Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Phunny Pharm: Week 1

(I really dunno what happened with the font on this post, but I can't seem to fix it, so just bear with me, sorry)

I really am enjoying my new position, but it's not without it's share of insanity and stupidity on the part of customers, or as I should now refer to them, patients.

To the family who gave us all kinds of hell yesterday over a GI cocktail, just . . . just go. We told the first person who came to pick up the scripts that we could give him the inhaler, but not the cocktail, because that requires pre-approval before it can be filled. We faxed your doctor about the issue, they haven't faxed us back, so you need to take it up with them. You just assumed the attitude that we're all complete morons and asked us to 'give the prescription back' so you can take it somewhere else, and that you're never having anything filled at Volde-Mart again. Word to the not so wise, we can do without your business, we really can. Some people just aren't worth the hassle they create, whether they spend money with us or not. And good luck getting that cocktail filled at any other pharmacy, as it requires PRE-APPROVAL. No RPh in his or her right mind is going to fill it, no matter what establishment they work for, because they probably don't want to lose their job and go to prison. For the love of fuck, when you're having issues like this, call the store before showing up and save yourself the trip.

A woman came in Wednesday and we were running really behind, so naturally we didn't have her script ready. She was an older, larger woman, with her hair dyed shocking shades of red and black, and to show her Halloween spirit, she had a very convincing set of small horns on her head, along with eyeshadow to make Mimi Bobeck proud. She was getting madder by the minute as she waited and waited and waited to have her meds filled, and I was having the absolute worst time not laughing. Thank Eru things were quiet enough that I could leave the other cashier and take a lunch before I lost control of myself.

The Little Blue Pill

I've only worked four days in the Phunny Pharm and I've already seen three happy pill incidents. The first, a lady was picking up several scripts, and before I rang her up, she handed one back to me and asked if I could give her three pills instead of nine because they're so expensive. "It's Viagra", she explained. "Cialis didn't work so we're trying this now, and I don't want to buy nine of them if this doesn't work, either. Well, truthfully hon, I don't want ANY of these, but well . . . my husband." She at least had a really great sense of humor about the whole thing, and I called the manager over there so she could tell him. "Now, don't laugh," she said as he approached the counter. He promised not to, but by the time she had told him what she told me, adding "I'm 67 years old for goodness' sakes, I don't need this!" all three of us were chuckling. The pharmacist insisted to her that he was laughing with her, not at her. But damn if those suckers aren't expensive. about US$19 for a single pill. I know because I had a gentleman waiting in the store two hours for one last night. No idea why it took so long to fill a script for one pill, but he was also pretty good natured about it. He's a truck driver and only home once a month, you see, and it's the wife's birthday this weekend, you see, and oh dear, Shiny thinks you're a great guy, Mr Customer, but this is really more info than she needed. Still, nice fellow. And then I had another guy earlier in the week who got surlier and surlier the each time he asked if his stuff was ready and I had to tell him no. It was only when I finally rang him out that I noticed what the script was for. I actually feel pretty bad for these guys who no longer function correctly 'down there' as they age. While I don't have much experience in the sex department (ok ok, so I have none. Blah.), I like to think I have a fairly high drive for a woman and I'd hate to lose that. Gah.

I'm not the droid you're looking for!

Customer: "Did the insurance run through on this? How much did it take off?"

Me: "Oh, I'm really not sure, but you can step down and see lady or gentleman at the Drop Off window and one of them can--"

C: "You see I was with Blah Blah Insurance but we changed and now we're with Yadda Yadda, and I need to know which one went through."

Me: "Like I said, I don't have access to that info and can't really answer your insurance questions, but if you'll go and see--"

C: "Last time, something messed up and I wanna make sure that doesn't happen again and . . ."

When me and my siblings were smaller, and were being particularly ornery or not listening to our parents, but not enough to make them really mad, they'd grab us by the face, pull it really close to their own, and say "We have a lack of communication!" This is exactly what we have going on here, multiple times a day. It's really frustrating to have to communicate a complicated problem over and over because you're talking to the wrong person. I'm trying to save you this frustration by sending you down to one of the wonderful techs at drop off. I'm not being rude, I'm just a cashier and we're at the bottom of the totem pole back here, so to speak. My computer literally cannot pull up detailed insurance information so for the love of all that is good and decent PLEASE SHUT UP AND GO SEE MY COWORKER! *regains breath* This would happen up front, too, when I'd have to tell people multiple times to take their issue to the service desk as I couldn't fix it. If only I were a Jedi . . .

Then again, if I were a Jedi, I probably wouldn't be working at Volde-Mart or writing this blog.

Random LULZ

*ring ring, tech picks up phone*

Tech: "Hey Raj (Raj is one of our Pharmacists), customer on the phone, she wants to know if we sell any detox meds."

Raj: *with a slight smile* "Depends. What's she wanting to clean out?"

Tech *checks with customer* "Marijuana."

Raj: *snerk* "No, no we don't."

Tech: "No ma'am, he says we don't have anything like that."

We all then looked at each other and laughed for a while.

All in all it was a good week, and the level of busyness back there reminds me of when I worked layaway during my first stint with the store.


I'm not doing well with the whole 'moving into the 21st century' thing at all. But then again, Pippin had his walls up again the past few days.

