Saturday, January 26, 2008

Things The Store Clerk Is Not

Some people seem to have a hard time understanding the concept of the average store clerk, and what his or her actual duties entail. Apparently our culture has moved to the point where our own incompetence is somehow someone else's problem, and the competent are somehow morally obligated to help the incompetent. So to avoid any future confusion, obstruction of service, or overwhelming urges to gouge out anyone's eyeballs, here is a brief list of things that your average store clerk is NOT.

A Bartender
Just because alcohol is sold in the store, it does not make the store clerk equitable to a bartender. Bartenders serve alcohol, clerks just sell it. Don't rush into a convenience store and ask what time they stop serving, because the answer is that they never serve. If you want to treat the store clerks like a bartender, then you should tip your store clerks like a bartender. Otherwise, you just look like a jackass.

A Babysitter
Don't let your dumbass children unattended and expect the store clerk to look after them. They have their own responsibilities, such as dealing with the actual customers and any number of random maintenance tasks that pop up unexpectedly. If you decide to drag your byproducts of destructive negligence into the store with you, watch them yourself, and don't blame anything except your poor patenting skills if and when your idiot children do something dumbass and get themselves hurt. Don't leave your children in the store unattended while you go off to do something else, especially something else in another store because, quite frankly, caring about your children outside of dialing 9-1-1 is not in the store clerk's job description. If you do decide to leave your children under the protective guidance of the average Randal Graves, then you should pay him or her accordingly. That'll be $20 for the first hour, and $1 each additional minute, please.

Also do not drop off your drunk buddies at the store to try to find a ride the rest of the way to wherever it is they're going. Here's a novel concept, why not just take them all the way home? Don't ditch them there either. The last thing I need to do is babysit some adult child who drank themselves retarded while they harass all the customers about rides. Then the morons call a cab and promise they'll be there when the cab shows up and decide to walk home anyway because they have no consideration or sense of responsibility, just like you when you dump them there in the first place. In short, go to Hell, and take your drunk friends all the way there with you.

A Roadmap
If you're lost, convenience stores can be great sources of relief, however, you shouldn't expect that every store clerk knows every single road in the every surrounding city in the state. There's a good chance they can get you where you're going, but the law of averages dictate that there's an even better chance that they can't, because you're looking for some fucked-ass location in the middle of nowhere or you're looking for "Billy's house" without a street address. Just because a clerk is living in that particular town now doesn't mean that he or she has always lived there. Don't get upset if they can't help you, just move along to the next open place and hope they are able to get you where you need to go. Or better yet, buy a roadmap and learn how to read it.

An Answering Service
Don't call a store with anything more complicated than hours of operation, because I guarantee you the clerk is not going to have time to answer your jackanape question. If you ever want to know what a good time to call a store is, the answer is that if you have the phone receiver in your hand and you're dialing the store's phone number, it's a bad time, don't fucking call!! Don't call looking for someone who isn't going to have time to talk to you anyway. If you want to talk to your friend or dealer or whatever, get in your car and drive up so you can wait patiently and engage him or her when you see they are not busy. If you call for someone and find out they aren't there, don't ask where they are, because the person you're talking to probably isn't really that invested. The store clerk is absolutely not directory assistance. Learn to use the phone book, moron. Don't ask them to take down a message, because they don't have time and could not care less. In fact, they secretly wish they could make the phone receiver blow up and incinerate your face. Whenever the phone rings, the person on the receiving end of your call automatically hates you.

Lottery Information
There's a separate number you can call for this known as the [State] Lottery Hotline. If you didn't have your head clear up your ass, you could find this number and just call it when you need your Lottery numbers recited to you. Usually, it's the same number as the state's gambling addiction hotline. Or here's a novel concept: Watch the local news! Read the newspaper! There's no shortage of ways that you can get the numbers for the lottery drawings, up to and including going to a lottery dealer and scanning your ticket when you plan to buy a new one. You can also use the Internet, but if the concept of a newspaper baffles you, I'm sure you would detonate a hemisphere by simply pressing the power button on the front of a tower PC.

A Bank
Most small stores only have a limited amout of cash in their registers because most small stores get robbed. Store clerks love small bills like ones and fives, and they hate having to give them away, and they detest you for making them give them away. A drawer full of twenty dollar bills is pretty much useless to a clerk, so when you buy a 30 cent pack of gum to cash out your twenty, the clerk automatically hopes to God and Satan a garbage truck plows full speed into the driver's side door of your car as soon as you leave the parking lot.

At least with twenties, though, the clerk can buy more small bills out of the safe. A fifty or hundred dollar bill is pretty well useless to the clerk. Don't buy a candy bar to break a fifty. The clerk knows what you're doing and every single one of them are actively plotting your destruction just beneath the thinly-stretched smile. Don't shrug and grumble, "That's what the bank gave me," because that is a pathetic excuse. You're at a bank! They have money! Money is all they have! If you don't want a bunch of big bills that you can't spend at work or at the average convenience store, then ask them for smaller bills! They will give them to you, because they have them to spare! Are you grasping this concept yet or do I need to break it down in terms your mama would be ashamed of?

Your Friend
Finally, the store clerk is not your friend. Unless the store clerk happens to be your friend, likely before he or she got to be a store clerk. If you just walk in off the street and no one knows you from Adam, then you're not the store clerk's friend. The store clerk doesn't give one iota of a shit about you, and that amount is decreasing rapidly the more you stand there and spew out your filth, garbage, and bullshit because I've come to find that often the more randomly friendly of an annoying customer, the more ignorant, profane, and imbecilic the reprobate is, and very likely, the more drunk. You know when you're standing there, belching out your stupidity and the clerk is smiling and nodding with a nervous, glazed look in their eye? It's because they stopped caring about your life's story the moment you were conceived as a fetus. They want you to hurry up and move it along to the next unfortunate establishment and maybe, hopefully, do the world a favor and get struck by a garbage truck while staggering across the street.


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