Monday, August 31, 2009
I think I've eluded to the fact that we have a little bit of a "drug" issue at our little c-store. I don't believe that I've went into detail on how intense that issue is.
My second night at the store, I asked ProLoft about what was going on over on the side of the store. The conversation went something like this.
ME: "Hey ProLoft, why are there always so many people over by the road in our parking lot?"
PROLOFT: "Duh, they're selling drugs."
ME: "Like what?"
PROLOFT: "Mostly pot, but some coke, crack and a little heroine. Most of it's pot though. I don't know anybody that doesn't smoke pot."
ME: "You mean that they're selling it, right there. In daylight? On a main road?"
PROLOFT: "Yeah, like it's a big deal. They stopped for a while when somebody was busted for selling cocaine next door, but it's no big deal."
So this has continued for the last couple of weeks. Major traffic by the old car-vac, then a steady stream of "i wanna be a gangsta" douche bags coming in for their lone swisher. Not even trying to hide it.
This activity reached a new, and brazen, fever pitch last week when a friend of mine, Travel Girl, came by the store for a visit. We're sitting on the curb chatting and look up to see an exchange happening right before our eyes.
You heard right folks. I'm sitting there in my C-Store couture, the dude makes eye contact with me, gets into the beige Honda and buys his "treat for the evening." Travel Girl and I look at each other, bust out laughing and watch as he pulls over to the gas pump -- because now he has gas money -- and processes sale number two.
What the hell! When I was in high school/college, you knew who the drug dealers were but they damn sure didn't hang out on the main drag to conduct business.
So, the next day, I tell manager about the "extra-curricular" activity that has been going on. His response -- as long as it's not employee's it's not my problem. Okay, the $1.17 Swisher Grape trade cannot be enough business to look the other way.
Flash forward to yesterday and in saunters two members of the Jo's finest, wanting to talk to the "person in charge." Somehow that turns out to be me, although I have no reason why they wouldn't see ProLoft as an authority figure.
Officer Friendly starts asking me when Goldie works. I relay to him that he no longer works here. He then tells me "I got a tip from an informant that Goldie and his little girlfriend BM2 were selling drugs out of this store." Tip? Informant? Dude, you're checking out pot sales at suburban c-store, not a homicidal serial killer on CSI: Miami. Drop the sunglasses and the buzz-words.
I informed him that I hadn't seen anything happening in the store and couldn't attest to things that were done when they weren't in the store with me. I did know that drugs were being sold in the parking lot and gave him a description of the d-bag that Travel Girl and i watched that night. Officer Friendly then passed along his card and asked me to call him if I "remembered" anything else.
I relayed the conversation to ProLoft, who was nervous because she thought I'd tell the officer the names of everyone I knew that worked there and smoked pot. Seriously, if I did that folks, I'd be working every damn shift. She then tells me, "Oh yeah, Goldie sold drugs in here all the time. He knew where to go in the store so the camera's couldn't see him and he made a mint off of it."
She also proceeded to tell me about the BJ's that he'd get from BM's 1 & 2 behind the counter while he waited on customers.
For the life of me people, I can't figure out the sexual allure of this store.
So, Sunday night saw my first questioning from the police, the release of Stoner, revelations from ProLoft and the beginnings of the fall of the JoCo/C-Store drug dynasty.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Manager (whom has now hired his brother-in-law and uncle-in-law -- who also pays for his cell phone) grabbed me when I first came in to show me this "lapse in judgement."
The first is video of Stoner coming into the store with five of his buddies and heading into the bathroom. All of them. Into one lone men's room. Now to give Stoner credit, he did put a "be back in 5 minutes" sign on the counter...always putting the job first our little guy.
About 45 minutes pass and they all stumble out and file out the front door. Five minutes pass and you see a customer come in, followed by Stoner who goes behind the counter. Innocent enough right? Oh, that's where you're wrong. Stoner started dancing like he was practicing his audition for "So You Think You Can Dance."
Now let me stop this post for a minute to explain why this is even more funny. We have satellite musiak in the store. It doesn't make my ears bleed, but there is nothing in the playlist that makes you want to dance. Stoner is a slight boy. He's about 5'6", weighs maybe 130 or 140 and dresses like he wants to be a gangsta...either that or he's lost close to 100lbs lately.
He starts by just dancing around and waving his hands. Okay, overnight shift and he's bored. Got it. Now, keep in mind that there is a customer in the store. He then starts slam dancing against the counter and doing the "raise the roof" move...customer still in the store. Is he done? NEVER.
