Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Today's blog is short
For once I am being brief
Now read the Haikus:

Went to work today
Didn't swear at anyone
I am not complete

Numbers can't fool me
I am a mathematician
Class was good tonight

I have the munchies
Must pretend to like health food
Fuck I love carrots

It's time for bed soon
Off to the gym tomorrow
Sweat and sweat and sweat

Monday, November 11, 2002
Something said, not good.
(but it felt good, and sometimes that's all that matters.)

I went in to work to get a few things this afternoon. I'm usually really efficient when it comes to shopping but I had a long workout this morning so I was quite content to take it slow and easy. I can't help but think that I was meant to browse for as long as I did. Otherwise I wouldn't have been at the checkout I was at, at exactly the right moment. It was perfect timing.

Before you read of the incident, a little background: I work for a company that makes policy after policy that pisses off the customers. I realize that there are plenty of mis-managed businesses out there, but I think this one stands out. While many businesses are mis-managed from an employee's standpoint, they are great places to go from the customer's standpoint. You know, like McDonald's. Everyone knows you're gonna get what you want when you go there (no, you're not getting a steak if that's what you want. I mean, they'll get the order right or compensate you if they screw it up). It may suck to work there, but they please their customers. That's not the way it is where I work. One of the latest brainstorms by management is the 'walk around rule'. This means customers cannot walk between the tills to get into the store. This is probably difficult to imagine without seeing the store so I'll break it down for you. The layout of the front end is such that the customer has to walk an extra 50 feet or so around all the tills plus a merchandise section just so they can get to the groceries. Management expects cashiers to inform customers of this rule when they try to cut through the spaces between tills and head straight to the food. Yup, it's stupid.

Back to the incident:

So I got up to the checkout and there was one old guy ahead of me. All he had was a canteloupe and a coupon. While the cashier rang up the fruit and scanned the coupon he started complaining about the 'walk around rule'. The total was 3 cents, but he wouldn't hand over the money. Why? Cuz then he wouldn't have had an opportunity to keep bitching. The transaction would be complete and it would be on to the next person. Anyway, the cashier explained that she couldn't do anything to change the policy but if he'd fill out a comment card at customer service it would be a great way to let management know of his concerns. He ignored her reply and continued on, saying the same thing he said to begin with. The guy had no new points, he just wanted to bitch. So the cashier explained again that it wasn't her policy and that if he'd like to go to customer service and fill out a comment card then hopefully management would change the store layout. To which he replied: 'well it doesn't matter who you talk to in here, they're all the same.' Meaning: 'I can't get anyone in here to listen to me bitch. They're always giving me solutions. Such as comment cards.' So again the cashier said 'Sir, I'm sorry but it's not my policy. I'd like it changed too. Submitting a comment card would inform management of your concerns'. Then he had the nerve to say 'well if you can't change it then why don't you just shut up and listen to me instead of giving me all this static?'

At that point, I had had enough. So I turned to the old bastard and said:

'Hey! Shut the fuck up!'

As you may well imagine, he was caught off guard. He did, in fact, shut up. He picked up his fruit and walked away without another word. The people behind me were laughing. They thought it was great. They were like most people, understanding that policy is policy. You don't bitch to the cashier about a policy created by management - it's pointless.

Now, that wasn't the classiest thing I could've done. I could've turned and politely tried to explain the situation to him....but I knew that wouldn't have done any good. The cashier was already trying to do that. And since I wasn't in uniform and couldn't get in shit for it (not that I really would anyway cuz I'm protected by the union. I'd have to physically harm a person to get canned), I had to take the opportunity to say what was on my mind. What I said really wasn't that bad. I was holding back. If I hadn't been, I would've said something like this:

'Listen you miserable old prick, this cashier doesn't give a flying FUCK whether you don't like walking an extra 50 feet to get into this store. More importantly, she can't do anything about it. The rule you're arguing is NOT HER RULE. She didn't make it up. In fact, if you knew anything about businesses such as this one you would know that staff rarely EVER have a hand in any policy-making. If they did, they would change policies like this one. If not to fill a personal desire to see policies that make sense, then because it would stop assholes like YOU from constantly bitching and moaning.
She gave you a solution to your problem; fill out a comment card. If you don't like that, then too fuckin bad. That's the option. And by the way you steaming pile of monkey shit, if this store is so awful, SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE! YOU HAVE OPTIONS! Now, some of us have things to do today, so pay your 3 fucking cents, take your fruit, and get the fuck outta the way!'

So really, when you consider the alternative, my saying 'shut the fuck up' was quite nice.

Hmmm...what's the witty/humorous/clever moral of this story? I really don't know. I just wanted to bitch about asshole customers and let it be known that I got to tell one off. Finally.

No wait, there IS a moral.

'If you have found yourself unable to remain classy in an irritating situation, make the best of it. Don't waste the opportunity to swear at a stranger.'

Yeah yeah, it's not a moral. Tough shit.