Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Post-Christmas Update

Hope you all had a great holiday and survived the great blizzard. I think I spent most of my holiday on the road between  Christmas travel and going to a wedding on Saturday.

As you can imagine, with the crazy weather we had (just over 12” in the Jo) the stupid people came out. Christmas Eve wasn’t too bad. People were in a great mood and the weather wasn’t too bad yet. I did have a kid come in in shorts that were belted just above his knees and house slippers. He was generally a little punk, and I have to be honest that I'm less than friendly to these privileged little brats who think they’re gangsta. So, I made him dig in his pockets, which caused him to bend in half, for change when he bought his swisher. But i got an unexpected surprise. As Vanilla Ice was walking across the parking lot he slid and caught the hem of his shorts on his house shoe and did an old-fashioned face plant. Now, I shouldn’t have laughed, but when you trip on the hem of your SHORTS, you deserve it.

Now, the roads were hideous on Christmas Day, and while most of our customers were snow contractors cleaning parking lots we got a surprising number of other folks that had no reason to be out.

Paperhunters We had a ton of people who were out looking for the paper so they could see what was on sale the day after Christmas. We were in the unfortunate position of not having any papers delivered on Christmas day. Most people were very understanding, but I had a couple of women that were completely irate. How were they supposed to know where the best sales were? I even had one who asked me when I thought we’d get the papers in…my response…”Ma’am,  it’s 8 p.m., we usually get them in at 4:30 a.m. I don’t think they are coming.” She wanted to know if I could call someone and ask. No, i can’t. If the paper is 16 hours late, they aren’t coming.

Family Escape I had one guy come in and his hello was “Thank God You’re Open!!!” He then went on to tell me that they had lost cable and internet at his house and he thought he’d go crazy if he didn’t get out of there…there was nothing to do. I pointed out that it was Christmas and maybe spending time with your family or pick up a book. He just looked at me like I'd lost my damn mind. I have a feeling that the clerks that come after me will see his kids buying swishers for their pot in the near future.

Little Miss Crossfire So, I’m standing at the counter and watch this Chrysler Crossfire turn off the main road onto the road in front of our store. 2008 Chrysler CrossfireNow, this car looks like it may have a 5” ground clearance and this road was a bear for me and i have an SUV with 4wd. The car barely got off the main road and got stuck. I watch this girl get out on heels and a short skirt and start walking across our parking lot. Inappropriate car and inappropriate dress for this weather. She came into the store and the exchange went something like this:

HER: I got stuck.

ME: Yes, I see that.

HER: Can you come dig me out?

ME: Excuse me?

HER: Can you come dig me out? You are a gas station and you’re supposed to help people.

ME: Ma’am, I can’t and won’t come dig you out. I’m the only one working and can’t leave the store. And even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t come dig you out.

HER: But what am I going to do? (cue big crocodile tears)

ME: Well, you can call a two truck, but that will probably take 4 or 5 hours, or you can borrow my snow shovel if you’d like.

HER: But I’m not dressed to shovel snow! I have parties to go to!

ME: Well ma’am, it seems like a poor fashion choice on your part considering the weather.

HER: (crying in earnest now) What am I going to do?!?!?

She then stormed out and the combination of her short skirt and tears suckered one of the guys in the parking lot to go help her.

Be careful out there folks and enjoy the snow. Don’t know if I'll get another post in before the new year, so have a happy one and goodbye to the cruddy decade that has been.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Dumb-Dumbs

Happy Christmas Eve-Eve! My Christmas present to you is a special holiday edition of “You Might Be a Douchebag If”

Affliction Afflicted – Had a guy come into the store with Affliction gear on from head to toe. Affliction hat, shirt, jacket jeans shoes and I think even an Affliction key chain. He was buying cigarettes so I checked his ID. Thinking that someone with such poor fashion sense had to be young. He was 45. Listen. You aren’t a UFC/MMA fighter. You’re not a rock god. And I seriously doubt that you’re a top flight athlete of any “extreme” sport in your early 90’s Honda Accord. You’re a middle-aged JoCo dad. You're Affliction problem just made Jon Gosslin’s Ed Hardy habit look manageable. Douchebag.

Wrinkle Rip – i had a lady come in the other day who was OBVIOUSLY over 40, but it’s the holidays so I thought “what the hell” and asked for her ID. She was flattered, I made her day, yadda, yadda. Then we got into a short discussion of what 40 “looked” like. I made the remark that the closer I get to 40, the younger I think it looks. She comes back with “you’re not anywhere near 40.” I thanked her and told her I was only 3 years away. She leaned across the counter and remarked, with surprise, “but you don’t have a single wrinkle!” and then before I could say anything…followed it up with “probably because your fat…fat people don’t really get wrinkles.” I gave her a hellish look and she smiled and walked out. Have fun with your cancer sticks. Douchebag.

Gas Getter – A few weeks back our computer system went down and we couldn’t process a single sale. I spent about three hours outside telling people that they couldn’t get gas or buy anything inside. A few people were snarly, but mostly understood. Except for one, tiny little Asian lady (TLAL) and her daughter. They pulled up to the pump and I let them know that we couldn’t sell any gas. The exchange went something like this:

ME: Sorry, we’re having computer problems and can’t pump any gas right now. They are working on the problem and I'm sorry for your inconvenience.

TLAL: That’s okay, I just need a couple of dollars to get me to another gas station.

ME: I’m sorry, but we can’t pump any gas.

TLAL: I understand, but I just need a little. I’m going to run out of gas. (writer’s note – the car is idling through this whole exchange and I can see that she has a quarter tank on her gas gauge.)

ME: ma’am, there is another gas station just on the other side of the grocery store. Take a right out of our lot and take a left where that street ends and you’ll see the station when you get to the stoplight.

TLAL: What’s the street name? I’ll get lost if you can’t give me the street name. What kind of station is this that you can’t give directions or sell gas?

ME: Ma’am.  I’m sorry for your inconvenience, but I’m doing all I can.

TLAL: You’re a very bad person and you’re just not selling me gas because I don’t look like you. BAD PERSON!!!

Then she gunned the engine on her car and drove away. Wow. Douchebag.

Misplaced Pisser – I’ve commented before about the folks who can’t find the restroom in our store. I had a guy come in a couple of weeks ago, obviously drunk and headed back to the cooler/office portion of our store on a mission. I yelled at him “Sir?” nothing “SIR!” nothing. Finally, I screamed “HEY!” as loud as I could…which got him to stop. When he looked at me, I asked “can I help you?” His response “not unless you want to help me piss” I shouted back, “no sir and I don’t want you to piss in my office, the bathrooms are back there…under the giant sign that says RESTROOM” and pointed to the right location. His response…you need to mark that better. Without missing a beat my internal monologue slipped out and I smarted back “maybe you need to learn to read” and then quieter “douchebag”. i don’t know if he heard me but he was very polite on the way out.

Holi-anger – So I worked on Thanksgiving, which wasn’t as bad as it might sound. I had a group of four come in and buy three 20-oz cokes. I rang them up, said thanks for coming in and Happy Thanksgiving, then turned to help another customer. As I finish with that person I hear the woman of the group of four clear her throat, so I turn to find them just standing there. “Can I help you?” I asked and she proceeded to ask for her bag. For three cokes. “Sure!” I responded and bent over to get a bag when I heard this:

Usually we have to wait for Black Friday to get this kind of incompetence, guess we’re getting a jump start on it this year. Who doesn’t ask their customers if they want a bag? Guess we know why she works here.

WTF? Seriously. Today, I give thanks that I'm not a raging bitch like you lady. So I smiled and bagged her cokes, dropping them at least four or five times…making sure they were nice and shook up. I then responded with this:

Ma’am, I’m so sorry that I didn’t offer you a bag at first. Most of our customers are able to manage the burden of a 20 oz drink without one, but it was insensitive to not take others handicaps into consideration. I assumed you were a healthy adult. My apologies for the misstep and your obvious struggles.


Merry Christmas to all of you. Be safe and have a blessed holiday. If you happen to run to the store or stop for gas over the next couple of days, on your way to a party or family gathering. Remember the folks that are waiting on you aren’t able to have that same luxury. Say a kind word and have some patience for them. They are giving up their holiday so that you can have that king size candy bar or get that beer that helps you get through two full days of family fun. For those of you who know where my store is, I’ll be there from 2-6 on Christmas Eve and 2-10 on Christmas Day. Come by and say hi if you’re in the neighborhood.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Parenting Skills Please

It’s been a while since I posted, because quite frankly I’ve been a bit desensitized by the craziness of the store and it takes a high level of crazy to register. One thing I do want to touch on is the parenting skills, or lack there of, that are exhibited in my little corner of the world.

Battle of the energy drink

Now I think that energy drinks  are horrid for your body in general.  When a person who has drank too many of them exhibits the same symptoms of someone who has od’ed on cocaine, something is horribly wrong. Beyond that, these are drinks that need to be for adults only. It bothers me when teens  buy them in bulk, but the buyers are getting younger and younger and parents are supporting it.

One example was on Thursday night. This guy came in with his two kids. And after wandering around the store, they decided they each wanted a Red Bull energy shot. Not a regular Red Bull, which is bad  enough, but an actual shot. I pointed out to the father what they were and his answer “that’s what they want and if kids shouldn’t have them they shouldn’t make them in the small sizes.” WTF? When did the rationale of “this comes in a small portion, it has to be good for kids” come into play. I again, pointed out that these are very concentrated energy shots – which fell on deaf ears.

So, Mr. Father of the Year proceeded to buy his five and eight year-old kids a Red Bull shot and a king size candy bar. I’m sure the little bastards are still awake.

