A Totally Biased Rant: 5 Ways to Ensure a Quick Death at the Checkout
Justin sets aside some of his valuable time to do something he always loves to do: make other people feel badly about themselves
After taking some time and reading through some of my previous pieces, namely the multiple occasions I’ve mused on customer service, the time I’ve spent belittling the intellectually inferior, and even the portion of my life I’ve spent catering to my own narcissism, you may think I’m a bit of a jerk, pig-headed, or just a plain old asshole. And you know something? You wouldn’t be entirely wrong…
But what you WOULD be wrong about, is assuming that I don’t like people. Maybe. Because deep down, there’s a sliver of my heart still beating strong. A minute trace of the fuzzy, warm, good-souled human being I used to be. A tiny speck that’s not cold, withered and decayed from working in retail and experiencing the lowest common denominators of the human race. No, I still like to think I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and reserve judgement until I’ve managed to get a better handle on that person as a whole.
Unfortunately, however, I’ve got a world-class bullshit detector and can get a handle on any human being within seconds, so the time someone spends in my vicinity without being judged is usually quite minimal. And in my time working general retail, I’ve been exposed to some of the most vile, heinous, cretinous types of human beings ever assembled. A pack of genetic ingrates so repugnant, repulsive and revolting that they ought to be fed, kicking and screaming, to a pack of rabid wombats. A bunch of mutants so abhorrent, so abominable, so atrocious to look at that even their mothers nicknamed them, “The little abortion that should’ve been.”
So… Naturally, I’m gonna spend some of my valuable time talking about some of them, some of the contemptible crimes they commit, and the swath of punitive penance they must pay in recompense for such putrid proceedings. With the overwhelming response I got from family, friends, co-workers and cohorts, I was determined that this could be so much more than just a quick rant, and after a lot of deliberation, I decided to break this article down into three separate parts! I’ll be releasing one part a week over the next three weeks, so make sure to check back for them if you enjoy this piece! And with that, I leave you to your fate… Journey on if you dare, dear Reader, to get a better understanding of Life in the Retail World!
Let me just take a minute and also make note that these are not numbered and are in no particular order!
The Crime: 1st Degree Belt Offense
There’s nothing quite like having someone shit all over your common sense. One of the most frequent ways this occurs in the retail world is when customers will wait a few feet back from your scanner, holding their groceries back for dear life while the evil, ravenous belt pulls their items ever closer to a certain death!
Or, ya know, just towards the cashier, who’s waiting on another person but clearly saw the two foot gap between orders and knows when to stop scanning. But, no! They couldn’t have seen it! A huge black hole between items… Nope. It’s invisible!
And don’t even get me started on the assholes who dump their change out on the belt. You hold your hand out, in plain view, but they still manage to miss placing that veritable mountain of change into your palm and lazily spill it all over the belt… Talk about someone in need of a red-hot poker in their ass…
And I’m not going to talk about the assholes who leave their full basket there for you to dig all their groceries out of… ugh…
The Sentence Is: Death by conveyor belt. That’s right! Try and picture a huge, 30 foot long treadmill, going at about 30 mph, with boxes, wooden crates, steel drums, all kinds of obstructions. Maybe even bars going across the walking space, anything to make it more exciting to watch! And what’s at the end of this conveyor belt? Why, the best part of this morbid game: nothing but a typical open lava pit! Could it get any better than watching these assholes struggle to jump over and avoid all the obstacles on the belt, only to tumble ass-over-tea-kettle and fly towards the inevitable end? No. No, dear reader, it could not.
The Crime: 3rd Degree Superannuation
“Why, I remember when everything was a nickel…”
Oh, really, Grandpa? Back when the Earth was still flat and the Bubonic Plague was still running rampant? Get over it! Nothing’s a nickel anymore! Except for my foot in your ass. In fact, it’s on sale, with free samples. So, bend over and get ready for yours!
We’re in the middle of a goddamned Great Depression, asshole, join the club! Everyone pays a ton of money for their shit these days, and short of you being the Ghost or reincarnation of George Carlin, I’d STILL be charging you exactly what the register is telling me to charge you. Care to venture a guess as to why? BECAUSE I DON’T MAKE THE GODDAMN PRICES!!! But, no, go ahead and complain about it some more, cuz I think it’ll change things, you geriatric old prick. No, really. Go ahead. Keep going. Please. I’d love it if you did.
Just gives me more of an excuse to wrap you in a sheet.
