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 . . .

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