Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today again - pissed off customer

I'm at work again, and here's something that happens a lot. I think it has something to do with the 50 missing IQ points, and I forgot to mention it in the other blog. So, I'm standing at register 1 and nobody is at register 2. I'm open at register one, ready to check whoever needs checking. So, this chick walks up to register 2 and sets her stuff down. There's nobody else in the store, just me standing there behind register 1, and her standing there in front of register 2, waiting to be checked. So, I continue to stand there for a few seconds, making sure that what is happening is indeed happening, again. Yup, it is. So, finally, I kind of just 'wave' over at her, holler 'yoo hoo!', and smile, and she looks at me, completely taken aback, as if she has just noticed me standing 3 feet away from her. She gathers her stuff up and moves over to register 1, where she proceeds to look daggers at me. I scan her stuff, she pays, and as her receipt prints, I ask her if she needs it. She just stares more daggers at me. So I ask her again, pulling the receipt out of the machine, 'do you need this?' She just continues to give me an evil, foul look. By this time, I'm wondering if she speaks English, because she hasn't said a word the whole time, and she's Asian. So, I hold the receipt up in front of me and say again, 'Do you need this? Your receipt? Do you want it?' And now she impatiently holds her hand out in front of her, still looking at me like she wishes I was dead, and I give her the receipt and she stalks out of there.

What the fuck? What did I do? Was it because I didn't move over to register 2? Well excuse the F out of me. Sorry you had to physically pick up your bag of chips or Arizona Tea or whatever it was and carry it 3 feet and put it down again so I could scan it. I realize that you must be very tired after that ordeal. Please forgive me for being so callous.

So anyway, I was more amused than anything about this situation. The only thing that ever really pisses me off about work is just being there... not necessarily the stuff that happens there. That's usually pretty amusing or at least interesting.

edit: I just told my brother about this, and his idea was that the lady was embarrassed at being 'lost in space' for a few seconds and me having to snap her out of it. Maybe she saw my 'yoo hoo' as condescending. Who knows. Anyway, some people you just can't please.

The other day - Mormons

Whoops, I almost forgot to post what happened the other day. About two weeks ago. Ok, I forgot completely but I remembered just now.

So, the other day, about two weeks ago, I was at work. No surprise there. So Terry, in a rare generous moment, asks me to walk down to the copy shop and make some copies of something or another. About 15 or so copies. He doesn't give me any money to do it, he just asks me to do it. Hell yeah, a walk down to the copy shop on a day like this, and away from the store? I'll get to smoke and enjoy the day and be free of 7-Eleven for a little while. So I don't even ask him for any money (how much can it cost to make 15 copies, a dollar?) and I head out the door with the shit he wants copied.

So, about halfway there, these two chicks stop me. One of them is pretty cute, the other is just, well, not as lucky as the first one. So, they're both very pleasant, and one of them notices my 7-Eleven cap and asks me about it. So, of course, I tell them that's where I work, and I'm headed towards the copy shop (I hold up the papers I'm taking to copy as proof) to make copies. The cute one asks if they can walk with me. ? thought I. But I agreed, as they were very friendly and it was a nice day and I was in a good mood.

Then they start talking to me about The Book of Mormon, and at first I'm like (slaps palm to forehead) oh no, not again (more on this later). But, ONCE AGAIN, they are very nice, and it's a pleasant day, and I'm in a good mood, so I listen politely. Now, despite myself, I start to become curious. I've read a little bit of The Book of Mormon, and I know a teensy bit about what they're... about, so to say. And one thing I can't figure out or justify is how all of those Mormons got from the middle east to America. So, we're at the copy shop, I'm holding the door open, half in and half out of the shop, talking to these two girls, and I ask them about that. One of them starts to prattle on about something that I know will take forever, so I just say 'did they cross the Bering land bridge or something, you know, what is now the Bering Straight?

The cute one chimes in. 'No, they actually sailed across the Pacific'. Now, hearing this, I immediately wanted to ask some detailed questions, but I know that they didn't have the answers, and it would just be baiting them and then the entire pleasant exchange would regress into a 'prove it then' match, and I didn't want that. So, it really is a NICE day, and I'm in a REALLY good mood, so I tell them that I'm not a Christian, but I'm not an athiest either, and that I think their whole Mormon thing is quite interesting, and that I know a guy online (that's you, Froggie) who went to South America for tw years as a... what was it? It is at this point that they confess to be... uh... not crusaders, but... oh yeah. Missionaries. Mormon missionaries, huh? So, it is at this time that they actually introduce themselves as Sister (this) and Sister (that). Now, I don't remember what their names were, I'm terrible with names, and I probably wouldn't even recognize these girls at first glance as I'm also terrible with faces. But the 'not so blessed with good looks' one offered me her Book of Mormon and pointed out a few passages that I should take a look at. Well, now this was just too much. They really were taking the cake. How could I refuse this girl, trying to save my soul? And what the hell, my soul probably needs saving, so I graciously accept her book and we depart amicably.

