I'd put that Casey's encounter on the back burner. There are a variety of clerks there, and I'd been getting a polite young gal who calls me "Hon," or the older lady missing a tooth who is always friendly, even though she takes her sweet time. Yep. I'd forgotten all about that accusatory manager gal, until Wednesday.
One customer was ahead of me. I stood on my 6-foot circle, squinting to see the numbers on the scratchers. I recognized the scratchers by their color and general location. But the little number dots were out of focus to my near-sighted, unglassesed peepers. It's always good to have your "order" memorized when you step up to the counter. Not that Casey's is run like a certain New York soup stand, of course...
With my tickets committed to memory, I let my eyes roam, and saw a PENNY under the counter, in front of the feet of the customer ahead of me. She seemed oblivious, so I was pretty sure I'd be adding to my Future Pennyillionaire Fortune. That always puts me in a good mood.
When it was my turn, I handed my winning scratchers to a young gal I've only seen once before. She had on a colorful, fruity-print mask, and was a cheery little thing.
"What can I get you?"
"I'm trading in these winners. I'd like a number 2 and a 7 and a 10."
As she was scanning my winners, I took a picture of MY rightful penny! Then I bent over to get a close-up. Mid-snap, I heard
"Is something wrong blah-blah blah blahber?"
HUH? Where did THAT come from? I looked at the Cheery Clerk, tearing off my tickets.
"What? I couldn't hear you."
"IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE GUM COUNTER?"
What in the Not-Heaven? She didn't look at me. I caught movement straight behind the counter, in the office area. My nemesis, The Problem Shouter, was leaning around the door frame. Was it HER? With all this mask-wearing, I couldn't see anybody's lips moving. Couldn't tell who was talking, or to whom. The evil eyes of The Problem Shouter led me to believe it was HER. I also noticed that she'd been facing the surveillance monitor. It was almost as if a couple of casinos had called to tip her off that I was on my way!
"Gum counter? No. I found a penny on the floor. I collect them. I was taking a picture..."
With that, I scooched the penny out with my toe, and bent over to pick it up, dropping it in my shirt pocket while meeting her laser-beam eyes.
There's no law against that, right? A penny on the floor is fair game. It's common knowledge. Like tie goes to the runner. First smeller's the feller. JINX, you owe me a Coke. Two for flinchin'.
The Problem Shouter stared me down until Cheery Clerk stepped over to ring up my tickets, and blocked her view. Apparently, nobody there has received customer service training since my last PROBLEM.
Makes me wonder why she's so paranoid...