You cut me deep, Shrek. You cut me real deep just now. You know what  I think? I think this whole wall thing is just a way to keep somebody  out.
 - Donkey

Maybe he's a little put off that I didn't take the bait when he kept asking me what my weekend schedule was. Can't say that I blame him, really, but I'm honestly that oblivious sometimes, and I'm still kicking myself for it. Not that he was being rude or anything, but he was definitely down about something. He's working for 9 days straight, because they like to screw with our schedules like that sometimes. He also still seems bummed that his kids won't do Halloween with him anymore because they're 'too old' now, and doubly put out that his 15 year old daughter is attending a Halloween party tonight. He pleaded with his ex to please know who these people were whose house she's going to, and make sure there would be adults there to watch the mob. "Because you know what you got up to when you were that age, and I don't want no grand-babies." He's beside himself with anxiety that his kids are going to make the same mistakes he and his ex did when they were young, the poor bastard, and it's not uncommon. And I do hope for his and his daughter's sakes that she's smart enough not to get knocked up until she's old enough and responsible enough. I compare Pippy to a hobbit, for obvious reasons. Good natured, cheeky smile, an all around impish appearance, and loverly blue eyes. Yet I'm often reminded of other lines from Shrek.
He stinks? No. He makes me cry? (Uh, well, once. Finding out the person you fancy and get on well with committed first degree felony is fairly unsettling). But no. 
No! Layers! Onions have layers. Orges have layers! Onions have  layers. You get it? We both have layers. 
Ohhh, Pippin has layers. 
Ohh! You're so wrapped up in layers, onion boy, you're afraid of your  own feelings.
Buggering hell. Mom often reminds me that Pip has lots of baggage. You know, it's not even the criminal charge that really bothers her; as a matter of fact we both tend to think he was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person. I've looked up the penalties for doing what he was charged with and the stuff involved. He should be sitting in state prison for at least three years and paying fines out his rear for the rest of his life, but he ended up with a few days in county and a probation. A hand-slap punishment. But anyways, yes. Not that that bothers mother dearest. Her issue? His ex and his kids. Particularly the ex. I didn't really realize why she often reminded me of the baggage until recently. It's not that the ex is a jealous person who'll come after me and try to stab my eyes out, it's the damage she and her relationship with Pippy have already done. I just hope I'm not coming across as a stalker or Peppermint Patty or anything. I'd rather be the Little Red-Haired Girl to his Charlie Brown. We actually had a discussion about that the other day, because he was stocking the pumpkins and called me Charlie Brown. I told him I was the Little Red-Haired Girl, and he couldn't remember her at all. Easy to do, since she never really shows up, but still. I dropped him a note on FB last night just to say I hope he had a good day and that I felt bad he had such a long stretch of work, and to not let the pumpkins or the crazy old folks get to him. He never wants to see a pumpkin again, you see, and has nearly run over countless old folks this week with pallets of the things because they dart out in front of him and then stop like a deer in the headlights. He left a friendly thanks this morning, albeit filled with chat speak and no punctuation, but at least he responded. Although I was still kind of hoping he'd ask me to do something one of these nights or maybe do lunch. Pfft. 
I think I'm gonna get up and go to church tomorrow morning. I'll just go to the one that meets at the skating rink, it's a fairly decent place, as far as churches go. Then I may be pathetic and stop at Volde-Mart with the weak excuse that it's Halloween and Mom just realized now that we have no candy and we need candy. (Heh, *need* candy?). For us. We don't get trick-or-treaters out here in the sticks. And maybe a rotisserie chicken for lunch or something lame like that. Just so I can have the excuse to show him I dress like a girl every now and then? Ohmygawd that's horrible of me. 
But if not, he is, someone unfortunately for him, working all this week until Thursday, and I'm sure he'll have a few 12-9s like I do, and then I might be able to get him away from our colleagues and all to myself for that one wonderful little hour. Cooler than the flipside of my pillow, that's right . . .  :-\
I'm starting to wonder if I should just be forward and risk losing him as a friend, and wondering if he's worth keeping around as a friend if he'll cause me to constantly wish we were more, and I feel horrible about it. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I can't really complain too much about the new job. In fact, I couldn't have really asked for better. I don't exactly have banker's hours, but it's close enough. Pharmacy is only open from 9am-9pm Monday through Friday, and 10-7 on weekends. And of course it's closed most major holidays. There's a lot to take in over there and we do very little standing around, but everyone is so great and friendly and it's like a little family back there. It's weird because a lot of my friends think I've been calling out or on leave this week when I've been in three days, and I had to explain to them I went to a new department, LOL. Pippy says he'll have to stop by and see me every now and then because he never sees me up front anymore, I told him he'd better. He said he'll have to find a new friend. I'm pushing him into his big box of pumpkins next time I see him dangling halfway in it, I swear I will, the little brat.

Sigh, even Mom says I should just start being as nosy to Pippy as he is to me, since he keeps beating around the bush and asking my weekend schedules. Good god boy, if you wanna get to know me better, just ask, I won't bite your head off. Yeah, you're a dirt poor white boy with two kids to pay for. You drive a beaten up, wood paneled old Dodge Caravan that you share with your disabled brother and it's fugly as hell, because your pickup needs a battery and you can't afford one right now. You have absolutely nothing monetarily or materially to offer me and Pip . . . I don't give a shit that you're poor. I've always been pretty poor and I'd be VERY poor if my parents didn't let me live at home no charge. I don't care if you have no transport and I'd have to pick you up at your house instead of the other way round. Bah, I wish I could tell him this without seeming patronizing or overeager. The fair is starting this weekend and I'm probably not working, and I know I'd be done by 7 if I were anyways. We should go and fill ourselves with a week's worth of crappy calories in a single night and make fun of all the weird people there, or maybe stop for tacos after.