At what I can only guess is the peak of the music, Stoner crawls up on the counter and begins dancing on top of the counter. Singing along with the song and then rubbing himself. Think Black Crowes Chris Robinson doing the Madonna Like a Virgin dance.
Let that visual sink in.
Better yet imagine the show that the customer was getting. On the video you can see this 50 something JoCo guy just baffled. Then Stoner does a big David Lee Roth finishing jump off the counter, checks out the customer and quietly walks outside.
The funniest part of this is that Manager then turns to look at me and says...brace yourself...Do you think that Stoner does drugs?
Nope. I think it's brain worms.
Are you kidding me? I'm pretty sure that "doing drugs" might be too mild for Stoner.
Then he asks Do you think they were having sex or doing drugs in the bathroom?
Seriously dude. If you are going to be a c-store manager you need to at least acknowledge the fact that people do drugs, if not know some of the signs.
Let's see, which is more likely to make a stoner c-store clerk do a perverse dance number to corporate musiak:
1) 45 minutes of gay group sex in a c-store bathroom, or
2) 45 minutes of drug use in a c-store bathroom.
I'm going to go with #2.
Stoner did come in tonight for a free drink and to say hi -- I'm the same age as his mom who doesn't talk to him now because she has a "new family" so he has become somewhat attached to me -- so I asked him how his night was. His answer -- SLOW.
Oh Stoner, how we'll miss you.
One little nugget that I discovered last night was that I'm one of only three people that work at my store who lives in an actual home, with walls, windows and everything. A couple are shacking up with friends and family, and some (including our recent departures) are living in their cars. Stoner, one of our homeless workers, is 20 and has been living in his car for two years. Not to sound like Nancy Regan -- but just say no to drugs. Damn, go a couple of weeks without pot and get a home.
Are you a lesbian?
So, I forgot to tell you all this little tidbit...there are so many things going on that I can't possibly remember everything. I mean, between cleaning the cappuccino machine (seriously people, if you drink that I'm pretty sure that you still have c-store cappuccino in you from some time in 1992) and stocking cigarettes, I'm a VERY busy girl. My first day working with Baby Daddy went something like this:
Baby Daddy: Hi I'm Baby Daddy, you're Clerk-K right?
Me: I am, nice to meet you.
Baby Daddy: Soooo, you a lesbian?
Baby Daddy: You sure? Because most of the older ladies here are dykes. It's okay if you are, I just like to know if I'm working with, you know, a gay.
Me: No, I'm sure I'm not a lesbian.
Baby Daddy: Okay then, but you should watch out because most of the older ladies here are lesbians.
What the hell? Let me just state that I was most offended by being considered an "older lady." Screw you Baby Daddy and your 27-year-old homeless self. I'm not even 10 years older than you and I look damn good for my age. I should kick you in your overly productive balls.
Beyond that I have SEVERAL issues with this little exchange. Let's start with "you sure?" What was he expecting? Golly Baby Daddy, thank you so much for asking that question. I've never thought about it before, but come to think of it I am a Lesbian! I need to leave early because I've got to go grab some boobs right now! Ass clown.
The second is the "watch out" statement. Is there a conversion plan? Are there meetings? What exactly am I watching out for? Finally, why in the hell does he want to know that he's working with "one"? Based off of his MANY children, I think that his team has been fairly well defined and if a Lesbian is going to break ranks...i doubt he's target #1.
Return of the Spanker
Now after the Tuesday night spanking incident, I truly did not expect to see the spanker in the store again. I thought that our little exchange might have driven him to the store down the street in embarrassment.
But much to my amazement, at about 9 o'clock last night, in walked the spanker. Joy of joys. He wandered around the store, obviously killing time until some folks left, then sauntered up to the counter. To his credit he apologized about Tuesday...
"Sorry about the other night, I didn't mean to offend you. I guess I should have made it clearer that I would have taken you out first to like a chili's or something."
Well that changes everything. You would have got me some boneless buffalo wings first? Hell, why didn't you say so. Somebody has been watching way to many Klondike bar commercials.
I reinforced that there would be no meal and no spanking. He seemed okay with that, bought his smokes and proceeded to the parking lot to purchase some other things...but that's another posting.
Folks, I'm discovering that the c-store is very much like an onion. Lots, and lots of layers, and some of them make you cry.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Seriously folks, this isn't the Price is Right...it's your JOB. If you guess the price of a pack of cigarettes without going over, that DOES NOT mean that you win them.
I also got an earful from our oh-so professional manager while he was yelling at Stoner on the phone, at the beginning of my shift. Evidently, the c-store is the most happenin' hangout in the Jo overnight. Including a little group activity in the men's room.
