Death by Retail

Have you ever been so angry you felt like you were going to explode?  Not metaphorically, I mean literally...  like a damn dirty bomb planted in a Baghdad market, ripping through crowds of people, tearing everything in it's wake to shreds and causing a giant mess that only God could imagine?

Yeah, I was that angry tonight.

The source of my rage?  Two dipshits who I've never met in my life, with only a couple feet of space and a checklane counter separating us.  I was so God damn furious I actually became scared.  Scared of what I might do if and when I completely lost my shit, which almost happened... but some how it didn't.

I work in retail.  A glorious profession. 

A couple of months ago I took a job as a manager of a small retail store.  I'm not really proud of it.  I wonder how I ended up here.  I've done better things in the past, and maybe poor life decisions have led me to this point.  I don't know.  But I do know I still have the fucking decency to go to work everyday and earn my paycheck unlike some others.

The store I manage closes at 9pm sharp.  It's 8:55 and I'm standing on the side walk smoking a cigarette with the only other employee while the last two customers inside continue to perambulate the aisles making their final choices.  The two men are together with one shopping cart and obviously paid no attention to the giant sign on the front of the entrance that states the store's hours.

The cashier and I make small talk as we puff away.  We talk about the some of the cars in the shopping center's lot, one a shiny new Dodge Charger, the other a rusted Chevy Celebrity made some time during the Clinton era.  We notice the two customers with the cart coming up to the check lane at 9:01, it's time to check them out.  Once they're out of the store I can finally count the money, make the deposit and get the hell out.

Did I mention that I had worked 22 out of the past 28 hours at this point?

I tell the cashier to go get a broom so she can sweep while I count the money after closing, and that I would check out the two guys.  The first guy looks at me and says, "I got one of them EBT cards is that okay?" 

For those of you who do not know this (consider yourself lucky if you don't) EBT is code for food stamps.  You get a government issued card, that's just like a debit card, that has a balance uploaded to it every month from Uncle Sam.  That way people can buy "food."  You know, so that people who are too lazy... ahem... I mean too poor don't starve or anything like that.  Of course people never abuse this system.  Ever.

I start scanning the groceries.  After 3 boxes of Pop tarts, some candy bars, Oreo Cakesters, ice cream, a box of Milk Duds, Fudge cycles, several 20oz. Cokes (2-liters have 3 times as much liquid and are cheaper), beef jerky, and a bag of ice I inform Joe Dirt and Kid Rock that their total is 36 bucks.  After a grueling couple of minutes teaching this derelict how to operate a credit card pin pad his transaction is denied.  Turns out he only has 25 dollars left in his EBT account.  I guess he's just going to have to pony up the extra cash for those Oreos.  Damn.

I look the man dead in the eye and tell him, "You only have 25 bucks left in your account, do you want to use it and pay the difference or would you like to put some product back?"  His response:  "Naw, I'll git it, don't wanna put nuthin back."

Okay then.

Dip shit slides his card again, obviously retaining absolutely nothing from my brief tutorial only moments earlier on how to enter a God damn pin number and hit "OK" on a touch screen pin pad.  His card is then processed, and now he owes me 11 dollars.  I tell him his remaining balance.  After he and his buddy dig through their pockets for a few minutes, he mumbles...

"Ah... Ah only got about five bucks, man..."

Words can not explain what was happening in my head at that moment after he uttered those words.  Copy and paste this link, and you can get at least a taste of what it was like:

So, I take a deep breath.  I can't void any of the items because partial payment has already been tendered.  I can't abort the transaction because of the same reason... the funds have already been removed from his government issued fucking "free junk food and snacks" card.  By now the fucking IBM register won't allow me to make this cat walk backwards, so I have no option but to do the following

1.  Tender out the transaction, making my drawer eleven bucks short.

2.  Refund the asshole $25 to his "I wish I could buy beer and cigarettes with this" card.

3.  Rescan all the items (with out going over $25, like a ghetto version of black jack).

4.  Charge this assholes card again.

5.  Send his ass packin.

While I'm doing all the above he says, "Cain't you just take off some of um?"  Seeing as he was unable to master the concept of a payment device after multiple attempts of clear and articulate explanation, I doubt he would be able to grasp the interworkings of computers and payment devices being operated in concert, all the sole purpose of allowing this fucktard to go home, sit on his ass and eat government issued Whoppers and Slim Jims while I continue to work into the night doing accounting because this dipshit can't figure out that THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 25 and 36 IS GREATER THAN 5!!!

So, I reach across the counter with one hand and grab this man's flowing mullet with my fist, and with the other hand I grab my box cutter and give this man a special gift for being my last customer of the day.  A free tracheotomy!

I wish...

Instead, I tell them to "have a nice day," which in retail secretly means "fuck you," and watch them mosey out the door.

Holy shit.  I need to smoke.

Wrappin' it up....

On his way out the door (9:30 now, normally I would be locking the door and going home by this time) he says to his buddy, "she told me there was 200 bucks still on it."  My mind explodes... he was using someone else's card the whole time.  I walk out behind them and lock the door, and light up a smoke.  They climbed into their new Dodge Charger and drove away. 

Fuck my life.



As an after thought, I know this reads like a Republican talking point that you would routinely find being shat about by the likes of Faux News and Rush Limpdick, but dammit this shit goes on everyday and I see it.  I'm not one of those right leaning asswipes by any stretch of the imagination but this one issue they got right.



Uploaded 08/22/2010
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