Saturday, February 28, 2009

Worst Night So-Far

Graveyard (surprise!)

It surprises me to no end that it's taken almost three months for me to have a night this bad at the Plaid. In summary, I had to ban three individuals/groups, got in screaming matches with two of them, a bunch of cultists kept coming into the store, had a horde of tweakers trying to bum money off of people outside of the shop and finally I received two death threats.

It was about 1am. and a man in what looked like a black Escalade (or whatever those gigantic wastes of fuel, steel and money are) and stood outside the front doors shouting to a lady on a street corner to hurry up. She stumbled, fell, and then proceeded to limp slowly all the way to the building as the man did nothing to help her but call, tell her to hurry up and insult her. Charming.

Finally, they came in. The lady was obviously very drunk, and the mans behavior led me to believe that he might be too, but I wasn't sure yet. Much shouting across the store about this and that and "OH MY GOD that was so hard I can't believe it took so long to cross a parking lot!" was to be had, and continued until they brought up two six packs of cheap, foul swill-beer.

"Hey look, I'm really sorry but I can't sell you this tonight." I said. I've been getting pretty good at acting meek and apologetic to help keep peoples tempers down, but perhaps it needs more work.

"WHAT!? Why not!?" the man yelled.

"Well, I don't want to be rude or anything but she's visably intoxicated and the law requires me to refuse to sell this to you tonight."

"But it's for me, not her," he argued. "I'm 44 years old. I haven't had a drink all night!" he started to puff up at this point and stepped closer to the counter. "Do you want to call the police and have them breathalizer me?" ding, he's drunk. "Go ahead, call the police."

"Well sir, you're more than welcome to call them yourself." I said.

"[Jim], (name changed) stop this. This man is a rehab councelor, of all people he-" interjected the lady before being cut off.

"SHUT UP, [SUE], (name changed again), you're making an ass of yourself!" He would reply with some variation of this every time she opened her moth for the next several minutes. "And don't tell people what I do!" He returned his focus to me. "So why won't you sell me alcohol? What's wrong with you? It's for me, not her."

"Yes, but unfortunately I have no proof of this and-"

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T HAVE PROOF I JUST TOLD YOU! FUCKING IDIOT! I'll bet you make, what, three dollars an hour? Insignificant shit!"

"Oh!" I said, "Insults! I can work with this. Now I get to tell you to leave. Immediately. Nice going. Get out. Ma'am, you're ok to stay until you pay for your goodies here, I'm not kicking you out. You're ok-"

"What gives you the right to say whether she's doing ok? If she's doing ok then sell me that damn beer!"

"Sir, I mean she's behaving like an adult as opposed to a five year old who just got his toys taken away."

"What! Fuck. You. Idiot. Fuck. You." He seethed.

"[Jim] stop this-" she started again only to be cut off by the behemoth boy bitch.


"Fuck you."

"OUT." I used the loud, angry voice and dropped the fake smile. He took a step back, and slowly sauntered to the door, where he tactfully blocked the entire damn thing with his fat ass. "NOW!"

"Well I can't leave without her, idiot!"

"Go wait on the sidewalk, jackass! Get out of my damn store!" I turned to the lady, "I'm so sorry about this. With the economy the way it is, I've got to be really careful about rules like this 'coz I really, really need this job."

"Oh no honey, I'm sorry about him-" she started.

"SHUT! UP!" he shouted. "Fuck you, boy!"

"OUT!" I shouted back, "Or I will call the police on you!" as I took the lady's money and handed her change.

As they finally stepped out the door, he raised a middle finger at me in defiance as part of his retreat.

I called back with "Toodleoo, fatty!"

The man drove very slowly out of the parking lot, and I could just barely make him out through his tinted windows, staring at me, glaring at me as if I had just stolen his testicles.

In a way, I guess I did, though.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On the way home

I saw a man on the bus with a q-tip, repeatedly sticking the same end in each ear, twisting it around, removing it and inspecting... then SNIFFING it.

He did this the whole ride, and once he reached his destination, as he stood up to disembark he (accidentally?) smeared the q-tip on a bar he used to stand up with.

