I was baffled by the line at the Country Mart service desk on Monday, when I tried to cash in my $500 scratcher winner. I'm always there between 3:00 and 4:00. I've never had a problem cashing such a ticket. I ask if they can do it, the worker checks the register, and says they can.
There was an older man completing a transaction. He pocketed something, and walked past me out the door. A 30-something woman with a young boy was next. Not sure of her request, because my attention was grabbed by the other 30-something woman waiting behind her.
Yodeler yelled out a child's name. Several times. At the top of her lungs. She was holding onto one of the two carts that have a yellow plastic car attached to the front end. Inside that car was a husky boy of perhaps 10 years old. He had barely squooshed himself behind the wheel. He was enjoying his driving time, silent and observant.
The quarry Yodeler was trying to trap appeared between two checkouts. He was a thin child around 7-8 years old, wearing one-piece footy pajamas. He got a loud talking-to for wandering off, Yodeler taking no guff as she gestured at him with her left hand, the right supporting the butt of a toddler who was at that very moment becoming bow-legged from riding on Yodeler's ample hip.
Not shaming Yodeler for her appearance. Healthy food is expensive, and exercise is hard when you have three kids to keep track of. I AM shaming her for her loud mouth, and for allowing the husky boy to ride in the cart-car while the extra-svelte waif in his footy pajamas was left to ambulate through the store on his own.
I am not a big fan of people-watching like my mom was, so I left that area to do my shopping. After I completed it and checked out, I went to wait by the service desk to be serviced. Nobody was there, but I figured they must be on a break, or assisting someone else. A congenial bald man came through the front doors, and came to stand a respectable distance from my side.
"Nobody in there?"
"No. I figure they'll show up in a minute."
"Is the bell there?"
"Yeah. I see it. Want me to ring it?" I reached over and gave that silver bell a tap. It dinged, but not loudly.
"Huh. Looks like they modified it."
"Yeah. They put a muffler on it!"
Baldy walked around the U-shaped counter. I feared that he was going in behind it. But he just took a good look and came back out.
"You're right. Nobody's in there."
"There were two working in there earlier. They were pretty busy. I did my shopping first."
"I wouldn't be surprised if this place goes out of business. They're so high on everything."
"I KNOW! But it's more convenient for me than driving to Walmart and walking around there."
"I was just in Walmart yesterday. Spent $67 on NOTHING! They are high, too."
The Busiest Woman in Country Mart came through the front doors, pushing 20 carts. She rushed over to the service desk.
"Too bad you can't find more to keep yourself busy!" I'm not sure she appreciated my humor, she was huffing so hard from her exertion. "Can you cash a $500 lottery ticket?"
"No. I don't have enough in my drawer. You might try tomorrow. They usually make a bank run between 12:30 and 2:00."
"So I should get here before then?"
Of course that meant getting up before I even went to bed! I went to the lottery machine to cash in my small winners for more $3 tickets. Baldy walked by me on his way out.
"I think they can cash a big ticket at the Gas Station Chicken Store."
"Yes. But the girls can't. Only the owners. They leave around noon or 2:00. So too late today. But thanks anyway."
On Tuesday, I DID leave home early. I got to Country Mart around 10:30. Again, I waited and waited for someone to come to the service desk. It was a young woman I'd never seen there. I suppose we keep different hours.
"Could you cash a $500 lottery ticket?"
"Oh. I was here yesterday afternoon, and they said this was a good time, and you should be able to do it."
"No. I can't."
She was not at all customer-friendly! No reason. No excuse. Just a flat-out NO. Didn't even look in her drawer. I don't know why they would be making a bank run with less than $500. I was there early enough that they might not have had their deposit ready, since it was still an hour or more before the regular bank trip. I'm guessing that perhaps Monday was a day when a lot of people were cashing a government check of some kind, and used up the cash on hand. But you'd think there would be some cash taken in from 4:00 to 8:00, and the next morning from 8:00 to 10:30.
Anyhoo... I went down the street and through the light and cashed my ticket at the Gas Station Chicken Store, since it was early enough that Man Owner was still on the premises. He was very friendly.