Nov 7, 2009

When you work retail you meet a lots of jerks. Merle Wayne Sneed's first rule of jerks is that if you think you've met the biggest jerk alive, you're wrong. Case in point. I'm sorry if this post seems arrogant, because I'm not an arrogant guy. I just don't suffer fools easily. Bright and early this morning, I got a call over to the radio at work to assist a customer in finding some screws. Sure enough, when I got to the hardware aisle there was guy waiting for me. He said he wanted some screws and was quite specific about what he wanted. It was specific gibberish, but specific. This fellow is about 50ish and apparently is the manager, or more likely, the assistant manager of a used sporting goods store near us, given his swell store shirt. He said he wanted 1/8" x 1" fine tread screws, with threads all the way to the top. I got him something close to what he was asking for. I say close because his description wasn't real specific, even though it might seem like it was. "Those", he snapped at me, "are not what I want. He said that the screws he needed don't have a point on the end. "Oh, you want bolts then?" Yes, he wanted bolts, plus two washers per bolt and nuts to fit the bolts. I set about gathering his hardware and putting two washers on each bolt and then a nut on each. He snapped at me again, telling me to just put them in a bag because he was in a hurry. In the process of bagging the items I dropped a nine cent washer on the floor and it rolled away and out of sight. The guy started to look for it and I told him not to sweat it. Actually what I said was, "The janitor will get it." He said something to me that was drown out by by the assistant manager going by with a noisy stocking cart. Plus I'm hard of hearing, especially with the radio earpiece in. The guy repeated what he said, but all I heard was "...worked for me, I'd fire..." "Fired for what", I asked? "For what...said", he replied. "What did he say?" "Not him, you", he tells me. "What did I say?" "You said, leave it for the janitor. If you worked for me, I'd fire you." This was the point at which I lost my vision due to the blood rushing to my eyes. Here was some dip shit loser, who has bungled his way into the management ranks of a used sporting goods store telling me that he would fire me. The dumbo can't tell a screw from a bolt, but he is a fricking captain of industry. How often have you had words with someone and then only after leaving, thought of the perfect rejoinder? Well, I thought of one before I left, for once. I looked him right in the eye and said, "Guys like you don't get to fire guys like me." He response was to say he would at least suspend me. Dumber that a box of rocks. I explained to him that I work in the hardware store because it is interesting and keeps me busy, not because I need some piss ant retail job. I fact, I added, I have a lot of skills and can fix most things. I'm of more value to the store than it is to me. So, if a guy like you tried to fire a guy like me I would be out the door before you could get half the words out and never give you another thought. Then I said, "You have 30 pieces at nine cents and ten pieces at ten cents. Tell the cashier you owe her $ 3.70." I can't wait for the next time I see him. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

16 comments:

Marcia said...

I believe I have said this many times, about you... YOUR MY HERO! I adore you and your quick wit.

Barbara said...

Guys like him would probably tell the cashier $2.00 and feel swell about getting away with something. I don't know how you resist getting physical with some of these nutcases.

Steve said...

You go Merle! I always hate it when I think of the perfect thing to say AFTER an encounter -- so bravo to you for saying it with perfect timing!

Kurt said...

Please come shopping with me.

Bella Rum said...

Dang, Merle. Retail is tough.

Pauline said...

You go Merle.

I once waited on a customer who tried on every coat in the department before throwing them on chairs or dropping them on the floor while loudly exclaiming about shoddy merchandise. I asked her (politely) if she was born that rude or did she practice. Unfortunately my boss heard the question too. After his rather stern "the customer is always right" lecture, I avowed that no, they weren't and neither was he, that there was no excuse for treating an employee as "beneath" anyone, and I went to fetch my own coat. To my astonishment he called me back, sheepishly agreed and kept me on!

Mommy, I'm Home said...

What an asshole customer...

Julia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia said...

Did you really say that? I hope I can be as gutsy as you some day. That guy deserved it.

Reya Mellicker said...

PERFECT response. Wow.

I blew up at an asshole this week,too. Maybe it was in the air.

The Bug said...

Sheesh - this is why it would never do for me to work retail - I would get fired so fast!

Megan said...

I don't understand why there's anything wrong with saying that the janitor will get it? Isn't that the janitor's job? I wonder why that set him off?

Coffee Messiah said...

Funny and sad isn't it, that people like that, that think their important, end up making fools of themselves.

Good thing you had the quick rejoinder. I don't think he'll be back while you're in the store ; )

alphabet soup said...

Maybe he is not the assistant manager at all. Maybe he is the janitor at the second hand sports store. Purchasing screws and bolts sounds more janitorial than managerial to me.....
Silly little man. He won't bother you again Merle I'm sure.

Ms Soup

edward said...

i would have put the bitey on him.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

piss ant is a fitting description of this fellow!!