Reinforcing Good Choices

Parents, you need to encourage good choices among your kids. These are things that I’ve overheard in the past month at the store:

  1. Kid brings a single serving of milk to his mom. Mom’s response: that is too messy if you spill it in the car, no why don’t you get a Mt. Dew or something like that from the fountain.
  2. Little girl wants apple juice. Dad’s response: That is way to expensive, let’s get you a Dr. Pepper instead (Juice is $1.69 and Dr. Pepper is $1.39)
  3. Boy wants a small Sprite. Mom encourages him to get the 32 oz and demands that he get a diet drink because he doesn’t need all that caffeine.
  4. Kid between soccer games wanting a bag of mixed nuts and a Gatorade. Dad encourages him to get a 1 liter bottle of Mt. Dew and a king size candy bar instead.

People. Pull your head from your ass. You want to know why kids are obese and for the first time in our history will not outlive their parents…look no further than the c-store.

Worry more about what your kid is putting in their body than what gets spilled on your damn car.  When little Susie has diabetes at 11, the answer isn’t switching to LoCarb Monster. The answer is that you were a lazy freaking parent and it’s your fault.

Oh, and don’t let your little curtain climbers eat ice out of public coolers. Nasty. Nasty people.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Double Meanings

Okay, a regular of mine brought this list in to me last night and it cracked me up, so I thought i'd share with you. I don't know where he got it, but it's funny stuff. Enjoy.

Here is a list of things that sound dirty at Thanksgiving but aren't.
  • Talk about a huge breast!
  • Tying the legs together keeps the insides moist.
  • It's Cool Wip time!
  • If I don't undo my pants, I'll burst!
  • Whew, that's one terrifc spread!
  • I'm in the modfor a little dark meat.
  • Are you ready for seconds yet?
  • Just wait your turn, you'll get some!
  • Don't play with your meat.
  • Just spread the legs open and stuff it in.
  • Do you really think you'll be able to handle all those people at once?
  • You still have a little bit on your chin.
  • Use a nice smooth stroke when you whip it.
  • I didn't expect everyone to come at once!
  • How long will it take for you to stick it in?
  • You'll know it's ready when it pops up.
  • Wow, I didn't think I could handle all of that!
  • How many are coming?
  • That's the biggest one I've ever seen!
  • How long do I beat it before it's ready?
  • I'm usually prefer breasts, but these legs are fantastic!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Blog

Forgive me readers for I have been lazy. It has been 14 days since my last post...

Hope you are all preparing for the Thanksgiving gluttony and having short work weeks. I will be manning the counter at the c-store this Thanksgiving and I'm sure it will yield some great fodder (especially if we sold liquor!) A couple of fun things have happened in the last couple of weeks.

She's Bacckkk
In my last post, I told you that our dear Backwoods was leaving and heading back to her home stomping grounds. Seems like her parents have stepped in at the last minute and told her that she was staying here and not moving. Se, we are blessed with her special charm a little longer. But in those two weeks that she was leaving some very interesting things came out.

First, the guys next door at Quickie-Lube convinced one of their own that Backwoods was moving home because she was pregnant with his baby. Now this young man just had a baby with his last girlfriend about two months ago. A baby that he hasn't even told his mother about...but that's another story. He has seriously been sweating this one out and told me about his concerns.

His concern is that its someone else at the Quickie-Lube and not him, because while he did take her up on her "offer" he hasn't been the only one. Evidently there was an occasion (or two) for her to come over and do some servicing of her own in the Lube Pit.

He went on to ramble about open relationships and Quickie-Lube clerks losing their virginity and to be honest, I was thinking of Disney movies and anything that would prevent those mental images from being burned into my brain. So I thought of Lady and the Tramp and Lube-boy rambled on about Backwoods and the Lube Shop (if you're reading along here adult video makers, that is a freebie.)

I talked Lube-boy off the edge and he went back to the store. With that little talk I'm starting to feel like the Dr. Phil of the retail world. Maybe I should change my name to Dr. K and have a style that is somewhere between Dr. Phil and Jerry Springer. It's amazing what people are willing to tell me and have me help them think through. Truly, truly amazing.

Freak of the Week
So, we had a customer in last week that was PRICELESS. This woman was probably in her late 40s or early 50s and looked like she may have been the love child of Kate Gosselin and Elvira. She had this coal black dead possum haircut that was very, very messy in the back and stick straight int he front, al-la Kate. Combine that coif with with a shirt that was entirely too low cut for her age, yellow and black striped nails and jewelry on every finger, ear lobe and nostril. Yes, Elvira Gosslin was a treat. She was perfectly lovely, except she kept calling me darling, just a poor sense of personal style. She even drove one of those PT cruisers that resembles a mini-hearse.

For those of you that are traveling this week, be safe. For those of you that think Thanksgiving travel means that long trek from the couch to the dining room, well you're just lazy :) Enjoy your turkey and have a great week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update and thoughts

Just wanted to take a quick moment to give you some updates on c-store land.

About 3 weeks ago, ProLoft and her boy-toy came by the store to tell me some very big news for the two of them. After much consideration, they are moving to Chicago! (bet you thought i was going to say she was "with child"!!!!) Yes, after one 3-day weekend in Chicago, the town is calling to them and they can't resist her pull. Evidently Boy-Toy's mom just bought a mobile-phone skin kiosk in a surburban mall. ProLoft and her luver will be living in his mom's basement and running said kiosk.

Ah...who said the American Dream doesn't come true? I mean, what young kid from a broken home who is hopped up on multiple anti-depressants doesn't dream of living in her boyfriend's mom's basement and running a mall kiosk in the big city. Dreams are a beautiful thing.

And how do I know all of these intimate details, well they told me because I am "like one of their best friends in town." So, boy-toy has already moved and as soon as that pesky domestic violence situation is cleared up on the 14, ProLoft will be off to join him. Good bye ProLoft, enjoy Chicago-land.

Following the theme of departures, Backwoods let me know yesterday that she had turned in her two-week notice and is moving back to her mom's house in the greater Springfield metroplex. Evidently, she can't pay her rent at her dad's house and since he's turned off her power in the basement, and the unforeseen dumping of Backwoods by her boyfriend, she has made this painful decision. She said that she's really going to miss me, but the "big city" just isn't for her. Not enough of her type of men here. She's still going to go to nursing school, it's her passion you know, and she is bound and determined to get the guy from the quicki-lube next door in the back of her truck (if you know what I mean) before she leaves.

I'm sure there will be plenty of good Backwoods fodder prior to her last day, but time is definitely not on our side.

Goldie and BM2
A brief post only, but I got an update on Goldie and BM2 last week. Evidently their love only lasted as long as it took him to move back to the hood. Yep, whoever says that love conquers all hasn't been East of the Paseo...especially if you're a JoCo princess. From what I understand, Goldie and BM1 are "dating" again and things are going good. Always good to have a back-up baby mama when times get rough.

Customer of the night
Tommy Tweaker
So, I had to call the police last night on an OBVIOUSLY impaired tweaker that we had stumble in the store. This guy was a real treat, with one of the worst cases of meth-mouth I had ever seen. He was chewing constantly (with nothing in his mouth) and was generally disoriented. He tried to pull out of the drive and was on the wrong side of the road, then threw it into reverse and pulled into a quickie-lube parking spot and promptly passed out. This was after his meth-driven conversation at the store and his great impersonation of a horse pawing at the ground as he was trying to get into the car.

He was very, very friendly...if you could overlook the fact that he had Little Orphan Annie eyes and scratched constantly. The police had a nice little visit with him and let him go on his merry way (hope you're as shocked as I was). So, if you see a tan Astro Van with Dot plates, cut him a wide berth...he's probably Tommy Tweaker out for a drive.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kids These Days...

Happy Sunday night (or Monday morning for most you.) Hope you had a great weekend and if you were in the Jo for the last few days you saw sunshine and some great weather. Me? I was holed up at the c-store fortress making sure that all you weekend warriors were hydrated and well fortified with the tobacco goodness.

With this posting I'd like to talk a little bit about teenagers. Let me preface this post with the fact that I love teenagers. They are awesome and truly are what is going to make our country great for a long time to come. I know composers, writers, dancers and some of the brightest young leaders that, quite frankly, inspire awe. But, just like with adults, there are some that make me wonder if survival of the fittest has gone by the wayside. Let me tell you what I mean.

Example 1: Lack of Friend Judgement
I have a couple of regulars that are 18 year-old twins. Good kids with the exception of their over-active tobacco habit. Or so I thought. One of them came in last week and bought a pack of smokes he'd never bought before. This conversation ensued:
ME: You branching out and smoking something new?
HIM: Nope, they are for a friend that we're going to pick up from lock-up...he gets out tonight.
ME: Lock-Up? How long's he been there and why?
HIM: A couple of weeks. He's been in there for armed robbery, but it's not like he did anything...he just drove the car. He even told thet guys that did the hold-up it was a bad idea.
ME: Oh, well as long as he told them it was a bad idea, that makes it good! Have you lost your damn minds? He participated in an armed robbery.
HIM: (laughing) That's what makes him so cool...he's up for anything.

WTF???? Seriously folks. These kids are from a "good home." I've met their parents in the store. Good jobs, very proud of their kids yet, they don't see ANYTHING wrong with their buddy driving the get away car in an armed robbery. Help us.

Example 2: Private vs. Public school kids
So, I know good kids in private schools, but there is a certain sense of entitlement that I see in these kids. The store is close to BVNW and I can tell you that the kids coming in from that school are great kids. Very polite and actually handle their money well for the most part. Their football players are great kids, as are all their athletes. I also work close to another high school...a private school...that I can't say the same about. They are rude, they throw their money around like it was nothing and generally make me cringe when they come in. One of these kids came in on Saturday night that really drove home the point.

He comes in, dressed and acting like he was Edward from the Twilight movies/books come to life. Same almost hair-lip, same f'd up hair and same pale-i-need-a-pie style in his private school sweatshirt. He was with three friends, two guys and a girl, and decided he wanted to "sample" our slushies. Now, I'm not opposed to a taste to see if you like something before you buy it, but a taste isn't 3/4 of a glass. So, Edward fills up the glass and proceeds to wander around the store drinking the slushie...going so far as to beat on the bottom of the cup to get the last bit out before declaring that he didn't like it and wasn't going to get one. Tough shit kiddo, you just filled a glass and drank it...you're paying for it. So he heads for the door with his "posse" in tow and I can't help but interject...

