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.

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