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.
Dumb-Dumb.
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.

Period.

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!