I got up this morning, prepared to take it easy. I had errands to run, and I wanted to drop in on Voorhees and Dr T. They are working day shift at the stores I usually work, so we share ideas on keeping the stores livable.
Because lately, people have been assholes. But before I could even take a shower, I see a 911 alert on my Twitter timeline. The Nightclub store had been robbed!
I’m not much for holiday songs, but this ditty came out during my teen years and I felt the urge to revisit. George wasn’t my favorite Beatle, but he was one of the top four. He also did an ode to constipation that I will put up at the end, if I can find it.
But that’s later. First we’ve got to get through New Year’s Eve.
Because of finances, I jump on any shift I can get, as long as it starts after 9 AM. (I’m getting old, getting up earlier, but don’t call before noon east coast time. Standards!) I feel guilty when I have time off. I should be doing something. I rebelled from that feeling all my life, and now I’m surprised that I’m having issues?
2016 has been one hell of a dark year. Dead celebrities left and right, scary politics in our future. What future? I’m getting old! I try not to run to drugs, but they’ve always been there for me. My biggest demon lately has been alcohol.
Not my drinking. Other people’s.
People often ask how I can tolerate working with the public? It’s not easy, but 99 out of 100 people are nice and just want their Twinkies or whatever. However, out of a thousand people, that leaves ten assholes. Sounds like a proper ratio.
I have been training new workers. I preach tolerance, but there are no shortages of rule-breakers, so everything is like school, and I am the hall monitor. After a week of newbies, they sent me to the Waterfront Store for the night. Sundays at Waterfront are deathly slow. Perfect for reading or recovery from endless screaming. I had a stack of Oregonians, waiting for a quiet moment to settle in.
That’s when the old lady with the bottle of vodka walked in.
I have a new weapon in the war on crime.
It was a typical Friday night. Everyone’s been paid, but it wasn’t too busy. At 10 PM the drinkers are out, and the street trash is drunk and either ready to crash or just getting started. (Meth, the wonder drug.) I see it all from my captain’s chair, the upside-down milk crate.
There’s been a lot of activity in the Master P camp, some of which I will be discussing very soon. Secrets have been kept, but gag balls, I mean gag orders have expired, and we can talk freely.
The bar’s doorman came up to me. He was about 25, a redhead with dreadlocks. I gave him a neighborly nod, but he was all business. “Sir, you can’t loiter here. You can either leave or buy a drink.” He about-faced and returned to his post, leaving me to decide.
“Ain’t that about a bitch,” said Dr T.
“Apropos, considering our discussion.”
We had just been hoisting a cerebral toast to the fifth anniversary of my sobriety. Leave it to me to get kicked out of a bar without even drinking a drop…
It was my day off, and I was ready to be up and out of the house. The library trip is a nice ride. I insist on using the downtown Central Library, even though there are closer ones. There are none closer to my heart, or my work, and it gave me an excuse to check in at The Mothership.
I was blessed with a four-day weekend, minus a four-hour lunch shift smack-dab in the middle. When the cats are away, the mice will play.
Southie went on a two-week vacation, leaving the inmates in charge of the asylum. There are usually enough veterans to keep the children (new hires) in line and behaving. But, that’s like dealing with six-year-olds. You have to be firm, persistent and loving.
Then there are the Dirt Urchins, who act like retarded four-year-olds. They need to be spanked like sorry-assed stepchildren.
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…
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.