I’m SO fired!

Well, not really. Not for lack of having a smart mouth, though. I guess.

Sunday was a real bitch of a day at the grocery store. It always gets me, how that day can be one of the worst of the week. Especially since a lot of people who come in are stopping by after church. Where’s the love, people?

I was working express (yes, we mean 10 items or less, really) and this young family drove up with the big ol’ buggy that has a mini-park bench on it that kids LOVE to sit on. Well, that’s okay, but the chick left it right at the front of the counter instead of pushing it through. Her husband asked her to push it around the other side out of the way, but she just acted like she didn’t hear him and helped her baby daughter pick out some ice cream from the case. Noticing people were already having trouble with it being in the way, I asked them, very nicely, if they could move the cart around to the other side of the counter. I couldn’t reach it from being hemmed into the register area, and all the sackers were busy or hiding in the breakroom.

I hear the woman tell her husband, “I’d tell her to move the mother f****** herself.”

I met her sly glance head on and said, “I asked nicely.”

“Yeah, but it’s your JOB.”

Picture steam coming out of my ears.

“Actually,” I say as she walks off, “It ISN’T.” Which it kind of is, but I sure wasn’t going to let her have the last word. How stupid is that, anyway? If I were thinking, I would have told her that sure, it’s my job to clean up after people without the common courtesy and thoughtfulness to the shoppers behind her to push the freakin’ cart through the line. Or, I might have asked her if she kissed that darling baby with that mouth.

THEN another family comes through, buys six dollars of products, and asks for $100 cash back. No problem, but I had to call a front end manager to open the till for that amount. So I call. And I call. And I CALL. No one is coming. There isn’t even a manager in sight. The customer is getting frustrated, I’m getting frustrated, the people in line behind her are getting frustrated. (I did mention I was in the express check out, right?)

“I was just trying to save a trip to the ATM,” the woman says, her forehead in her hand.

“You mean that one over there?” I ask, pointing to the ATM at the bank branch just across the aisle from us. I even FELT like a smart ass as I said it. It was kind of a funny situation, really, but the customer just shook her head and said, “Oh.”

Then, Old Curly came in some time last week. Remember this guy? He’s the one about 75 years old (or older) kind of brawny with a bald head–except for one curl, ONE, right front and center on his head. And he gels it. Yes. The one curl.

He’s always curt, and takes fiendish delight in belittling or being downright mean from behind his square, heavy eyeglasses, tinted dark enough to make eye contact near impossible. Which is fine with me, because with some of the ways he treats not only the checkers, but the sackers, too, he might just turn to dust if I make a connection with him. Lately, he’s taken to coming through my line. Oh, joy. I just ring up his purchases, say thanks, have a nice day, and resist offering him a receipt because he just throws it back at us and says he doesn’t need that trash. I try not to even look at him. Which is difficult, because, despite some evidence to the contrary, I am basically a friendly, polite person.

But this one day last week, the grouch made a beeline for my register. And I couldn’t help it. That curl. That lonely, shiny curl. What was wrong with it? I wondered. More than usual–Oh, my goodness. Whatever was married to that curl that morning was GREEN, like a big ol’ juicy booger. ECK! I couldn’t stop my gaze from straying back to his head. To that curl. I was going to go cross-eyed if he didn’t get out of the store soon. The more I looked, though, the more I decided…it looked like glue. A giant glob of green, gooey glue.

Surely not. Could it be possible this guy actually glues that thing to his head?


It was all I could do to hold my tongue so when this guy verbally abused yet another sacker. But I should have spoken up. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will.

Over all, people are nice, and I enjoy them. But I’d be surprised if my smart-aleck comments don’t get me cut loose one of these days.


8 Comments on “I’m SO fired!”

  1. Ms. Karen says:

    I certainly hope your employer is one of those types who realizes the customer is NOT always right.

    Sheesh, and people wonder why I stay clear of working retail. There is not enough money for all the abuse.

  2. desperatewriter says:

    Yes, the store is pretty good about standing behind us.

    Good to see you, Ms. Karen!

  3. Dona says:

    I worked retail for 18 yrs.. Loved it .. most of the time.. but way back then.. the bosses were real pains, oh there were some good but the bad out numbered them.. I think they came to work to see who they could bring down below them who had no self confidence…. I worked every job.. managed every dept and did my best to make my employee’s love there jobs…. Even with no pay to speak of… LOL Good luck to you….

  4. Jami says:

    Hey, DW,

    I’m totally with ya on this. I’m so amazed by how rude people can be. One of these days, my husband and I have a question for you about sackers at your workplace. 🙂

  5. There’s a grocery store right across the street from our church, so we usually pop in their after services to pick up a few things. It’s quite crowded on Sundays! Typically we see a few folks from church and end up having a “small group meeting” or some such in one of the aisles. As a group, we’re pretty cheerful and helpful.

    But there ARE the other folks! Mercy! You could write a novel! Just this past Sunday I got a story idea about people who steal the samples and then get angry when Sample Man tries to tell them about the product. Hey…there’s my title: Sample Man. Maybe I can work a romance into it.

    Oooo. Glad I came here today – I’m off to write now!

  6. desperatewriter says:

    Jami– ask away!

    Dona– looks like you would have been great to work for. I’ve worked for people like you’ve mentioned, though, and it’s tough!

    Groovy–sounds like fun! We have a restaurant inside our market, and there are quite a few folks who gather after services nearby. That kind of thing is neat.

  7. John Baker says:

    I just want to say this is one of the most interesting blogs I know.

  8. desperatewriter says:

    Thanks, John!

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