Stupid People Are Taking Over the World

October 11, 2007
So, I am a high school senior who moonlights as a bag-boy at a local grocery dump called O’Malias. This grocery store has been a second home to for the past two years of my high school experience. Every couple of days I make the pain stricken trip out of house, to my vehicle (which at the present time is in some dusty old garage supposedly getting fixed. Bullargy!), then to the old-run down shack they call a grocery store. I go in to people, both co-workers and customers alike, praising my name and telling me how amazingly awesome I am. From time to time, I get the occasional hello from some random passerby that apparently knows me by name. Here poses one of the many problems I face during my work day. I don’t have a name tag on at the present moment. Freaky is probably the right word I’m looking for. Popularity is hard to come by. Basically you have to have the right clothing on, say the right things at the right times, and basically be cool. Well, consider me the cream of the crop over yonder at O’Malias. After bypassing all the hazards that people put up just to keep me away from the schedule, (two 250-pound managers who are dressed from head to toe in what appears to be “professional” attire.) I finally reach my destination of the beloved clipboard, which decides my fate for the week. I skim down the white paper while name after name pass me by until finally, at the bottom of the page, appears my name in a black font. Why my name is at the bottom and my last initial is a K I still don’t know, but it’s probably where they put all the cool people. I write down my schedule to a tee, put in my pocket, and then hang the clipboard on some random screw poking out of the wall in the office. (Oh and only cool people are allowed in the office by the way.) Then I turn around to start my voyage out of the store, when I come to realize something that will change my life forever. I look around at different customers and employees alike, going about their everyday business, and it comes to me in a hot flash. There are some really stupid people at O’Malias. I’m not trying to be rude, but it’s true. I cannot hide my feelings any longer. It took awhile to get to the point of my essay, but there you have it. Stupid people at work. Such a lovely topic indeed.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are awesome people, like myself, that also work at O’Malias. When I first started working at the O, I was really nervous. I pictured myself acting like some freshman that doesn’t know where the cafeteria is. (Duh buddy, the place with all the freaking chairs.) I wandered aimlessly around the store, trying to find something to blow the time away. After a certain period of time, I got the hang of what was to become the basis of my new life. Bagging groceries. It really is a form of art. No lie. You have to make sure that the hot stuff stays separate from the cold stuff, that the soaps and other vital purchases aren’t mixed with frozen vegetables and brownie mix (I love brownies). No, those last couple of sentences are lies, bagging is crap. In my earlier days of working at O’Malias, there was really nothing to do. Well, in all honesty, there was, but I never did any of it. After about the first two weeks, I became friends with everyone in the store. All the bag people, the cashiers, the meat department pimps, the deli ladies, and even the store mascot. Just kidding, we don’t have one of those, but wouldn’t it be sweet to have a lepacrhun ushering you to the nearest so called “pot-of-gold”. After becoming friends with basically everyone in the store, work never got done. My work hours usually consisted of working long durations of about five hours. To make the time fly by, a couple of other trustworthy employees and I played games. Games consisted of bugging the crap out of the meat department workers by throwing fruit snacks at them, playing a game of highly intense tag, and playing football in the aisles. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were very strict rules involved in these 2006 O’malias Olympics. During my time of playing games at O’Malias instead of working, I really started bonding with my other co-workers. We played football in the aisles with left-over oranges from the produce. Usually the oranges didn’t make it out of the situation, but it was fun while it lasted. Looking back and gathering my thoughts, the games really didn’t last very long due to the fact that my partner in crime got fired. No comment.
After working for about six months, I started realizing that sooner or later, I would probably get into trouble for not working at work. The concept was very hard for me to understand at the time, due to my adolescence. After growing up per say, I worked very hard, impressed the managers (they gave me brownies once), and finally got promoted to working up in the office. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved not working, I mean, who wouldn’t, but with great coolness also comes great responsibility. I needed to step my game up, and I did.
Around four months ago to this day, I got my first experience of working up in the office, and boy was it a blast. It’s kinda like playing a big game of monopoly, except that you can’t keep the money. That, I believe, would be considered stealing. Any who, once I got trained to close down the office, I became the so-called man at the store. If a cashier had a problem, I was called upon. Customers wanted to chew some one out for no apparent reason at all, they come to me. Someone wants to waste their life and money buying lottery tickets and more lottery tickets, yes, they come to me. It’s a very important job working in the office. From dealing with angry customers and auditing (that’s just a random word for counting), the whole store depends on the office clerk. As much fun as it is being an office clerk, there is always the other side to the story. After realizing the information that stumbled upon me when I last got my schedule, I have been keeping very close tabs on customers that make me angry, and employees that need to just suck it up and grow some more brain cells.
