We all know and despise those retail salespeople who seem to think that customers are only present as an inconvenience to whatever they happen to be doing at the time. We think, and sometimes even say, “What the hell is your problem?” Well, maybe that polo shirt clad monument to attitude has reason to be the way he is. Maybe, just maybe the problem is YOU. Be brave, be honest and check out the list below. It’s a lead pipe cinch that you or someone you know is on it.
1. “Why is the gas so high?!”
Chances are good that neither you nor our clerk Joe is a professor of economics, so when you bark at him that the gas is cheaper by a nickel down the road, watch him reach in his pocket. He is getting out the quarter that you are arguing about and preparing to throw it at you. Nah, he can’t do that, can he?
2. “Your pump is broken-it won’t read my card!”
OK, we have all had to work gas pumps since the late seventies, which means that you should be able to figure it out. And Joe has been cashing out that pump all night, so maybe you put your card in backwards or upside down, or maybe it’s declined. Either way, Joe has to deal with it in such a way as not to offend you. And maybe the pump really IS broken. Then what? If Joe knew how to fix it he probably wouldn’t be standing behind that counter.
3. You just wake up and need some cigarettes
Did you just wake up and need some cigarettes? Surely it’s ok to just run out in your pajama pants and the wife-beater that you slept in, isn’t it? Shit, you forgot your shoes, but nobody will care, right? Wrong-you see that woman in the business suit? She is teeing off on Joe right now because he let you slide on the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” thing. She’s gonna call the health department because this store is dirty anyway and poor hygiene can make EVERYBODY sick, blah blah blah. But you got your smokes so it’s all good.
4. Watch your aim
And speaking of hygiene, when you last went in the store to take a leak, did you watch your aim? How about that night you had to purge yourself of the twelve Jagerbombs that you only drank because your friend Stevie was buying ? Did you make it to the porcelain god? And when you were finished did, you blow your nose in the sink? Who had to clean that shit up? Oh, yeah…
5.Tricky signs in convenience stores
Signs in convenience stores are not at all complex, but your understanding of them is sometimes strangely limited. Are you illiterate or are you trying to get over? Joe knows that the sign DOESN’T say 2 twelve packs for five bucks, it says two SIX packs. Moreover, he knows that you know it too, because you are only the forty-third person today to play this particular card. Plus, no matter how much you want to get Marlboros with your Camel coupon, Joe can’t risk his job, because that prick boss of his will catch it and bounce his ass.
6. “Man, I don’t know what I want!”
“Man, I don’t know what I want!!! Are those hot dogs fresh? What about the nachos? Hey, you’re out of cheese-ya got any more?” Joe can’t get back to screwing around on his cell phone until you make up your mind, get it, pay for it and get the hell out. But no, you have to take fifteen minutes to decide between Doritos and Fritos, sucking up the break Joe would normally get until the next rush. Yes, goddamn it, that’s all the chips we have!!
7. I’m broke!
Joe knows a thing or two about being broke. Look at where he works for God’s sake! So it’s likely that he doesn’t want to know about your own dire straits. He may even be an authority on how you got that way. Wasn’t it payday just yesterday. And how many scratchoffs did you stand in front of him and buy because you knew that the winners are always the ones in the forties? Do you remember bitching about the three dollars you spent on a pack of ZigZags? Joe might have been thinking that if you can’t afford the papers, maybe you need to see your weed dealer for a discount. Good luck with that. In any case, Joe couldn’t care less about your fiscal woes.
8. I hope you don’t mind some change
When you are short on cash, you aren’t too particular about how you come up with what you need. Joe knows how unparticular you are too. When you are a few coins short of the price of your forty of choice, Joe knows he’s gonna have to handle the pennies from your ash-filled ashtray, the wet dimes you found at the bottom of that lame chianti bottle you kept for five years but never filled more than an inch high, or the two quarters you picked up off the floor of the bus. Imagine his joy. Maybe you found a couple dollar bills in that wadded up pair of jeans you still haven’t washed since the Jagerbomb incident. Good for you buddy! Now you can get those chips along with your Bud. Hey, wait! I got the change for ya. Will this appease our clerk? Hardly. He has a fucking machine to count the change and he really doesn’t want to handle those last two greasy coins you’re trying to stick him with.
Maybe now you’re starting to feel sorry for Joe? Maybe you would like to keep him company for a little while. After all, you have some time on your hands, right? You would only be at home watching your Star Trek videos or listening to Taylor Hicks. Thanks buddy, but Joe doesn’t need your help.
Instead of coping with your attempts to stir up a bromance, Joe just wants to get this shithole closed up so he can get on with his own sorry life, unless his girlfriend dumped him because he didn’t call in sick to go see Avatar with her for the fourth time!
So, now you know. The next time you’re in line waiting for your face time with Joe, remember what you learned here and just be glad he doesn’t work at the post office.
Author: Nick the Knife — Copyrighted © roadtickle.com