Why can't I just say that? :(

Cursing out coworkers -

Remember a while back I posted about 'Nate', one of the maintenance guys that we all found a little creepy/jerky because of the way he acted? I mean gosh, he overheard a conversation about taco shells and made an innuendo about hard-ons. He got fired a couple of weeks ago; apparently several things had been building up against him, from employee complaints, customer complaints, and something he was seen doing on security cameras on the two days leading up to him being terminated, I still don't know what he did. The straw that broke the camels back though, from what I heard from Pippy, is that Nate got upset with AJ, one of our assistant managers. Now, AJ is one of those rare members of management that everyone actually likes. He has a spine unlike most mgrs, and he's generally just really fun to be around. If I'm in the back and hear someone screaming or singing at the top of their lungs like a crazy person, it's probably just him. Anyways, Nate got upset with him and called him a retard. FYI folks, calling anyone at the workplace a retard doesn't bode well for your job future, especially not a manager. This was Nate's third time being employed with Volde-Mart and I think his third time getting fired. It seems no one will miss him.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Same place, different channel

So, yesterday was my last day as a cashier on the front end. Several weeks ago, I was horrified to hear a manager on the radio saying he needed me in the office right away, that usually never bodes well. A few minutes later, he came back to the Garden Center to find me, along with a co-manager. It turns out there was a job opening in the pharmacy and they just wanted to know if I was still interested. So I went from being horrified I was going to be fired and sent out the front doors in shame to being insanely thrilled that I was finally getting into the pharmacy and OFF the front end after so many years. This happened only a few days after Pippy had left the "I hit your truck, hahaha" note on my windshield and the feeling was similar. So anyways, after a week or two of trying to find the co-manager again to do the job offer, driving downtown to drug test, and finally getting my new schedule yesterday, I'm all set to start cashiering in the Pharmacy on Monday. After I do the computer lessons on HIPAA and the like, of course. They even gave me this weekend off! I would have come home in a pretty foul mood last night if I hadn't been able to keep reminding myself that it was the last shift I was pulling on front end. Actually, I was in a pretty giddy mood for most of the night, but it wasn't without its share of sucky customers, I'm afraid. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be posting this right now, would I? There just had to be one or two that came along to remind me why I hate the front so much and why I was so glad to be leaving it.

Welfare Woes

Now, again I'll reiterate, I have nothing against people who are on welfare who truly need it. I realize such people exist. But I suspect that a large number in the welfare system right now are just lazy fucks whose best accomplishment in life has been figuring out how to work the system and milk it for all it's worth. I had just such a customer last night, most of whose order consisted of several WIC checks. WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a program where pregnant women and those with children under five are given vouchers for certain food items that are redeemed at any store with a WIC license. I have some wonderful WIC customers, who will organize all the items in the order they appear on the check, and know exactly what items to get (ie, they don't pick the most expensive item on the shelf and bitch at me when I tell them it isn't allowed). And then there are people like my last customer of the night. Didn't speak much English, or at least didn't want me to think she did. Had three checks (they have to be processed individually), one for milk/cereal/juice, one for fresh produce, and another for baby food. And a regular order of grocery items not covered by the vouchers. And it was all jumbled up in disarray. Fruit Loops, cottage cheese, baby food, vegetables, and OJ waaaay in the back. And she just stood there clutching a food stamp card for when I rang the last order. And one of her kids kept grabbing stuff and shoving it at me. Notice I said kids. I might step on a few toes here, but this makes me LIVID. I'm tired of people, aliens and citizens alike, who do nothing but shit out babies for a living and march their worthless asses down to the Health Department every month to inform them they need more money for the newest crotch turd they've dropped. Then they're too lazy to even properly spend their free money at the hell that is Volde-Mart. Said crotch droppings will probably grow up to get knocked up or impregnate another welfare child by the age of 17 and then get their own free food card to leech off the system some more. These people are useless and I wish the government would be more selective about who gets aid. If you have kids and you fall on hard times due to layoffs, injuries, death of a spouse, etc, then by all means, you deserve some help. But if you are already ON assistance and are stupid/ignorant/selfish/careless enough to have another baybee, you should NOT get anymore money for it. I'm sorry, but if you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em. I don't believe there are as many 'accidental' pregnancies as people would have us believe. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that unprotected sex = BABY. I happen to know that you can toodle right down to the department of health and they'll give you a huge bag of condoms for absolutely free. I'm not sure if there are programs for free/low cost birth control pills, but that's one thing I wouldn't mind my tax dollars going for. It'd be cheaper to fund a BC program than to fund the resulting pregnancies and unwanted children that arise from not having BC. And really, if you're popping out a kid just so you can get the extra cash every month for having it, you don't really want it, and that's not fair to any child.

Ok, so welfare rant over. I cant' remember anymore specific SC (sucky customers) from last night, but here are a few quickies:

You. Yes, you, that insist on putting every last one of your 24 packs of Pepsi on my belt. DON'T DO THAT! I have a cordless scanner to get those with. Same goes for the fucking 50 pound bags of dog food and 25lb bags of cat litter. Stop. Doing. This. Especially when you bitch and moan about how heavy they are. If your cashier says "You don't need to lift that" it means DON'T FUCKING LIFT IT. We'll come around and get it with our magic wand. I can understand when it's a teenage boy putting these huge-ass items on the belt or lifting them up for me to scan; he just wants to prove how big and strong he is. He'll outgrow that in a few years, hopefully. But it's kind of cute in a funny way. However, if your ass is grown, you need to stop this, you really do. There's nothing to prove anymore, except that perhaps, you're a douche.

Don't come to the express line until you are finished shopping. If you pull your buggy up and then walk away for several minutes to the point I can no longer see you, I will take the next person in line. It's not fair to make them wait on your entitled butt, they're a paying customer as well. You can't call 'dibs' on a spot in the checkout line, this isn't elementary school.

I stand there at the end of the lane, with my light on and my name badge hanging in plain sight. Here are some things not to ask a person doing this:

"Do you work here?" No. I beat up a real Volde-Mart employee and stole all her clothes. Pippy thinks the idea of such a thing is hilarious.

"Are you open?" No. I'm standing here grinning like a moron with the register light on because it makes me feel SEXY.

You spot an employee headed for the doors, a drink in their hand, no visible name badge, and a jacket on. I could have been just another person wearing khaki pants. And yet I was asked "Do you work here?"