ME: Excuse me? I need you to pay for your slushie.
EDWARD: Oh, you're mistaken ma'am. I didn't get a slushie...I just tasted it and when I didn't like it decided that I wouldn't get one.
ME: No, a taste is one drink. You had 3/4 a glass and walked around with it for five minutes. That is a full drink and you need to pay for it.
EDWARD: Ma'am, you're mistaken (holding up hands) if I had gotten a slushie, I would be carrying it now wouldn't I? I know something like this is hard for you to understand since you work in a c-store at your age. Let me say it for you very slowly...I Didn't Get A Slushie. I'm a good Christian and I don't steal.
ME: Well, let me say this so you can understand it. I watched you drink the slush. It is on our survelience camera. You owe us for the drink. I don't care what your religion is.
EDWARD: So you expect me to pay? (to his friends) This is ridculous...I don't know who this woman thinks she is to make me pay.
ME: Yes, I expect you to pay. It's $1.07.

Then Edward snarls at me, turns to the girl with them and SNAPS HIS FINGERS as he walks out the door. The girl dutifully walks up to the counter and pays for his drink. I told her to make sure he pays her back. Her answer:

"Oh, it's okay. It's worth the $1 just to be able to hang around him. I was shocked when he said I could tag along tonight!"

I really can't add anything to that. Ugh.

Example 3: You left the house in that?
I know that you're teenagers, but really? I learned this year that the Halloween costume of choice for the teen crowd was Slutty "insert character." I saw slutty witches, slutty nurses, slutty cheerleaders, slutty maids and even a slutty ladybug. And when I say slutty folks, I don't just mean a too short skirt. I mean 15-year-old girls in thigh highs and micro-mini skirts where you could see the bottom of their ass. Do they have parents? Do they have mirrors? If you're still in high-school, you shouldn't be wearing thigh-highs.

The girls tonight were super special. These two girls came into the store in identical outfits that can only be described as whores on parade. No bras. No panties. Trust me, the "dresses" that they had on were white and looked like long tank-tops with a ruffle on the bottom. They were also thin enought that you could tell with little effort that they had forgotten the underwear. I had an older guy in the store that I thought was going to have heart failure just looking at them. He left the store and the girls started talking about him and how he had a BMW.

Evidently old is okay if they can get something from it. I know this because the statement I overheard was this:

"I know he's old enought to be my grandpa, but I bet all I'd have to do is bend over and let him see me and I'd get him to buy us beer."

Now, I know that we tried to get "older" guys to buy us beer when we were 18. But by older I mean 25 and we just tried to look cute. I can honestly say that the thought of flashing my vagina for a 6-pack never crossed my mind.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Clerk-K, you're just pulling out these stories to get a laugh...most kids aren't like this." And you are right. The majority of kids aren't like this (see opening paragraph) but there are enought that these situations are more like 1 in 10 or 20 customers and not 1 in 10,000. Bottom line, bad judgetment and bad behaviour is rampant among the teen crowd and honestly, based on the behaviour of adults in my store I can't say i'm surprised.

copyright 2009 KJE Communications

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm Baccckkkk

Sorry for the long absence kids -- seems like real life got in the way for a bit. I wanted to do a quick post this morning to let you know that no terrible fate had befallen me. I didn't slip on a slurpie spill and get a bad case of amnesia. I'm not being held captive by the spanker. Nor did I run off with the Matthew Fox look-alike customer in his bright yellow jeep...although if he asked my response would be "sure! let me get my purse!".

A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks and I promise you'll have daily blogs for the next week or so just so you're caught up. I'm going to give you a Backwoods update today and a customer of honor, just because i feel you deserve a big chuckle due to my long absence.

So, I'm excited to tell you all that Backwoods is back on the market! You heard me right, after the very romantic sexual interlude at Zona Rosa just a mere five days before, Levi Garrett decided that he wasn't ready for a relationship. I know that you're all SHOCKED that this match made in redneck heaven didn't stand the tests of time...or at least the tests of the month...but alas our girl Backwoods is single again.

I worked with Backwoods the day she got that fateful text. Yes, she got dumped via text-versation. I went in last Friday and Backwoods looked like, well, hammered-ass. I couldn't resist so I asked her what was wrong and the damn broke...
Backwoods: He just dumped me!
Me: Last night hon? (she came in at 6 a.m. so i thought it was a safe assumption)
Backwoods: No! About 30 minutes ago...he said that he didn't have the time for a relationship and that I was too high maintenance! I mean I know I'm a girly-girl, but I was the one going to him all the time...he never had to buy me anything or drive anywhere.

Now, let me remind you all that this is the girl who wishes she could were her pajamas everywhere and doesn't always comb her hair before she goes out in public. And she bought the high-maintenance thing!

Me: Well, if he feels this way, it's good you know a couple of weeks into it.
Backwoods: But I LOVED him! I just don't understand why he would do this to me. He was going to my mom's with me at Thanksgiving even. I thought we'd be engaged by Christmas.
Me: (look of shock) Did I miss a lot of dates and things since we last talked?
Backwoods: No, we had that one amazing date and lots of conversations on text and now he wants to split up! What did I do wrong???

Okay, now I could have been cruel and pointed out what she did wrong but I had restraint. I could have pointed out that when you have weird circus sex with a guy in the back of a truck at the mall then only speak with him via text message for the following week...a breakup is a sure bet. I could have told her that one night of monkey sex does not a relationship make. I could have added that while three weeks seems like forever at 18, it's not that long and to pull it together. Instead, I remembered that her mother hadn't really taught her anything and decided to take the high road.

Me: Well, it sounds like you two went to fast and you made yourself way to available for him. Remember, you can't do the wrong thing with the right person and evidently he wasn't the right person. You just have to learn and move on dear.
Backwoods: You're right Clerk-K. Thanks for not yelling at me for screwing it up...that's what my mom is going to do. She's really disappointed in me that I'm not married already and she's going to be so mad.
Me: You'll be fine and tell your mom, it's not her life and you're okay with this.

On one hand, I feel really bad for her. She's young and hasn't had any raising and doesn't know better. On the other hand, I want to smack her about the head and shoulders and tell her to "pull it together." So if you know of any young men who are looking for a nice redneck girl...send them Backwoods way.

Customer of Honor
This happened almost two weeks ago, but I couldn't pass. This customer pulled up in a big crimson Escalade about 9 p.m. and damn near drove into the store. I saw the inside of the vehicle when the lights came on and embroidered in the cream seats was the OU logo. Now, this made me want to hide rather than wait on this lady. So, she comes in and is this petite little thing dressed in head-to toe OU apparel...including her headband! She marches right up to the counter and I'm assuming that she either needs smokes or directions...oh how i was wrong.

She opens her mouth to speak and sounds like a 60 year old trucker who smokes two packs a day and a handle of Jack a week. Add to the voice her request -- a log of Copenhagen snuff. WTF??? Then she proceeded to count how many days she'd be on the road (that number was four) then upped her order to two logs...so she wouldn't have to buy again until she got back to Oklahoma. I don't think I actually spoke to this woman other than to tell her the total, because i was in too much shock.

They sure raise some delicate flowers down in Norman.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

C-Store Lovin'

Happy Wednesday readers! Today is payday and that always puts me in a better mood.

I had the pleasure of working a couple of hours with Backwoods last night. And while it is relatively painful from a work standpoint, the fodder that she provides for this little venture is well worth the headache. Although if that girl tells me that I'm "like her mom" one more time I might just strangle her. I would hope to hell that any child of mine has more common sense and personal hygiene that that girl.

Anyway, last night I got to hear about her big date with her new boyfriend who we'll call Levi Garrett. Evidently Backwoods' little brother and sister have H1N1, or the Swine Flu as she likes to call it...I tried to correct her but to no avail. She literally asked me if H1N1 was like the Swine Flu, Ugh.

So, because her brother and sister were sick, she couldn't go home...evidently there is a quarantine...and since she wasn't grounded any more she went on a day long date with Levi Garrett. They even went out of town for this date, all the way to Zona Rosa. So I bit and asked how the date went. She went on and on about how great it was and how much cheaper gas is on the Mo side of the line. It was actually kind of sweet.

During the conversation, one of the guys from Valvoline that she used to have a crush on came into the store and was listening to her date recap. This is when it started getting interesting. Valvoline boy asked if she'd had sex with him yet, in their torrid two week relationship, and she confirmed that she just did on their Monday date. Then I opened the door...

ME: "So, does he live up by Zona Rosa or did you guys get a hotel room?"
Backwoods: "No, he lives way NOrth of town and we couldn't afford a hotel so we just used my truck."
ME: "Excuse me?"
Backwoods: "We used my truck, it was so romantic...like camping out."
Valvoline Boy: "So you had sex in your truck? Where were you at?"
Backwoods: "Yes, it was a better option than his cougar and I already told you where we were, we went to Zona Rosa."
ME: "So you had sex, in your truck, at Zona Rosa???"
Backwoods: "Yes. We were parked in the parking garage and just crawled in back. It was so special."

Now, let me interject a little commentary here. Having a guy you have known for two weeks bang you like a screen door in the back of a '89 Bronco, in the parking garage at a mall isn't "special" nor it is "romantic" or "magical." It's whore-like. You were just treated like a two-dollar whore, regardless of the fact that he walked around the mall with you for an hour. In fact, two-dollar whores at least get two dollars. You were quick to admit that you were a cheap date. That you didn't spend any money all day...not even on food. Why in the hell would you tell people this. Did your mother not teach you ANYTHING. You poor, stupid child. Now, back to the conversation.

