Posted by: tlnemethy | January 16, 2013

For The Unsatisfied Customer

So, you already know that I get a lot of strange customers and work with both interesting and sketchy people. But, I haven’t really gone into too much depth about my experiences as a minimum wage slave. Now, I reference that fondly, I do enjoy work no matter the wage. Anything to keep me busy enough to avoid eating my feelings is a great thing.

Today, I spent a vast majority of the first snowy day of the winter rearranging shelves in the medicine aisle. I literally only had six customers go through my register in my entire shift, so my skills were required elsewhere. Because of the flu epidemic and people just freaking out about whether or not they have the flu shot the entire personal care/hygiene section was pretty much destroyed.  I cannot tell you what CoQ10 is, but rearranging the vitamins took so long that I can tell you exactly how many bottles of 150mg Calcium supplements it takes to create a train of bottles across the metal shelving units, or that there is actually a “teen” version of Midol. Seriously? Why would a teen need a different version of Midol than anyone else? Marketing strategy: put it in a colorful green floral box and it’ll sell.  I just Googled it and apparently the teen version does not contain caffeine. Not gonna lie, when a teen is PMSing you don’t want to get it all roided up. Good choice Midol people. Good choice.

Spending so much time in the hygiene aisle was a welcome relief. At least I can find some enjoyment in having a reason to lurk conspicuously in front of the condoms instead of averting my eyes as I snatch a box of tampons off the shelf. *Insert devilish look and maybe some evil rubbing of the hands and you’ll be picturing me in my uniform as I rearrange everything. If I’d gotten stuck arranging the toddler gear it would’ve been a miserable two hours. There’s only so many tiny spoons or potty training seats a girl can look at before she decides to never procreate.  The little booties are adorable though.

Stocking is more boring that cashiering, but at least you can have a spontaneous and unscripted conversation with a customer that doesn’t include, “Did you find everything alright? Well thank you for shopping and please come again soon.” My life is supposed to be unscripted.

Things I love about my little part-time gig:

  1. My fellow employees are snarky and don’t hesitate to yell to each other across the store. And they don’t yell about work-related things.
  2. I have seen my manager play the crane game successfully four out of four times. She is gifted. I just wonder where all the stuffed animals and Spongebobs go.
  3. The cashier I usually work with is so elderly it looks like she is disintegrating. We get along fantastically as she possesses the same twisted sense of humor I do.
  4. It’s not embarrassing to hear your name paged over the intercom if it happens multiple times a day. It really just makes you feel important and I always strut my stuff when I meander back to my register.
  5. The store I work at has such a bad reputation that people are already disenfranchised when they walk in. As long as you’re nice, they are mostly cool with you screwing up every now and again.

Normal interaction is key to my foray into social butterfly status. So whenever a customer says something nice, even if I’m not even close to conversing with them and I just so happened to catch the words, I get this huge smile on my face. It happened my last shift. Some older lady was walking through the register gap behind me. She said, “Thanks for everything.” Now, because I was preoccupied with ringing up a customer of my own, I casually glanced back and smiled at her briefly, “you are welcome.” She then gestured to me with empty hands that she was being ENTIRELY sarcastic as she had not found a single item she wished to purchase and clearly blamed it on me for not stocking whatever it was that she might have desired. My warm, perfectly happy smile was replaced by a mocking smirk as I choked down a laugh and returned to my own customer.

This one’s for you, my unsatisfied customer.


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