Work was ridiculously easy last night. Not much to report other than a few people trying to get things for free and getting butt-hurt that I wouldn't let it happen.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Valentines Day (minus a week)


After a particularly calm night a week before valentines day, an older, native american woman came into the store. (For some reason, the couple of native americans who shop at my store love to point out their heritage, like, a lot.) She stumbled slowly in on her stocky little legs, made it past the icecream cooler and leaned a little on the corner of the counter that houses newspapers and a little lotto checker.

She asked me a few questions to the tune of "What time is it?" and "What day is it?" which I happily answered before she continued her shamble down the front aisle of the store. She smelled of cheap liquor, likely whiskey, and was positively obliterated. I smiled.

Stopping at a corner display(1) housing several 2'x3' horrible valentines day cards, she picked one up and inspected it. It is worth noting that these were the only seasonal or holiday related items we had whatsoever.

"Valentines day stuff? What the hell?" she asked. "The hell is this doing here?"

"Well, Valentines day is next friday, so there they are," I said, "Don't ask, I have no idea."

"OH GOD!! Valentines Day!" she yelped, scurrying into the chips aisle. "I... I forgot about valentines day! I wanted to get my son something!"

"Oh! Good thing you remembered then!" I put on the 'I'm respecting my elders!' hat.

"Do you have vienna sausages? He loves those! He absolutely loves those!" she called. Gross.

"Er, yeah. They're just down the aisle."

"Oh! I see them!" I could hear her fumbling through the shelf picking up a bunch of cans. She came back around the corner and to the counter with four cans of vienna sausages.

Vienna sausages, if you're not already familiar with them, are little pressed-particle-meat-product extruded into nasty little cut up hot dog shaped things and stewed in what I can only imagine is some ungodly combination high gravity lager and purified liquid heartburn. They were my highschool art teachers favorite thing to get as a present from students, because he delighted in seeing people squirm as he ate the foul things during class. I have never been brave enough to try them, much as I've never had the balls to try SPAM outside of some sort of Hawaiian sushi like deal.

"What is this?" she asked as she continued stumbling about the store, more hurriedly now than before. "Is that the only valentines day stuff you have?"


"None of those little heart candies?"


"No boxes of chocolate?"



"Not a very festive one?"

"I should complain to the owner!"

"You could do that."

"No chocolate?"

"Well we have chocolate, just not any holiday chocolate."

"Oh! Chocolate!" she blurted and made a bee-line to the candy aisle. I held back a bemused snort.

She proceded to wander the store talking to herself for about five minutes before returning to my counter.

"You're such an excellent clerk. You're so nice. Thank you honey, you're wonderful. Oh! A bag! Thank you so much oh you're just so nice! They should give you a raise." She said these things and more as I rang up her purchase. She appologized for being upset about the lack of valentines goodies, too.

"Oh shucks, and yes they should!" I happily chimed back, and she stumbled drunkenly out the door.

When she had finally made it outside and on her way, I noticed on the corner, out of my sight she had also brought four cans of vienna sausage, no doubt for her (apparently disgusting) son, and forgotten to buy them. I half grimaced and half smiled as I put them away and returned to boredom.

Those little cardboard stands that are always in the way and blocking the aisles? I call them corner displays because no one I work with has a fucking clue what their official name is. Not even my area manager. This bothers me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bigotry: Too fascinatingly ignorant to kick out

Graveyard, like I work anything else these days.

One of those nights when very nearly every single customer isn't just drunk, they're likely already blacked out. Fortunately, at the time the store had cleared out momentarily.

An elderly man walked up to the counter with a coffee and almost immediately started laying into me with the story of his oh-so-interesting evening. I wish it wasn't actually an interesting story, though. I honestly should have kicked him out after about three sentences.

"Do you know what I am, boy? I'm DRUNK! But do you know what else I am?" he slurred.

"You're wearing an awesome hat?" in my defense his hat was pretty badass. It had a skull on it and said "Death Eater." I'm just hoping that's not some "yay racism" thing.