Valvoline Boy: "Wow. Glad you had such a magical date Backwoods." Now, this man looked like he might just throw up in his mouth as he congratulated her on her date. Poor kid probably had to bleach his brain.
Backwoods: "Thanks! I know this is love and we'll be together forever!"

Now, part of me is really inspired by her belief in love and the optimism of being that young and having that goofy feeling. But there is optimism and there is lack of decision making skills. This girl should be held captive for her own good. Plus, I'm pretty sure by the look of her hair and the dirt on her neck that she hadn't bathed since her big date...which really grossed me out considering her Bronco Lovin' story.

So the moral to this story is one that is timeless and has been immortalized for years. I believe I first saw it when I worked at the truck stop in high school:

If the truck is a rockin', Don't come a knockin'.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

week in review

Sorry for the delayed posting folks. I was fighting off something last week and other than work and sleep, not a lot got accomplished. Wanted to share some things with you and give you a little glimpse into the last few days.

Return of Tinky Winky

So, last Thursday...after Backwoods left...I was blessed with the appearance of three motorcycle riding Teletubbies. I was on the phone with Manager when they roared into the parking lot in all their fuzzy-suited glory. I busted up laughing, and of course Manager wanted to know why. So I shared with him that we had Teletubbies as customers. His response..."Do you think they are there to rob you?" What the hell? It was 5 p.m. and the lot was packed. I'm pretty sure robbers are a little smarter than that.

So, I went outside and had a little chat with our tubbie friends. They had picked up their Halloween costumes and took them for a spin. Folks, until you've seen a grown ass man in a green fuzzy suit smoking a cigarette and buying beer, you haven't truly seen odd.

I knew that you'd want proof of the Teletubbie invasion, so I took some snapshots for you. For those of you here in the Jo, you know have a little clue as to our station location.

Dumb-Dumb Moments
Some of these fall under the "your not doing your kids any favors" topic and some are just too good to pass up. Either way, they are now yours to ponder.
1) Teach your damn kids where money comes from and how it works.
Now, I know I've said this before, but I continue to be baffled by how little kids know about money. We get a little bit of everything. I get at least two kids a night who either a) don't know how to count money or b) ask me if we still take coins. Seriously? You are of legal driving age and you don't know if the nickel is still legal tender in the US? Put your damn cell phone down and open you flockin' ears dumb-dumb.
The kid I had yesterday really shocked me. He is probably 17 years old and looks as if he has nasty, nasty dreams about his tuba if you know what I mean. Mommy and Daddy bought him a new BMW SUV for his birthday that he drives very cautiously. He never comes in with friends, nor does he really speak. We'll probably see him on the news someday with heads in his freezer. Anyway, he came in and used is credit card last night and I asked him if he'd like it ran as a credit or debit. this simple question baffled him. His response "The one that you sign?" I informed him that when you sign that is a credit card purchase. He literally told me "I've never heard that before...interesting."
You have a flippin' credit card and YOU'VE NEVER HEARD THAT???? What else does tiny Dalmer not know? Has he heard that you have to actually pay for those swipes with that little card? Christ almighty folks. Maybe spend time with your kids instead of spending money on them...you're doing yourself and society a favor.
2) Stupid Request People
I get so many of these a day that you wouldn't believe them. The guy on Sunday night, was one of my favorite of late. It went something like this:
Guy: "I came in here a couple of days ago and bought gas."
Me: "Okay, what can I do for you?"
Guy: "I want you to turn the air machine on so that i can fill up my tires."
Me: "Do you need quarters or something?"
Guy: "No, I want you to just push the override and turn the air on, after all I have bought gas here."
Me: "Sir, I can't do that. One, we don't have that capability and two, you can't come in several days after you shop here and demand a free service."
Guy: "This is ridiculous! You can kiss my business goodbye...you don't know how to take care of customers" ...Cue dramatic exit through a group of customers who were in line.
3) Inappropriate Bathroom Man
I understand that sometimes, nature doesn't call when you are in the comfort of your own home. That is why there are public restrooms. But there are limits to what you should do in public. Take our bathroom ranger from last Thursday. He came in the store around 9:45 and headed straight to the pisser. 30 minutes and two flushes later, he was still in the bathroom. He emerged for a few minutes to get a drink and a bag of chips...AND WENT BACK IN. If you have to be in a restroom so long that you need a freakin' SNACK you probably should take that as a hint to GO HOME.
I finally left the store at 10:30 and he was still there. Our overnight guy told me that he strolled out at about 10:50 -- yes more than 1 hour in our restroom -- got a refill and left. I'm just glad we don't sell magazines.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meet the new girl

So, with our many c-store departures, we have added a new employee. I haven't shared anything about her with you, because I had yet to work with her. She's a day shift girl, and with my night shift work I only encounter her about 10 minutes a week. But last week. Last week I got two full hours of the new girl. Wow.

We'll just call her Backwoods. No, not like the cigars as my friend Tiger Guy asked, but more as in VERY, VERY COUNTRY.

Let me tell you a bit about Backwoods. She's barely 18 years old and from a small town in rural SW Missouri. She's a bigger girl, but from what i can see (and soon learned) takes very little pride in her appearance and who she is. Her very favoritist thing is life is "going muddin" and she has a deep, deep love for her pajamas.

Now, I haven't had but one conversation with Backwoods before the night I worked with her...but that didn't stop her. Two minutes into my shift I was hearing about how boy-crazy she was. She has worked at the store for 3 weeks and has already hit on all of the guys at the mechanic shop next door -- pledging her undying love to two of them at one point. She tells me of her short-lived, pending eviction from her dad's house because of her love of a black man and now, her true love who she ran in to (literally, ran into) at another convenience store. She is sure he's the one.

Are you crazy? You just told me that in the last three weeks, you've been in love at least four times? You work two jobs and go to school Backwoods. When in the blue-hell do you have time to fall in and out of love that much?

She then proceeded to tell me that she wanted to be married with babies by the time she was 21 and done having kids by 25...cause if you waited longer, you were just saddling your kids with an AARP grandma/mom rather than a real mom.

Thanks dipshit. I'm 36 and single with no kids. I tell her this and her response -- "I can imagine at your age it has to be really depressing. I mean who is going to marry you at that age? You might try Match.com...it worked for my grandma and she's old too."

At this point I'm trying to keep from cutting a bitch. Really, "my age"? You just compared me to your Grandma you stupid little girl. Then I stopped and thought that at my age, she'll have at least one divorce and several kool-aid stained, dirty diaper wearing mongrels chasing her around and I just busted up laughing.

Now, let me say that I love children and that the above description is no reflection of my feelings for kids or parenting. It is merely a prediction of her parenting skills based upon my knowledge of Backwoods. To shed a little more lite on this belle of the c-store here are some facts.

  • Backwoods doesn't like to brush her hair during the week...it just takes too much time. She'll do it on the weekend.
  • Backwoods is generally put out that she can't wear her pajamas to work and just pull her c-store shirt over the top...she'd be much more comfortable.
  • While in the top three of her graduating class, Backwoods isn't the brightest bulb. She was writing a paper for nursing school and wanted to write it on a stroke, but couldn't find enough information to fill three whole pages.

Backwoods is a rare treat that I'm glad I have the opportunity to share with you. I hope that the balance of the hires in c-store land are as ripe for the pickings. I will tell you that manager has been looking at a young lad with the words "registered offender" on his drivers license. If he is our newest hire then my c-store days are done.

Happy Tuesday folks. See you soon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I fought the law and I won

For those of you who know me from Facebook, you also know that my little c-store was at the center of an alcohol sting by the JOCO sheriffs department.

You see, in order to ensure that we little c-store peons follow the letter of the law, they do random checks. They have kids try to buy alcohol and tobacco who aren't old enough. If we sell it to them, we are fined roughly $2000, the store is fined the same and we instantly lose our jobs. Now, let me point out that I've worked at the store almost two months and still haven't made $2000...just so you know the impact of a fine like this.

So, last week, I'm cruising along and this kid comes up the the counter with a six-pack of Bud Light. I ask for his ID and he happily hands it over. I'm used to selling tobacco so I see the birth date of 1991 (yeah, kids who were born after my high school graduation are legal) and think "okay, no big." Then, as I begin to hand the license back to him, I look at the calendar and pull the license back to me. Not old enough. This is going to be fun.

I told him I couldn't sell him the beer and moved it to the side counter. He protested...as they always do...and stormed out. Something that happens on a fairly regular basis.

The next customer steps up to the counter in jeans, a camo sweatshirt and a baseball cap. Conversation went like this:

ME: "What can I do for you tonight?"
CUSTOMER: "I'm with the JoCo Sherriffs Department, and that young man who just left wasn't 21."
ME: "Yes sir, that's why he left and the beer is still here with me. Can I help you?"
SHERIFF: "On behalf of the JoCo Sheriffs Department I want to thank you for ensuring the healthy future of the children of this county by not selling alcohol to minors."

Now, just a side note here. With the things that I've seen at this store, an 18 year old buying some beer is the LEAST of the threats to the children of JoCo. Really? The drugs that were exchanged in our parking lot make a bottle of Bud Light look like a glass of chocolate milk. Way to be a day late and a dollar short jackass.

The sheriff's deputy continued to go on about my "service" to the county and my "outstanding" work. It's not like I found a cure for cancer or came up with the Amber alert. I pissed off a kid and didn't sell him beer...alert the folks on the Nobel committee. He then gave me a pre-printed thank you card to pass along to my manager that heralded my great achievement and went along his merry way. WTF?

So I called my manager to tell him of the sting and so that he can alert other stores. His response to us passing the sting was amazing and it was all I could do to not crack up. You would have thought i said that the Chiefs won the superbowl and he had 47 virgins waiting for him at home. Manager was clapping and yelling "way to go clerk-K!!!" and "that's AWESOME!"

