Memoirs of a Working Girl (and How [Not] to Behave in Public) Pt.1

Employment. A paycheck. It certainly beats unemployment and not having a pay check, yeh? Yeh. Except that, for some, working in or for, the general public, can become a nightmare. Literally.
I have worked in concession stands, a grocery store, convenience stores, a pizza parlor, a state park ( by far, one of my favorite jobs), a seafood restaurant, a bar, and I even worked for a neurotic lawyer once. Aside from taking up time in my life and allowing some financial stability, they all had one thing in common. People suck.
All too often, patrons tend to feel a sense of entitlement over employees. As patrons, we tend to forget or fail to realize that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.. Or in this case, the counter. Or desk. Or nurses station. Or order pad. Whatever. You get the freakin’ point.
A while back, while listening to me complain about customers at my current job, a friend of mine was like “Geez, LeeLee, you should just write a book called “How To Behave in Public.” I agree. Except, I would rather just blog about it. When she told me that, it made me realize that I always hear about experiences from the customers point of view, but rarely do I hear about it from an employees perspective. So here it is, from my own personal experiences, to your screen.

1.) An employee is a person just like you, the patron, are. I like to follow the golden rule of treat others how you want to be treated. Now, I know in some cases, people are just downright assholes, whether they are an employee on the clock, or a paying customer. Regardless, try to remember that everyone has bad days from time to time , and all it takes is one incident to either make or ruin your day.

2.) When you are trying to talk to someone or when someone is involved in a conversation with you, does it bother you when they are also simultaneously having a conversation into the phone that seems to be an extra freakin’ appendage protruding from their head?? Especially when they seem to be yelling into the phone, but barely whispering to you, as if they wanted to keep it a secret from the other person they are talking to?
On behalf of people who work in the general public all over, please. Hang up your phone, or at least have the courtesy to put the phone down until our conversation is over. There is an unspoken code stating that “Your Service HERE Begins When Your Conversation THERE Ends.” Unfortunately, I would get tattled on and reprimanded by my employer for trying to enforce such a thing, but even so. Consider it the next time you are speaking to someone.

3.) Stores, hospitals, offices, and restaurants are NOT daycare centers. Please do not allow your children to run rampant in these establishments, and certainly don’t allow them to run freely in a parking lot, at the risk of an accident.

4.) If you do allow your children to go into the establishment unattended, please do not feel offended when they are asked to return whence they came, especially if they are behaving like brats who have never been taught manners or respect.

5.) I do not determine gas prices. Therefore, if there is a problem with gas prices , please. Take it up with those big shots in the oil industry. I don’t get a salary matching the leaders of the oil industry, therefore I don’t want to hear you bitch about the oil industry.

6.) The restroom facility at my place of work was replaced with the best beer cave in town so I go to the coffee shop next door if I need to relieve myself, and I often wait until I get home before relieving myself. So, the next time you want to be ugly or call the employee names for not offering a public restroom, stop and think about how their shift at work has been overwhelmed with angry raging customers or clients like YOU. It’s been hours, (could possibly be hours), since myself, my co-worker, or another employee or public service provider, has even had a chance to step away for 20 seconds, much less long enough to go to the loo to crap, pee, or hover in nauseating despair. (Those who have ever experienced morning sickness, or gone to work with a virus or hangover will understand).

7.) Please do not mumble. Speak clearly and loudly, enunciate, and for the love of all that is sacred, if you don’t clearly/fluently speak the general language of the area you are in, please don’t take offense when you are misunderstood. I just haven’t found the time to get acquainted with the Rosetta Stone, and quite frankly, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

8.) Mouthing words to me or using hand signals to me through the window at my job will do no good. The gas station I work at generally doesn’t offer roadside service unless we can see that one has physical or mental difficulty, so unless that applies to you, feel free to enter the building through the mechanism with the sticker reading CAUTION: SWINGING DOOR, and then I shall see how I can help you.

9.) Handing me $20 bill and then walking out without speaking or collecting change leads me to believe that you want $20 worth of gas. I wasn’t gifted with telepathy, so please understand when you are charged for pumping $20 in gas when you really intended to get a lesser amount.

10.) Laying money on the countertop and walking out before I have counted the money out loud to confirm the amount will result in me charging you for the amount I have counted out in my hands, regardless of how much you say you gave me. To avoid such mishaps, it makes sense to wait while the cashier or clerk counts the money before you rush away.

11.) Sending an unatteneded child or toddler into any building with money is just hands down, downright….. Stupidity. Allowing your toddler to stand outside of your vehicle pumping gas while you sit in your vehicle on your phone or doing other things is…….Stupidity. Beating, yelling at, cussing at, or yanking on your child because they paid for the wrong amount or for other reasons is….. Illegal, and I will take your license plate number and report you to the local authorities for child abuse. Don’t believe me? I dare not say try me, so I hope you do believe me.

12.) I currently do not wear a ring on my finger, but if you’d like to get a number, call my significant other, or better yet, just piss off because I am not interested in anyone except my significant other, nor do I use my place of employment as a dating service or a place to mingle and hang out.

13.) Butting in line is rude. It’s a simple concept that most people learn as toddlers. If you’re in that big of a hurry, perhaps you shouldn’t have even stopped.

14.) We sell many varieties of cigarettes, any store I’ve ever been in that sells cigarettes and other tobacco products generally keeps them behind the counter, and for real, y’all. Stop freakin’ pointing behind me at the cigarettes without saying what cigarettes you want and expect me to know what the hell you’re pointing at. You want telepathy, go read a Jean Grey comic book.

