Things I Learn From Working in Retail: It's a Two-fer

Brandon is a twenty-something working at a nation-wide convenience and drug store that isn't CVS. He works mostly in their photo lab developing and laughing at pictures of the "common people", while people watching to avoid actual work. These letters are his deepest thoughts to those that he interacts with and observes, after being dragged through sarcasm and shi- I mean wit.

Dear Dilated Eyes-Woman,

Why must you always make a trip to our store after you get your eyes dilated? Why are your eyes dilated at least once a month, if not more? Your eyes couldn't possibly be bothering you THAT much, could they?

That's not my biggest qualm though. My biggest problem with you would have to be how much you insist on your inability to see with your sunglasses on, protecting your "dilated" eyes. So bad is this inability, you claim, that you can't see the computer screen to order your own photos. Yet you can walk in a straight line fine. And you can either drive home or walk home fine. That would lead the logical thinker to the conclusion that you're either A.) completely lazy and a walking contradiction or B.) a serious hazard to anyone who comes (or drives) close to you and you must have really practiced how to walk correctly when nearly blind.

To only add to this frustration, every single time I help you, I'm doing the exact same freakin' thing- scanning old pictures of a mustached guy that I'm assuming is your son. And every time I ask you for your phone number to begin your order, you tell me the same story: "My son used to come here all the time for pictures, all the time, not anymore, but all the time. His name is Chad. Yup, Chad [last name redacted], that's him. Yeah, he used to come in all the time."

How often? All the time? Or did you say all the time? I didn't hear you the eighth time you told me. But you know what? YOU come in here ALL THE TIME. WITH DILATED EYES. AND IT'S REALLY STARTING TO PISS ME OFF.


The Guy from Behind the Counter

Our author contemplates life on a beach (he is not at work in this picture).

Dear Orphan-Looking Kid Who Never Steals,

You. Oh you. Your raggedy looking white t-shirt and over-sized blue jeans. You come in a few times a week. I can't tell where from. You aren't old enough to drive, and you are never accompanied by anyone, yet you look no older than 14 or 15. You buy candy and soda every time you come here (but still find a way to keep that twig-like figure!). Who ARE you?

And why are you so stern looking? Your expression never changes. A blank stare and still lips, walking with a strut that just screams "I'm stealing but I don't want you to know! And even if you did, I wouldn't care! I'm not loved by anyone, not even Santa Claus, so take a hike, mister!".

I'll admit it: I judged you the first day I noticed you as a repeat customer. A familiar face, I tried to think back to what you bought during your previous visit. You rarely wander past aisle 5, the candy aisle. And with the mini-coolers by the check-out counter- one for Coke products, one for Pepsi- well shit.. You have everything you need right by the front door.

Then when I rejoined the present from my flashback, I made the judgment. I thought to myself, "Here's another suburbanite's forgotten marriage-killer, waltzing through a convenience store like he's got nothin' to lose but a few minutes of his time if he's caught with that Coke bottle in his- what? He's actually paying for something? I didn't even see the chocolate in his hand.."

So shoot me. I was wrong, and you probably don't notice my presence. But I'll keep nodding your way when we make eye contact in aisle 5; just as long as you keep stopping by the front counter, paying corporate America for what's rightfully theirs.

Would you like to try some Reese's Pieces?,

The Guy From Behind the Counter


Anonymous said...

clever and well written :) I quite enjoyed it :D

Kelsie Lynn said...

oh my gosh I miss Reeses peanut butter cups. Seriously if anyone wants to ship some to Australia..well, you'd have my love and xo's.

Nice Brandon. Make your next series about the time that you actually had a verbal encounter with them- as in- told them how you feel. Especially that little kid. I'de love that.

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