Then he let me know that I'd probably get a bonus from the company for my "amazing" work. Not that I don't like free money...but i did my job. I didn't work an extra shift because a co-worker was sick. I didn't deliver a baby in the parking lot. I didn't discover an error that saved the company a ton of money and liability. I carded someone who was buying alcohol and didn't sell it to them because they weren't old enough.


End of story.

I don't understand, and I never have, the need for companies to over look the things that people do that are "above and beyond" their job description, yet go overboard in the celebration for simply doing what you're paid to do. You reward me every week for doing my job...it's called a paycheck. You really want to reward me, make everyone do their job. Things will be a lot easier.

So there you have it. I'm a decorated member of the community. Please treat me as such.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

C-Store Logic

Working by myself does not yield as many great stories at it used to. With the departure of the more colorful characters, some of our more interesting characters have also faded away. For example our Swisher Sweet business has all but dried up. Gone are the days of group bathroom parties and parking lot drug deals, but that doesn't mean that common sense has become rooted at the c-store. Nope, people are still stupid and I, as a clerk, still bare the brunt of their stupidity.

Gas Girl
I had a girl come in this week who prepaid for gas. Simple right? Never! Five dollars into her $25 purchase, she comes in and tells me that her pump just shut off. Now, we have had some serious pump issues in the past few weeks so this isn't uncommon. So I asked her if she tried to squeeze the handle to see if it would continue pumping. Her response "can I do that?" Yes dear, you can. And her answer (all joking aside) "it won't blow up or anything will it?" What the hell? Have you ever pumped gas before? Stop watching TV shows and pump the freaking gas.

Smelly People
Really folks, bathe. We had a woman come in last night that had such an odor about her that I had to break out the air freshener. Twice. I understand if you're around your house and cleaning and haven't showered yet. I even understand someone who is working and runs in to buy a drink or some smokes and has a bit of BO. But this woman. She was dressed in a nice outfit and had her work badge on. She went to work with the smell of a thousand armpits about her. I've been in barn stalls that smelled better than this lady. Buy a wash rag and some Dial. Really.

You are in Public
Now, I know that you're "just running up to the store" but please don't forget that you are in public. I don't care how cute you are, white thermal underwear pants and a tank top are not appropriate for public wearing without something over them. Neither are pajamas, house shoes or anything that you wouldn't wear out to a "real store." I work here people. Please, don't expose me to your crappy choices.

Now, many of you aren't aware of this, but the police do a variety of "stings" to try and bust convenience stores who are selling alcohol and tobacco to minors. Last night, I was the target of one such sting. Kid tried to buy beer and showed me his ID...even though he wasn't 21. I looked at it and told him No Way. He threw a mini tantrum and stormed out of the store. Pretty common occurrence so it didn't even register with me. Next thing I know there is a gentleman at the counter telling me he is with the JoCo Sheriff's office. Now it must be the influence of my co-workers, but my first thought was "oh shit, what did I do?!?!?" He proceeded to tell me that the kid who just left was not 21 and that I "did a great service in helping the future of the children of JoCo by not selling him beer."

Really? I think a 6-pack of Bud is the least of our worries based on some of the things I see. And I told him as much. He laughed, I'm sure thinking that I was kidding, and gave me a lovely pre-printed thank you note...complete with his badge number and left. Very anti-climactic.

So I called manager and you'd have thought I just told him that he was going to have 47 virgins delivered to his home, all carrying a Wii and new video game. He was yelling and clapping and going over board. Dear Lord. If that gets you that worked up, I'm completely sure that you need to branch out in your life. I was doing my job. Period.

Customer of the Night
This is a throw back to last week, but I have to share. My friend, Travel Girl, came down to visit while RockStar practice was going on at her house. We were hanging out and in walks this group of kids and I tell you, this one was a sight. First of all, sweet kid but you could tell that his family tree was more of a stump. No branching. No forks. I mean, he had that look that might have scared the guys from Deliverance.

Let me explain. He was a tall kid, and rather beanpole like. Dressed very country, which is fine. He had a, well, let's call it a long face with ears that were even, if not slightly below his mouth. Look in a mirror. You'll understand how that was disturbing. He talked with a bit of a lisp and was trying to buy some chew without his license. He was a trainwreck, and the look exchanged between Travel Girl and I was priceless when he walked in.

Folks, please remember that a family reunion is not a real time version of E-Harmony. You aren't supposed to date or mate with the people that you are related to. I know that this is common practice among royalty but have you ever stopped to think that most of the monarchy's are gone. And if you have other doubts take a look at Prince Charles -- inbreeding is never a good choice.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why is Pumping Gas so Complicated?

Happy Monday! Interesting weekend in c-store land. Most of the drama was focused on Friday night.

Let me start by saying I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who don't know how to pump gas. From not understanding how to use their card at the pump, to literally not knowing how to make it work. Especially adults who are well past the age of "understanding" the pump. I've even had people that have tried to put cash in the credit card slot and came in to complain that the pump wasn't working. Thanks Einstein! But Friday, it was a special kind of incident.

About 6 p.m. I looked up and saw a woman driving away from the pump...with the nozzle still in her BMW SUV. I had customers in the store and transactions in process, so I couldn't just run out to stop her. But what she did next was the height of JoCo bitchyness.

She realizes that she still has the nozzle in her car, so she stops in the middle of the parking lot. She gets out and removes the nozzle and dangling hose from the gas tank. She drops it on the ground and drives away. WTF?

Did she come in and tell me? Did she take it back to the pump? Nope, she just left it laying there. In the middle of the parking lot with gas spewing from the pump and pouring out of the hose. Spoiled bitch.

So I go out and pick up the nozzle/hose and take it back to the pump, then call Manager to see what he wants me to do. He says just put the nozzle/hose in a plastic bag in the back and clean up the gas. Should I put an out of order sign up I asked. His answer -- No, they can't pump gas with no nozzle and that's pretty evident. With my marching orders, I did as I was told and got things picked up...all during a very busy Friday night.

About 30 minutes pass and a guy comes into the store to let me know that "something is wrong with pump 7." Yes sir, I know...it doesn't have a nozzle or a hose. His answer "well, it's spewing gas all over the place."

I go out and find out that some genius pulled up the pump, while he was on the phone, then proceeded to run his credit card and start the damn pump...before he noticed that there wasn't a way to pump gas. And you guessed it folks, he yelled at me that there wasn't anything to tell him it was out of order.

What the hell do you want sir? Was the fact that the piece that actually allows you to put the gas IN your car was missing not a big enough clue? Maybe we can get a quasi-naked dancing girl to stand in-front of the pump for your viewing pleasure while I clean up the 3 gallons of gas you just caused to spew all over the place. Ass Clown.

I had Saturday night off so when I came in last night, I anticipated that the pump would be fixed. Incorrect. It was still "out of order" and a lovely red sign had been put up stating that point. Despite this, I had to tell no fewer than five people during the night that they couldn't use that pump. One even got pissed at me and yelled because I waited until he got out of his car to tell him that the pump didn't work. Meats and cheeses people are stupid.

With all of this said, I would like to declare the patrons of Pump 7 my customers of the night. Nobody could top their high functioning degree of stupidity.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bad Blogger, No Posts

Happy Thursday readers. I'd like to apologize for the serious lapse in posting. I had a couple of days off and just needed a bit of a break. But I'm back with new fodder to hopefully perk up your day.

As you may have heard, Power Ball was at 170,000,000 last night and people go CRAZY when the Power Ball has been won in a while. We get all types in on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Most of the folks just want their tickets, but the superstitions that go with them are a hoot. Here are just some of the things that people do:
  • They won't pay for their tickets with the rest of their purchase...they have special money.
  • Won't buy tickets with anything except for their winnings from a previous ticket.
  • They want a quick pick, but insist on filling out a lottery card for it rather than just letting me hit the "quick pick" button.
  • They won't fill out a card, they want me to manually enter each of their numbers because I did that once and they won.

There is also an issue of a language barrier with some folks. I try to be very patient and understanding with folks who don't speak English as their first language. I've shown a man from Pakistan how to use our gas pumps because he just got to our country. I try to work with our Hispanic customers and have gone online and figured out how to read the Mexican licenses to find out their birthdays. But I have a challenge with Asian people and their lottery tickets.

One, I don't understand them. I try, but I have a VERY hard time understanding what they say. Now, you throw in numbers and lottery games and you've got an issue. I spent 10 minutes with a man last night trying to explain that you couldn't pick for numbers for the pick three game.

The other challenge I have is Asian people, more than any other group who have another first language, use yes as an answer for everything. I had an older gentleman that was buying Power Ball. I asked him if he'd like the Power Play option...he smiled and said yes, so I gave him the Power Play. When I gave him the ticket he got VERY mad and said he didn't want that and didn't know what it was. I explained it to him and he begrudgingly took the ticket. He then ordered more tickets and yelled at me to LISTEN to him. I repeated it back, he smiled, said yes and shook his head in the yes motion. I printed the tickets and he got mad again and asked if I was stupid because i got it wrong. ARGH!!!! I don't know how to help these people and i know it pisses them off, but I can't understand.

The other group of lottery buyers that crack me up are the ones that come in and ask for a losing ticket. Seriously? Is that what you want? If you don't believe you'll ever win and that every ticket you get is a losing ticket, why spend your $10? I believe that you bring things to you, and asking for a losing ticket will never bring $170,000,000 to you.

There are even those that blame me for their losing tickets. As in "could you please pick some better numbers for me this time? I spend a lot of money here and would appreciate you picking at least one winning number for me." Really? I have the power to pick the winning and losing tickets? Listen dummy, if i could do that, I wouldn't be working in a freaking c-store right now. The computer picks...I just push the button. If you want to take control of your numbers, then pick your damn numbers. Don't blame your loser-hood on me.