"Yes, but I'm off the clock."

"Oh ok but I just wanna ask a question."

Ugh. She just wanted to know where the fresh flowers were and I pointed her in the direction of the produce department, but UGH. Really, I want to know where these people work so I can go there and bug the shit out of them on their breaks or as they're getting ready to leave. Of course, I'd also like to go to their houses and 'rearrange' their stuff so that they'll find a carton of eggs sitting on their DVD player, or a box of Cheerios stuffed between the weedeater and the grill in the garage, or put a can of shaving cream in the refrigerator. You know, just because I can't be bothered to put all that stuff where it really belongs.

So, that's that and I look forward (or maybe I dread!) sharing tales with you of . . . drug customers. As soon as I let my skin thicken a little more, I'm sure I'll find them entertaining. I'm also sure I'll be glad there's a thick glass wall between the Pharmacy employees and the customers, so they can't jump the counter at us or anything. I'm mostly worried about getting along with the other people who work back there. As I've learned from my friends in other departments, drama can arise when you're stuck working with the same small group of people day in and day out. But I usually don't have a problem getting along with people, so as long as no one starts a rumor that I'm sleeping with married men, I should be fine.

And now, the personal

Ah, my favorite. My nephew has a pinto stallion that we've yet to train. His name is Walker and he's very smart, and an easy keeper, but he's very skittish and wary. You have to give him his space and not be overbearing and try to get too close to him too quickly, or he'll run away and won't let you near him for a while. He pulled his halter off a few months ago and I haven't been able to put it back on yet, but the other night I managed to give him a nice grooming and comb out the epic rats' nests in his mane and put braids in it so it won't tangle again. I'm beginning to think I need to approach the opposite sex the same way.

Last week I made some cookies and I gave some to Pippy when I went to work that afternoon. He really liked them, but I couldn't help but notice that he wasn't quite as friendly as usual for a few days, and I think I might have spooked him. I see him popping out of the doors to the produce department to give me my tupperware back, and at the same time I can see Walker in my mind, cautiously staring at me from the far end of his corral and wondering if he should let me near him with that comb or not. Then again, it could all be my imagination.

I only worked a half day yesterday, so I went grocery shopping with Mom in the early afternoon. Pip waved at us as he was walking past with T, both of them pulling pallet jacks behind them. When we were leaving, he was sitting at the table outside talking on his phone, and waved again. Funny, he's usually so talkative, and I started to think he was being offstandish. Mom thought so too. When I got to work later that night though, he was his friendly self again. I've come to the conclusion that he's frightened of my mother. He once made a comment that he was afraid she'd drop kick him right there in the store and I thought he was joking, but . . . I don't think so anymore. He's very quiet and straight laced and not at all relaxed around her, and it's both funny and sad at the same time. I'd actually started to get quite pissed off at him for being so aloof with me, but when I was leaving to clock out for the night, I saw him pop out the produce doors and wave enthusiastically. Then he came hurrying over to talk to me. WTF? He's so strange. He asked if I was going to work today and seemed disappointed when I said I'd been given the weekend off. Kind of a shame really, he came in at 11 today and I was supposed to work the front from 11-3; I was going to see if he wanted to get lunch together :( I mentioned the Pharmacy was going to be great because it closes at 9 and on holidays, too. He said that makes him upset, LOL. I'm gonna be so spoiled now, and he'll still be stuck spending a lot of his holidays slinging vegetables onto a shelf and listening to people complain about how crappy the produce is. If only retail worked like it did 50 years ago, when people didn't feel the need to go grocery shopping at 11AM on Thanksgiving day . . . at least Volde-Mart still closes on Christmas. For now. It's too bad Pippy will probably never get to come to the Pharmacy with me. But with him having a trafficking charge on his record, I'd say his chances of getting in over there are slim to none.

But again with the scared horse comparison . . . I wish I could figure this man out. He always seems so eager to be around me when I don't see him racing across the store to do that with his other work friends. He doesn't mind being seen alone with me, or getting into my vehicle. I figure he must at least like me a little bit to behave like this. But he is divorced, after all. And he has absolutely nothing nice to say about his ex-wife. In fact, he's mentioned fantasizing about turning her into a bloody puddle with a pickup truck. While talking with the demo guy once, he mentioned that in the divorce, she got the kids, the house, and the boat. Demo guy asked him "Well hell, what did you get?!"

"My dignity back. Half of it anyways."

I don't know what his marriage was like. I don't know what caused them to split up, but it sounds like the woman had him on the figurative leash and collar and dragged him around by his balls all day. He swears he'll never marry again. Okay . . . but will he let himself get close to someone again? Walker will run away from me if I have a halter and lead in my hand. He knows once I have his head, I have him. He'll no longer be in control. I sincerely hope Pippy doesn't think I want to put a halter and lead on him. I don't want to drag him around and belittle him and then brag to all my friends how pussy whipped he is. I don't want anything from him. I just want him. If he really is interested, I wish there was some way of letting him know so he wouldn't be so skittish. When I'm around him, I really feel as if grabbing hold of him and kissing him hard on the mouth would be the most natural thing in the world to do. But I don't want to scare him. It's just so frustrating not knowing . . .

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reading Between the Lines . . .

. . . Or trying not to? I have the tendency to read into things and over-analyze a lot, it's just how I am.

But before we get into all that, I'll share some secondhand customer tales from none other than my favorite produce guy. Yesterday he experienced the baffling phenomenon of customers who will insist on asking every employee in the store the same question, expecting to get a different answer. An older 'gentleman' approached him in his department, wanting to know where the 2/$5 bags of golden potatoes were. Pip explained that we currently didn't have any as they sold out over the weekend and no more came in on yesterday's truck. OG then demanded to know why they were being 'falsely advertised'. Pippy apologized and said that he wasn't personally responsible for advertising or ordering potatoes, and that there really wasn't anything he could do, but we did have red potatoes. OG then proceeded to curse a blue streak at him and announced he was going to find a manager and returned with one of my CSMs, who ended up telling him the same thing and was annoyed when she realized OG had already talked to someone in the department. He told her and Pip both that he was going to call corporate on them. Almost straight after that, a lady came in asking him where the sweet onions were.

