“Mommy, you lost your coffee!”

Did you ever work in retail, as a kid or an adult? What kind of horrors do you have in your memory bank over that experience?  I have told my kids that growing up they need to either do a stint in fast food or retail to understand just how bad people can be.  When I was 14, I lied about my age to obtain a job at the local Dairy Queen, flipping burgers.  We did everything there so I also made the ice cream, cleaned and waited on customers.  I hated it. The only thing that made it bearable was the paycheck every week.  Until a 6 month job at Office Max, that was my extent of those types of jobs, but it cemented my belief that contrary to what Luke Bryant sings, I believe most people are NOT good.
Son #1 got his taste of retail working for one of those inventory companies.  You know the ones where you see people in the stored entering things into some sort of computer either hand held or on their hips.  Well he did that.  He didn’t have much interaction with the buying public in retail, as most of the jobs he had were after hours, but they would occasionally do jobs during normal business hours.  He told me of people trying to mess up his counts, moving things around while he was counting trying to mess up the numbers and just generally getting in his way.  He also had to deal with the store staff, who can often be just as bad, or worse, than the buying public. There would often be managers or employees trying to get him and others to change counts or dispute what they came up with.  They probably were takign stuff or realized they had a shortfall and if the counts showed that they might get in trouble.  Oh well.
Son #2 got his feet wet in fast food.  He worked at a local Portillo’s busing tables and general cleaning.  Most nights he seemed to have no real problems.  There would be an occasional gripe about kids being messy but nothing too bad.  Then about a month in he got a double-whammy.  For a week straight he has someone who threw up every night, that he had to clean up.  he was also caught in a power struggle between 2 assistant managers, who wold often give him conflicting jobs to do and whichever he didn’t do, he got in trouble for.  I finally suggested to him that he was in a no-win situation and his best bet would be to just cover his ass.  When one would tell him to do something, do it.  When the other would tell him to do something different, first let them n=know that you were already doing something for the first guy and if he wanted to you switch, could he please talk to the other guy so that you wouldn’t get in trouble. I also told him to start looking for another job.  2 days later the two bosses were yelling at each other with son in the middle, each telling him to do different stuff and so on.  So right in the middle of it, son #2 just handed his apron to them and said “I quit”.  Good for him.
Now you have all seen the many clickbait posts with “The citizens of WalMart” and stuff like that.  Pictures and stories about some of the best/worst people in retail. This may not be one of the worst, but it was kind of funny and I just witnessed this last week. While in a Target with the wife, we were walking towards the back of the store when we saw this little girl who couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 pointing at the shelf and screaming “Mommy, you lost your coffee!  Mommy!  Mommy!  You lost your coffee!”  The mom turns around to her daughter and tries to shush her a bit but the girl will not be quieted. “Mommy, your coffee!” she continues to scream, almost to the point of tears.  By this time we have reached these two and are starting to pass by when we see the mom grab her obviously empty coffee cup that she was just going to leave on the shelf for some poor worker to deal with, as well as her kid by the arm, and walk away in a hurry, clearly embarrassed.  So the kid ratted the mom out for being a lazy asshat who was going to leave her garbage on a random shelf, totally on accident.  The kid thought she was doing her mom a solid.  I sincerely hope the mom did not yell at or punish her kid in any way for being a decent human at such a young age.  I hated finding garbage and crap when I faced the aisles at Office Max.  People suck.

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