Friday, February 11, 2005

"Everyone Just Remain Calm:

Did any of you ever get so frustrated that you just felt like taking out a gun and start unloading? If you answered, "No", well, that's good! It means you at least have some self-control and patience. (And, if you answered "Yes", well...I'll be a lot more friendly to you in any e-mails! X^D)

No. I've never had that particular tendency to want to pull out a firearm and just unload it on somebody, but Lord knows the number of times I've had to bite my tongue, especially at work and dealing with the public, shake it off and just smile and try to be friendly to a customer.

I sorta learned my lesson once working at a Minit Mart back in the mid-1990's. I had worked there previously as a cashier but from time-to-time just got so fed up with the hassles of dealing with the large number of customers, line after line of them constantly and a lot of rudeness, that I took other positions, only to have the manager at the Minit Mart each time practically get down on her knees and beg me to return because I was one of the few employees she ever had she could rely on to show up regularly to work and not try to rip her off.

Anyway, in one of those instances, I left Minit Mart and tried to work at a local factory a while for the change of pace, but I've never been a "factory person"; just too repetitious, and after a few of weeks of that the MM mngr. once again approached me to return. I thought about it for a while, and then told her that I would, but only if I could work in the deli section instead of as a retail cashier. Since she needed help in the deli as well, she agreed and reinstated me as an employee of MM with full benefits.

Now, you got to remember that in said position, often times a deli employee substitutes for the retail cashier anyway when things get a bit too hectic. We had one register that was specifically retail, and another just for the food service. So after being back for maybe, oh, six months, the mngr. decided to make this one relatively new guy an assistant manager, even though he had absolutely no previous experince as such. Nobody really cared much for the guy (including me) because he was basically lazy and kept putting all his duties off on the other employees.

One evening I was there making sandwiches and this local woman comes in; a well-known druggie and trouble-maker, and orders a sandwich. I make said sandwich, rang her up and thanked her, then go back to my other duties, usually that of food prep', etc. A few minutes later she comes in and complains that her sandwich was made incorrectly, although I wasn't even the one who took her order; all I did was prepare her order according to the list that was written down and handed me. So I try to please her by making her yet another sandwich. All the way through the time I was trying to do this, the asst.mngr. was no where to be seen. Instead he was outside taking one of his usual 50 cigarette breaks of the shift.

And...she stated hassling me. She wanted a larger sandwich, more meat, etc., etc. for "her trouble" and started raising her voice. Then, she did the thing that breaks the proverbial camel's back, she used obsenity at me and called me an "idiot".

That was one of those times that came the closest to the thought of putting anyone down I think I've ever come in my life. I stopped dead in my tracks, removed my plastic gloves, tossed them into the air and told her that I couldn't make her a sandwich; someone else would have to make it if I was going to remain "polite" to her.

But she wouldn't let it go at that. She continued to rant at the top of her lungs until I finally went and "clocked out", and off-the-clock I told her exactly what I thought SHE was and percisely "where" she could insert her sandwich!

And...I went home.

As I was leaving the dork asst.mngr. finally emerged from his hole and started being all apologetic to this imbecile. I ignored them all and simply left. I wasn't home a good hour until he called and pleaded for me to return to work. That that person had left and he really needed me back to help. Having calmed down somewhat and realizing that I did need a job, I did so, only to come in the following Monday morning for work (this had all taken place on a busy Friday night) to discover that I was being "let go" because I was rude to a customer. This person was of color and the mngr. was afraid, I could tell, that it'd start a bunch of race trouble around there (although at no time did I ever, or would I ever, make any such reference to a person's skin color) and fired me. (Basically I think she was just short of help and didn't want to fire me when she needed me there on the weekend because then she'd had to come in and work in my place.) Also, she refused my unemployment benefits.

I appealed the case at the Employment Office, but it was her word against mine (even though she wasn't even there) and the one other person working at the time that witnessed the whole deal was so afraid that she'd lose her job that she never came to my defense.

Just as well. Within a week I had someone call me offering a better job for more pay, so I lost no sleep over it and was much better off without her disloyalty to my good work history.

And that manager finally got her's later on when she was caught embezzeling from the company and fired (something I always suspected but could never prove).

So, today, when someone's rude to me, I simply smile and walk away, and ask someone else to wait on that person. Then go punch a considerable size hole, out of sight, in the closest wall. And I'm all better.

A side note to this story. I am somewhat of a legend at the local Minit Mart. Although all I ever did was throw a pair of gloves up in the air, the story now goes that I threw anything from her sandwich to a loaf of bread at that "customer". If I knew it was going to make me a legend, then shoot! I'd smacked her in the face with a pizza pie!


At 1:18 PM , Blogger Johnny Bacardi said...

Wow, I've never heard this story! :O


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