Saturday, August 21, 2010

Such a lot of excitement for such a short shift

Ha, say THAT^ five times fast and see if you don't slip up.

I have mixed opinions on four hour shifts, but I'm mostly favorable towards them. Especially on days like today, when I arrived at 11AM after having worked till midnight yesterday. I figured it couldn't be too bad, but oh my, I think I had 8 hours worth of trouble crammed all into my little half-day, single-break kind of shift. After an hour or so, one of my fellow cashiers was standing in the checkout line behind mine, holding one of her grandchildren since her daughter in law was checking out there. All of a sudden I hear a huge gasp and turn around to find my colleague, her shirt, pants, the child, and the floor, soaking wet. I'll be damned if the kid didn't just pee all over her! You know, I'm not big on kids and the responsibilities and messes that come with them, so at first I was thoroughly squicked out by this whole scene, but very grateful that my coworker is a decent person and cleaned it all up herself. However, as the day wore on and I relayed this story to a few buddies, it went from utterly disgusting to ridiculously hysterical, and then I had a hard time keeping a straight face.

"Ha. Well, at least the kid didn't pee on you!"

Always the optimist, aren't we, Pip?

Oh well, at least it turned out to be funny. Earlier in the shift, a woman around my age pulled up, with three girls under the age of 10 in her cart, and a folding stroller to purchase. "That'll be $16.05" I say.

"Why is it that much? It said back there the umbrella strollers were $15, that's not an umbrella stroller, it should be less. I couldn't an actual female umbrella stroller with an umbrella on it. The umbrella strollers are $15."

Ok first of all, wow . . . you've put a lot of thought into this, haven't you? I'm sorry, but I haven't invested as much time in memorizing what they have in softlines and infants, so you'll have to slow down so my redheaded, sleep-deprived brain can digest this. No, wait, it'll still never make sense. Long story short, the line was held up, according to softlines, this thing IS an umbrella stroller, probably called so because it folds up all nice and small and compact. She bought it anyways and wanted to know if there was any way she could come back and get an umbrella attachment for it. Good grief lady, you're getting a stroller for fifteen dollars! Be thankful. And all your kids look too damn old to be in one anyways. At least it wasn't an SUV sized stroller that she'd end up using to clog the streets and store aisles, I guess.

I'm going to get old someday, and I'll be needing people like myself to be patient with me. I have a soft spot for old people, I really do. But some days . . . they annoy me. I bid a customer farewell and turned around to see a man loading groceries onto my counter from the basket of an electric cart, in which sat an elderly lady who immediately told me she'd need a carryout. Oh dear. I entered the code for one, knowing it'd be a while. It's the weekend and frankly, it looked like Christmas in there with the lines all backed up. I finished her order and she waited. And waited. And waited. Then declared in a loud voice "CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GET ME A LARGE BOX OF CORN FLAKES?" She repeated this several times. Then asked me if the carryout guy would do it. I told her he probably would, thinking that the poor chap just wouldn't have a choice anyways. Suddenly poor Carl from produce walked by and she flagged him down and asked him for the corn flakes, which he obligingly retrieved for her. I had a line once more, but there was only one customer in the lane behind me. "Oh, right there Carl, Louis can take care of it." Louis, I sincerely apologize for sending you that customer, but my sanity was at stake. For some reason, instead of just pulling right ahead to Lou's register, however, the woman took a hard left, almost turned Carl into a human bowling pin, and then slammed into the register across from me. I'm sorry you got caught up in all this too, Carl. You seem a decent fellow. After that, I had a really hard time keeping a straight face.

Ah, sexism, alive and well!

At last, my four hours of fun and adventure came to a close. Being a person who doesn't wish to offend others with any foul breath odors I might have, I've taken up chewing gum while at work. Since my supply is down to one piece (which likely won't be there after my nephew's had the truck all afternoon), I stopped in the candy aisle to replenish. Ah, there's my good little buddy, Pippin, re-shopping random stuff from the grocery department. I stopped to chat with him for a few, and a customer came down the aisle and asked where the dog food was. She asked me. Mind, my lanyard was all bundled up around my name tag in one hand, and I had my pack of gum in the other. Pip was the one standing there, scanning shelves and wearing a badge. But she asked me. He knew I was off the clock, so he happily directed her to the dog food section. However, the whole time she kept glaring at him suspiciously and then looking back at me to see if I'd disagree with what he said. I guess he's got a cheeky way about him and she thought he was going to direct her to the condom aisle or some such nonsense. Or something. It's odd, he doesn't smell bad, his clothes are clean, he doesn't scowl and pout, and there are no boogers hanging out of his nose.

"Why was she looking at me?" I ask.

"Aw, it's 'cause I'm a man."

At least he's got a good sense of humor and takes weird stuff like this in stride. Although it still amazes me that if there are two employees standing there, one off the clock and one not, 9 times out of 10 the idiot customer will always pick the off-duty peon.

