Life- One Drama Filled Plastic Bag at a Time...

"This job you have is so... beneath you..." I was told yesterday. Was he right? Probably. Did it get me thinking? Most definitely.

A job in retail, is just that. A job. It's not what I dreamed about, not even what I really want. What I really want is to be focused on my photography and making bank doing it. Until that happens- I am stuck in retail hell. In a store that has more ups and down personnel wise that most roller coasters, with not the best (or cleanest) clientele. Nor are they friendly. Well- okay, I'd guess that the better part, 55% are nice, polite and I can bring a smile to their faces with my off the cuff funnies. Like the guy that bought duct tape, ice cream, and Benadryl. Me- "So, somewhere there is a misbehaving five year old that you're going to feed ice cream too with crushed Benadryl in it. Once said child falls into peaceful slumber, you'll be duct taping his misbehaving behind to the nearest sturdy object, yes?" He laughed. He laughed all the way out the door.

I was told yesterday by one of my managers, that customers have told her that I am rude and very short with them. Telling them where things are in clipped directions rather then showing them. They are right. When I have a line six frustrated, want to get on with their lives people deep, I am not going to take someone by the hand and show them that the vitamins are down at the other end of the store by the tampons. I am also incapable of bullshit. When you are rude, or snotty, or throw a fit over how I just asked for your ID for your pack of teeny-wheensy ultra girly girl $9 cigarettes- I am not going to smile and sugar coat the fact you just pissed in my Wheaties for no reason.

Along the lines of rude peoples- here's a humdinger for you all to chew on. What would have done in my shoes?? Last week Friday- it seemed every customer was in a foul mood no matter the lame ass joke or happy fake smile I put out there for them. Oh well, whatever. I was on the tail end of a very long week of working and to say I was seething under my polyester polo would be an understatement. I had (I am not prejudice) Arab gentleman and his two sons come down my line. The boys picked out a couple candies that had a "Buy one, get two free" MAIL-IN coupon with them. Once I explained the mail in portion (because he couldn't read, I guess) he asked me to remove them from his order. Okay. I had to get a manager as I cannot do this action myself. This pissed him off. She came up, and voided two of the three, missing one. Simple mistake as there was a bit of a commotion when gramma decided to try to take out the rack of wind chimes with her cart. He paid, stated that I, a woman, was to hand him his bag as women serve men. I groaned, cleared my throat, gave him his bag but he didn't leave. Instead he backed away from the line and waited, reading his receipt line by line while I rang up six other guests. They left. He stomped up to the counter and started yelling, in a very thick accent, "You are an incompentant woman! You are stupid! Why you over charge me? Eh? Why? I demand a reason why you over charge me!"

My manager, still at the register knowing something was about to go askew, listened to me quietly explain to him, twice, what had happened and how we would gladly refund him the simple one dollar overcharge. Or that he could take the candy, since he paid for it. He continued to call me stupid, he shouldn't pay for something I removed from his bag! He was right, we told him that as calmly as we could. She tried explaining it to him that same things same way I did. No dice. Now he's finger waving and screaming how I, "the blonde stupid one" over charged him, how that was unacceptable! He's shopped here 15 years and never dealt with someone as stupid as her! (pointing at me repeatedly). I walked away, putting away a couple of returns. "Oh, now you are not decent enough to stand here and listen, stupid girl!" She again offered him a refund, he took the candy threw it in his bag, threw down a dollar bill on the counter and started walking out. I cleared my throat and simply said- "Please have a better rest of your night sir." Leave, just leave, I am saying in my head. "Well I hope you have a fucking horrible evening you incompetent bitch!" he shouts back. My manager, now pissed, goes out the door after him, screaming at him how rude he was being, how he needed to leave the store and not return, ever, if that's how he treats her employees. I am almost in tears and embarrassed but still I go on starting to ring people up in the line that had formed. All of them reassuring me that they understood the situation and that he was being as one young guy said "A royal douche".

Just because he is Arab and in their country women serve men, that shit don't fucking fly here. I'm sorry. He don't like it, he can fucking leave MY country- thousands of flights leave daily!! Things all settled, my manager and I- while pissed off to no end- went back to what we were doing thinking it was done. Just one huge pothole in the freeway known as a Friday night closing shift. He came back twenty minutes later. "I want to speak to someone with authority- and not the other stupid little girl- the short one that screamed at me in front of my kids." Now not only is he speaking to me rudely, and to her, but now also to the other manager, an man, that was there. She isn't backing down, telling him how rude he was to me, and her, and to our customers that want nothing to do with any of this. Our male manager that was there, while not the head of the store, took him towards the back of the store to stop creating a scene. I was shaking at this point. I told him to leave and that I would call the cops and still he ignored me because I am a woman. FUCK YOU DUDE!! Seriously! After twenty minutes, he comes back to the front of the store, gloating to himself with a smile, making a point to catch my attention from a safe ten feet away, "I have you're bosses phone number, and I am going to call it, and I am going to make you be fired." I smirk, and giggle- what the hell. "Go for it, if it means I won't have to deal with you again. Have a great night- there's the door." Him- "Do you have husband. Are you married?" Me- "That, sir, is none of your fucking business. But yes, I do." Him- "In my country, we can stone women for having a mouth like yours. You're husband needs to teach you some manners." Me- "Well, he won't because this isn't YOUR country, sir. But please, feel the fuck free to go back, I'm sure you could catch a flight in less then an hour." Then I proceeded to go back to repairing a package of ripped open underwear (who does that?) ignoring the fuming asshole as he left the store, almost causing an accident in the parking lot. He hasn't called. He hasn't gotten me fired. In fact , my store manager couldn't believe the guy was able to leave under his own power after treating me like that.

It's things like this- these situations, that tear me up inside. Was it my fault? No! Was he a King Kong sized asshole? Hells yes! Is it any wonder, with jerks like these (he isn't the first Arab to treat me like shit because I have a biscuit, not a hot dog) are constantly profiled against? Is it any wonder why almost everyone thinks that they are entitled assholes when they treat the cashier girl at the dollar store like poop?? Same goes for senior citizens. Ma'am, I understand that you NEED peanut brittle and I am sorry we are out, the truck doesn't come until Friday- really? Was that necessary? For you to shit your diaper right there at my counter, leave a cloud, and walk out? I think not. Hubby called me toxic after one bad night at work, and he's right. The quality of humanity that I have to deal with on a daily basis is kinda turning me toxic.

And much to the chagrin of my store manager, who would love nothing more then to see my photography fall by the way side to make room for me to be management... Daily reminders, daily comments of "Well, when your photography fails, don't you want a career here to fall back on?" No, no, no, NO! What I want is for my career at big name chain dollar store to fail right around the time my photography takes off, or my first novel gets published big time- what I do not want is to be a manager here. It is an honor to have my 25 year old manager think I am management material (because I kinda was already at my old job, the one that shut down after 30 in business) but no, I don't want it. My retail slave-ship is only to squeak money into the bank account each week, nothing long term. Not at all. I would hate to see what I would become if this was a lifer thing... This is a stepping stone to better things, I just need to remind myself of that each time Mr. or Mrs. Asshole walks through the door...

Life- One drama filled plastic bag at a time...


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