Monday, August 19, 2013

On vacation

Gas price: $3.77 for a gallon of Regular.

This last week has been a bitch.
Following behind my Manager and her Daughter three days. Cleaning and stocking the store when it seems like no one else does.
Pricing and stocking a normal-sized beer order -- and getting laughed at when I asked our beer-distributor if he could bring the same-sized order for the Labor Day Weekend.
Running my ass off, as usual. Ain't got much ass left.
The Biker Chick returned to work one last shift -- and was only $36 short on her cash at the end of this one last go-'round.
On Sunday I followed The New Girl, who was worn to a frazzle by the time I got to work -- with the cash register messed-up and gas pumps locked up and alarms going off telling us we were almost out of gas.
But she survived it, and the store was in no worse a shape than I'd expected.
And she was only $5 short. And she was worried she might get fired -- ha! You have to mess up pretty badly to get fired from this place....
And I might have. On Saturday night I suggested that one of our Regulars could help me out if he wiped off his shoes before he came into the store.
And he freaked out!
I'd delicately suggested this before. The guy is a little older than me and works in a pizza parlor, and every night I've worked lately he's been in around 9 to pick up a six-pack on his way home.
And every time he's come in, he's left little white footprints all over our dark rugs on his way back to the beer section. And all the way back up front to the cash register.
This usually happens right after I've just finished vacuuming. Or when the store's really busy. And it makes me look like a lazy slob.
It bugged me.
So I lightly mentioned it a couple times before, and he didn't Get It. Or he laughed at me.
So on Saturday I was more direct. I said it would really help me if he could wipe his shoes on the mat outside the front door before he came in.
And he blew up.
"I've got construction guys coming in my place and wrecking it ALL THE TIME, and I've never said SHIT to THEM because they're CUSTOMERS!" he shouted. "Your Management is gonna hear about how you feel, and you won't be seeing my face again!"
And I was thinking: Maybe if you DID say something to your construction guys, you wouldn't have to come in and buy a six-pack to de-stress when you get home each night.
And: If you know how that feels, why would you do it to someone else? Because it's your turn to dump, because that's what makes the world go 'round?
And: Is it really that big a deal to you? It would take FIVE SECONDS to wipe your feet....
Hey, I've told painters and construction guys to wipe their feet, and they're still coming back....
This isn't just where I work -- it's my home for eight hours a day, and I care about how it looks, and it pisses me off when people trash it or don't clean up after themselves.
Besides, I'm tired of being fed shit by people and being told all I can do is swallow.
If she had been around, my Girlfriend would have joked with me -- as she sometimes does when I need a nudge -- that I was being a Pompous, Arrogant Asshole. And maybe I was.
After he left, the customer behind him told me not to worry about it: "That guy's a prick; I've seen him in other places...."
That helped, and I thanked him. And I didn't even start shaking, like I sometimes do in confrontations with customers.
Maybe it's a good thing I'm on vacation for the next nine days. Though folks generally haven't been terribly behaved or overly demanding during the past week, it was a long week anyway, with lots of people out and about and the busiest Friday and Saturday nights I've had in awhile. And I worked an extra month before taking vacation this year, while store management figured out its personnel issues....
So, was I out of line? You decide. And let me know below....

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It just gets better....

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.
"...Everybody in town," I said. "But if I whacked the hands of everybody who reached in there, nobody'd ever come back."
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...?