I'll be glad when someone wins that damn jackpot so that life can go back to the other odd :)

Customer of the Night

This goes back to last week, but it was so good, I couldn't pass up sharing it with you. I had a woman come in last Thursday night that looked to be in her early 40's, even if her wardrobe looked lost in the 80's. She came in with a water bottle and asked if she could leave it on the counter while she got something with "more energy" to drink. Of course I said sure and watched her walk into the store.

Now let me describe our Thursday princess. She was very, very thin...the kind of thin that only comes from a high level of drug usage or modeling for a major fashion magazine and I can tell you it wasn't the second. She had on way too much black eyeliner and damn near everything she had on was bedazzled. Seriously folks, I've seen pro wrestlers with fewer gems and sequins on. She had a bedazzled belt buckle that looked like a hand gun. Stone washed jeans that had the knees out and rhinestones down the sides of both legs. She had on her Desperately Seeking Susan lace half gloves and bangles, and rings on each finger.

I watch her bounce around the store until the bathroom came open and she darted in. Now, she was in the bathroom for nearly 30 minutes...which is always a bad sign. When she came out, girl was on fast forward. She was zipping all around the store and licking one of her rings. When she got up to the counter, her pupils were dilated to the size of the end of my finger. Girl was tweaking to no end and she bought a giant red bull.

My only conclusion was that she was doing drugs. In our bathroom. What in the holy hell is it about our restroom that makes people want to do drugs here? And who does that anyway? I'm baffled by the need for people to do drugs in public. What the hell folks. Listen to Nancy Regan. Just say no!

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's Time Again...

...for another edition of You Might be a Douchebag! Yes folks, after this week, I've got some new fodder for you as we head into the weekend. And with that, here we go...

You might be a Douchebag if...
...you have to bend over to put your hands in your pockets. Evidently these kids don't have mom's to tell them that the waistband of your pants goes around your actual waist and not under your ass. We don't want to see your underwear and when you heard that girls like a guy with a good ass...they meant how it looks in jeans not hanging out over the top of them. When you wear shorts, that are a normal length, and you are only showing two inches of ankle pull them the hell up. Douchebag.

You might be a Douchebag if...
...you try to buy smokes every other night from the same person, without an id, and still get pissed that you can't get them. Really? I've seen you every-other day for the last two weeks. Every time you want a pack of Marlboro Lights, and every time i ask for the ID that you "forgot." Then you get pissed, call me a bitch and storm out. One, you look like you might have started shaving this month...pretty sure you're not old enough. Two, do you think you're going to wear me down? That all of a sudden I'll think "an ID isn't that important!" Douchebag.

You might be a Douchebag if...
...you sport the weird Kate Goslin/reverse Mullet. It makes you look like a rabid possum. There isn't a reason to have hair down past your chin in front and a half-inch long in back that sticks right straight out. It's ugly and makes you look like you cut your damn hair with a Flow-be. And why would you want to look like that train wreck anyway? Of all the media whores you have to pick that one? I bet you buy your husband nothing but Don Ed Hardy shirts too. Douchebag.

You might be a Douchebag if...
...you think peeing on something is an appropriate show of anger. You read right folks, my truck got peed on last night because I wouldn't sell cigarettes. Some guy came in with that Spencer Pratt flesh colored beard and wanted to buy a pack of cigarettes. His ID said he was born in 83 (right) and it expired in 2008...therefore, no sale. He was very polite and walked out to his truck, parked right in front of the store, where i watched him tell his buddy and give him $10. The buddy walks in the store with the money in his hand and asks for the exact same brand. No sale. He then told me I "didn't have to be gay about it" to which i asked him if he knew what the word meant.

Now, I'm going to get on a soapbox here, but as far as I know gay means happy or is a term for same-sex relationships. It doesn't mean bitchy, or mean, or hard to deal with. Ignorant and douchy...nice.

I reinforced that I couldn't sell him the cigarette, he called me a bitch, flipped me off and stormed out. Fine. I watched them pull off and go park next to my truck. I'm waiting on other customers and half watching them when they pull out and i see a big wet spot on the ground next to my rear tire, and the tire is wet. They stop in front of the door, honk and flip me off. Seriously? You peed on my tire? Way to show me that you're old enough to smoke. Douchebag.

You might be a Douchebag if...
...you drive a Jaguar and try to pass yourself off as "one of us." We had some pump issues a couple of weekends ago and we had a customer pull pull up in a new Jag. He was asking all kinds of questions and finally told us he worked for our company and that he was "just one of you." No. You're not. You are tan, relaxed and driving a Jag. You have on man-diamonds and bought gas with one of the hundred dollar bills in your wallet. I am working for $8/hour and have blisters on my feet the size of Texas. I am wearing a polyester polo shirt, smell like cleaner and cappuccino and haven't gotten my gas tank to full in four months because I can't afford it. You're not one of us. Douchebag.

and finally...

You might be a Douchebag if...
...you assume that you're issues are more important than my job. Whether it's your need for smokes or gas splashing on your car, it's not more important than someones job and you should realize that. Don't yell at me, don't tell me you'll sue us and don't tell me you'll have my job. If you want it, all you have to do is ask politely and I'll give it to you. I can't control the cigarette order. I can't control the person before you at the gas pump getting all of their gas out of the hose. I can't give you anything without checking with my manager first. I'm not doing it to make your life difficult. Quit being a jackass and think before you scream. Just because I work at a job that you see as inferior to the rest of the world does not give you the right to make me your whipping girl. Douchebag.

Have a great weekend folks and I'll be back posting soon. I have two whole days off (to work on my other business, but at least I can sit down!). Be extra nice to a service professional this weekend...trust me it will make their day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday Night Special

Sorry for the lateness of the post this morning folks. I'm fighting some kind of bug and it has me dragging a bit.

Last night was an eye opening experience for me. Now, let me preface this by saying that up until last month, I've been in a salary based position for the last 15 years. If I was ill, I worked from home or didn't work. It made sense to take a bit of time and feel better, rather than drag yourself way down and make other people sick as well. In the hourly world, that isn't the case.

I started feeling bad yesterday about 15 minutes after getting to work. At first I thought that my lunch just wasn't setting well, but after the 6th trip to the bathroom and the constant dizziness, i knew it was something more. Of course, I was the only person working on my shift so there wasn't anyone in the store to cover for me...but when the manager called me to check-in, I mentioned to him that i was feeling really bad.

His response -- "Well, there is nobody to cover for you so you're going to have to stick it out."

Are you kidding me? You'd rather have me here, being sick around your customers, where you provide food, than finding a solution. Newsflash dipshit, as the manager, it's your job to cover for people when they can't work. I've spent half of my shift in the bathroom and your response is "stick it out."

Now, to his credit, he did call me back and let me know that he tried to see if anyone wanted overtime to come in and cover for me, but they didn't. He only offered to come in later in the night after three phone calls. If you're not capable of covering, then you need to make sure that our store is staffed so that you don't have to. Four employees, two of which are related to your ass, does not count as covered ass clown.

And speaking of staffing the store, you may want to look at your working conditions and salary when half of the applicants to your store have "registered offender" on the license and the other half reek of pot. Maybe get a damn chair or give folks a raise and you'll get better applicants who want to work there...not have to. And by the way, if you hired a "registered offender," expect my notice. I know I'm not the hottest number on the block, but if you want me to work by myself, in a deserted store, with someone convicted of a sex crime, you're out of your DAMN mind.

Then. THEN! I get a call about 8:30 from Manager who tells me that he left a note for the overnight guy, but when he thought about it he might want to tell me too...one of our stores was robbed on Monday night. You MIGHT want to tell me? I work alone in a store and you MIGHT want to let me know that someone is robbing our stores...during my shift. You are a freaking genius.

He then let's me know that i need to lower the amount of cash I leave in my drawer, because if I was to get robbed and the robbers get away with more than $110, then i would instantly lose my job.

Just take a moment and process that one.

I get robbed. I'm the victim. Doing my job and keeping my drawer as you've told me all along...which is well over the $110 level. I get fired for giving too much money to the robber. How in the hell do you fire someone for being the victim of a crime. You do that and I'll own a freaking convenience store. What a shit way to deal with people. So I'm supposed to do thousands of dollars of business and never have more than $110 in my drawer. Freaking lovely.

Ahh dysfunction. No customer of the day today folks. I don't feel good and I'm still too damn irritated to think about the crazy customers. Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rainy Days and Monday's

What happens when Rainy Days and Mondays are one in the same? A SLOW night in cstore land. Last night was painfully slow thanks to a steady rain and the uber cleaning that's been done around the store over the past week, I just about had nothing to do but stare at my reflection in the front door and make faces...which I'm sure was SUPER entertaining to the folks at the pumps.

We had our standard rudeness last night. I even pissed a lady off so much that I carded her that she threatened me if I DIDN'T card her every single time from now on. Really? You're punishment to me for carding you is that I have to do it over and over to make you even madder? You're logic is somewhat flawed oh she with the bad dye-job, but if you insist.


Today's award goes to a new regular who was having a particularly lazy Monday. She's new to our neighborhood and is one of our more fun regulars. She jokes and remembers our names, which is a nice break to the daily grind. Last night she comes in around 9 p.m. looking like hammered ass wearing her Tinkerbell PJ's and a pair of slippers. Now, this isn't some 25 year old girl, this is a woman in her late 40's that should not be out in public in this outfit. No bra. No underwear. It wasn't pretty. Evidently she hadn't left her house all day and had to "run to the store" when she went through her 3rd pack of cigarettes.

She's a nice lady, but come-on. If you're buying 3 packs a day you're spending almost $120 a week on smokes and nearly $500 a month. Spend some of that on nicer PJ's if you're going to wear them in public. Also, you might want to go get a facial and cut back so that you can afford skin care. You may only be 48, but you're face looks like it's 60 from the smoke. Pull it together.