Just the other night, I was alone in one of the many vast aisles at the O, when I heard a noise that aroused me from my duties. I got up, walked towards the end of the aisle. What I saw appalled me beyond all belief. There, at the other end of the aisle next to the one I was standing in, was a woman. She was kinda of plump and was wearing what I picture the Amish settlers in Massachusetts to wear. She was looking from side to side in a very nervous fashion, looking for something unknown to me. Suddenly, she grabbed her cart and sprinted towards the check out lane. She didn’t actually sprint, but it was a very fast walk. I stared after her in disbelief due to the suddenness of the situation. Then I spotted it. It was like heaven’s lights were shining down on the thing I most dreaded. Now, you might think it was some enormous cookie monster that accidentally escaped the deli’s oven’s and was bringing terror to all customers. That wasn’t the case; it wasn’t something much, much worse. A milk spill! I shudder even typing it out. There, right in front of me, was one whole gallon of Dean’s Skim Milk seeping into the carpet and flooding towards my nice new sneakers. I slowly backed away, like someone who just placed a “kick me” sign on the back of some innocent student in the hall. I turned and started shaking my head in disbelief. My first reaction? “Wow, this customer is a freak show.” But I didn’t say that aloud due to the fact that consequences were bound to happen. So like every other one million (true fact) spills I have cleaned up in my lifetime, which range from iced tea, sugar, coffee, and the ever disgusting substance I like to call soap, I went to the ever trusting RugDoctor. It’s basically like the coolest thing ever. It sucks up liquid in its snout and pours cleaner on the carpet to “rinse” the unnecessary substance away. (It says that same exact wording on the label, no joke). So, in my stressful times of cleaning up one of the most deadly stains I have ever encountered, I realized that the person that dropped this gallon of white milk was a complete idiot. Not only would a normal person feel regret for committing this horrible atrocity, but also might help a poor innocent bag boy like myself clean it up. Well, she didn’t, so I was stuck sitting there pushing the doctor of all rugs back and forth until all of the pearl white liquid was sucked up from the carpet.
In the weeks that followed that horrible milk incident, work was forever boring. I usually don’t stock items very much in the store, why that is I will never know. In this particularly story that I am about to tell you, I learned that stocking soon became my number one most hated rival of all time. While most of the managers I work with know its not a very good idea to mess with me, there is this one guy who is particularly fond of making my life miserably(He is one of those two 250 pound guys by the way). Of course, he is from the city of Chicago and he isn’t very fond of a scrawny white boy from Indianapolis who likes the Colts. During football season, I always get the supposedly “important jobs” around the store. These include cleaning the restrooms and vacuuming/mopping the entire store (which is a workout in its self). Of course, all the new people got those very important jobs during the summer, while my manager, let’s call him Bill, calmed down after the Super Bowl defeat. Well, the new season started, and the Colts are still better than his Bears. So, in his defense, I get all the jobs. The one I will be relating to you today will stain the back of my mind for the rest of my earthly life.
On one unusual cloudy and cold day in August, I was dropped off by my mom at the place I love to call O’Malias. Now, today I thought would be just another ordinary day. I would go into the store, clock in at the time clock, and set my self of down the aisles to complete my daily tasks. Well, today was much different than the repetitive days that usually follow me at O’Malias. I looked down after clocking in, and low and behold, (also to my astonishment) there was no closing list. Now, let’s not categorize this event with the milk spill, but it was pretty high up there. I looked around confused and appalled. Never had I worked where the closing list was not set out in a nice orderly fashion beneath the time clock. I became deranged and had to lean against the wall for fear of banging my head when I fainted. I wanted someone to sneak up behind me and pat my shoulder and tell me “April’s fool”. It never happened. So, while I still had my consciousness left, I scanned the area where the list usually sat, peaceful and calm. While scanning the area from left to right, front to bottom, I spotted a pink Post-It note lying to the left of the counter. I quickly felt the blood rushing to my head as I reached over and gently picked it up in case it would engulf itself in flames if touched. The next few moments were like blurs and I didn’t really comprehend what I just read until a young girl, oh about 17 years old, tapped me on the shoulder. I spun around to face her. “Are you ok” she asked me. “O yes, just a little light-headed.” I stated. After that, she left me forever. (Actually, I saw her 10 minutes later, but it seemed a lot longer). So I was there, left to work on the aisle that guys will fear worse than taking showers and putting deodorant on. I walked to the left two aisles and peered down the long and twisting aisle #5. That one number strikes fear into the hearts of every manly man who works at the O. As I started walking down the aisle toward the cart that was full of boxes and boxes of stuff that needed to be stocked, I thought to myself. Why me. I can’t help that the Colts are so much better than the Bears. Yeah, I made fun of him and the Bears to his face numerous times that week, but this punishment is just inhumane. Then I stopped near the cart. Here goes nothing, its just time to get it over with. I took my 6-inch Woodward box cutter that I found in my smock (yes, we wear aprons, but their cool all right. Leave me alone) and starting ripping apart the first box that lay in front of me. I shrieked when I first saw the product. To touch or not to touch. Well, I really had to option. I bent down and picked up the first piece of inventory and read the label to myself. “Personal Female Lubrication Jelly”. I don’t get paid enough to do this job (If you didn’t guess already, I had to stock the female aisles that night). The stocking started with a jolt and didn’t stop as I stocked countless amounts of women’s tampons and jellies and all other sorts of stuff that is really pointless to women, but it makes them feel better. That night wasn’t one of my favorites I’ll tell you that much.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my managers with all of my heart, but what a stupid decision that was to put me through that misery. There was a young girl stocking that night as well that probably knew the uses for all the stuff I stocked better than I did. Did she get that job? Nope, she got to stock chips and soda. What is this world coming to? I’m not saying my manager is stupid, but the whole situation that I was unwillingly put in was stupid. Actually, never mind, he was the one that decided it would be very comical to assign me the ladies aisle, so he is stupid (Don’t tell him that though).

