I was working for a summer at a Wal-Mart as a cashier. No one told me that this is the weirdest position to have. You are the one who interacts with the customers the most, and as a result you get to hear the weirdest sh**. One day, I was working a regular, boring morning shift, and a man comes through my till with a bag of parrot food. I said good morning, and he grunts in the usual way a customer does if they don’t particularly want to talk to me. So I just scan the parrot food, and it comes in (for a four pound bag) to be about thirteen dollars. He looks very shocked, and I’m expecting him to say something like “it said on the sign it was only…” but instead he just smiles at me (in a very creepy way) and this is how the following conversation went:
Man: Do you have a senior citizen discount…?
Me: Sorry, sir, we don’t.
Man: YOU DIDN’T LET ME FINISH! Do you have a senior citizen discount for parrots? I have a very old parrot.
Me: (stifling laughter) No, sir, I’m sorry. That’ll be thirteen dollars.
(Then man then proceeds to reach into his pocket and throw down a bunch of change and dollar bills. I stand there for a moment, and then he glares at me, expecting me to fish through all the money myself. I do so, wanting him out of the store sooner rather than later. He then stares at the remaining change on the conveyor belt.)
Me: Here’s your receipt, sir.
(The man, ignoring me, starts to collect the change on the conveyor belt.)
Man: I can’t believe you made me dump my pockets on here.
(I wasn’t sure what to say or do, so I just offered him his receipt again.)
Man: (picking up the bag, and smiling) Thank you. My life partner and I thank you.
(I’m pretty sure by life partner he meant his parrot, because as he said this, he pointed at the parrot on the bag. I never had another customer that scared me that much.)
Let’s start by saying I loathe Wal-Mart. It takes an act of congress to get me near one…..or an act of my girlfriend. Anyhoo…..there are times that fate brings me our local store. Franticaly looking for a last minute gift late one evening, I find myself in a traffic jam in the store parking lot. Assuming someone had broke down in the middle of the lane, myself, as others started to drive around the obstacle that lay ahead. As I neared, slowly, the scenario started to attack my synapses.
There, in the middle of the lane, was a man passing out fried chicken to his extremley large family. They were all gathered around the shopping cart like flies to…..well, you know. They were having a friggin’ picnic in the parking lot at Wal-Mart…..at night.
Had this behavior been displayed in the parking lot of our local Target or Kohls, I would have been surprised. But sadly, I was not surprised to see it at our local Wal-Mart. These folks paid no more mind to the traffic avoiding them then they did to sound judgment. I must admit, instead of being angry and cussing the family as most did while driving by them, I found a great amount of jest in the situation.
My brother had a lot of great stories he would share with us about some of the stuff he would witness at Walmart while working there as a teen. One of these stories involved three elderly people who would regularly sit at the bench in front of the cash registers and make fun of customers who were checking out. My brother said that it was quite embarrasing because they were not discreet about it at all (I guess they had hearing difficulty). For instance, one time he was checking out a rather large customer and her rather large young son when one of them yells out to the other “Look at that fat kid and his fat mother.” My brother said they went on and on about how fat they were, and how much junk food they must eat, even going as far as to scrutinize all of their purchases. The lady just kept getting redder and redder. My brother couldn’t look her in the eye during the whole purchase. A few weeks after that incident my brother realized that his three regular “critiques” weren’t around anymore. He later found out that same day by his manager that they had been sneaking out of the local nursing home home each morning and hanging out at Walmart until finally one of their caretakers found out.
I was working the cash register during a late night shift when this drunk fella stumbled up to my line. I greeted him and the only thing that he said to me was “Whatever you do, don’t squish my bread.” He said this to me multiple times. He gathered his two bags of groceries, proceeded to snag his shirt on the corner the counter, tripped, and smashed his bread.
I tried to hold back a laugh but was just too good to pass up.