So, I make the copies and it comes to a dollar something and I get back to 7-Eleven with a story to tell everybody. Now it's two weeks later, and I received a phone call from one of the missionaries the other day (oh yeah, I forgot, I gave them my phone number and address, now wasn't that just really nice of me? :::palm to face:::) and left a message. I have to confess, when I realized who it was from, I immediately just saved it and hung up. I admit, I kind of panicked, because at the time, I was convinced that I had lost that Book of Mormon. But, as it turns out, my brother had just put it away somewhere and now it's found again. So I think I'll go back and listen to that message again... maybe it was from the cute one? Nahhhh, they probably just want their book back.

Oh yeah... and about the 'more on this later' bit. Back in '06 I was living in California and my jeep broke down on Highway 4 about 5 miles from my house. I was walking, and a someone is kind enough to stop and pick me up (me not being far from the jeep and it being obvious that I was having car trouble) so I get in this car, which contains about 5 people already. They immediately inform me that I am surrounded by a carload of Mormons, and would I like to see their church, have I ever heard of The Book of Mormon, and so on and so on. So, I tell them that I would like to see their church some time, just not right now, and that I have indeed heard of The Book of Mormon, and so on and so on. So, eventually I get home and I thank them profusely and that's the end of that. I would go into more detail, but enough with the Mormons for one morning.


Ah, today. Where to start? The beginning seems logical. So, I get to work today at 6:00 am and immediately Will starts in. Will is in his mid fifties, and a crustier old guy you won't run across easily. He loves to curse everything that slights him, especially the safe when it spits out old crinkly bills when he tries to deposit them. He does this in front of customers unabashedly, to either their chagrin or amusement. Today, he was cursing Mike C. (one of two Mikes, the other being Mike B.) for leaving the new guy there alone at the end of second shift. 'You tell Terry that Mike C., that motherfucker, left at 9:30 and didn't come back until 10:15. Hell, David (the new guy) was here by himself for 45 minutes, and he doesn't even know how to make safe drops. Tell Terry that that bastard Mike C. didn't even clock out for those 45 minutes. I swear to God we almost got into it, and if he don't watch out, I'll clean his clock'. Well, I was loathe to involve myself in this little spat so I didn't mention anything to Terry. This is between Will and Mike C. Besides, what will Terry do about it? Nothing. He's a spineless turd. Anyway, Will curses some more and eventually the shift change gets wrapped up and he walks out, cursing Mike C. the whole way until his gruff voice is cut off abruptly by the door as it swings shut. Thus starts the day.

So, about an hour later, this guy walks into the store. Young guy, about 20 I'd say, good looking, dressed in a red and grey letter jacket, baseball cap, khaki shorts, and new Nike sneakers. Typical young college kid is my first impression, until he opens his mouth.

'Excuse me sir,' - he's talking to me - 'can you tell me where the Taj Mahal is?'

I stand there for a few seconds, wondering if I heard him correctly. Another customer who is perusing the breakfast sandwiches glances briefly at the guy, then regards me with a 'what the fuck did he just say?' look, obviously reacting to the odd question. I'm just about to reply 'I think it's in India...' when the guy quickly continues:

'I mean, Terrel Hall, Terrel Hall! On the UNT campus.'

Ok, Terrel Hall, Taj Mahal, simple mistake...? So the guy is standing there, blushing and making odd motions with his hands, as if he doesn't know what to do with them. So I tell him that I'm not sure where Terrel Hall is, but direct him towards the campus, which is only a block to the south. I advise him to either just head that way and walk around until he finds it, or just hang out at the store (bad idea) and wait until the college crowd starts to pass through, as surely one of them will know. So the guy takes my advice and hangs around the store.

