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Notes on life in a Convenience Store
Notes on life in a Convenience Store
As some of you know I’ve been working in a Convenience Store since relocating to the foothills of the Sierras. I work the graveyard shift in a very small town through which the highway runs. In addition to the local regulars and the mountain men (either that or ZZ Top is on tour and have given up bathing), we also get the Bay Area/Sacramento to Reno and Lake Tahoe traffic.
I should explain that I walked away from a position as Vice President of a multi-national corporation. It was a multi-national corporation because I made it one. It wasn’t my idea or my plan - I was given the job of taking an idea that everyone in the industry said was impossible and making it work. I did that. For a variety of reasons, both personal and business, I found myself looking in the mirror one morning and realizing I couldn’t go in to work anymore. I resigned via email and have never looked back. I don’t regret that decision - I’d rather suffer some economic hardship than have my soul sucked out of me by degrees and suddenly discover that I’d become exactly what I originally got into business to prove you didn’t have to be.
Or maybe it’s like painting - once someone “got” it I lost interest in painting in spite of numerous awards, etc. (Yes, Random was an award-winning artist and can still sling a mean paintbrush when the spirit moves him.)
My point is that I don’t work in a convenience store because I dropped out of high school in the third grade. I’ve never been in prison or jail and I’m not a recovering drug addict or any of that sort of thing. I’m a bright, personable guy with a couple of degrees. I’m used to dealing with high level, high powered dudes in other multinational corporations. I’ve had the house in the suburbs (next to the golf course - even though my golfing is restricted to the computer game variety) the sports car that cost more per month in insurance than in gas, etc. etc. blah blah blah. I don’t have ANY of that STUFF anymore and that’s fine with me.
I have another job (Hi, Jazz - I’m getting to it! Really!) back in the more high-power arena - but for my own purposes I felt a need to go back and revisit the street-level of employment - which is how I wound up working at a convenience store down the street from the house…
So back to our tale…
Sometimes I’m forced to wonder if the circus is in town because I suffer a whole parade of clowns.
Some handy hints for visiting the convenience store:
There is a wonderful invention called a wallet (alternately: billfold). This marvelous device is designed specifically to keep your paper money neat and organized. Pulling a nasty wad of crumpled up bills out of your pocket (sock, underwear, etc.) is NOT impressive. Neither am I impressed by your money clip. I couldn’t care less how much money you’re stupid enough to wander around with.
While we’re on the subject of not being impressed, what kind of minimalist thought process is involved in rolling up on a convenience store in the middle of the night in Mayberry, CA and expecting me to have change for a $100 bill???? Did I miss the sign out front that reads “Federal Reserve Bank?” All pulling out that bill tells me is that you are a non-thinking bone-head. In other words: YOU’RE STUPID!!! Why not whip out a $1000 bill while you’re at it? What kind of bozo runs around with those size bills in their convenience store money? DUH! There are handy-dandy institutions perfectly capable and delighted to reduce those bills into smaller, more convenient monetary units. They’re called BANKS. Feel free to visit one tomorrow.
Don’t waste my time telling me it’s all you have. Guess what? It’s STILL all you have. I’m not responsible for your lack of intellectual capacity or inability to plan. Tough.
Oh, and by the way - it’s call a “convenience store” for a reason - it exists as a last resort kind of place to pick up whatever you forgot elsewhere or decided you can’t live without just at the moment. There is a price premium associated with that. Get over it! You want it cheap? Go to Wal-Mart! See ya! Don’t bother complaining to ME about it - I just work here. I have as much say in the prices as your goldfish. Go bitch at them. Nobody consults with me when setting the price of gasoline either. If you don’t like the price don’t buy it. Go somewhere else. Stop driving that pig of a vehicle doing its best to pretend to be a locomotive. I really don’t care. Not my problem. You bought it - YOU feed it.
On a similar note - it IS a convenience store. If you don’t know what you want then WHY THE HELL DID YOU COME IN HERE???? (Other than hoping to find someone to break that hundred dollar bill in the middle of the night because your dealer insists on exact change.) If you absolutely MUST spend your money on something then you are a mindless consumer unit and I’m sure the government and Madison Avenue will love you to death (literally). I’ve got better things to do than watch you wander around like a mildly retarded gerbil in a maze. Watching the decision-making process is actually painful so sometimes I “help” - suggesting wildly different choices and watching them bounce around the store like pin balls.
These people are permitted to vote?
Oh, by the way…I did not mop that floor so we can track your progress through the store by following your muddy footprints. There are rugs by the doors - wipe your feet, you uncouth barbarians!!!
I have to wonder if these people’s mothers know about them?
Lordy - I could go on and on…
Here’s some advice for just about any activity - take your brain with you and feel free to use it occasionally. I promise you won’t wear it out!
2/17/2006 9:40 am
LMFAO I think....that you should have a reality show that takes place there..in the middle of the night. Oh damn..they already do huh...Cops or something??>? LMFAO|
Sin like you mean it!
7/20/2006 11:44 am
Some very funny stuff and well written, which I always appreciate.
I worked the weekend graveyard at a 7/11, while going to college, after 3 years in the Army as an MP, (why is it that the most frequently high kids / trouble makers become cops?). At 2am I would have to literally fight my way to the cooler to lock the doors accessing the beer section. I had more physical confrontations in 8 months, working 2 shifts a week at 7/11, than in 2 1/2 years as a patrol duty MP in Frankfurt, Germany, a city with (at that time) over 85,000 US military personal and dependents. At 7/11 they didn't even give me a gun! When the owner saw the metal pipe I kept behind the counter, he told me to get rid of it, or find another job. I found another job.
7/30/2006 3:36 am
Steel! Howdy! Glad you found yer way in - Just realized I haven't done a blog post in MONTHS!!! LOL I was in Frankfurt as well (Hanau, actually - but close enough) Fortunately I live in a SMALL town so I don't usually have to deal with TOO many nitwits! I do, however, carry a knife (and have NO hesitation about using it should that be required) But the local cops stop in and we BS so it's never much of a prob - when I get the belligerent visitor I just make a phone call!|