If you’ve been following my blog or even just checking in occasionally you know I work a shitty retail job to keep myself off the streets. Now, because my job is at one location in a corporate chain of misery and cheap labour we have ridiculously inconvenient and inhuman sales and promotions. One of these promotions is Seniors Day. Unlike some events this promotion happens every Thursday of my life.
You already know how I feel about old people. I do have to deal with them on any given shift but Senior’s Day gives them a 20% off incentive to ruin my day. A 20% off incentive that I have to explain to half the senior’s who come in the store.
Apparently for some it’s not good enough that they get a discount on regular priced items but they want even more money off already marked down merchandise. Old people are cheap. An elderly man who’s english was questionable came in to buy paper towels and only paper towels. He asked “Senior Day?” and inquired through a sequence of gestures how much the 6 roll pack was after the discount which was $1.99. He then produces a dollar off coupon and I explain that the discount is only applicable to regular priced items and entering the coupon will cancel out his 20% off. Of course he either doesn’t understand or doesn’t believe me so I have to show. After 5 more minutes of explaining why he can’t have both he tells me he doesn’t want them if it’s for anymore than $0.99.
I’ll repeat similar scenarios 4 more times before closing including one old couple who comes in every week to buy milk which is always on sale and always complains in a less than polite manner about not getting a discount like they did on their other items.
No matter what day it is I have at least a dozen people of all ages who need to be talked through their debit and or credit card transactions because 30 year old technology is hard but that number goes up considerably on Senior’s day. As does the number of people who get their granny panties in a twist over a 5cent charge for a plastic bag. They don’t care if it’s meant as a deterrent to help the environment or that all the proceeds go to charity. The way they see it, “it’s not your place to push our political and moral positions on the public”. I’ve actually had an old guy say that to me. I can see why he doesn’t care about the environment and all the plastic bags overpopulating landfills. He’s gonna die soon. It’s not like he has to deal with the climate change, cluster fuck he’s leaving behind. An old lady once had the audacity to call in to my manager to complain about me for charging her for a plastic bag. She spent 10 minutes yelling at a stranger over the phone all over a nickel. If you don’t want to buy a bag re-use one of the hundreds of bags that are stuffed in your closet at home for fuck’s sake.
That’s all pretty typical stuff for any Senior’s Day but yesterday was something special. At my store every Thursday also happens to be an order day so there’s usually extra staff on to help unload the 8 carts of crap that have to go out. This week however one of our manager’s was on vacation so we were already gonna be down one extra person but then someone called in sick and we were terribly understaffed. On a good week as a supervisor I don’t have time to take half my breaks if I want to get anything done but this week I still didn’t manage to get anything done, do to my closing cashier calling me every 5-10 minutes for some reason or another. I get that he’s still fairly new but it has been 2 months and he should be fully capable of replacing receipt paper by now.
So since we’re busy as balls and my cashier has no clue how to ring someone through in a timely fashion due to an apparent desire to befriend anyone who approaches his counter I spent most of my shift defusing his line of overheated and therefore cranky customers. He also has a very shallow well of working knowledge about our policies and procedures so if someone had a return, or gift card to top up, or even a question, I had to boomerang my ass back to the registers. Even the simple act of getting change is an ordeal. Before getting change for my own till (which rarely happens when you’re the back up) I explicitly asked if he needed anything to which he said “no”. Of course as soon as I get back he tells me he needs dimes. Once I get him his dimes and find my way back to my cart of vitamins he pages me to tell me he needs fives. Buddy can’t even ask for change right and I had to go back and forth 3 times in 6 minutes.
I’m so lucky my other co-workers are super studs and completely self reliant or I would have had a shit fit. Not that I didn’t audibly groan out disdainful ‘no’s and obscenities every time my name sounded over the P.A. because I did much to the amusement of my other wonderful and slightly sadistic co-workers. A girl can’t help it if her automatic response to conflict is tell people to “suck a dick”. I am what I am.
Back to the ancient folks. At the end of the night I haphazardly managed to finish all of my duties leading up to closing with minutes to spare before I got to close those doors and refuse people service. I thought I finally had a chance to catch my breath but I was wrong.
While passing on my way to the back a little while prior I had taken notice of the little old asian woman trying to get my cashier to help her decipher if the battery in her hand matched whatever clock thing was in her other hand. I had taken notice because he’s taken out the battery from the packaging which policy says is a no-no and I told him she was supposed to purchase before he could open it.
When I emerged 10 min later to close the back entrance I noticed she was still there this time with a guy in line behind her. When I came back there was a full blown line and this lady was still going I don’t know what the fuck with that battery. We’ve 8 minutes before closing and I have a line of 5 people all behind this old lady who was making a fuss about this battery not working and wanting him to get her a different one. I don’t know why this thing took so long to sort out but I have a hunch it was her complete lack of understanding of how batteries work. I jumped in to get shit moving and she didn’t seem to comprehend anything I told her. I’m still not sure if it was a language barrier or a senile barrier but I’m leaning more towards the later.
Even after refunding her she still didn’t want to leave. With minutes before midnight I had to open another till to get people the fuck out and when everything was said and done she was still loitering around the exit but still very much in the store. It took two announcements that we were closed and another customer who took pity on my telling her to get out to finally get her to leave.