'Say, did you see the Cowboys game yesterday?' he asks me, as if we're old chums. I tell him no, I don't have cable or any kind of regular TV, and I only watch Netflix movies. Then he asks me if I like to bowl. I tell him that I've only been bowling once or twice, and he proceeds to go on about the league he just joined, that his aunt set him up with, and how his average is 128 after his first couple of games, and do I know anybody who bowls in a league, and would I like to join his league? Well, luckily for me, it got kind of busy just then so I had to demur my reply for the time being. Also, Charles happened to walk in just then (a regular who spends his mornings at the coffee bar reading the paper) and the Letter Jacket Guy becomes his problem. Ryan shows up soon after that and the rush proceeds for about an hour.

Finally, it's about 8:30 and the rush is just about over. I glance over at the coffee bar and see Charles, intent on his paper, nodding every now and then to Letter Jacket Guy as he prattles away about bowling or whatever. Finally, something distracts LJG briefly and Charles saunters away stealthily and out the door, handing me his paper (he does this every morning) with his eyebrows raised and rolling his eyes towards the coffee bar where LJG still dawdles. Thus he makes his escape, leaving me there to deal with LJG by myself. He doesn't waste any time making his way towards me. I look around for Ryan, hoping to pawn LGJ off on him, but he's probably in the walk-in ordering beer or something.

'Say, is there a Radio Shack around here?' says LJG. I tell him that there's one on Carrol and University. 'What time does it open?' I don't know. 'Do you think it opens at 9:00?' I really don't know, that sounds like a reasonable time for them to open. 'Because I'm trying to find something to do until 10:00.' Ryan appears at this time and LGJ asks him the same thing. He replies as I did, and LJG asks him if he knows where Terrel Hall is. Ryan tells him, as he is familiar with the campus. I quickly rush over to the bakery section and start to order, leaving LJG for Ryan to deal with. After a while I look up from my ordering and see LJG walk outside. Ryan approaches me and has this to say:

'Man, that guy is missing something upstairs.' I agree with him. 'He's looking for Terrel Hall. Does that mean anything to you?' I confess that it doesn't. 'Well, Terrel Hall is the psychiatric building on campus. Suddenly it makes sense. Apparently this guy has an appointent with a psychiatrist at 10:00. I become a little apprehensive. I decide then and there to be somewhat nicer to LJG if he comes back in, as I don't want him deciding that he needs to take out his frustrations on 7-Eleven with a 12 guage after his appointment. So, LJG hangs around the store until about 9:30. Every now and then I glance outside, where I invariably see him talking animatedly to customers as they approach the store. Apparently he needs several matching sets of directions to Terrel Hall from a lot of different people because when I ask the customers what he wanted, they said he wanted directions to Terrel Hall. Eventually he gets on his bicycle and leaves and doesn't come back.

So later I'm outside, smoking and sweeping the parking lot. This guy approaches, a regular who comes in every couple of days. I don't really know the guy that well, as our conversations are usually limited to 'Hey, whats up, how's it going, will that be all, yada yada yada'. So, this guy approaches me, glances around furtively, motions me closer, and says:

'Say man, do you like pain pills?'

I stop sweeping. Did I hear him right? Do I like pain pills? Holy shit. It's been... what? At least a couple of years since I've even seen a pain pill. Fuck yeah, I like pain pills! I communicate this to him without delay.

'Do you think, maybe, I mean... is it possible at all, that for a couple of pain pills... do you think you could maybe snag me a package of Bugler (rolling tobacco) for two of these Norcos?'

Hmmm, thought I. Two Norcos for a package of Bugler, which costs about $2.50. The going street price for a 5 mg Norco is about 5 bucks. A decent exchange... so I tell him that yes, I could indeed do this for him - not that I'm going to steal tobacco - I tell him to just give me a minute or two and I'll go inside and payroll it (this means that I charge it so that it comes out of my check).

'Oh, so you'll be straight up with it? Cool man. So, uh... how do you want to do this?'

I tell him to just hang on. Now, technically there is nothing wrong with what I was about to do, according to store policy. It is practically the same thing as 'pay-rolling' cigarettes for The Flower Lady, albeit she usually... correction... NEVER... pays me back with Norco hydrocodones. So, I payroll a package of Bugler, head back outside, and as I'm passing it to him he puts two yellow Norcos in my hand. I'm very familiar with Norcos; these are the same kinds of hydrocodones that my grandmother used to give me by the dozen back in the day. He thanks me profusely and informs me that he has about a hundred more, and do I want any more, he'll give me a good price if I buy in bulk, and asks me what time I get off work. I tell him that I get off at 2:00, but I'll have to hold off on any more for the time being, but that it's not out of the question. So, he gives me his phone number, thanks me again, and leaves. I ponder on this throughout the day, wondering whether or not I should call him and have him meet me at 2:00 so I can buy some more of those Norcos. I finally decide that it would probably be a good idea to leave well enough alone, and that I definitely don't need to be buying any more Norcos from this guy. One time is a cool highlight to the day; more often and I'll definitely wind up with the same problem I had a few years ago.