Sorry if this post lacks wit and creativity that I usually try to infuse. I'm running on a few hours sleep and a few hours of insanity. Some things get sacrificed.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tales of Wal-Creatures: Volume 1

Anyone who is familiar with would know what a Wal-Creature is. If not, they are, in short, those of our human race who choose to display themselves in a manner that most of us would rather they didn't. Vehemently. When I was younger, my brother Stephen worked retail jobs and used to come home with shocking/disgusting/hilarious stories. Now I'm the one bringing them home, sometimes firsthand, sometimes second. Every now and then I'm lucky enough to witness a Tale for myself. But anywho, here's what I've managed to gather in the past few weeks.


I've mentioned this on a message board, but heck, it's a fun one. Picture a lovely Saturday afternoon, middle of a nice sunny day. We were doing fairly steady business and I was waiting on an older couple. As someone walked by the register, headed for the GM door, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that something wasn't quite right. I turned around and saw a woman wearing some sort of tight black top, fishnet stockings, and what I can only describe as a disco ball that's been skinned and fashioned into a pair of granny panties. Oh, and she was wearing tennis shoes/trainers to complete this ensemble. You've been a very, VERY bad girl, Gaga reject/wannabe. A very bad girl. But I love this one so much because it gets such an awesome reaction out of coworkers and the occasional customer. Had the poor girl from HBA cracking up yesterday because she was trying to imagine someone waking up in the morning and saying "Hmm, what am I going to wear today? . . . I think I'll pick the fishnets and sparkle panties!" She asked me if I would leave the house dressed like this, since I mentioned the girl was about my age.

"Me? Hell, I wouldn't dress at home like that! I mean why would I do that?" Produce Man, who shall henceforth be known as Pippin due to his annoying resemblance to Billy Boyd, then looked at me for a moment and laughed until he cried. I'd love to know if he was laughing at my supposed innocence or if he actually pictured me dressed in disco ball undies. Perhaps both.

Fish Tacos, Anyone?

The above discussion with Pippin and HBA lady (Henceforth known as Gummy because she has no teeth) led to more tales from her. About a month ago, a customer wanted to try on a bathing suit. It was after 10PM so the fitting room was closed for the night. Ah, but this clever lady wouldn't be put off by a little thing like that. She just took off all her clothes and underwear right there in the middle of apparel and struggled naked to try on the bathing suit that way. No one seems to know what happened after that, but it wouldn't surprise me if the police were involved. Why doesn't anyone do this crap when I'm working?

Tidbit Tale: Before the remodel, the shoe department was located near the back of the store. A guy with a foot/shoe fetish was caught jacking off at the boot wall. I'm pretty sure the police were definitely involved that time.

Pip then chimed in and said that a girl who works with him in Produce was flagged down by a 'lady' yesterday and started asking her all sorts of questions. Normal customer questions, mind. But between her shorts being so tiny and her top being so tight, everything was hanging out for the world to see. Including her bush. Actually I think he might have been the one to bring up this story in the first place, leading to all this discussion of customer nudity. Who knows. But seriously, who leaves the house with their pubes hanging out? And then ENTERS a STORE in the same condition? Gawd, the fresh produce department of all places. *gag*

One of my fellow cashiers is a 19 year old kid I've known since he was 13 or so, and he's a lot of fun. I'll call him Hurley for all intents and purposes because well . . . again, there's a resemblance. When we're bored we'll start singing The Mysterious Ticking Noise together; he calls it "our friendship song". Anyways, he told me that once he was waiting on a very voluptuous lady wearing a very short skirt. She had a case of water under her shopping cart and proceeded to bend over to retrieve it and place it on his counter. "Ma'am, I really wouldn't be doing that if I were you!" he warned her, but she continued to bend over repeatedly, for various reasons, and this is how Hurley learned that she didn't have any underwear on. I think he initially figured this, but tried to save himself from learning firsthand anyways. Better luck next time, Hurley. I'll buy you the Brain Bleach® this time if you promise to do the same for me when the need arises.

And yet another! I was standing by the time clock with Pippin and Roland (meat dept associate) waiting for 6 o'clock to roll around. Dan and Walt from the Tire & Lube Express were laying around on benches in the hall, apparently on break. Roland and Pip had been together most of the day because Pip got pulled from Produce to stock cheese, which is near the meat. Roland just kept shaking his head and saying "I guess I should wear sunglasses in here from now on!" I had to know the story behind this one, because Roland really is an easygoing kind of guy, who makes it out to church as often as he can. He told me that he was in the middle of shelving some packages of meat, but when he turned around and bent over to put it in the correct location, he discovered a middle-aged woman in a very short skirt bent over directly in front of his face. She wasn't wearing panties, either. I'd buy him some Brain Bleach too, but I'm sure he already has plenty of bleach, working in meat and all. Poor guy. Still, it makes for great stories to share XD

And so ends Volume 1 of Wal-Creature Tales. Be sure and tune in next time! Hope you enjoyed the variation from suck to . . . well ok, I won't say I envy these employees for having to see so many pubic regions without being given a choice, but I still think it's funny.