"We don't have any ma'am we have white and Vidalia."

"But no sweet onions?"

"No ma'am, no sweet ones."

"No sweet ones?"

"No ma'am."

*sigh* "Okay then . . ."

Not five minutes later, the customer returns with Sheldon, the candy dept manager, who tells Pip he's helping the lady search for sweet onions. Repeat first situation, only the lady didn't get quite as ugly as the guy. Listen people. If we tell you we don't have something, we don't have it. If we go to the back and look for it for you, and still return and say we don't have it, we DON'T. HAVE. IT. We're not hiding mountains of, in this case, potatoes and sweet onions in our backroom and cackling at each other with evil laughter at the idea you're not going to get to purchase them. The produce guy cannot pull them out of his rear or conjure them up with a magic wand. Even more baffling is why you'd find someone in a completely different area and expect them to know better than a person working in the actual department.

Now for Shiny stuff

I wish it hasn't taken me 27 years to learn to be happy with a simple life and the simple things in it. So while yes, I do work at Wal-Mart, making crappy wages on crappy hours, I'm happy. I still live at home with my parents, and that's ok too. Then there's Pip, he makes me smile so much. There have been times where I find myself growing continuously pissed off at the Rhonda Rednecks and Welfare Queens who come through blatantly abusing the system, and then he'll walk by with a big cheesy grin on his face and tell me to smile. He always laughs when I do. And then I forget all about how angry I am. Or then there are times when the customers are pleasant, I'm already having a good day, and his coming along and doing this makes it even better. Yesterday was one of those days. I made sure to go find him before I started so I could confront him about the note he left me Monday, and I told him I thought it was cute. He made sure I knew that he didn't really hit my truck, but that I could wash it because it's really dirty. He passed by my lane later and asked what time I was going to lunch.

"At two."

He made a face. "But I'm going at one."

"You can go at two."

You see, as a cashier, I have no say in when I go to lunch, or the flow of the front end could get seriously messed up, the CSMs will get in trouble, and we'd get in trouble for getting them in trouble. People like Pip who work in departments have a little more liberty in when they go to their breaks. I didn't think much of it, and I actually thought he'd just go at one when the schedule says he should. Oh well, it was worth a shot. But when 2PM rolled around, I started heading towards the back and I look up to see him leaving produce to join me. He asked what I was having for lunch, a bottle of water? I said I'd probably go to Burger King since I had coupons.

"K, I'll ride with you." He'd followed me halfway back down the hall before stopping and going "Oh! Uh, that is if you don't care." Oh STFU and get in my truck, you. I'd pack you up and take you home with me right now if I could. Not that I used those words, mind, as much as I would have liked to. It probably would have alarmed him, no doubt. But of course I don't mind. While I can't say that I stop being entirely clumsy and awkward around him, I am happy to say that a good portion of it ceases to be there. He's just . . . there, and I can actually have a conversation with him that doesn't end up with him staring at me like I grew a trombone out of my head or something. If I do do something dumb, he just laughs at me, in the 'laugh with you' kind of way. BK is hardly a mile away from Volde-Mart and on the same highway and I couldn't remember where the turn lane was to get in, then I nearly drove right past the entrance after that. This is nothing new for me, LOL. He also said "You look funny carrying a purse". For some reason I think that's the best compliment anyone's given me in a long time. It's true, I don't normally carry one; pretty much everything I need can go in my pockets. I'm great like that. We didn't spend the entire hour holding hands or gazing soppily into each other's faces or anything, it was just lunch out with a friend. But it was nice. I probably shouldn't be so awestruck that someone has known me for several months, seen me sweaty, frumpy,(really, we had some hot, nasty days on remodel) trip over chairs and benches, and have countless blonde moments, and still want to be in my company. Yet I always fret about whether something I said to him was really stupid or off-putting and sit lay there at night thinking he's going to do his best to avoid me the next time he sees me. But he always finds me and shadows me the next time anyways, and I'm always surprised. Pleased, don't get me wrong, very pleased, but surprised.

And that's where my analyzing comes into play. Our lunchtimes were scheduled at different times yesterday. He found out when mine was and adjusted his own; he didn't have to do that. There was any number of other Volde-Mart coworkers he could have passed that hour with. Later on in the day I was covering the people greeter's break and he came over with the excuse of bringing a shopping cart back there to me, but then waited for several minutes while I put some returns stickers on items for customers so he could tell me about Potato Man and Sweet Onion Lady. Then 6'o clock started approaching and I left the front end to make my way to the time clock. I look up and there he is again. We walked to the back and clocked out together and then walked outside together, although we were joined by that time with another of our remodel buddies. Is he just that desperate for company?I know he's a talker; he enjoys being around people and running his mouth about whatever crosses his mind, but why me? Does he like me as a friend or is he testing the waters to see if something bigger is possible? On Monday, he was talking again about his 18 year old niece, who is about 3 months pregnant now, and we got to talking about having kids, having kids young, etc. He was flipping out because his niece's friend seems to be jealous of all the attention she's getting and now wants to get pregnant, too. Because they're best friends and all this shit. We were trying to wrap our heads around why anyone would want to do this, and I mentioned that even pushing 27 now, I still have no desire to pop out any kids and wouldn't have hurt feelings if I never did. Pip already has two kids and the very last thing he ever wants are anymore, you see. I always wondered if maybe he was reserved about me because he'd think the typical "Oh, she's still young and probably dreams of raising a baybee". I've been wanting to tell him I'm child-free by choice since I heard him say he never wants anymore kids, but I didn't want to be straightforward to the point of grabbing him by his shirt collar and shouting it to the rooftops like a zealot. I dunno, it just seems now that I've mentioned it, he's wanting lunch and following me around the store even more than usual.

