Code Green

Jove: “This is Erstwhile, he runs the ladder department.  That’s Dingle, he’s in charge of hole construction.  And this is Tim, he…well, he doesn’t do mu…”

Fangle: “We’ve met before.  He interviewed me.”

ShenaniTims: “Really?  I don’t remember that…”

Erstwhile: “Great job paying attention there Shenani-.”

S/T: “Is this my work center? [frantically glancing about] No, no it isn’t!”

Just another day in a life spent in retail.  Really, how am I supposed to remember everyone I interview?  Unless the applicant has a facial scar, I’m probably not going to remember them.  If you’ve seen one cute person, well, you’ve seen them all. 

But looking halfway decent despite a major disfigurement?  That’s a challenge and thus memorable. 

It appears that everyone I work with always has a raging libido.  All I hear about is how attractive our shoppers are.  It always plays out the same way:

“Oh my God, ShenaniTims, come here.  Check this out…”

We glance around the corner.

I will unerringly notice the lady dragging three kids around with her, with a choke hold on the screamer.  Before noticing that I should be mentally disrobing some lady who looks like something your father beats off to. 

Then I’ll imagine the group of them (co-worker and father) sitting in a parlor beating off together.  I’ll start giggling, as I’m prone to do, before quickly covering up and snapping back to reality.  Hopefully I don’t work with telepaths. 

I’m usually the last person called to conduct interviews.  Probably for reasons related to the sentences I wrote above.  My interviews are renowned for their brevity. 

Sit the applicant down.  Go over the holiday availability requirements.  Then describe the job. 

  “You’ll push product to the floor.  You’ll work the returns back onto the floor.  You’ll sell things.  I’ll watch you do this while walking around the store and gossiping [statusing].”

“You’ll work every night until we close for the remainder of the holiday season.  At which point, there’s a good chance we’ll fire you.”
 
“You’ll be making seven bucks an hour while doing this.”

“Still want the job?”

Many applicants have been scared off by this dose of reality.  I guess I should be talking about how much fun getting insulted by a elderly man angry over the price of a vacuum really is.

The ones that remain have one final hurdle, the dreaded “why do you want to work here?” question.  For God’s sake, DO NOT answer it honestly.  I don’t want to hear that you: need the money, need a job, or are having trouble paying your bills.  I’m interviewing you for a job, do not insult me.  I know you need a job (i.e. money).  That’s why we’re sitting at this desk talking.  You’re supposed to be buttering me up so that I’ll excuse that unfortunate tick your eye has, and hire you anyway. 

So tell me that you love the store.  Love shopping here.  It could be a lie, it could be true.  I don’t (get paid enough to) care.  Say something to separate yourself from the competition.  Hell, really brown nose it and tell me you love my department!  (Careful there, though, as blatant ass-kissing like that would most likely make me uncomfortable and thus not give you the job.)  Tell me you just love the color red!  I’d fight to give you a promotion after that.  Guaranteed.  Even if you turn out to be worthless.

So I guess I’m just not lecherous enough to hang with the guys at work.  It’s like they’ve never been laid.  Running about acting like sexually frustrated, sweaty palmed tenth-graders. 

To quote the immortal Tesco Vee: “The answer to your girl problem is at the end of your arm” fellas.  Just don’t do it in front of your dad.

Unfortunately, my hurried attempts to draft this blog while it was still fresh in my head were interrupted when reality intervened.

“Hey Tim, so I think you should put the end cap here, blahblahblah… interviews…  blahblahblah… Ringbert wants this done… blahblahblah… I stubbed my toe… blahblahblah… CRASH!… blahblahblah… What the deal with corn nuts?… blahblahblah…”

In the midst of this captivating conversation, my co-worker transgressed all boundaries of good taste.  His finger went straight to his nose, and the digit didn’t stop at the nostril. 

I could not remember what we had been talking about after that display.  One tiny, succulent green second wiped away all my preceding memories.

Maybe there was another reason behind this man’s transfer.  Perhaps screwing his boss really wasn’t the reason he got booted from his other store!  They probably just got tired of having to clean off all his equipment every day.

[POSTSCRIPT: I ended up working with that man for years, and he never stopped picking his nose whenever and wherever he wanted.]

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