Saturday, September 08, 2012

Even For Me

Even though I didn’t wake up any earlier than the usual ridiculously early time I wake up, my workout wasn’t any shorter than usual, and I wasn’t any quicker about showering and getting dressed than is typically the case, I ended up leaving the house about 15 minutes early yesterday morning.
As I was running low on cigarettes, and had some extra time, I stopped at a gas station to pick some up.
I pulled into the parking lot and was surprised – and annoyed – to see that there weren’t any parking spaces available.  I mean, it wasn’t even 5 AM…what the fuck?
I finally found a space and pulled into it.  While I was at it, I decided I’d grab an extra energy drink and protein bar.  Fortunately the “5 AM Rush” had cleared out by then, and I at least didn’t have to stand in line.
Before asking for the cigarettes, I waited for the guy to ring up the other items.  He tried scanning the energy drink.  Then he tried again.  And again.  And again.
He fiddled with the cord and tried again.
And again.
Without a word, he picked up a cell phone and stepped back from the counter and tried calling someone.
Receiving no answer, he came back to the counter, fiddled the cord again, tried to scan the energy drink, failed, tried scanning the protein bar, failed, put down the cell phone, then said, “Sorry, sir.  No.”
”What do you mean ‘no?’”
”It no work.”
”I can see that, but are you seriously trying to tell me that you’re completely incapable of selling me anything?”
He looked at me helplessly.
”That’s nonsense,” I said.  “Do you intend to spend the morning telling every customer that you can’t sell them things simply because the scanner doesn’t work?”
”Yes, it doesn’t work.  I’ve been standing here the whole time watching it not work.  There is no reason that should mean you can’t actually sell things that customers want to buy.  You can’t manually enter a price into the register, or manually enter in the UPC?  You can’t move your drawer to the other register and see if that scanner works?  You have options; saying ‘no’ and shrugging your shoulders isn’t one of them.”
While he appeared unmoved by my argument, he attempted fiddling with the cord once again – this time I think he actually unplugged it and plugged it back in – and I noticed that the light on top of the scanner switched from blue to green, so this time the attempt to scan the items actually worked.
That experience, naturally, ate up all of the extra time I had somehow mysteriously gained.
As Scott put it, that all seemed excessive, even for me, in terms of the Universe just straight-up fucking with me.

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