Relatable Nightmares- Retail
Updated: Feb 20, 2021
By, Wendiann Alfieri
It's October, and all the frights are out. But not only is zombies and ghouls scary, some things are also scary, that typical adult life brings, well those are relatable but no less scary. Here I present to you a tale of true pain
You arrive as early as you can to work on friday. Parking is the worst thing to happen, and you circle around and realize that these cars are not parked right matching with the lines. You drive out of that lot and park as far away as your willing to walk down the street. When you get out of your car, the cold air whips at your heels, and your breath is visible in clouds in the air as you exhale. You are freezing, your hands are numb, and you see some poor sap walking their dog out.
You go closer and realize its not a dog, it’s a child on one of those fucking leash things at five in the morning. “Come on, Janet, mommy needs to get you more clothes”. The child was hard to see with the amounts of coats and scarves piled on. You continue on and reach: the parking lot. As you look from afar, a headache forms. This will progress to a migraine as the day goes on, you know it but you can’t do shit about it you left your asprin in the car and there was no way in hell you were going back. People are swarming, and you have to go through the back entrance to the mall, the practically unknown one, not the usual one.
The parking lot has honking and screaming, shrieks like nails on a chalkboard. Everyone is clamoring, looking at their watches, and hiding their wallets. It smells of stale cigarettes and coffee. You cough and your head reminds you that you still don’t have asprin. You have a fresh cup in your hand, and dear god do you wish you’d just poured vodka in there, because maybe you would get through today
The door is old, it’s been graffitied over many times and no one gives a shit. Just like how the mall never fixed anything unless they needed to. The insanity is still in the air, stealing customers souls. As your co-worker has said before, “Black Friday is when Satan rules and collects souls and makes good deals with his own customers”. You sigh as you try opening the back door, but fresh gum is stuck in the keyhole. You look at your own watch. You’re late. You take a breath and weave your way into the parking lot, almost getting hit by a jeep. Horns and cursing en sue from the mouths of women trying to get their kids clothes and that new purse they’ve wanted but couldn’t afford. These people were preparing to fight and dear god you pray that none happens in your workplace.
You get to the normal back entrance, when you see your co worker struggling to open it with his key. You rush over to him, but he turns around too suddenly and your hands go flying as the hot coffee hits your face, not as hot as it could be but somehow hot enough. “Oops, sorry!” He says. You are frantically waving your arms and hands in front of your face as it burns enough to hurt. After a few seconds of cursing and your co worker offering their scarf to wipe away the coffee, your co worker finds the keys and you both enter the door. You walk through the mall, no customers but frantic employees who work in retail who look like if they got shot right there it would be merciful, and you feel the same way.
You get to your store, and it looks like some other employees are there, and security. For you work for a popular phone and electronics store. And the white pristine store, it feels like you are going to go to a dentist and find out you need a root canal. But it’s not a root canal. Today is going to be like pulling teeth out with pliers. As you all set up, and check with security, you assume your position. It’s not long before opening time, and you close your eyes before the sound of a demons cry erupts and the floods go in.
It’s not yet been an hour, but already there is a difficult customer. He is tall and balding, and very lanky, and he is asking about a computer’s price. You tell him the price, again, for the third time in a row, and you hold your breath cause this man has cleary not showered or shaved in awhile.
He looks up, and thinks to himself. “How about this, you give it to me for fifty dollars less, and I’ll come back and pay the rest, as soon as I get to an ATM?”
“No, sir, prices are not negotiable.” The man looks down at you. He asks you again what you said so you repeat it. He is quiet, again, and there is someone that’s been waiting for assistance, and is tapping their foot angrily. “So what if you give me fifty dollars less, and I will give you a tip? I’ve got five dollars, with your name on it, and I can write a good review of these products? I’ve got a following, I review products I buy,” He smiles and his hair looks like its graying by the minute. “No, sir, I cannot do that. If you would like I can show you a smaller but less expensive version, and-”
“Well, you know, what’s wrong with a little negotiation?” His voice is slightly losing patience and you feel the bags under your eyes getting blacker by the second. You just stare at him. “Alright, alright,” he says, and he tries to negotiate again, but the customer in the side of your vision steps in.
“Excuse me, sir, but I’ve been waiting for assistance”.
The mans face grows angry and he turns to argue, but then sees its a woman standing there, a pretty woman too. He sighed in defeat and turns away and you thank God but then this woman steps in.
“ So, I need a phone, I have such an old version! But first I need a price, I assume you have sales?” She asks nicely.
You start to recommend one, but over by the phone accessories, a man seems to be taking some. You shift your vision back to the woman, who quickly glances at her own phone. She holds it up for you to see. “Ma’am that looks to be the latest model, were you looking for a phone for someone else?” All of a sudden a fight breaks out as the man apparently was trying to shoplift and apparently steal a man’s wallet. The fight was ending before it starts, as the security jumps is called and arrive pretty quickly. The woman sees the fight and runs over to yell at the guard for trying to take her husband out of the store.
“He’s not stealing shit, I came here to buy a phone and now my husband is a target? Sir, I don’t think you know your head from your ass! Come on, hon, let’s get out of here”. It takes a little while for the store to cool down, but eventually everyone moves their eyes away from the spectacle and onto looking around. You need a drink of water, but there’s a lady with a toddler holding her hand with him already in the midst of asking you about phone cases and how she wants to get a phone for her twelve year old, who is standing behind her mother with her arms folded.
“So what would be an affordable sale, my daughter really wants a eyes phone,” the mother said. The twelve year old speaks up. “ Mom I told you it’s not eyes, its I. As in Iphone,” the twelve year old snaps. “Don’t correct me young lady, I told you not to correct me, I’m already in a bad mood from your attitude this morning, keep it up and you won’t get an e phone,” the mother said sternly.
“Mom, its IPHONE!”
That was it, and the mother let go of the toddlers hands to point her finger at her daughter, whose blushing red as the store buzzs around her.
Your eyes are looking for the toddler, when you see him. He’s got something in his hand and, oh no… you realize. “Ma’am?” You say, to get the mothers attention. “What?” she says, and then she sees it. “Tim!” she stammers. The child is on the floor, with his pants down, shitting on the floor and smearing it. The mother rushes over and starts yelling at him, taking him out of the store, not even caring she had to pick him up with shit on his hands. The twelve year old thinks this is funny but as they left the store quickly, their ensuing argument was swallowed up by the crowds.
Cleaning shit as everyone left the store for sanitary reasons, well that wasn’t your job. But when no one could find a janitor it was you who had to get a mop from somewhere. Your wearing gloves, and the smell is horrible. As you finish cleaning, you end up puking, but at least it was in the bucket.
The day has ended and you are walking to your car, when you see the tow truck. You were in a no parking or you’ll be towed spot, and as you feel like collapsing, you really really wish you’d snuck in some vodka.