^ See what I mean about over-analyzing?

Anyways, it was a pretty great day. My customers were pleasant for the most part, or at least indifferent, and then all the little things happened that made me smile. Catching up with someone I hadn't seen in a while, a funny remark from a fellow cashier, Nature Boy beating the side of my truck, thrilled to death that his girlfriend parked by me and the four of us walked out together, and then closing my door for me . . . just little things. Nature Boy is a funny little guy.

Then I get online this morning and see that Pip has posted things like 'yeah well whatever' and 'I wanna run away as fast as I can to the middle of nowhere' and my heart sinks a little. He seems so happy at work but I know he gets bothered at home. He says he usually just locks himself up in his room with the TV because he doesn't get along with his Dad. I wish I knew why he was so unhappy. I wish I knew what I could do to help him, or what to say. I guess all I can do is just be there and see what happens.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Notes On A Scandal

Wait, I don't drive a Scandal. I don't even think any auto manufacturer has even named one of their models 'Scandal' yet. Hey! Maybe I should patent that, I'll be rich! Actually, I drive a Dakota 4 door that I like very much. Several times this year, I've found notes and flyers stuck underneath of my windshield wipers, most commonly are advertisements and coupons for local restaurants, or announcements for classes, or a pawn shop opening up. While I was on the remodel team, after a particularly bad day, I found a very rude note from one of the ladies who works up front, saying that I parked her in, she couldn't get into her driver's side door, and that I need to be more thoughtful of others when I park. That one got crumpled up almost as soon as I read it and I was livid for several days. I figured if I could get my big ol' truck door open, she should be able to squeeze into that stupid yellow hybrid she gets around in. A bit meek when I realized it was someone I've known for a while, but I let it bother me less and less all the time, when I reminded myself how many times this person has been moved around the store because she has problems getting along with both coworkers AND customers. She had to be removed from her job at the liquor store portion of the 'Mart because she yelled at her partner in there for 'humming a song' or 'chewing gum'. I still did not appreciate the note, though.

Yesterday as I was getting into the driver's seat to leave, I noticed a very long receipt from a CVS Pharmacy stuck haphazardly under the wiper. Oh boy, what is it this time? I pulled it out, got back into my seat, and started to read what was scribbled across the back -

"I am sorry I hit your truck to get ahold of me call - "

I stopped right there and read that bit over several times, attempting to let my mind digest it. I was imagining all sorts of violent, rude, and degrading things I'd like to say to someone dumb enough to hit my parked vehicle and then have the gumption to just drive off and leave me with nothing more than a piece of paper and a phone number instead of trying to find me via the store intercom. In a few short seconds, I was imagining all the headache the next few months would be, with repairs, and insurance, and generally dealing with a person I'd already decided was the lowest form of idiot. Then I looked at it and read it again, in it's entirety.

"I am sorry I hit your truck to get ahold of me call blah blah blah HaHa

Your favorite produce guy, Kenny"

Relief washed over me and the look of horror and near tears on my face quickly dissolved into a smile, then laughter that lasted the whole drive home. Cute Pippy, very cute. And I'm going to tell him so tomorrow. It might sound ridiculous and silly, but it made my whole frikkin' day, that did. And now I'm simply wondering if he does this kind of thing to all of his friends, or if he's trying to get my attention more than he already has . . . ugh. Yeah. Maybe he just wanted to make me smile. It certainly worked. Too well.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Laugh It Up, Fuzzball

Whoa, a post two days in a row! I can't help it, we had so much awesome today. Actually I spent most of the day laughing, but that's a good thing. First things first. I was putting more bags on my carousel, when I noticed a hunk of plastic layers that looked like they didn't get to become bags, for some reason. It was kind of squarish with two points at the top, so I took my sharpie out and drew a cat face on it. Most of the CSMs thought it was clever and cute, but Jon, the zone manager for the front end, flat out cracked up laughing and agreed with me when I admitted to being easily amused. I paper-clipped it to the cubicle at register 24, I can't wait to see if it's still there tomorrow. And now, on to those crazy people who sign my paycheck, our valued Volde-Mart customers!

T-Shirt Man and Random Drug Addict

A few months ago, one of our loonier customers let me know he was still shopping with us. He scared me years ago when I worked here before, and he's still weird. He likes to write on white t-shirts with fabric paint, and it's always weird crap. The one I see the most is "HEAVEN: Even my dogs r goin there. RU?" He used to go on about things he'd prophesied and it was way out there stuff, like UFOs and that kind of thing. Fortunately he doesn't talk much these days. But the last time he came through my line, he purchased sewer tubing, duct tape, and a huge roll of dark carpet. Oh my gawd. Co-workers I related this story to jokingly scolded me for being foolish enough to touch these items when I rang them up. "Now your prints are on it!" Oh dear. Anyways, I was headed to the associate lounge to grab a soda before I went outside on break this morning and I notice a shopping cart parked outside the back restrooms. It has a blanket and a motorcycle helmet in it. "Oh no" I think. And sure enough, he came out of the men's room just as I was walking by. He had a new shirt on. Both sides read "My Enemies are Poppy Seeds". Leave, Shiny, just keep walking. He'll probably get mad if you laugh at him like you really want to right now, and you'll end up being the creamy, redheaded filling inside that next roll of carpet he buys. I can't communicate to you exactly how much this made my day. Poppy seeds . . . heh. I just had to tell someone. Before I went out, I got Pip's attention by placing my cold soda on the back of his neck and told him about T-Shirt man- he loves hearing about my 'crazies' as he calls these . . . special kinds of customers that always seem to find me. He laughed and said he'd be outside in a minute for break, since we came in at the same time, so I went out there and waited. And waited. Hmm, it's not like him to be late for break of all things. As it turned out, he was obtaining a story of his own. He was walking past the meat department on his way to the lounge when a woman jumped out in front of him, waving her arms.