You heard it.
More than an hour.
If there was ever a reason to hover in a public restroom, that's it.
Also, let's all have a moment of silence for the fact that there is no audio on the security cameras. We don't need the soundtrack for that little event.
Now Clerk K you may be saying. Even stoners need love. Let the kid have his fun.
But here is where you're wrong. I know what Stoner looks like. I know what his friends look like, they come to work with him...evidently employment is a group sport. I've seen his girlfriend and it isn't pretty, she's his girlfriend BECAUSE SHE HAS AN APARTMENT AND HE WAS HOMELESS. When you hear talk of the "great unwashed" they were talking about this group.
This isn't like stumbling onto the male cast of Ocean's 11 banging Angelina Jolie...something mildly disgusting but would most of us would at least stop and take a look at(come on ladies, if you could compare all of Brad to all of George you'd peek!).
This is like moving a van full of dead heads into a public restroom and letting them go about their merry way.
Fortunately though, none of them "bought" a lottery ticket or "purchased" any other merchandise so Stoner still has a job...and I have a free ticket for never cleaning the restrooms on my shift :)
On a side note, the stare'er came in again tonight and bought more lottery tickets. He is determined to win and take me away from it all! Yes, this shapeless, syrup stained polyester polo shirt is the stuff that drives men's fantasies. One losing Powerball ticket at a time.
It is a heavy burden, but one I'm willing to carry.
So, as I mentioned this morning, there is too much going on in c-store land for just one post for last night's shift. So here is the sequel.
The latest departure from the store is Goldie. Let me preface this post by saying that I really liked Goldie. Sure he had some issues, and by some i mean a butt load, but he was a likable guy. He worked when he was at work, he was never rude, he was good to the customers and I enjoyed working with him. So, I was somewhat surprised to get the call that he was no longer in the employment of our little establishment.
In talking to my co-workers that came in last night nobody knew the exact act that broke the camel's back.
Was it his constant cell phone usage?
Could it be the steady parade of freaks that came in for free drinks and swishers?
Was it his runs to "take out trash"?
We just couldn't tell until I had a chance to visit with Stoner. Now, he's sure that this couldn't be it because it happened a few days ago. Keep in mind that "a few days" to stoner could be some time in 2002.
Anyway, it seems that "a few days ago" a girl came in that had a "beef" with Goldie's baby-mama #2...we'll call her BM2 for short. Since BM2 was ALWAYS in the store, she informed said rival to "Get out of here and don't come back because this is where i hang with my man." To this, the girl left.
Evidently, some time later, the girl came back to the store and that pushed BM2 over the edge. According to Stoner she raced from the store, pulled the girl through the car window by her hair and proceeded to put an epic beatdown on her ass. In the parking lot. While she was preggers. With Goldie (aka Baby Daddy) cheering her on.
Stoner was quick to point out what a good guy and gentleman Goldie was because "Yeah, he pulled BM2 off of the girl before she could kick her in the face...he didn't want it to go to far."
Kudos to you. We wouldn't want it to go to far. I mean there are limits man. You want to give your second pregnant girlfriend her freedom, but know when to say when...someone might have gotten hurt.
Stoner is sure that this wasn't the reason for the untimely departure of Goldie. I mean, it wasn't like he was kicking the girls ass...he was just watching. I don't expect Stoner to be with us much longer either with that Harvard type logic.
Sadly, BM2 lost her baby the very same weekend as the fight. When I asked them how it happened, they both truly had no idea.
Maybe Royal Rumble JoCo at 8-weeks pregnant wasn't the best decision making process.
Now Goldie is gone from us forever. Good-bye sweet prince, may you make more babies and smoke more pot at another convenience store.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
So, tonight was too good not to have a posting when I got home. I'm sure there will be another one tomorrow, but somethings are best written when fresh in your mind.
This post is again all about the customers. Tonight was my first night "alone" in the store, and I made it through with one voided ticket and an angry regular because we were out of Benson & Hedges. But I think that there was some neon sign above the store that said "New Girl -- Alone for the First Time" because we had some doozies.
Let's start with the Shopper. You may remember the Shopper from my first post. After encountering him again, I believe that he may be the lost member of the Reservoir Dogs -- Mr. Beige. I saw him pull up tonight, in -- you guessed it -- his Beige car. This time instead of shopping he quietly stood at the fountain and drank a half-glass of EVERY flavor that we have. Seriously! He then decided on Sprite...I think tea had WAY too much color. He whispered his greetings and then shuffled gleefully into the night. Somewhere in the Jo, is a lovely beige house, with a manicured lawn and 10 heads in the beige freezer.