Anyway, the rest of the day passes uneventfully until right at 2:00. We're rushing through shift change, as the store is full and we have a line back to the cooler.

Beep beep chinga chinga rattle rattle ka-CHING thank you sir SCREECH THUD oh my god, did you see that!!

Huh? I turn my head towards the screeching thud and see a guy who I had just sold cigarettes to sprawled out in the road, under a truck. His leg is under the front left tire. He is howling, the truck is backing up, and people in the store have all whipped out their phones and are dialing 911.

'Holy shit, did that guy just get hit - yeah, he did! I saw it, he was on his skateboard - into the middle of the road - slammed on his brakes and still hit him, he flew forward a couple of feet - leg got ran over, dayum - you calling the cops? Hang on - anybody go see if he's ok - just backed off of his leg, damn look at him lying there - it broken? Probably his leg and his hip -'

Thus went the myriad different conversations in the store, all suddenly and all at the same time. I proceeded with the shift change, glancing outside every now and then, seeing if the guy was ok, but he never got up. He just lay there, moaning, trying to sit up every now and then. After about 10 minutes, we were finished with the shift change, and the cops had just showed up. I debated going over there and presenting myself as a witness, but decided that I should probably keep out of it. The last thing I want is for my name to be put through the police database, what with an unpaid traffic ticket here in Denton and a likely warrant out for my arrest.

The New Girl

Well, not a whole helluvalot happened at work yesterday. I worked with the new girl, Leah, who is pretty shy. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger. I can totally relate to her discomfort in the job situation around people she doesn't know. Now, I'm pretty damn shy myself, but it doesn't bother me like it used to, so I try to make her feel at ease but I'm not too good at that. I'll sit there and shut the fuck up just as easily as her.

Leah is pretty cute. She has an odd... I hesitate to call it an affliction... feature, on her face. Near her right temple, she has fuzz growing there. No, I'd go so far as to call it actual hair. Not like man hair, like a beard, or anything. More like what you'd have on your arm. Or your eyebrow. There's a patch of it growing there, about an 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches. Just a patch of hair to the right of her right eye and right on her temple. It is strange looking, I'll say, but I've gotten used to it. And she really is cute, and I have to admire her for not shaving it. Besides, she probably has gone through all that before and decided the easiest thing was just to say fuck it.

So, the one half way interesting thing that happened yesterday was when I asked a lady if she wanted a sack. 'Yes, I sure do,' she replied, 'but I don't know anybody in Denton who has one.' Lol, rolleyes, I hear that at least once a week. Of course, she was referring to a bag of weed, for anyone who doesn't get it. I've dealt with this ever since I grew my hair out... people automatically think I can score them pot. It has happened over and over throughout the years. People think I'm a stoner. Well, I can't say that I blame them, I do have that look with the long hair and earrings. So I say to the girl, 'well I don't think I can help you in that department, try asking random strangers on campus'. She laughed, I guess she thought it was funny.

Anyway, after work I stopped by Walgreens to get some cough medicine. On the way out, I was accosted by two women who had set up a table with D.A.R.E items on it (dare being some kind of program to keep kids off drugs). Well, I never should have acknowledged them, but I'm a sucker, and one of them said I had a cute mustache so I was pretty much snared. They offered me all kinds of stuff... books, pens, shirts, bumper stickers, etc. All I had to do was offer a 'gift'. Money in other words. Now, I'm a horrible liar, so I told them that I had just cashed my check and might be able to donate a little something... but I didn't have the cash in my wallet, I realized suddenly, as I had deposited it. No problem, says one of the chicks, I can take a card. So I hand over my card and she runs it through for 10 bucks. Then she gives me a D.A.R.E t-shirt and says that I can be her walking slogan! Yay, thought I. Anyway, I don't mind giving money to charity or worthy organizations, and although I'm not necessarily for keeping kids off drugs through programs like D.A.R.E. (too much brainwashing and propaganda), I do believe in educating kids about the hazards of drugs so that they can make an informed decision if they decide to go that route. I speak from experience, drug addiction is no picnic, and if I could go back, I never would have touched a pain pill EVER.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty damn funny that they were hocking their D.A.R.E. wares to a druggie like me.