Crazy: "Excuse me. EXCUSE ME! Can you help me?! You work here!?" He's not sure if that was a question or a statement.

Pip: "Yes ma'am?"

Crazy: "Right here, here where we're standing . . . there used to be a table here."

Pip: " . . . Yes ma'am?"

Crazy: "Well, it had pepperoni and sausages and crackers and *insert random deli tray type items* and now it's gone. Where is the table and where is all that stuff?"

Pip: "Well ma'am I don't know, if the table was here - "

Crazy: "Yes, yes, right. Here. RIGHT where we're standing."

Pip: "I dunno where it is now but I can ask someone."

Which he did. He discovered from someone in grocery that the table with that stuff on it hadn't been out in weeks, maybe months, and the stuff was in various parts of the store now. He came back and told this to Crazy, who lamented that this was all really hard.

Crazy: "Ok then, what about vegetable trays? It's for a little girl's birthday party!"

Pip: "Those would be in Produce - "

Crazy: "No, they're not. All they have over there is fruit. Come ON, it's for a FOOTBALL party!"

Pip: " . . . . "

I'm sure he wanted to introduce his head to a hard surface at this point, but he battled on. It's at moments like these where Volde-Mart employees like myself, him, and a few select others are labeled as having the patience of saints. I dunno how we manage it.

Pip: "Ma'am, I promise you, if you go to produce, there will be somebody over there that can help you."

Crazy: "You're SURE?"

Pip: "Yes ma'am, I'm very sure."

I love how he conveniently failed to let her in on the fact that he worked in that department himself. I would have loved to see the look on his face when she argued with him that there were no vegetables in the produce department. She should take that theory up with Poppy Seed Guy, I bet they'd get on really well. Pip says he's pretty sure this lady was jacked up on something, with all the weird questions and waving her arms around at him and such. And he was still confused as to whether it was a party for a little girls birthday party or for a football game. I told him it's obviously for a little girl's football party, doesn't he know anything. He says either way, it's not any party he'd let his kids go to.

Employee Karma

Ever see the employee of a store drop something so that it breaks, shatters, and spews product everywhere? Two lovely people I shall call Sue and Sheldon (because he looks like a weird cross between Sheldon Cooper and Dr. Taub from House) were stocking an aisle, and accidentally dropped some mayonnaise, prompting a nearby customer to laugh himself silly while pointing at them. Mayo splattered for several feet, on them, on other product, on the floor. They failed to inform the customer that a good amount of mayo had also splattered over the front of his shorts, and he ended up walking around the store, oblivious to huge blobs of mysterious white goo sticking to his front, for about half an hour. Apparently he noticed when he went into the bathroom and saw himself in the mirror, but was a good enough sport to still find it amusing and relay the story to one of our maintenance guys. Everyone is just sorry that no one had a camera handy so they could submit his picture to

This concludes my daily memoir of hilarious events at the 'Mart. I found them amusing anyways, and I'm still giggling about poppy seeds. ENEMIES!

And now, the personal junk

Wanna know how much of a bitch I am? At least I feel this qualifies me, anyways. I was sitting by the time clock with Pippy this morning, waiting for 9 o' clock to roll around, since we both got there ridiculously early, and he mentioned that he saw D yesterday. Said she told him she's seriously thinking about moving back down south, since her kids and grandson are down there. I nodded and agreed with him when he said it made sense. I consider D to be a friend of mine. And yet when he's telling me this, all I'm thinking inside is "Oh woohoo, if she moves away she won't be 'competition' for me anymore and I'll have Pippy all to myself. Then there won't be the big awkwardness if I end up dating him knowing full well before hand that she really likes him."

^ Is that frikkin' awful of me or what? Not that this guy actually acts like he'd be interested in either of us as more than friends, but I still get pissed off and jealous when I see her talking to him and I have no reason to, just because I know she likes him and I find that threatening. Not that I'd actually act on those feelings and start a catfight or anything, but still, I'm telling myself 'One down. Pathway clearer.' Yikes.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oh Bla Di, Oh Bla Da (try 2)

Life Goes On, Rah! Fa-la-la-la Life Goes On

Yes, it does indeed, and in a good way. Saturday, however, when I talked to Pip, it was a couple hours into his shift, and he looked pissed off and ready to cry. Apparently he clocked in for the day, went to his department, and found himself ostracized. He tried saying hi to Sasha but said she just snapped "DON'T even talk to me" and walked away. WTF! She's the one who went squealing to Asst. Manager Nancy about Nature Boy's comment anyways. Ok, here's the downlow, now that this is all settled down. Nature Boy is working with Sasha, giggles and makes a comment that Pip and Lana must be sleeping together because ever notice how well they get along? Sasha flips the fuck out and and goes to Nancy before consulting either Pip or Lana on the matter. So while it's initially NB's fault for being . . . stupid, I think Sasha is to blame moreso for causing this to turn into a mountain when it shouldn't have ever gone beyond an eyeroll and a weak laugh. Saturday, Pip was at the point of venting at me for over 15 minutes and was wanting to switch departments or leave Volde-Mart altogether, I'd never seen him this upset before. While he seemed better later on in the day, having been sent to zone aisles in grocery and thus getting away from everyone, he was still bothered.