A special thanks to all of you who have let me know how you heard about my blog. The response has been overwhelming and I appreciate you each taking a little bit out of your day to read my ramblings. Also, thanks to the folks who gave me the hints on how to use the tracking software. I've got that down now and can start getting some stats in. Hopefully tonight will be busier and provide some interesting stories for me to share.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Return of the Murse

Happy Monday! I know it wasn't a full moon this weekend but man were people GRUMPY. Everything seemed to make them mad -- from the strong coffee to crooked receipts (seriously, the tape was loaded wrong and receipts weren't centered and it pushed a woman over the edge last night). People were on edge.

Here's an example: We had a couple of pump issues on Sunday and it set a customer off. So much so that he felt compelled to come in and tell us that we had lost his business rather than go to another pump. We apologized for the inconvenience and asked him to give us another shot. He declined, to say the least, and stormed out of the store. Fast-forward 30 minutes and Mr. Personality comes back to show us the receipt from the other station he went to...proving that we lost his business. Really? Why would you do that? I'm guessing the only decision this guy gets to make at home is mustard or ketchup on his burger...and both probably aren't allowed!

All-in-all, the weekend was fairly uneventful and drug by at a snails pace, with the exception of a visit from the newly homeless Stoner. You heard it right folks, Stoner is living in the Ford Bronco again after getting the boot from his girl. Evidently, she dumped him and kicked him out of the apartment just because he didn't have a job. When i pressed on this, he admitted that they had also gotten in a big fight because he wanted her to "bang" this guy so he could get some pot and X, but he didn't think that had anything to do with their break-up.

Really Stoner? NOTHING to do with your break-up? How could that girl be so unreasonable. I think we might just change Stoner's name to Statistic. Ugh.

Speaking of pot and X, there have been a rash of customers that were regulars when I first started that have "re-emerged" of late. All are asking for Stoner or Goldie. Which is fine, but they keep bringing up that one or the other asked them if they'd like to buy some -- insert drug here. The list of possible purchases were mind boggling. Now, I know that they are asking this to see if I volunteer to "hook them up," but that's ballsy.

They are also coming in and asking "what's free today?" Nothing ass-clown. That is why people got fired (in part). Nothing is free. Not today. Not ever. Their response...Not even beef jerky? No. What part of NOTHING don't you get brain surgeon. Now take your Swisher Sweet and run along pot head.

Customer of the Weekend
Finally, the customer of the weekend goes to not a person, but an item...the murse. For those of you not familiar with the murse (man-purse), you should make a little trip to the Jo, because it has become a VERY popular item. I spotted no fewer than 20 murses this weekend. From the gymbag as murse, to the legitimate murse complete with phone and sun glass pouch on the front, they were out in full swing this weekend. I guess with the popularity of skinny jeans on men on the rise, there just isn't room in the pockets. And with no pocket availability -- a man only has one avenue to turn to.

The funniest was when a guy came in with his very trendy murse that matched his shirt and one of our more "rural" regulars was in the store. Murse-Man dug out his money, even making a very girl like comment about "never finding a thing in this bag", clearly treating his bag like a true purse. Our regular, unable to control himself, asked Murse-Man, "Son, are you carrying a purse?" Murse-Man turned red, his GIRLFRIEND (cause i knew some of you were wondering) died laughing and told him "I told you they hadn't caught on here yet." To that point...I hope they never do!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday Night Crazy

Good Saturday morning! Friday night was bit crazy at the store, you would have thought it was a full moon by the way people were acting. I had a little bit of everything last night, and i was only there five hours.

I am coming to believe with all my heart that payday makes people do things that they never would otherwise. For example we had a woman literally wash her arms at the soda fountain. Evidently she had gotten something on them in her car and instead of using the sink (like the gentleman later in the night we damn near bathed in it) or the bathroom, she just used the water from the soda fountain to "wash up." Rest assured little readers, i broke down that portion of the fountain and cleaned it after she left!

Speaking of bathing in the store, we did have a man who decided to bathe in the sink next to the soda fountain. Now I was by my self last night and crazy busy (we did a busy nights business in five hours) so i wasn't "on my game" if you will. But this man comes in that looks like he may have been an extra in Deliverance or the Ted Kazinski's long lost son. Big, dirty, smelly, stains all over his clothes, pants about five inches short, crazy little look in his eye...you get the image. I greeted him and he went back to the fountain where the sink was. Okay...fine.

A few minutes pass as I'm waiting on customers until one goes "can you stop him ma'am?" I look over and Unibomber has his shirt hanging around his neck and is using a washcloth (and trust me i have no idea where it came from) in our fountain sink to "clean up." So, i stop what I'm doing and go over...mind you there is a full store watching this.

ME: Sir, I have to ask you to stop bathing in the sink. Now.

UNIBOMBER: Isn't the water free?

ME: Yes sir, but the price of the water isn't the issue. People buy food products here and you can't bathe where they do that. Now you need to stop or leave the store. Now.

UNIBOMBER: That's okay, I'm pretty much done anyway. Can I use your restroom?

ME: Yes sir, but you can't bathe in there either.

To that he throws up the peace sign, picks up his backpack and walks back to the bathroom...shirt still around his neck. So I have to take care of the now LINE of customers and then go clean up the fountain AGAIN from bath time. As I'm doing that, I can smell something funny in the air. Now, I know what you're thinking "Clerk-K, if Hillbilly Jim needed a bath so bad that he was washing up at the fountain...that would explain the strange smell." And your right, but it wasn't that kind of smell.

It was the kind of smell that was reminiscent of Goldie and Stoner. About that time, our bathing beauty comes out of the bathroom with wet hair and a freshly scrubbed face, and a fired up joint between his lips!

ME: Sir! You need to leave the store immediately or I'm 'calling the police. You CANNOT smoke in here!

UNIBOMBER: But it's not a cigarette, it's pot. You can't smoke pot here?

ME: Sir, I hate to bust your bubble but you can't smoke pot ANYWHERE. Now get out of the store. (with store phone in hand)

Once again I get the peace sign, he got on his bicycle and rode gleefully into the night.

And all this happened before 6 p.m.!

It was between 6 and 7 that a customer tried to pick a fight with me, I got called a racist (I asked someone to repeat themselves because I couldn't understand them) and had at least two people freak out over my age -- I'm 36 pushing REALLY hard on 37 and evidently don't look it. Ahh Fridays.

Customer of the Night: This customer came in before five and frankly, looked like a Hot Topic threw up on her. Knee high black buckle boots, short plaid goth school girl mini, bright pink highlights with some weird color patterns -- essentially she looked like she was trying SOOO hard to not "conform" that she just ended up looking like a stereotype. Then she turned around and HOLY CRAP. She looked like she was pulling fifty along behind her with wrinkles for years and the coal black base of her hair only made it worse. She bough smokes (of course) so I id'd her. Her response "people always think I'm really young, but I'm over 18!" I laughed, smiled and checked her id and she was born in 1970. She proceeded to tell me while i was looking at her id, and trying not to crack up, that she was confused for a 20 year old ALL the time and she always had underage boys hitting on her.

Listen Elvira, scrub some of that make-up off, lighten your hair and shop in a store for women our age. You look stupid and I'm pretty sure if they are hitting on you it was because they lost a bet, or were sexually traumatized by Munsters re-runs at a young age!

We'll see tonight if Saturday stands up to the high standards of odd that were set by Friday. In the immortal words of my friend David -- Have a quality weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random updates

So i thought i would take this opportunity to do some random updates from the c-store and ask a request of all my adored readers out there.

First the updates:

ProLoft — Our dear ProLoft has landed on her feet! She came in this past weekend to let me know that she has gotten a job at the Subway that is near our store. I asked her when she was starting, and the answer "I don't know yet. They have to see my ID and I don't have one so I'll need to do that first. I don't understand why they need an ID to let me work." She also said that I could come by any time and she'd give me a free sandwich! Oh ProLoft, maybe you should actually start a job before you decide to steal from it :)

The Spanker — Now, a little quirk of the Spanker that I didn't tell you all about is his need for a plastic bag. Whatever he buys has to go in a bag, regardless of size. Jolly Rancher? Bag. Cigarettes? Bag. Candy Bar? Bag. You get the picture. So El Spanko came in yesterday and i got a bag ready for him and he informed me that he didn't need it, "he's quit doing that." So, I asked him what he meant -- purely because I knew you all would want to know. He said he used to put them over his head when he was, well...you know, but he had since read something in Playboy that said it could be dangerous so he stopped. This is a 40-something year old man. You had to "read something in Playboy" to realize that suffocating yourself with a plastic bag while spanking the monkey was a bad idea. How in the bloody hell did he live this long.

Customer of the Night — I've decided to start a new feature on ye olde blog called the customer of the night. This is someone whom i feel you're life would be a little less happy if you didn't know about. Last night's award goes to Flavor Flavette. This girl -- wow. She looked much like a love child of Flav and Lil' Kim...only bigger. She was probably 5'2" and 300lbs, but honey she wasn't letting that slow her down. She had on her Baby Phats and her bright purple Uggs. A ton of bling, one even had her name in gold, and bright candy apple red clip in extensions (i knew they were clip in because you could see the clips). She also had a giant Elvis purse, and by giant I mean overnight bag big, with wall size clock built right into the side. Not a picture of a clock, and honest to god clock. Flav had them on a chain and she had it in a purse. And girl was FIRED UP that we didn't have jalapeno nacho sunflower seeds. I expect we'll see miss thing on her own VH1 reality show any day now.

Finally a small request from yours truly. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make any of the web analytics stuff work. Therefore i have no idea who is reading this little jewel or who they have passed it along to.

Soooo, this weekend please add a comment on this posting with the following information:
  • Where you're from
  • how many people you've shared the blog with or how you've shared the blog, and
  • Who shared it with you (if it wasn't me)

If comments aren't your thing, you can email me at cstoredreamin@gmail.com. I work everyday until next Friday so there will be lots of posty goodness to come. Have a great Friday.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Customer Isn't Always Right

One thing I've learned over the last month at the c-store is that the old adage of "the customer is always right" is frequently incorrect. This has been evident to me in the numerous slurs and creative names that people come up with for me -- if I had a dollar for ever time i was called a bitch I wouldn't need to work at the c-store. But last night, I had an encounter that cemented the wrongness of this statement.