"I'm MILITIA, BOY!" Shit. Suddenly it occurs to me that this man is likely three things, other than drunk and militia: Stupid, Violent, and Armed. "There was this... are we being recorded?"

"Well, there's cameras but no audio recording as far as I know."

"OH WE'RE BEING RECORDED! Anyway, there was this NIGGER!" my smile disappeared. "This nigger government snitch! He was just sitting at the other end of the bar, and I kept shouting 'HEY! SNITCH!' and telling everyone 'Hey you know that nigger's an FBI snitch?' and you KNOW he's a snitch because if he wasn't he would have just gotten up and walked out! But he just stayed there and pretended to ignore me and got all red in the face! That's how you know the nigger's a snitch!"

My jaw hung loose at this point.

"We're working on getting this country back into a real REPUBLIC like it ought'a be! Only problem is I got a little HEEB in me. I got a little screwed by the- UNF UNF UNF," he said as he pelvic thrusted several times, "Hell, You've got a little Heeb in ya too, don'tcha?"

"Uh... actually I'm Irish." Should have kicked him out right then. Shoulda shoulda shoulda.

"HEY! HEY BOY! Never talk to a cop! never talk to the pigs! They'll throw you behind bars for even talking to them!"

"uh-" I started to say something, thought better of it and just stared on in horror. He started raising his voice at this point. At this point I started blocking what he was saying, and trying to ignore him, hoping he would just go away. He didn't strike me as the kind of person who would take kindly to being asked to leave the store.

A young lady came into the store, one of the few sober customers I had all night. The bigot was still shouting hate speech. She gave me a look as if to say "Are you with him?" All I could do was whisper "I'm so sorry about that."

Eventually he left... sorry the story is a little broken up. I'm not writing from my usual location, and screaming children fill the air with a cocophony the likes of which god has never heard. Not used to such writing conditions!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cocaine - It's one hell of a drug.


Eventually, all human beings reach the point where they must empty their bladder. Fortunately, I'm equipped with a sign, (which I had to make myself), which reads "Back in 5 minutes - sorry for the wait!".

Unfortunately, not everyone reads this sign.

A fine gentleman had offered to buy me some food from a fantastic little restaurant just down the way and wouldn't let me refuse, and had just returned while I was in the restroom which is actually exactly what I was afraid of when I locked the door. However, the real problem was that a man had just gotten out of a cab and tried to open the door as I was walking up to it. When he found it locked, he threw his arms up in frustration.

It turns out he was giving the gentleman who brought me food a little bit of a hard time, and was yelling excitedly. As I unlocked the door and let him in, immediately apologizing for the wait I was greeted with "what the FUCK am I lucky for?" as he apparently verbally assaulted my new friend. The fine gentleman just let it roll off his back and mostly ignored it, though he took care to stay several feet away from the man at all times.

Once I had made it behind the counter, the coked up bastard stood at the counter and yelled "Who the FUCK is this guy!?" motioning towards the other man.

"That's another customer." I replied, eyebrow raised. I wasn't about to let him badmouth someone nice enough to buy me such fine food.


I laughed a little and asked "What kind do you want, man?"


"Yeah man, of what variety?" I figured I could have a little fun with wordplay with this guy. Why not, right?

"Camel menthol lights! OH. OH SHIT. HOLD ON. God FUCKING damnit just a minute I'll be right back!" he blurted, running back to the cab and leaving two dollars on the counter. You would be amazed how many people leave money on the counter unattended. I wonder if people do this everywhere?

I leaned across the counter as my new friend approached with a coke, (of the beverage variety), and mentioned that if the coke-head gives him any shit, I'm kicking the fucker out. He told me it's alright as he was about to head out anyway. Unfortunately I'm afraid that guy ran him out of the shop. The fine gentleman is still working on his English, and it appears he learned most of it from surfers by his dialect, so it's great fun teaching him more words that we use in today's vernacular... like "rack" to refer to breasts. Aw yeah.

As he headed out, the coke-head returned with his debit card and headed to the ATM. I warned him that it only worked about half the time, which apparently surprised him. At this point I started to wonder if he was drunk as well, because he started to swat at the machine and shout excitedly as though it were a slot machine.


