, load all four screeching, barefoot, snotty nosed kids into it, and maybe another friend or relative for good measure, and chug down to the local Wal-Mart. Rhonda and Co. will then rush into the doors, screaming at each other at extreme volumes, oblivious to the stares of their fellow customers, and proceed to fill up a shopping cart with $200+ worth of 'groceries'. I use quotation marks because frankly, I don't consider twelve boxes of Little Debbie cakes, ten two-litres of soda, and enough frozen dinners to give an entire nursing home cardiac arrest to be worthy of being called groceries. And then . . . uh oh! Rhonda will troll up to my checkout line and shamelessly tell me to "Stop when we reach one fifty". This is when I know it's going to be fun. I'm going to get to do what I call acting practice, because you have to be a damn fine actor to work in customer service. Viggo Mortensen started out as a waiter, did you know that?
Of course the $150 is nowhere near enough to cover the cost of all this delicious heart attack fodder in Rhonda's cart. And when push comes to shove and she has to choose what goes home with her that day and what stays behind to be reshelved in it's temporary home at Wallyworld, does she put back the snack cakes and the cheap orange soda? Of course not. Rhonda will proceed to hand me back every single steak, deli package, and $10 bag of frozen shrimp that she chucked into that cart on her monthly adventure into my store. I will then be forced to punch in the good ol' 248+Action Code on my register, which sends the message of 'Training Question, Gracie Lou Freebush - Register 666' to all the CSM's (Customer Serivce Manager) palm pilots. One of them will no doubt trudge to my terminal, knowing it can't be good, since I'm a seasoned pro and don't really have a legitimate 'training question'. They know I either need a spider key or . . . I have cold returns. They will then resignedly hold out their arms while I pile on the results of Rhonda's case of being a green-eyed monster, and take the poor frozen stuff back to it's department (provided it's still cold enough) until another customer decides to take it home with them. All while Rhonda is still shamelessly bellowing at her brood to get her a 20oz soda from the cooler and "Quit hittin' YER BROTHER!", and the customers in line behind her are standing there with a look somewhere between horror, disbelief, and admiration at the patience of myself and my CSM. I had such a situation many, many times this weekend, and not all of them are Rhonda Rednecks. Some of them are just plain inconsiderate. To the lady who didn't bother to check the amount on her card, put a hundred dollars of stuff back and caused frozen food to go to waste, and yet STILL couldn't decide if she should buy that game controller for her friend, I am talking about YOU. You held up the line for about 15 minutes with this nonsense and didn't apologize to me or the people waiting in line behind you who would have been justified in slamming your heels with their buggy. There is an 800 number on the back of your card. Learn it, use it, love it. My Dad's paycheck is automatically deposited into my parents' joint account every Friday morning, yet neither he nor my mother would dare go shopping without checking the balance first, because guess what? Sometimes it doesn't go in for whatever reason. It's better to be prepared than to assume the money is there and get embarrassed in the store. My Phlebotomy instructor pushed the envelope a lot. She'd often do or say things that the college would have deemed 'inappropriate' for the classroom, but none of us ever said anything about it because it was just so darn honest. Mrs. Brady taught me a saying about 'assume'. Look at the letters. Assuming will make an ass out of u-m-e. Get it? Got it? Good.