Wednesday however, I was asked to push a broom (Volde-Mart safety sweeper was going on lunch and they had no one to cover him) around the store for an hour, and was met by Pip and T rushing out at me through the produce doors wanting to know WTF I was doing. (Awesome, I got to carry the walkie and everything. I felt so important. Heh.) They then asked each other if they had any trash in their pockets so they could throw it on the floor for me to sweep up. They seemed to both be in a great mood, and when I got Pip on his own a few minutes later ("I brought you lunch!" *pushes broom towards him* "Woohoo! Fries, chicken nuggets, and . . . something brown."), he said the whole thing was straightened out. Nature Boy finally just told everyone that he'd only been joking around, and didn't mean to cause all this trouble. Then he tried hugging Pippy to death all while crying and saying how sorry he was. Pippy says he's pretty sure the boy was stoned out of his mind, but told him next time he wants to play or joke around, to just come to him directly and not to joke around with Sasha like that anymore, since she apparently thought he was serious *rolls eyes* And people wonder why I get along better with guys than other women, geez. Pip says now every time Lana's husband is in the store, he glares daggers at him. He also says that Lana's husband is a very large man. Yikes. Pippy's barely average, bless him. It's why I refer to him as Pippy, after all. (Although I must say, the startlingly blue eyes, permanent cheeky expression, and slight resemblance to Billy Boyd help, too. *cough*) But anywho, long story shortened to not quite so long, it's forgotten for the most part, he doesn't want to quit his job anymore, and everyone loves him again. Although the bitch in me was amused at how embarassed Sasha looked when he waved goodbye at her on his way out.

Well, oddly enough I still don't have anymore memorable tales of customer suckage. I know I said this was supposed to be a work blog, but I'm sure no one will care if I make it whatever. I pretty much have already, hehe.

Yesterday was sllloooooow. You can always tell when it's the end of the month and people don't have much money to spend. But for a 4-11 shift, it was pretty pleasant and didn't drag much; there seemed to always be someone to talk to. Being the health-conscious person I am, I grabbed a bag of Skittles and a Pepsi on lunch break, and went outside to move my truck up closer; they tell us we're not supposed to park close, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna walk all the way across that parking lot in the dead of night, and no one really blames me, and management hasn't said anything to me about it, either. Got that done, didn't feel like calling anyone and didn't feel like sitting around in there either, so I headed back inside. I'm walkin', I'm walkin', and I hear a whistling behind me. And again. And again. Oh hai, Pippy! "Why do you expect me to answer to that?" Not that I was really mad, but I have a slight thing about people whistling at other people like a dog. "Well, I was behind you here, and I kept saying 'Shiny. Shiny. Hey, Shiny!' But you weren't answering. " Erm. That again. I bullcrapped my way out of that by saying that I've learned to tune out noise and voices in the store since it's always so loud in there, but it bothered me nonetheless. I don't doubt he was saying my name over and over, and I wasn't hearing him. I've found myself having to ask people to repeat themselves more and more often lately, and I don't like it. I think the ear infections I had between 18 and now are starting to take their toll on me, and it kind of scares me. The one I had in both ears over last Christmas was particularly bad and the ER doc said that my eardrums probably would have burst if I'd gotten to her much later. Guess I'll have to go get my hearing tested, ach. Pip doesn't seem to mind much though, and we ended up walking around the store for a while; he wanted to look for a costume for his friend's baby and ended up getting the crap scared out of him when he walked past a motion-activated animatronic skull on the shelf and it started making ghoulie noises at him. Gawd, at least I know what's been making that annoying noise all day. It only makes me sad that it can't be turned off and I'll still be hearing it until they put all our Halloween merchandise on clearance. I guess it's kind of worth it though, since I got to see him jump out of his skin like that XD. Then he followed me to the benches by the lockers and sat there until he decided to go home. Apparently there was a counting team in Produce and he and the rest of the team couldn't stock or touch anything until they were done, which is how he ended up shooting the shit with me so long, although he really probably shouldn't have, LOL. We're sitting there and Nancy Hicks is just a few feet away around the corner with some other associates, and I look over next to me to see Pippy leaning surreptitiously forward and pretend to be texting so that his face was hidden should Nancy peep around the corner and see him there. The kicker is that she did walk by a couple of times and didn't say anything. Maybe we never grow up after all, lol. I like hanging out with him, but I do really hope that doesn't come back and bite his butt.

Also, a curse on him and his love of things small, pink, and helpless. The man adores babies and small children, hence why he was walking around the store hunting for baby costumes for a child that's not even his. We walked by the infant section and there was a onesie there with an owl on it. He read it and went "AWWW! 'Hoo luvs you'. Ain't that cute?" STFU, Pippy, that crap makes me all weak and shit. I don't even want kids, at least I think I don't. The idea repulses me to no end. Yet men who are good with kids will give me jelly legs like nothing else. There was also a really cute baby who came through with his mother last night, he was being so good. But I still don't want one. No. No. Curse you, Pippy and Cute Baby.

That's pretty much it . . . except, oh yeah. Today was the first. The place was an absolute ZOO, hardly any room to move at all, ugh. Working behind the register wasn't so bad, but Mom's been under the weather so she sent me off this morning with a check and a weekly shopping list. WHAT makes people think it's ok to stand in the same spot, in the dead center of an aisle, staring off into space so that there's no room on either side for anyone to get around? Ugh. Then they give you cat-butt face when you do dare to excuse yourself along with the twenty or so irritated people behind you. Another thing I don't understand . . . parents. You have a stroller the size of an SUV complete with dually setup and what looks like fucking saddlebags hanging off the side and could probably survive a family of four on a small disaster with what you've got loaded down in there. Yet there are no kidlings in this stroller. There is no kidling in the baby carrier in your shopping cart either, no. Your two older ones are walking one on each SIDE of you while you carry Baby, making you go three times as slow as you would if you put your contraptions to their intended use.

Ok, that's really it this time. Happy 1st day of October, and enjoy the loverly weather it's bringing with it.