I assure you, it was extremely difficult to keep my laughter down to a chuckle at this point.

"YEAH ALRIGHT! SMOKES! GIMMIE SMOKES! MARLBORO LIGHT MENTHOLS!" he belted! I guess he changed his mind on what brand he wanted. "MARLBORO-O-O-OS!!!"

As I sold him his cigarettes, he whooped and hollered, then requested matches.

"Aw I'm sorry man, here's where I let you down. I'm all out of matches!"

"Aw. Aw you're lettin' me down? Aw man. OH WELL! YEAH!" and with that he left.

A cab driver came in as the coke-head left and got into his respective cab. I was laughing like a jackel at this point.

"I saw the look on his cab driver's face. He knows he's got one hell of a ride ahead of him, poor guy." he said.

I laughed harder.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Violence in his eyes and anger in his heart

Dang, sorry it's late. My internet was out. Not on any other computers in the house, just this one, and I'll be damned if I'm going to write in the living room with a bunch of people distracting me and a cat thinking that on the keyboard in my lap is where she is meant to be.


I raised my voice in anger for the first time in my life yesterday, and now I'm glad I did because it prepared me for that night's work. I'm going to give my room mate, (the person I yelled at), a big hug and thank her when she gets home, 'coz if I hadn't discovered I could make that noise then I, one of my friends, or perhaps more than one of us could have been hurt.

Some (3) friends swung by to keep my company, and thank god for it. About an hour after their arrival, a man burst into the store, violently swinging both doors open as hard as he could. He had violence in his eyes and anger in his heart, but it is the general opinion of all witnesses that if there had not been four grown men standing in the store at the time, he may have gotten violent or broken stuff.

But I digress.

Appearing furious, he stormed across the store to the wine section, looped around it and returned to the coffee area on the exact opposite side. Spinning quickly, his arms lose and flailing, he smiled at me and said "I hear there's a huge skating event today!"

"Oh yeah? Is that at the [name omitted] skate park or just all over?" I asked.

"It's EVERYWHERE. Daddy- My daddy died on my birthdaaaaayyyyyy--" he began to 'cry' loudly into a trash can. At this point another customer entered the store looking to buy a cigarillo, mostly ignoring the madman in the corner. He made his purchase and very nearly made it out of the building before the crazy got in his way, sobbing incoherently.

"Whadayou need man?" he asked the madman. He didn't appear to really care, in fact it sounded more like a question I might ask a customer.

"I need my H-J!" followed by more incoherent sobbing. The customer quickly turned and walked out the door without another word, as though that was his cue to GTFO this situation.

Soon enough, the crazy stood up with fury in his eyes again. He glared at me, then at my friends, and finally got himself a cup of coffee, (which he never paid for by the way). Carrying it over to the Red Bull cooler, he started sobbing again, opened the case, grabbed a single can and opened it. He may have taken a single sip, but then he placed it back in the cooler.

His next stop as I looked on in amazement, was the soda fountain where he just leaned on the Ice button for about a full minute. Now he had made a mess, and I had something to kick him out for.

"Alright, I'm sorry man but you have to leave."

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I r-really am. I'm sorry." he stammered.

"I know you are man, but you made a huge mess and you have to go." He milled around for a few seconds and I jotted down the number for the non-emergency police line and handed it to one of my friends. He stepped outside and made the call.

"DON'T YOU INSULT MY FAMILY." He took a few steps toward me.

"I didn't."

"You are right NOW." he growled, walking slowly closer to me. "Are you gonna call the cops? Go ahead! CALL THE COPS! My father will come down on you SO HARD YOU'LL WISH YOU WERE DEAD!" Most of us at this point had noticed inconsistancies in his story so far, but all decided it was a good idea not to point it out to a potentially violent man.

Snap! I was done with his bullshit.

"GET OUT. NOW!" I roared at the top of my lungs. I swear to god, the windows shook. I thrust a pointed finger towards the outdoors, and repeated my command. In my other hand was a crowbar, but I don't think he saw it. His eyes widened and he was immediately silence. "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY STORE OR I WILL CALL THE COPS! NOW! GET THE FUCK OUT!" He staggered backward a few steps, and silently, eyes locked on mine, walked backwards out the door... and remained on the sidewalk for about five minutes making faces at me.

