The Witless Relocation Program

April 18, 2013 at 11:40 am (Cussed Dumbers)

fat catIt’s been a couple weeks since I’ve moved back from the Waterfront Store to the Nightclub Store. There were a lot of internal things going on at work, which I watched unfold. Now that I can discuss them within reason, I may drop a few vague thoughts. I should be venting more often. I’ll try not to come off too vitriolic.

How did I feel about moving? I hated moving away from Dr T. I thought we made a pretty good team, but Master P wanted to stare at something besides old hippies, so he gave Dr T a female assistant or two, and replaced me with an eight-toed genius. This guy knows more than Uncle Cliffy and shows it. (If he and Uncle Cliffy ever get into a semantic argument? Christ, they’d still be talking.) That genius pool is too deep for me to be wading into; I’ll just wait over here.

I thought working with Uncle Cliffy would be more of a challenge. He took over as manager of the Nightclub Store, and I moved about two weeks later. (Phew!) After a year and a half, he’s settled into his role as leader of the pack. I can accept leadership if I respect it, and play along for the sake of the team, but when people bark orders at me to see me jump?

Well, this little froggy don’t play.

The first usurpage of authority came when Weird Steven came to make his weekly phone call. He goes to a gaming party and calls his ride from the store. Weird Steven’s code-name is Linus; I joke that the Red Baron is circling. Uncle Cliffy hates this part of the week more than any from the way he reacts. Enjoy this conversation like I had to:

WEIRD STEVEN: (Into phone:) “Are you picking me up at 4 PM?”

UNCLE CLIFFY: “Is that a personal call?”

WEIRD STEVEN: “Yes. Why?”

UNCLE CLIFFY: “You will make no personal calls in MY store! This is a business and-”

WEIRD STEVEN: “Are you in a bad mood or something?”

UNCLE CLIFFY: “This is MY store and-”

(The phone rings. It’s Master P. Weird Steven answers.)

WEIRD STEVEN: “Thursday night? No problem. I can do any night but Wednesday. Oh? Is it okay if I make a personal call once a week to arrange my ride to game night? Thanks.” (Weird Steven looks at Uncle Cliffy:) “Boss says it’s okay.”

Weird Steven walked out without another word. Uncle Cliffy skulked back to the office, seething. When will he realize this ain’t the army?

We haven’t butted heads much, me and Uncle Cliffy. I’ve been good about not being a diva. I’ve worked there long enough that I could get away with a lot more laziness and manipulation if I wanted to. Fact is, I feel like I’m being better used at the Nightclub Store. The Waterfront is too nice a place for me.

Cliffy asked me to participate in keeping the store looking nice. That’s a major part of what I do, but if he wants to tell me to do it? Okay. Keep the coolers near the front stocked? Okay! Come in early every day, since he’s on salary and can leave when he feels like it? Sure! I’ll help you get out early…

I’ve never been a lightbulb-duster. I am good at BSing the customers, counting money and stopping thieving bastards from running off with the store’s livelihood. A bouncer that takes cash, if you will. The Avenue is way more active when it comes to scumbags and ne’er-do-wells. I assumed my Al Swearingen pose in front of the store and showed some leg. How long before someone I know rolls up?

About five minutes. A friend, a former Washington lobbyist, shook my hand, welcomed me home, offered me passwords to sneak in on their wifi. Lydia, a favorite gambler who runs a flophouse up the road, gave me a hug that’d make Rain jealous as fuck. All through the past couple weeks I’ve been running into old faces. Even the ones that I’ve 86ed are happy to see me. How’s that work?

wall shameNot all were happy to see me. The pack of shits that made the Wall of Shame, for example. When you’ve stolen so much so often, you get your mugshot posted within eyeshot of the cash registers. Some stores have different shitbirds, but all are 86ed from all stores.

Wednesday is my new Monday. I never seem to know what day it is. I returned to work Wednesday, arguably the busiest day of the week. It’s freight day, a bunch of deliveries from beer and soda distributors. It’s the one day everyone is expected to break a sweat, to gitterdone.

I showed up fashionably early, (forty minutes, will write in half-hour) and counted in. I began recording lottery scratch-off numbers, realized no customers were around, so I wandered over to the two remaining boxes of freight. Boxes of candy and crackers. I can bang that out in no time. Uncle Cliffy was busy-beeing about as I headed back to finish my opening paperwork.

“Hey, where you going? We got freight here!” Uncle Cliffy was giving me a schoolmarmy look. “Take something with you and put it away!”

“I’ll get to it. The time is now 2:58…” I was scheduled to start at 3 PM.

“I remember somebody wanting to start early on a regular basis…”

I looked at Uncle Cliffy. “I’m in the middle of counting in. Would you like me to stock groceries now and finish starting my shift later?”

“I’m just sayin’, take some chips and put them up on your way back.” He handed me two packages of Pringles. “Teamwork.”

“Okay.” I walked over to the chip rack, tossed the chips up, went over to the time cards and wrote in my half-hour. If he’s gonna yell at me, I’m getting paid for it.

While Uncle Cliffy and the new guy went outside to smoke cigars and bask in Uncle Cliffy’s knowledge, I tossed up the last two boxes of freight.

The boys came back inside, reeking of cheap cigar and Cliffy’s smugness. Then he surprised me. “I apologize for being such a bitch earlier. I’m running behind and had to yell at somebody.”

I pinched myself. Did Uncle Cliffy just apologize for something? Good lord, there’s hope for the future!

But I’m not done being mad. I refuse to smile or be seen enjoying myself until he leaves. If he thinks being a humorless fuck makes for a good employee, well bask in this, you… you… basker!

It’s not like sleepwalking yet, but the routines are coming back. At least I’ll have something new to look at.

And a fresh crop of honeys to charm…

1 Comment

  1. my_naugahyde said,

    4th down?
    -punt-
    [8^{D’

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