Hi. I'm Shirley. I'm not here to help you. You might think because I wear this ticky-tack name badge that I'm your servant. But I'm not. I'm here at K-mart because my grandson said I need to get out of the house. I wish he'd get out of my house.
Here are some survival tips for working at K-mart gleaned in the past month.
1) Don't smile. Smiling makes you look helpful. You do not want to be helpful. When you're helpful people will ask you to babysit and then return three days later bleeding from the mouth and ass.
She ruined my upholstery. She said she was trying to make some money to pay for my grandson's “maintenance”. The only thing I saw her maintaining was the shit I flushed down the toilet.
2) Walk away when someone starts talking to you. It's easier for me. I'm as old as shit and feel like shit. So people think I can't hear shit but my hearing is perfect though some days I wish someone would puncture my ear drum. Maybe I'll do it myself.
My grandson's bawling out his bug eyes in his obscenely postered room, (it was my guest room), thinking his decrepit grandma can't understand the “immense” pain of his twelve year-old heart. I wish I was fucking deaf.
3) Ask not what you can do for the customer but how little you can do. If you're shopping at K-mart, you need far more help than I can provide. I shop at the thrift store, it's even cheaper and there are no assholes asking you, “Can I help you?” They know they can't help you.
4) Look busy or miserable. Miserable works better, most people don't want to bother a miserable person except my grandson but then again he's been dropped on his head many times by my junkie daughter so it's got to have affected him. He twitches, picks his snotty nose like Halloween candy and is everyone's punching dummy at the public prison. Oh wait, I meant school. No, I meant prison.
Looking busy is harder because no one assumes you're busy enough and most people have as much patience as an ant's dick. They want what they want and they don't care who they ruin to get it.
Finally, if none of these tactics work and someone still asks you to do something, walk off to do it and just never return like my daughter.
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This piece took a very different turn than I expected. This story is not all hammered out so any suggestions are welcome. I don't usually write short stories but now I'm writing a ton.
Basically it was inspired by this severely grumpy woman at K-mart in New Jersey. We’d joke that she ran her own customer service school. Her name tag read Shirley. But then when I started writing this short piece, I got into her voice and wondered what her problem really was.