Stirring the Pot

April 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

The store I usually work at has been under reconstruction for the past two weeks. Today it reopens, but I won’t be there. (I might do a walk-by.) I’m scheduled to work on the waterfront. I think the shake-up has been good for me.

I’ve certainly missed the comfortable routine. After two years, it seemed I knew what was going to happen before it happened. It’s nice to be able to call people by their name and have their cigarettes on the counter before they get there. Knowing who’s who on the street, flirting with waitresses and bartenders, having the bums trained so we can both get along without discomfort. (“Just count the empties into the proper bins. You know what we sell…”) And now? The apple cart has been upset.

The crappy hole-in-the-wall store everyone loved is now looking spiff and yuppie, at least by comparison. You want to know where something is? Go looking. You’ve probably have as good an idea as I do where stuff is. The porno rack has been moved right next to the cash registers, which will discourage reading and loitering. I think I liked it better when I could watch the perverts in the mirror from across the room. Just make sure I can see your hands…

The relocation has been okay. After two weeks I’m getting a cast of characters, good and bad. I saw the friend of an old girlfriend, (“I didn’t recognize you without your bird…”) and surprised a former friend by coming out of the back room just in time to catch him attempting to steal a girly magazine. It was awkward, but it helps explain why he’s in the ‘former’ category.

A group of girls from the ‘burbs have been coming by. They have cute punk outfits straight out of Spencers and Hot Topic, haircuts worthy of Clairissa’s talents, and a fascination with my porno section. They may or may not be eighteen, but they’re not trying to get cigarettes or alcohol so I don’t press the age issue. As long as they don’t hang out or act creepy, I’ll let them sneak a peek.

The gutter punks that populate the sidewalk have had to find a new spot to hang. I pay attention to them only when they are in the store, where I watch them like a hawk. I’m nice, they tend to be, and after a while they get bored. There are easier places to shoplift dinner. TriMet spent four hours steam-cleaning the sidewalk last night. It needed it.

I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with some rarely seen co-workers. Chuckles has been my graveyard relief; he makes an extra effort to get me out on time. Then there’s Milei, the Hawaiian cutie who is 38 but looks half that. The last time we worked together, Boss Whitney (only half-jokingly) asked if he needed to separate us. My response?

“It’ll take a crowbar.”

Yesterday I walked up behind her, just in time to hear the sentence “-so he not only got his red wings, he got the cherry pie!”

I told her, “I don’t even need to hear the joke now. Be careful, you’re starting to get a reputation… as a female version of me.”

She batted her eyes. “Awww…some!”

Next week? I work three days at the Mothership. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve worked there. Whitney wants to send a request to KUFO to play the theme to Welcome Back, Kotter when I walk in.

The place is like an anthill on meth. That which doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger.

One of Master P’s favorite sayings is, “I like to stir the pot.” He’s certainly been doing that. I feel like a piece of meat floating amongst the vegetables.

Around midnight? Stick a fork in me. I’m done.

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1 Comment

  1. Picasso's Nutsack said,

    *crowd chants/….”Doug-y”…”Doug’y”…”Doug-y”

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