Apparently we have a new Regular at the gas station.
She's a menace.
She first came in last Thursday night. Kind of short, long dark hair, probably mid-to-late-50's, a little wrinkly, fingernails all made-up. She grabbed a six-pack of beer and reached for the fresh beef jerky in the display case....
Then she paused. She was already starting to back people up.
"HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE PUT THEIR HANDS IN THIS?" she squawked.
"...Everybody in town," I said. "But if I whacked the hands of everybody who reached in there, nobody'd ever come back."
"WELL, DO YOU HAVE TONGS?"
They were right in front of her, but she couldn't see them. I handed them to her.
Then when she tried to pay, she got her PIN number wrong for her debit card. She got it right the second time.
"Next time I'll have you SIGN for it," I said. "It'll be faster."
I already suspected she'd had a few, but I was almost certain when she came back a night later. She grabbed another six-pack and was able to get out of the store with no major delays.
But she came back 2 hours later to buy gas....
...And shoved her debit card up the RECEIPT slot and into the gas pump's machinery.
Only the second time I've seen THAT happen in almost 10 years.
I knew SOMETHING was wrong when she stood there in front of the pump for so long. She couldn't figure out where to slide her card at, I guess. Then I SAW her force her card up into the gas pump.
She headed toward the store but I beat her to it. I went out the door and said "You didn't...?"
"Ya got any tweezers?" she asked.
I had to ring-up a couple other customers, so it took me a few minutes to get outside to help her, and she probably wasn't too thrilled about that.
When I went out, it took me a minute to find the key that would open up the receipt box. Then I had to pull the whole printer mechanism out to see if we could MAYBE find her card.
Remember, this is me, The Blind Guy, trying to do this -- trying to do close-up work without his reading glasses.
I fumbled around with the printer for a minute, then tried looking down on it from above to see if I could get a better view. I figured her charge card was going to be gone forever, lost inside the innards of the machine.
But there was her card, an edge of it just sticking out of the top of the printer.
"You are LUCKY," I said.
She tried it again, using the actual card-slider this time, got her gas and went away, and she hasn't been back.
But maybe I have a new Regular to watch out for. Ghod forbid....
Our price for a gallon of Regular gas is still holding at $3.85. While I've seen prices as low as $3.75 (right across the street), I've also seen prices still as high as $3.99. Gouge while the getting's good....
Since The Biker Chick was let go, my shift now follows either my Manager or her Daughter every work-day. Which means I'm running my ass off. But only one more week to go before Vacation.
My Manager does at least stock the drinks cooler and does sometimes bag ice before she goes home. Her Daughter does as little as she can get away with.
So I do a lot of cleaning and stocking on my Monday night to get caught up with how the place was let-go during my 2 days off. And on my Tuesday I price and stock what is usually a pretty-good-sized beer order.
Most nights lately after closing I've been bagging ice and stocking the cooler before I count money and do paperwork. The only plus to all this is that I usually have no time left to mop the store.
I've mopped the whole store exactly once in the last month, and I'm finding other places to cut corners. Because I have no choice. Under our Owner's No Overtime Policy, I have to be out of the building by 1 a.m. So I get as far as I can, then I stop worrying about it and go home.
I've pretty much worn-out my good pair of Work Shoes, so I change shoes halfway through a shift. Most nights my feet ache by the end of a shift. Some nights I limp from the front door to the car, because my feet have HAD IT.
The Summer We All Wanted has at least kept most customers' moods pretty Up -- and I've basically been too tired to care. I AM tired. I've worked an extra month-plus before taking a vacation this year, because of our personnel shuffles. Now that we have enough folks trained to cover for me, I should be able to do my next week standing on my head.
And then a blessed 10 days off....
Long as we don't get too many more customers shoving their debit cards into the machinery....
In November, I'll mark 10 years at this job. Time to retire and write novels...?