Friday, August 23, 2013

Sometimes, the Best Actors Are Not in the Theaters

I must commend those put-upon convenience store clerks who have such patience that one assumes they have ice in their veins, hydrocodone in their bloodstream, and not a hint of murder on their mind. They're just that good.

You know how it is. You are tending the register on a Friday evening, and your partner steps out for a smoke just after 4:30 in preparation for the after-work rush. And in comes a born-tired-looking woman of no small girth, who fills up her soda cup and steps to the counter. No. It was not Val. BTL Woman pays for her soda. Then asks for cigarettes for her daughter, who is not with her. And doesn't remember the brand. But describes the pack. Pays. Remembers that she wants to cash in a scratcher ticket. Picks out a new scratcher ticket. Scratches. Says, "Oh. Do you sell ice? You do? I need a bag of ice. I almost forgot. I'm sorry to be such a problem."

The stern-looking clerk, a living, breathing picture of the hard-knock life, with her graying black hair in an unfashionable neck ponytail that highlights her American Gothic features, glances out at the line of six customers and says, "Oh, that's all right. No problem."

The envelope, please...


  1. Waiting on the public can be quite an ordeal. Impossible without patience.

  2. My first thought was Val, but I know she is a fast shopper. I hate those people who when they get to the register think they own the line.

  3. Oops, you are Val, thought it was another blogger referencing you. is getting late...

  4. A contender--a teacher who thanks the parent of one her students for being so supportive--when they're anything but.

  5. I am that woman. So scatterbrained at times!

  6. question here is: In what tone of voice did the clerk say "Oh, that's all right. No problem."
    I'm assuming it was sarcastic, since she glances at the line that has formed!! (Hey, it may take a while for things to sink in, but not much gets past this gal!)

  7. Stephen,
    Like Newman said about the mail...those customers never stop. They just keep coming and coming and coming. There's never a letup, It's relentless.

    Yes. I've worked as a cashier at a convenience store. Not nearly as interesting as being a cashier at a junk store.

    You betcha Val is a fast shopper! A 44 oz. Diet Coke holds its carbonation for no woman.

    I'm sure many bloggers want to reference me. I'm like the friend they all want to hang out with. The one who makes them look good by comparison!

    Teachers are very good at wearing two faces. It's a survival skill.

    Thank goodness "you" were apologetic! That goes a long way. The Prima Donnas who waltz in, cut line, and demand various services rub me the wrong way.

    Actually, the tone was very polite. She's fairly new at this job. I think she's just glad to be working, and wants to do her best. Not like the mocking "Have a nice DAAAAAYYYYY!" wench at the bank drive-thru. I'd like to send her a hornet's next through that vacuum tube canister.

  8. Val, the comment I hate and I hear ALL THE TIME from those young cashiers, grocery-baggers, "Have a good one!" The past couple of times I've heard it, I almost said, very sarcastically, "Have a good what???"
    Someday, maybe I'll actually go even further and say all the possible answers I've thought of!! :)

  9. Becky,
    You rapscallion! I hate to hear, "My bad," when they make a mistake.