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.