After the shopper was The Donger. You remember Donger from Sixteen Candles. Well folks, Dong is all grown up and has a BAD weed habit. You know the old Cheech & Chong movies where they open the door and the smoke rolls out? Imagine that coming from a tricked out Honda Civic and a 40-year-old Asian man getting out that looks IDENTICAL to the Dong. He giggled and smiled the entire time he was in the store...and so did I because I'm pretty sure I had a contact high from being around him.
Donger then bought a 12-pack of Natural Light, four packs of zig zag papers and a pack of peach Swisher Sweets. He paid, bowed (I shit you not) and left. Only to come back in for three bags of Cheetos, two Mt. Dews and two king-sized candy bars. Talk about some munchies...and way to respect the traditional stoner food. I knew Donger would go old-school.
I salute you Donger -- you wacky tabacky smoking freak. I bet he hangs out with Willie Ames.
And finally, my pinnacle of the evening, was one of my final customers. My co-worker who is working the overnight was running late and this gentleman came in around 10:15. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.
This guy looks like your average guy who works with his hands, drinks too much and smokes even more. Probably a couple inches shorter than me and in his late 40s. He comes in a lot, has to because of that 3-pack a day Kool habit, and is always a nice guy.
Tonight, he comes in and is very pleasant. I get his smokes. There is the standard "Golly these things are high!" comment, then the following exchange happened:
Customer: Can I ask you a question?
Me: Sure! (he's a regular and I'm trying to be polite)
Customer: Can I spank you?
Me: Excuse me? (externally) ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR EVER-LOVING MIND YOU CRAZY FREAK (internally)
Customer: I'd like to spank you. I love big girls and they are so pretty to spank.
Me: Nope, that's never going to happen. (externally) IF I WASN'T AT WORK I WOULD BEAT THE HELL OUT OF YOUR SCRAWNY DRUNKEN ASS (internally)
Customer: I understand. Would you spank me?
Me: No. It's never going to happen and you need to leave the property now. (externally) YOU NEED TO VISIT WITH A PROFESSIONAL AND I NEED TO BLEACH MY BRAIN. THANKS A LOT JACKASS (INTERNALLY)
Who, in their right mind, asks a stranger in a freaking convenience store if they can spank them?
If you wanna get a little freaky in the privacy of your own home...I'm cool with that.
Hell, if you want to do it in public with other like minded adults...kudos to you.
But if there is something about the smell of industrial cleaner, the whirr of a soda fountain and a wall of cigarettes that works on you like a double dose of Cialis then you have problems that need medication of a professional kind.
The only logic that I can think he might have had was that at $8/hour a c-store clerk is much cheaper than a hooker for a few whacks.
What the hell people.
What. The. Hell.
Folks, there has been high drama in c-store land the last few days. I have to admit that one of the main concerns I had with taking this job was a high degree of boredom...and if you know me, you know that boredom only gets me in trouble. The past few days have proved to me that my concerns were totally unfounded. The goings on at ye olde c-store seem more like the plot line of Days of Our Lives...
Like Mountain Dew through the fountain, so are the Days of our Shift!
(Fade in on scene of me and Pro-loft behind the registers...)
ProLoft -- So I got into a fight with my boyfriend and hit him in the arm, but only because i was drunk. Then got pissed and ran barefoot for 2 miles until some guy picked me up and took me to one of our stores where I called an ambulance because i thought i broke my foot. The cops came out with them for some reason and asked me what happened so I told them the whole story and they arrested me for domestic violence...even though my boyfriend didn't want to press charges.
Me -- (insert look of shock and awe) Wow.
Proloft -- Which only goes to show you that you can't be honest with the police.
Me -- (internal monologue...I don't think that was the lesson to learn dear.)
Proloft -- Then i got pulled over at a DUI checkpoint on Saturday night and got a TOC. How was i to know you couldn't have an open container? I didn't go to college.
Me -- (getting into the spirit of the conversation) BASTARDS!
Proloft -- Good thing they didn't check to see if I had prior convictions because i'm not supposed to drink according to my good-faith bail...
CLOSE UP ON ME HOLDING IN THE LAUGHTER THEN FADING OUT
This is my life folks! And only one little peek at what's going on.
There is the Baby Daddy who doesn't really work while he's on the clock, but rather wanders around on his phone and does his errands. He supposedly "purchased" some things from the store and "quit" this weekend. He's now brought in his bank records to prove them wrong and is on a personal rampage to "get rid" of the manager.