13.) Selling tobacco to anyone under 18, or alcohol to anyone under 21, is against the law in the state of MS. Buying tobacco or alcohol for minors is also against the law.
That means that the person selling or buying tobacco or alcohol to/for the minors is subject to a fine as well as jail time if they are caught .
That means that if you come into my place of work, and try to purchase tobacco or alcohol, I will ask for valid identification and if you fail to present such, I can and will refuse to sell to you.
That also means that if you come into my place of work in an attempt to purchase alcohol or tobacco for someone else who refuses to present valid identification, and you have the lack of common sense to turn to them and say “ay, yo. What kina cigarettes you want?”, in front of me, you will be denied the purchase you are trying to make, and asked to leave. I don’t care what your birthday is, who you are, and I most certainly don’t care that the store down the street never asks for your identification.
However, since that is the case, feel free to walk down the street to the place that does sell cigarettes and alcohol to you without checking your identification. I’m sure they would be most appreciative for your patronage, and perhaps they can even afford the fine cost and jail time that could result in such a situation. But please. For your safety and that of others, first pull up your pants that are falling to your knees , so that you don’t trip and fall into oncoming traffic and cause an accident. And also, because you just look ridiculous walking around with your undies showing.

14.) Please don’t yell. Whether it’s at me, another customer, another employee, or even the person across the street or parking lot…. Don’t yell and please mind your language. Not everyone enjoys the F-bomb, especially in the presence of innocent ears and I don’t know anyone who enjoys being yelled at or being around one who yells.

15.) I do not decide what merchandise we stock. Generally, the owner or store/office manager makes those decisions, and even then, someone in a more authoritative position tells them what to order or keep stocked. Becoming irate and screaming will not make things any easier. You will just be asked to leave because you are being a jackass.

16.) Why in the hell do people take infants or children who are still at a point in their life where they throw tantrums and cry uncontrollably TO THE DAMN THEATRE?? Children get upset. I get that. Sometimes, these tantrums and uncontrollable emotions are just that… uncontrollable and totally out of the hands of both the parent(s) and the child. However, there is a thin line between “oh, my child is crying, let me take my child out of the screen room so as not to disturb anyone else” and just continuing to sit there while your child is obviously not at ease, hoping that no one notices the sound of a wailing child. It’s not like you are on a plane with down being the only place to go. The price of entertainment on the big screen, along with concessions, is already stupid expensive. What makes you think anyone paid money just to hear your kid exercise his/her pipes and hear you “shush” your kid, and then listen to you bitch because you are asked to leave. You’re damn right they asked you to leave. Just because your kid is upset doesn’t mean me and my kids shouldn’t enjoy the movie. Go find out whats wrong with your child and do what is necessary to comfort them.
If you are pleasant in asking, the theater staff may even reimburse you for the ticket purchase.

If you’re guilty of this, let me have no shame or remorse in telling you what a severe jackass you made yourself out to be that time. Not because your child cried or got upset, but because you didn’t seem to have consideration for anyone else.

17.) If you step out of line, in some circumstances,you may lose that place in line. It’s a fact, so please don’t ask the rest of us to stop time while you finish shopping.

18.) Asking the cashier/clerk/public service provider if the establishment they work in is bulletproof is not only silly but it’s also asking for trouble. Curiosity killed the cat, so unless your entire body is made of or covered in Kevlar, don’t ask us that shit. It seriously seems suspicious, especially in a bank or convenience store setting.

19.) Don’t twerk in public unless you absolutely know how to twerk.

20.) Don’t take twerk lessons from Miley Cyrus.

21.) Calling a pizza parlor demanding your money back because you were given the wrong order does no good if you already ate the wrong order. duh.

22.) Do you mind holding this sweaty smelly money I just pulled out of my shirt? I know we haven’t been properly been introduced, and I haven ‘t showered since this morning, but you know. I really want that pack of smokes, some gas, and this pack of cookies.

23.) Is #22 disgusting to you? Did it make you gag, cringe,or bring up all kinds of gross thoughts in your mind?

24.) Allow me to explain. Titties Aren’t Pockets. YouTube it. The gal who made the video deserves a standing ovation. It’s pure brilliance and may possibly change your life. Or at least your outlook on tit money.

25.) What? You don’t want to touch ball change or pit/tit bills?

26.) Lots of stores have public garbage cans. I think, for the most part, it is to dispose of cigarette plastic, candy wrappers, soda cans, and other items that you have just purchased and so employees have a means of discarding trash. . Not so you can clean out your freakin’ landfill of a vehicle. Many of us have to carry that nastiness out at the end of our shift, and sometimes we even have to get covered in garbage juice because the cup full of soda that some douchenozzle threw in the garbage can caused the bag to leak or rip. On the ground next to the garbage bin because the trash is overflowing is no better. Unless you work for Waste Management , you may have no idea how disgusting it is to have to pick up someone elses trash, and carry it to the dumpster. Think about that the next time your baby craps and you toss the soiled diaper to the ground or the next time you decide to throw your stinkin’ crawfish hulls in the outside trash in mid freakin July. You obviously didn’t want to smell it, so what makes you think anyone else wants to? Jackasses.

 As I said, this blog was based on my own personal experiences, and although I am sure I left out some things, my “boo thang” (seriously, guys and gals, what the hell is a boo thang) bought me a new table this afternoon that is about to become my new altar, so I will leave you with this. If you are reading this, and are guilty of acting a fool in public, try to have some consideration for others. If you want respect, give respect. If you have been treated with disrespect out in public, you most definitely aren’ t alone, and for every shit for brains out there, there are also twice as many decent people.

How [Not] to Behave in Public Pt.2 will be coming soon, so stay tuned.