The Sentence Is: Death by spare change. And lots of it. Remember that scene in Full Metal Jacket? Where they put a bar of soap in a towel and proceed to beat the shit out of Pyle? Picture that, except it’ll be nickels and quarters instead of bars of soap, and instead of towels it’ll be pillow-cases. Something like that. Let’s see if that gets through to them, shall we?
The Crime: 2nd Degree Grandstanding
Really? Really, you condescending, ignorant douche?! REALLY?! I’m in here, stuck behind this register, and you’re going to go through my line and let me know how nice it is outside?
The Sentence Is: Death by exposure. Well then, they’re so happy it’s so nice outside, huh? They’re so ecstatic they get to enjoy the sun and so enthralled with the bright blue sky? That’s great! If they want to see the sun and the bright blue sky, then let’s drop their ass right in the middle of the 3,000-mile wide Sahara. Let’s see how much they want to enjoy the sun and the great outdoors then. What would really add to it and make it appropriate would be to follow them around in an RV, with the sides retrofitted with massive glass windows that encompass all sides of the vehicle, so they can watch me relax and sip ice-cold water in the air-conditioned, dimly lit space…
I mean, fair’s fair here. I’m just talking about justice… Ya know… for them uh… telling me it’s nice outside… Uhh…
Ok, so… I MAY need some therapy… A little. If any.
The Crime: 2nd Degree Aggressive Presentation
Christ, I’m not even going to get started on how irritating this is. These self-conscious pricks who force their ID down your throat for their Smirnoff Ices and O’Douls Non-Alcoholic Beer.
Dude. Old Man Jenkins. You are old. I do NOT need to see your ID to know you’re over 30, let alone over 52, which your ID says you are. Your shit’s as gray as the summer sky in Seattle. Where it rains perpetually. Not to mention, with those deep crags in your face, I started having PTSD-like flashbacks of riding a donkey on a canyon tour. Next time, don’t waste my time and keep it in your pants.
Sentiments I wish your father had shared.
The Sentence Is: Death by mistaken identity. Since they’re so insistent on cramming their IDs down our throats, I think it’s only fair that they’re forced to take a sabotaged trip out of the country. Perhaps to some hostile Middle Eastern nation that doesn’t take kindly to Americans as it is, but when their passport is flagged as wanted by Interpol for crimes against that Middle Eastern nation? Whew! Not good…
Let’s just say, they probably won’t be seeing the sun again any time soon. If ever. And the time they’ll be spending with the lovely, polite interrogator… Well, it’ll probably involve a rusty knife, some pliers, a car battery, some alligator clips, rusty old wire, and some peeled back fingernails…
Yeesh. Guess they’ll think twice before whipping out that ID next time around, huh? We’ll call this one: “lesson learned.”
The Crime: 3rd Degree Unlawful Use of Person
I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced it. I’m not the only one who hates it. I’m not the only one who wants to stab someone in the eyes when they do it to me.
Someone walks into the store, and even though you’re clearly doing something like ringing in items on a register, fervently bagging, racing between self scans, or even just scratching your ass, they beeline it straight for you and blurt out a question with such urgency and desperation that you fear they may collapse like Marathon did. But, Lo and behold, what is it you usually get instead?
“Where’s the mayonnaise?!”
You stare in disbelief. If they’d have asked for the toilet paper then you would’ve at least understood. But, seriously? Mayo? They couldn’t take the 15 seconds to walk across a couple of aisles while checking the overhead signs? They had to just ask someone? Is their situation so dire, so dismal without mayo that they had to forego the complexities and complications of READING A HANGING SIGN OVER EVERY AISLE and just ask someone who was already busy?
Almost makes you wish Vlad Tepes III were still around, doesn’t it?
The Sentence Is: Death by labyrinth. Since they can’t be bothered to slow their shit down and make rational, logical decisions (like doing things for themselves, the same things hundreds of other people do throughout the day) then they need to be forced to do so. Put them in a labyrinth, an endless series of corridors, twisting and turning, peppered with unmarked doors throughout. What’s behind those doors? Well, therein lies all the fun! Since they couldn’t be bothered to just look for something when it was simple, now they have to play a deadly game of Russian Roulette! Will it be freedom behind the door? A hungry lion? Complete darkness? Maybe an iron maiden? A bottomless cliff? Freedom? A room full of wasps? Flying javelins? Freedom? Flamethrowers? Who knows?! And that’s what make it so fun!