The Manager has hired his brother-in-law...a hiring obviously against company policy and Baby Daddy has tattled on him.
I really think that this is the perfect soap opera to run right after Jerry Springer. My ratings would be through the roof, but would i have to pay these folks royalties? Things to consider.
I have tonight off, but will post again tomorrow. I have so much fodder i could quit tomorrow and continue this blog for weeks.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I work with a lovely young lady that we'll call Pro-Loft for the sake of this blog. You can probably guess by my first post what the name Pro-Loft means.
Pro-Loft is really a sweet girl that has just had a rough lot in life. She wants to get paid, but she's really not into "working that hard." Which will probably keep Pro-Loft where she is in life.
Last night a young mom came in with the sweetest little one, which put Pro-Loft and I on a long discussion about children, parenthood and the accidential pregnancy problem.
This conversation started when the young mom left and Pro-Loft announced loudly that children were disgusting, nasty little monsters that were painful to be around. She went on to explain that it was because that they started out like aliens -- alive but without breathing oxygen. WTF?
So I bit and asked her what she meant by "not breathing oxygen." She proceeded to explain to me, like i was stupid, that they are alive in the womb but not breathing oxygen and that was just F'd up. She then went on a long tirade about how there was nothing "beautiful" about pregnancy, that it was disgusting and made you look like a beached whale.
This Ode to Dispising all things pregnancy and child went on for a good fifteen minutes, including such legendary comments as:
- Parents should have the right to sterlize their children if they'd like.
- Babies shouldn't be taken out in public until they can go without crapping themselves.
- We shouldn't have to see pregnant women...there should be someplace that they are kept until the alien comes out.
- (And my personal favorite) Anyone who isn't married who is trying to have a baby should be killed...we don't need that crap in this country.
I was too enthralled by her logic to laugh, when the damn finally broke with this one simple comment.
"I'm sure I'll feel differently about my own children when I have them and they behave like I want them too."
You need mental help, an adjustment in your medication and a good slap upside the head not a baby. Christ on Crutches she's crazy!
Now, I feel that I need to let you know that Pro-Loft, and all of the "kids" that I work with have been born and raised in Johnson County and are products of the Jo public school system. I also feel that i'd be remiss in pointing out that Johnson County has been selected as one of the top 10 places to raise a child in the country.
Evidently the selection committee didn't meet Pro-Loft.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Welcome to my ramblings on the lovely world of the convenience store. I have learned a lot in my first week at the c-store. Some of these learnings include:
- Way too many 18 to 24 year olds smoke. Seriously people, it's crazy.
- Swisher Sweets come in the same flavors as kool-aid and are VERY popular. Evidently they make another smokable treat more tasty.
- Prozac and Zoloft should never be combined.
- Male c-store workers have a high sperm count. This is purely an observation that I have made based on the number of children.
- Evidently hanging out at your place of employment, when you're not working, is extremely cool these days.
- There are overly creepy people regardless of the location.
It's this final bullet that I'm going to focus on for this, my first post. Last night we had two particularly odd individuals.
The first, who we'll call The Stare'er. He checked lottery tickets and got a drink. Made some stupid comments about my dazzling smile, paid for his purchase and left. Normal enough right? WRONG. He then proceeded to sit in his car and stare into the store for 20 minutes.
Just sitting there.
Drinking his 44oz Dr. Pepper.
So, after The Stare'er (I found out he is a regular and I am not special...Yeah!) left, we encountered creepy guy number 2 — the shopper.
Now, we have a fairly small store. Three aisles, a fountain area and the requsite drink coolers. One would think that it doesn't take long to find what you want right? Wrong.
The Shopper came in as a vision in beige -- beige hair, beige skin that may not have seen the sun in years, beige plaid shirt, kakhi/beige shorts and tan flipflops, carrying his own clear refill cup. We'll call it understated. He then spends almost five minutes at the fountain...filling and drinking, filling and drinking...until he determines that he is ready for the next step in his trip — SHOPPING. For the next 15 minutes he wandered around the store looking for that perfect purchase. Silently.
Beef jerky? Of course not.
Tampons? Not today.
Cases of soda? Don't be silly!
Then, he spotted it...his precious. One. Single. Jolly Rancher.
The Shopper then proceeded to whisper at me and smile that, I have a batch of Jonestown kool-aid at home with your name on it smile, and shuffle out the door.
These are your neighbors folks. Right here in the "good" part of the Jo.
More stories will follow. I've got a couple of days off for my feet to go back to human size and not resemble a hobbit. Let me know what you think of my ramblings.