Monday, December 15, 2008

Graveyard Shift

Last night at about 9:00 pm a cold front blew in. It went from 70 degrees to 30 degrees in a matter of minutes. I had already washed what I was going to wear to work (in the bathroom sink with dishwashing detergent) and dried them (center oven rack at 225 degrees) so I had no choice but to wear them, as everything else was dirty. These articles consisted of a plain black polo shirt, undistinguishable from any other plain black polo shirt except for '7-Eleven' printed unobtrusively along the edge of the left sleeve, a pair of socks (they match), and some khaki colored shorts that have that built in underwear that's a kind of a synthetic knit fabric or something. Like a swimsuit but not a swimsuit, as it has pockets and stuff. I hadn't been outside since about 8:30 when I hooked up my inverter to the cigarette lighter in the car for the purpose of providing my laptop with power, so after getting dressed, I opened the door. My face, arms and legs (the bare parts of my body) are immediately ensconced in freezing cold air.

At first I didn't really process that information because I could have sworn that an hour ago it was 70 degrees outside. I even almost fooled myself into chalking it up as some kind of tactile hallucination, but halfway to the car I had to turn around and go back in the house for a jacket. Damn, and there I was in the only clean clothes I own currently, most significantly the pair of khaki shorts. I imagined that I would be suffering some freezing cold cigarette breaks later on, which turned out to be true.

So, I worked with David last night, the new Chinese American guy. Up until I started working with him, I hadn't been sure what to expect from the guy, as I had heard reports that he was kind of... well, slow. This turned out not to be the case. Not only was David probably just as smart as the next Joe Schmoe, he's also just about the friendliest peson I've ever met, aside from this guy named Eddie who I used to work with at The Alps Restaurant in Mt. Pleasant (my old stomping grounds in East Texas). Anyway, like I was saying, David is just uber friendly and a very likeable guy. I quite enjoyed working with him, as he always had something to say and seemed genuinely interested in whatever I had to say. He was extremely eager to learn new things, so I showed him how to do write-offs, how to enter data into the MOT, and oddly enough, how to sweep. He actually asked me if I would show him how to sweep! I thought this an odd enough request, but I obliged him and before he knew it, he was sweeping like a pro. His only real problem that I noticed last night was when he was selling beer. Occassionally a group (usually three or four) of young kids would all be at the counter with one of them purchasing a 12 pack or whatever. Now, Texas state law requires that we card not only the person who is purchasing the beer, but everyone who is obviously with that person. The reason for this is because some of them might be underaged, even if the purchaser is over 21. In the eyes of the law, the person purchasing the beer could realistically be buying it for one of the accompanying minors, and if we sell it to that person without carding everyone and one of them turns out to be a minor, we could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and go straight to jail. So ANYWAY...

Several times David was presented with this situation, and each time he would only card the one person. Each time I would advise him that he should card everyone in the group. After a few times, I felt like I might have been coming off as a nag, so I told him that I was only trying to look out for him because I didn't want him to go to jail (which was true). Once I mentioned jail, he sat up and took notice. Well, as it turns out, we have both been to city lockup before and neither one of us had found it to be a pleasant experience. After that he carded pretty much everyone.

The rest of the night passed uneventfully with both of us growing progressively more weary as the minutes dragged on. I'd have to go outside for a smoke for the sole reason that the freezing cold would wake me up somewhat. When I went into the cooler to stock it after coming in from outside, it actually felt pleasant in there. So, David and I both stayed in the cooler for a good long while stocking beer and gatorade and water and all the other various shit that needs to get stocked in the cooler.

The end of the shift finally arrived, as shift endings are wont to do, even though it seemed like a small eternity before it happened, especially because Mike C. was running about 15 minutes late. This was going to REALLY piss me off if it got much later with him not showing up, as he had been at the store earlier, at around 3:00 am, riding out the tail end of a late night drunk. This didn't seem like a very wise thing to do, getting drunk the night before you're supposed to work, and actually being drunk three hours before you're scheduled to show up, but hell, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't ever done it. However, with Mike C. growing later with every passig moment, I could only visualize him passed out somewhere, oblivious to the fact that his presence was required immediately at the local 7-Eleven so that I could scoot my happy ass home.

Terry arrived at about 6:15 and proceeded to call Mike C., who conveniently wasn't answering his phone. By 6:20 I asked Terry if I could go ahead and count my drawer, and with a furrowed brow he agreed. After I counted my drawer, at about 6:28, Mike C. came staggering in. 'The prodigal son returns!' I exclaimed loudly and with marked enthusiasm. He just kind of grunted and continued walking towards the office, his head lowered, his shoulders hunched, his eyes half closed, walking with a shuffling motion in which his feet never actually lifted from the floor... they just kind of slid-scooted-stumbled the rest of his body forward. Poor guy. Oh well, I'm done, that's all that matters.

After that, Terry gave me my performance review. I got called on dress code adherance, due to my ubiquitous 5 o'clock shadow, plus he said that sometimes I wear too much jewelry and that I shouldn't wear rings that are 'spiky'. I'll keep that in mind in case I am ever tempted to wear a spiky ring. And that 7-Eleven employees are only allowed to wear two earrings. I'm wearing two earrings, so why did he point that out? I think that what he really wanted to say was that I personally am not allowed to wear any earrings. I'm pretty sure he has a problem with any earrings I might be wearing, plus my long hair, as he actually asked me if I would cut it when he was giving me my interview way back when. I thought this a rather odd thing to say, as I, Ryan, Patrick, and just about everybody else have been wearing shorts to work since before summer, and Terry has never said anything about it at all. Anyway, I wound up getting mostly A's and a couple of B's (I assume those are good grades).

The review finished, I packed up my laptop, put on my jacket, shouldered my backpack and began to make my way to the front door with the intention of vacating the premises real quick and in a hurry. I make my farewells to Mike C. and David and Terry and they all reply in kind. Terry is hold the MOT and studying it intently as I reach for the door, when he says 'Oh, you didn't get to order anything, huh?'

? thought I. Order? WTF? I ordered everything yesterday. Snacks... fountain drinks... coffee... cleaning items... 'Holy crap,' I said, 'I totally forgot to order the CDC.' I curse out loud. 'Dammit! Mother F'er! Crap on a cracker!' So I tell Terry that I'll stay and order the CDC, which I do, and I finally walk out of the store at about 7:30 am.

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