Eventually, he left.

About five minutes after he left, the police arrived and asked for a description of what happened and what he looked like, and quickly recognized him as one of the people he drove past.

Turns out, he just got out of jail about three hours prior to the incident, and there was nothing the police could do about it, or so they said.

I suppose in this town, petty theft, vandalism, disruption of the peace and threatening peoples lives? All legal, as long as you're doing it to a clerk.

I think I'll start job hunting.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Just wanted to let you know, I'm going to be trying to update this twice a week. I'm thinking Sunday and Wednesday. I'll start a little late this week with a post on Thursday, then on Sunday.

January was weird. I have a lot to write about, so even if I somehow wind up canned I'll have a lot of material for a while.

For now, though, I'm off to work.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Plaid-Lad's First Screamer


This night had already gotten off to a bad start. The guy I took over for reeked like he hadn't showered in a week, and you could easily smell him ten feet away. I make no exaggeration here - that was one fragrant fucker.

I came to work in a bad mood. A deep hatrid of all that draws breath lingered and loomed over my night. I had no explanation for it. Just woke up pissed off with life.

The Cap'n was hanging around tonight. He had a pretty decent plan and bought $20 worth of $1 scratch-it tickets. He kept anything he won over $10 and any winnings smaller than that went towards new tickets. He came out ahead by about $15 if I remember right.

Recently a law was passed that makes it illegal to smoke within 10 feet of the front doors of any public establishment. You can imagine my surprise as a woman somewhere in her mid 40s, (who I soon discovered was well beyond drunk), walked INTO the store still smoking her cigarette.

I stormed around the counter yelling "Are you smoking in my store? YOU ARE! OUT! OUT OUT OUT! NOW! GET OUT!"

She indignantly made some half hearted apologies and started heading towards the door with a 4-pack of red bull in her hands, which I grabbed from her before she could reach the door, still taking drags off her damn coffin nail as I glared.

Then she came back in.

"You are being SO RUDE to me right now. I can't believe this. Do you even WORK here!?" she seethed.

"Actually yes, I do."

"GOOD. Then SERVE ME." she slurred, throwing her arms out almost as if she had just been martyred on a cross by my awful behavior. "I can't believe what an ASS HOLE you are. You need to be NICE to me."

"Nice ain't my thing, lady." a blatant lie, but fuck you.

I... I hate to admit it, but I can't really remember much more of the conversation. All I remember is that what followed was a five minute screaming match as we exchanged money and goods.

THEN she tried to short me on pay. THREE TIMES.

"WHOA WHOA WHOA hold on there, sparky, come back here. You gave me $12.12. Your total is $12.87." I said.

"WHAT. BULL SHIT! LOOK HERE ASS HOLE." she slurred further, returning to the counter as I counted out the dollars, pointing out there were only 12 dollars and 12 cents. "Oh fuck you, I over paid you. Learn to count you retard."

"No. I'm sorry. You're wrong. Look, this is your total. $12.87. This is what you gave me. $12.12. You owe me 60 cents."

"What is wrong with you? How fucking stupid are you? I'm leaving. I've already over paid. I'm sick of this shit."

"CONGRATULATIONS YOU OVER PAID ME BY NEGATIVE SIXTY CENTS. Pay up or hand over the stuff you're trying to buy!" I yelled. She threw, (literally threw), two quarters and a dime at the counter, and stormed back out the front door.

But before she exited, she stopped, swivvled drunkenly, (almost falling over), pointed at me and shouted "YOU KNOW WHAT!? YOU'RE... FffFFffffFFFfffFFIRED!!"

I couldn't help it. I yelled back.

"I'm so glad you have the authority to fire me, YOU DUMB CUNT!"

I turned around and a customer was right there.

I stared at him in shock - I thought other than the Cap'n there wasn't anyone there. I opened my mouth to appologize to him but before I could he started laughing and gave me a thumbs up.

Then I got lectured by the Cap'n. :(