Last Tuesday I was working during the day 10-3. Like any university student that needs cash (an excuse being hecs which your actually not paying until 5 years later, but whatever I can work with that excuse), I headed of to work because I absolutely hate sleeping in and the bed is too uncomfortable to lie in [/end sarcasm]. But well, that was not the case and after breakfast, shower (write this down for later), shave, I drove of thinking it will be a regular quiet shift. Unlike the last story I mentioned about working at ‘Testygets’ as there was the regular 9-5 staff working there, I was dismantled of all of my supervisor privileges so I had to be at the front end. That’s right I am a bloody checkout chick! But it’s OK, I am not the only guy with that derogatory term, and I suppose I deserve it, seeing as my side of the gender oppressed the other for thousands of years and still does in many other places (“places” is such a safe word ;)) but let’s leave it at that.
Anyway, I was serving customers, standard protocol, the time was going by, I was getting paid good money for doing peanuts. No seriously, the job is so easy anyone can do it! It is no wonder we will be replaced by machines/computers in 4(?)/10(?) years? Apparently in some countries that has already happened… better get another degree….
OK OK, so I was serving and serving and serving, customer after customer after customer. It was the usual busy/not busy/busy/not busy/dead/super busy/ cycle that repeats throughout the day. The customers were far reaching and varied. There were the regulars, the oldies, the young-lings (*cough fucking wagers cough*), and a whole multitude in between.
Now from the way that I am brought up, I am told to be respectful of anyone older than you, of anyone that you are serving, of saying please and thank you that kind of polite crap. Lot’s of my colleagues need to actually be told to ‘remember to say hello to customers (how disgusting?)’ while to me a lot of this stuff is second nature. There are occasions though when even I get pushed too far.
There is, in our store, as i am sure there is in many other stores, the infamous “cat lady“. Now you are thinking of that “Crazy Cat Lady” in the Simpson’s right? Buddy, you could not have thought of a better answer. But the ‘cat lady’ in the Simpson’s is funny. She does crazy things and throws cats at everyone. Made up people that are not your friends and it’s at a safe distance (your couch) and there is nothing to worry about. But what about all those poor souls (yours truly included) that have to be within the real ‘cat ladies’ presence.
*Think of the tune by Gnarls Barklay*: Some say I’m crazy…
Furthermore, don’t just think of me and the people I work with, think of all the customers that have to be near her, pass through her, be in the same store with her…. ‘aaw come now, what’s wrong with an old lady’, so what if she likes cats? What could be possibly wrong with her?
One sentence…. SHE FUCKING REEKS OF CAT PISS & POO. I kid you not, the moment she enters through our doors, her nitrogenous ‘cat’ aroma enters along travelling at the speed of… uh “smell”! But seriously, she walks right in, goes into one section of the store and the entire area is sealed of due to it being a chemical and biological hazard. Everyone that is in the one isle suffocates from her invisible toxin released and she happily has the entire isle to herself. Unfortunate to current belief she doesn’t only go to the pet food isle. She actually buys human food… to feed her cats of course. (See figure 2 below for more details).
So anyway, being the lucky guy that I am (hey my middle name begins with the letter L, write down the correlation) she decides to purchase her items through my register! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGHHHHH *i scream*…. Now imagine this. We all have smelt people that stink… They call that BO (bad odour). Now think of someone that hasn’t showered for a week. That’s bacteria poop + BO (which is made up of bacteria poop but shhh). NOW imagine, someone never having showered, always wore the same clothes (rags), has a basket/trolley (old people have these in general) filled with cat poop in it (I kid you not—> We need to check bags/trolleys and what do you think I see mushed at the bottom?) and she is more than delighted for me to have a look at it. Vomiting a little bit in my mouth during the process. Furthermore she gets really really close while communicating in old confused crazy old lady talk. She eventually gives me money, I give her the change and tell her to have a good day, and she is of. The CPR person resuscitates me with the oxygen mask. So I then go back to work. But uh no, she doesn’t leave. She sits on a BENCH. RIGHT In front of my REGISTER. What is she doing? WHO KNOWS, BUT 2 METRES IS NOT ENOUGH TO KEEP THE SMELL AWAY.
Don’t let the smell stop the working young man!
So for the next painful 30 minutes, I was ready to fall in a coma. I persisted none-the-less. I was working and it was my duty to serve the people. But you know what was the worst part?The CUSTOMERS ASSUMED IT WAS ME. Oh of course they were all to kind to actually say it, god bless their souls lol. But the body language of almost gagging on thin air when they approached my register said all the words I needed to hear. I got awkward looks and glances for the remainder of that half hour that the crazy cat lady decided to stay in front of my register.
I went home and that day I Showered a second time (while Australia is in a drought). I then shoved that perfume recharge thingy you put on the power socket up my nose and kept it there till the next morning.
So moral of the story (there’s a moral to this?)…. Work during the night shift. Or consider being more involved with your company and make reforms for no benches in front of the check outs. Let them all sit outside.
But please, for the love of humanity, if not for your own personal health, then think of the children.. and the refugees, and the um… well think of sad things. Then consider having a shower. Thank you.