Wednesday and Saturday nights are big for us due to the almighty Powerball. The larger the jackpot gets, it was $97MM last night, the bigger the issues. Now, on these busy nights we have to quit selling tickets at 8:59 -- one hour prior to the drawing. Additionally, the system doesn't allow you to sell tickets for 15 minutes to ensure that there is no "sneaking" tickets in.

So, I had a male customer come in last night at 9:10 wanting to buy two Powerball tickets. The conversation went something like this...

CUSTOMER: Give me two dollars worth of Powerball.

ME: I'm sorry sir, but the drawing for tonight has closed and I can't sell Powerball tickets for another five minutes and then they will be for the Saturday drawing.

CUSTOMER: What! That cut-off doesn't happen until 9:59 because the cut-off is at 10:59 Eastern time. Give me my tickets!

(Now, here is where i went astray folks...i argued with the customer.)

ME: No sir, the drawing is held at 10:59 EST and 9:59 CST...the cut off is one hour earlier.

CUSTOMER: Why are you lying to me?!? I want my tickets for tonight's drawing.

ME: Sir, I can sell you a ticket in a few minutes, but it will not be for tonight's drawing. I can only do what the terminal lets me and it won't let me sell tickets for tonight any longer.

(brace yourself for this one...)

CUSTOMER: You bitch! You probably siphoned off a bunch of tickets tonight and don't want to sell me a ticket because it would decrease your odds of winning!

(Now, just a side note. If you think you're 2 DOLLARS of Powerball tickets are going to "throw off the odds" of someone else winning then you are not smart enough to play the lottery jack-ass.)

ME: Sir, we are not allowed to play the lottery at this store. I can now sell you your two tickets for Saturday's lottery if you'd like them. (because this drug out for five minutes)

CUSTOMER: Of course I want my lottery tickets you stupid bitch. How dumb are you?

ME: Absolutely sir, here are your tickets...have a great night.

Now, I've encountered some people that when i got in the car I thought "wow, what a dumbass" but never have I thought about saying that to a stranger.

The whole country is upset about Kanye West yanking the microphone from Taylor Swift, and admittedly he is a jackass. But that was NOTHING compared to how people are treating folks on a daily basis. Maybe we should get a bit more pissed off about someone screaming at and calling someone waiting on them names and less about some rapper who has a haircut that looks like a freaking corn maze.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A County Without Mirrors

As most of you know, JoCo does okay for itself in the money category...which is part of what makes the observations in my little store even more interesting. We have several large companies, we are in the top wealthiest counties in the country and if you go solely off of beige Lexus sales...we're the shizz.

But with all of that money, you can't buy common sense...or mirrors from what i can tell.

People leave their houses and come to our store in the most god-awful outfits that I'm shocked. I mean, they wear things (or don't wear things) that I wouldn't even mow the yard in, and they wear them out in public. For example...
  • White pants and colored underwear. We had a regular come in yesterday. Now, money is not an issue for this customer. Beige Escalade, Prada glasses, kids in a private school...you get the picture. She comes in wearing white pants and a hot pink shirt. Okay. Then she turns around and i can clearly see that she has on hot pink underwear. Now I understand matching folks, but hot pink under white pants is a bad idea. Ugh.
  • Lack of Underwear. As bad as the hot pink/white pant incident was, it isn't nearly as bad as the white short no underwear problem...on men and women. If I can see your ass crack at the fountain through your pants, then you shouldn't have left the house. Hell, even I can afford underwear and I'm DAMN SURE you're making more than me at this point. Even if you buy one nice beige pair to go under your whites...it's not too much to ask.
  • Bra Free. Now, some of my male readers may say "Clerk K, there isn't a problem with women not wearing bras...let them commune with nature." My response to that is -- you're wrong dumb ass. If all women were built like Playboy centerfolds with breasts by Tupperware, then maybe. But we aren't and therein lies the problem. Plus, it's never the ones who can go bra-less that do go bra-less. I've had a customer who literally laid them on the counter...thank god we have good cleaner. We had one on Sunday night who thought she was MUCH hotter than she was going top commando. She was obviously doing it for attention...she leaned into the ice cream cooler to the gawks of many a teen boy, she spilled water on her shirt, she stretched a lot. I get it, you're proud of your body and a bit of an exhibitionist. But let me remind you, just because there is a term for women of a certain age that go after younger men, doesn't mean that it's cool.
  • Underwear as Outerwear. On the flip side of the coin, we have some women who are so proud of their underwear, that the thought of covering them with clothing is an abomination. We have one girl in particular that is fond of this "fashion statement." She comes in wearing those boy short underwear and her bra with a sheer or net tank over the top and Uggs. Now, my first point of irritation is if it is warm enough to wear only your underwear out, why in the blue hell do you need fur lined knee boots. Second, you're a nice girl. I know you're in college...why on earth do you think that dressing like a common whore is a good idea? Do you have a mother? Anyone who might tell you "that's not a good look." A customer literally asked me when she left the store "Should we call the police and report her for prostitution." When strangers think you are selling sex, you're "personal expression" has gone way to personal!
  • Repeat Offenders. These have to be my favorite of the bunch. These are people that wear the same thing every time they come in. We had a gentleman that came in 2x daily over the Labor Day weekend and had the same thing on each time. Now, I understand if you come home from work, put a pair of shorts and a t-shirt on, wear if for a couple of hours and put it on again the next night. Two hours doesn't make it dirty. I also understand uniforms that you have to wear...you've probably got a couple and you're washing them on a regular basis. But these are folks who come in before five and again later in the evening and they wear the same Hard Rock or concert t-shirt every, single day. Buy another t-shirt. I don't care if that one's your favorite. It's disgusting and you kinda smell.

It is with these observations that i can only deduct that there is a severe mirror shortage in the Jo. I mean, these people couldn't possibly be checking a mirror before they walk out the door and thinking "I look DAMN good." The only logical explanation is that Home Depot and Lowe's must have miss ordered and the mirrors didn't come in.

That is why I'm starting a new charity -- Mirrors for Idiots. If you have a new or gently used mirror and would like to donate it to a less fortunate JoCo family, please let me know. These mirrors could save the social life of thousands of housewives and college students. But please, I beg of you, do not give your only mirror. The only way that you can help, without becoming a statistic yourself, is if you leave a mirror in your own home.

P.S. -- I just did spell check and thought it was hilarious that Blogger has ass crack in their spell check!

Monday, September 14, 2009

C-Store and Financial Responsibility

Happy Monday readers! Things are going about the same in c-store land -- general craziness and backwoods good times! Over the last couple of days, I've noticed some trends with our customers that make our current economic times abundantly clear.

Let me start with credit/debit card usage. Personally, I only use my credit/debit card for larger purchases or things I need to keep track of like gas, groceries, etc. I always keep my receipts and attempt to keep my bank account balanced. I have learned that I am the exception and not the rule!

I do about $1000 a night in credit card sales...and most of them are under $5! Buy a $1 drink...charge it! Buy a candy bar...charge it!! Lottery ticket...charge it!!! Now Clerk K, you might say, what's the big deal? We've all desperately needed that 72oz Mt. Dew and had no cash...that's what a debit/credit card is for. And I would agree with you...as an exception not a rule.

What shocks me is the number of people who don't take their receipts. They just leave them on the counter. So, me being me, I asked..."why don't you take your receipt?" The answer "it's just $2...that's not a big deal."

Correct, but you come in her 2 and 3 times a day. That's at least $6 a day for 30 days...or more than I make in a week. And if you're doing this here...you're doing it EVERYWHERE! The grocery store, a restaurant, Starbucks, etc. I don't know about you folks, but even when I was making GREAT money, I didn't have a $500 play in my budget to just spend all willy-nilly. If this is something common across the country, no wonder we are in this current mess.

Now, let's talk about these free-wheeling adults and how they are teaching their kids about money.

Example one: I had a girl come in on Friday night and show me her new shiny debit card. Now, she drove up to the store and had a class of '09 shirt on, so I'm guessing she was at least 18. The conversation went something like this...
Girl: "Do you have one of those machines that I can use this card to get money?"
Me: "Do you mean an ATM?"
Girl: "Yeah...one of those!"
Me: "No, I'm sorry, we don't."
Girl: "Well can't you just run it through your register and give me some money?"
Me: laughing "I'm sorry hon, but I can't. You have to buy something."
Girl: "So if i buy something, you can give me money back with my card?"
Me: "No. You can buy something with your card here, but I can't give you money back."
Girl: "Ugh. That's bullshit. The bank told me that i could use this to get money and I need money now! Do you think if I took it to the bank behind you that they would give me money?"
Me: "You can probably use their ATM, but you'll have to have your pin."
Girl: "I didn't bring a pen...won't they have one at the bank?"
Me: "I'm sure they will...have a great day."

WTF? Does this girl have parents? Did she actually graduate high school? And I get at least three requests a night asking "can you give me money back when I buy something?" Jesus Tap Dancing Christ people.

I am in no way a money guru, and even less so with my current employment situation, but I've never wondered "how do these new fangled debit cards work?"

I've also learned that if you tell people you can "save them some money" they will blindly do as you tell them. Whether it saves them money or not. We have several specials where if you buy two items you save a buck or two. You're still spending more money than if you bought one, but you are saving on two. I'll tell people..."I can save you money if you buy two." They blindly agree and look confused when it costs more than they thought it would.

DUH! You came in to buy one item. You bought two...ergo a higher price. Dumb-Dumb.

So, take a look at your purchases and see if you're guilty of credit/debit card abuse. Also, if you have children, make sure that they understand how these little tools work and what a check register is...you'll thank me down the road.