So, previously in my essay, I relayed to the audience that I was appointed the supreme job of being in the office. Well, this night, which was in the same week as the aisle phenomenon, I got this one customer complaint that I will probably take to the grave with me. So, me being the awesome person that I am, I try to help this person that seems to be having problems swiping her credit card. I was very cozy up in the office, so leaving to some angry customer wasn’t on my agenda for the night. As I made the walk towards the cashier that was working with me that night, I started to figure out the problem in my head before I pushed some funky codes that I really don’t know what they mean but their supposed to unfreeze the register. Well, this lady, who I am assuming was in her early fifties, was not in the best mood. She started telling me how unapt our technology was and that I needed to fix that problem. I shook my head out of her sight and continued working on the problem that had occurred. Well, after five minutes I could see that she was getting very impatient, so I told her to just sign a piece of paper and then she could leave. She signed the piece of paper with many groans and sighs, saying complaints under her breath. Of course, being the nice guy that I’ am, I was very polite and apologized numerous times before she left, but she just didn’t want to believe that there was really nothing I could do at the time. Well, once she finally left the store, I went back over to fix the problem. As I looked at the credit card reader, I found out that it was unplugged. Well, here poses the problem. Once we plugged the cord back in, the card number she swiped also reset. So, what I’m trying to say is that lady had free groceries that she was now unloading in her truck. I, being the very lazy employee, told one of the cashiers to go run out and get her, because I would probably not be in good graces with my manager if I allowed a lady to take $150 dollars worth of food. Wow, she was not a happy camper when she returned. She stormed back in the store, grabbed her purse, threw it on the register, and kept muttering things under her breath. Well, yet another problem occurred once she swiped her card again. After the register is unplugged, it needs to be rebooted. I looked over the manuals that were sent to me and rebooted the register.
Well, let me tell you, O’Malias is not the most up-to-date on the technology side of things, so it takes awhile. She wouldn’t have it. She started telling me how I needed to work these things out before customers got here and how this place was going to the dogs. I stared out of amazement at her. Biting my tongue, I continued working on the problem that was not only pissing the lady off, the lady being pissed about the problem made me pissed at the lady (If that makes any sense at all). Basically, I wasn’t too happy with her at the present time. There are three things that really bug me in the grocery store business, and this lady took up two of those:

Cranky elderly ladies

Cranky elderly ladies that blame everything on you

Cranky people that don’t know how to read signs and then yell at me for not making the sign big enough

Now, not being happy and working on a mechanical problem don’t mix very well, and I was becoming quite aggravated with this lady. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the cashier tells the lady that she could write down the credit card number and expiration date on a piece of paper and leave it for us to punch in when the register starting working again. That was the end of the fuse for her. She completely blew up in his face, saying how she would never leave her number to a kid like him so he could go out and buy extravagant things. Alright lady, that’s crossing the line now. I really don’t believe that this kid would actually take your number and go buy a new Lamborghini or anything; he just wanted to help you get out of store as quickly as possible with no more hassles. I looked confused and showed pity for this woman, realizing that she, like every other person in this humorous essay, was just cranky and stupid. How exactly was I supposed to know that at exactly the moment you swiped you card, the register would “accidentally unplug”. It’s not like there’s a secret lair in the office that has buttons and knobs that I get to push to aggravate customers. All right, let’s see here, I think I’m going to go with the ole register accidentally unplugging knob today folks. C’mon lady, do you really think there was anything I could have done besides rebooting the computer. So next time, take some medicine and act a little nicer towards people, it’s not like we volunteer to work with people, especially dumb-witted folk as yourself.
Well, of course, after one-and-half years of working at O’Malias, there are so many more stories that I could generously share with you, but my fingers are just running out of juice. So, next time you go into the grocery store, be nice to the people who work there; they eat, sleep, and go to the lil’ boys and girls room just like all of us. And if you ever walk in to a store in general and see someone drop something and look around stupidly and play it off likes it not their fault, kick them in the shins for me. Thanks

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JoAnna Kilpatrick said...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:18 am
hahahah replied...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:19 am
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