I couldn’t help but flash back to the South Park episode where Cartman pretends to be retarded to win the Special Olympics. Last night’s Petty Criminal of the Day wasn’t that stupid, but there were some fairly hilarious moments.
I was training one of many new people. Fortunately, they get indoctrinated by several folks before me, so I get to observe and refine, making sure procedures are followed, how to problem-solve alone, etc… It also gives me time to roam without having to run a register or pay much attention to shoplifters.
On the other hand, it also gives me plenty of time to watch for shoplifters…
It had been a month since my altercation with Kevin, the dude who looks like the butt-baby of Samuel L Jackson and Fred Sanford. As the days passed, he became bolder. He would walk past, eyeing me and grinning. He would peek around the corner, and I would pretend not to see him, then watch in case he approached. (He wouldn’t. He’d go pester the store across the street.) He had Festus, the customer who does more store security than any worker, on high-alert. In fact, I began to worry about Festus’ safety.
This had to stop. I cannot live like I am being hunted. I figure I had three choices. I could do nothing, and let him run rough-shod all over me and the store, proving him right that I am the pussy he claims I am. Or, I could call the cops, press charges for simple assault, he would be out of jail in four hours and REALLY hating me. Or,
I could just kill him with my bare hands inside the store.
I get punched by random black guys all the time.
I wish I were kidding, but it’s true.
I was in a fight in 1989. It was pretty cool, I was tripping on acid and defended my home and women from a drunken intruder. I threw his ass down the stairs and left him half-paralyzed for six months. Sure, I felt like a tough guy, but it was silly, and it cost me an already-dead friendship. I’ve never been much of a scrapper, preferring to talk my way out of things. It’s worked well for twenty-five years.
But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do…
I’ve always been a creature of habit. When I find something that works, I stick with it. This can lead to ruts. I dislike ruts. This year has been a season of change. A LOT has changed. But, as they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This is the story of my 99-cent Ironman watch, and how it’s on its third life…
Man, I hate working days.
For thirty-plus years, I have worked nights. I love the swing shift. People off work and partying, they come to me for beer, cigarettes, and the things that make you not smell like beer and cigarettes. They stumble in, laugh, move on. It’s not like that in the daytime. Suits with entitlements are my biggest nemesis, along with the salesmen who try to dump unauthorized product on me when bosses aren’t around. I can tell a crackhead to piss off. If I say that to a guy in a suit, he has a “meaningful chat” with my boss, and I get a lecture about poor customer service.
Dr T’s hours have changed. He’s working a lot of the shifts I used to work. I’ve been cool with that. It’s an okay fit, although I think he prefers an earlier hour. I like that when I’m downtown on my off time, I can wander in and give him an obnoxious earful and he has to stay and listen.
Grinder has been pushing his authority, “getting his stink on things” as Uncle Cliffy puts it. Uncle Cliffy has been promoted to “Store Supervisor”, a new position that means he does manager work at part-time pay. It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it. He and Eva Braun, the new “Store Supervisor” of The Mothership, are hitting it off, forming a new alliance. All these kids I’ve trained and gotten jobs now outrank me.
Rumpole has worked day shift. I was put on graveyard for a couple weeks. I’ve done some day shifts, but this week is ridiculous. Grinder’s schedule-making skills need polishing in the worst way, it’s like he throws a handful of color-coded darts at the time-sheet and says, “Here ya go!” For example, tonight I work until midnight, or 2:45 AM if Dr T doesn’t check his phone messages. Or hasn’t paid his phone bill. Then I am scheduled back at 9 AM at The Mothership for an all-day shift during Cinco de Mayo. At least it’ll be busy.
Rain came by last night, after calling me to say she’d be on the last bus. It was like old times; she did her thing on the bed while I watched the rerun of the Blazers game. She wore my Oregon Lottery promo shirt and a pair of see-through panties. She had to leave early, and I wish she could have stayed a bit longer. She was looking mighty fine in them hip-huggers.
I would have invited her back tonight, except for that whole “be on deck at 9 AM” thing. When I told Meg what was up, she said, “I’ll just expect you.” So tonight, after work and before work, I have a slumber party date with my mistress. She promised to make me dinner. If I can do anything to relieve her stress, I will be happy to do so. I shaved and put on clean underwear. Fancy!
And then, after work, if she’s around, I will invite Rain home to cozy up for a night. Crazy as it sounds, I’ve missed her.
And so begins my 16 in 26 shift. I’ll see you at the end of it. Yes, that’s a rocket in my pocket.
And yes, I am happy to see you.
People ask me, “Aren’t you scared?” when crazy incidents happen at work.
For the most part, no. I have seen (and done) a lot in my thirty-plus years as a cashier. I had another ‘first’ last week, in fact. (More on that later.) What happened, that wasn’t a first, but hasn’t happened in a long time, is…
I got punched in the face.
Much like Rob Ford, I guess I got some ‘splainin’ to do.
Rain, and a few other loved ones, have been getting quizzed about me and my current ‘condition.’ See, I have lost a LOT of weight over the past year. I have been spotted scurrying around downtown. So what’s the question?
“Hey Rain, is he doing meth?”
I am here to address questions regarding my drug abuse…
It took two weeks, but we finally had The Talk.
After the initial blow-up and subsequent eviction of my sorta-live-in girlfriend, I’d wondered if we’d be apart for a long time, if I’d see her again, or I’d be weak in the knees (or a couple feet higher, to be exact) and welcome her back with no consequence. It took several days for her to get up the nerve to visit me at work, and she stayed close to the door in case I blew up at her. She knows I have a temper, and would never hit her, but I don’t think she was ready for the verbal onslaught I am capable of when righteously pissed. She made sure there was someone around, just in case.
On the two-week anniversary of me putting her out, she showed up at the store…
This has been quite a summer. Despite a couple medical setbacks, (which turned out to work in my favor) I have been having the time of my life. I’d document more, but there just hasn’t been time.
Rain is still living with me. The “breakup” lasted about a day and a half, in which time instead of going off to live with the ex like she’d said, she went and slept “under the bridge”. (That is a euphemism for where she sleeps when she’s outside at night. You’re not getting the real location.) After texting and reassuring me that “everything is like it was” and “you need to quit worrying so much”? I did…
Management knows I’m a night-owl. When I saw myself scheduled at 10 AM on a Tuesday, for a four-hour shift, I smelled some sort of payback for an unknown transgression. What did I do to deserve this? I pointed out to both Uncle Cliffy and Grinder that it was akin to scheduling them from 1 AM to 5 AM on a Sunday. “So, when I show up, hair all fucked up, scowling and needing coffee, that’ll be why.” I don’t do mornings. I hate sales reps, and office workers are often cranky. Give me happy crackheads and wandering lost souls any day.
My first lost soul lost out on breakfast. I took away his pilfered candy bar and harangued him out the door. Uncle Cliffy belly-bumped him to the sidewalk. Two co-workers looked on and took turns shouting him down while I “called the police.” I went inside, put on my work shirt, took a deep breath and went back outside. “I called the ‘real’ police. Fuck Clean & Safe.”
Lost Soul started walking. The Real Police could mess up his day.
Uncle Cliffy commented, “You’re awfully chipper considering the hour?”
“Meth is a hell of a drug,” I muttered. “Just kidding!” I said as I saw his brow furrow. “My nose has been powder-free since 1996.”
His brow had only begun to furrow, because just as calm was restoring, in walked Angel. The bosses have yet to figure out that we only behave when unsupervised. The two of us, with authority figures present and co-workers to witness?
Holy poop on a stick…