Friday the 13th had always mystified me. I never understood the conception of it at all. In fact, I usually had very nice days on Friday the 13th.
First, here’s the background:
I recently taken on a new job working for a tax preparing company at a kiosk in Wal-Mart. Just a few extra bucks for a few extra jollies. Training started in Oct the year before. So, that means most people had 2-3 months training. I had one week. During that week I was required to do online training and go 50 miles out of my way for classes, both ways. EVERY hour I wasn’t out of town doing classes, I was online “learning.” It was also during this time I traveled to Knoxville to get my first root canal and spend time with a friend in need. I was told testing would be open book. It was not. I traveled to Cookeville once again for final testing, only to wait over an hour b/c the instructor wasn’t ready. Two days later I went to take a final test. Now I’m exhausted.
Now, here’s my story:
I got called in early to fill in for someone with adequate training. So, with no name badge, no uniform shirt, and no experience, I set off for Wal-Mart in the beginning of a snow storm with a packed bag just in case I can’t get home. I couldn’t, but that’s later.
I am alone for six hours. I have to close everything myself and open it all back up the next morning myself. Wal-Mart was so cold the cashiers wore coats, scarves, hats and hand warmers passed out by the manager. I shivered a lot. I did one tax return, and the rest of the time handed out fliers and watched people. Lots of really scary people.
“Would you like a coupon?”
Do you really think that tattoo makes you look better?
“Would you like a pen?”
Is that a lug nut sticking out of your body?
“Would you like one?”
And seriously people, there is NOTHING attractive about pajamas in public.
“Do you qualify for the EITC?”
4:12 (seriously, that happened. I actually believe time went backwards)
The same people would pass me over and over, it was the weirdest thing. Why would you go to Wal-Mart for hours on end and walk around it and go to the bathroom 3 times? Weird. The buggy guy was freaky weird and kept hanging around me. He also spoke terribly, so I didn’t understand him much.
People began taping the fliers to their body as they passed so that I wouldn’t bother them again. I don’t blame them. I hate it when people hand stuff out, it’s ridiculous, but it did generated business.
I did one tax return, one of the easiest there is. It took…oh…15? minutes?
An eternity later, I closed up and went home. Unable to access all the programs I’m supposed to b/c my name still isn’t in the thingy and help desk won’t help, I turn it off and head for the doors. My car is frozen shut. I came back in to try and recruit help, to no avail. I bought some cokes and Granola bars for supper, b/c Hot and Ready didn’t appear to be an option any longer. I managed to open the doors only to have 1/2inch thick ice on the windshield and a wiper shaped like a banana. I warm it up enough to drive…300 feet…and try to see again. Nope, still iced banana. I get on the road, a state highway, and can’t see much, and realize I am NOT driving home.
We live 30 minutes from Crossville, up 127. Now, this isn’t flat country with street lights. This is 1/2 mile high ravines with bridges, valleys, steep hills, and guard rails. Arlis calls the neighbor sheriff who said it should be OK as he hasn’t heard anything bad. Don’t care, where’s the Motel 6. I pull off at the Cracker Barrel for Arlis to find me a bed for the night. That’s when I smelled it… the e-brake has frozen on. Good thing I’m not going home. Motel 6 is just across 40, so I’m fine, just another 300 feet. I can’t really find the entrance, so I guess, and wind up amongst a bunch of truckers. I finally make it to the office, pay my day’s wages to spend the night, and draft the receptionist to hold the key turned while I pull on the frozen trunk.
I was told there was Wi-Fi. I was thrilled and got out my Kindle to watch a little Netflix. Nope, no signal. So, I turned on telly to see what the rest of the world was up to. We haven’t had so much as a local channel in years. Thank God. This stuff is horrible! Obama’s speeches cut to Lady Gaga, Madonna doesn’t care that she has children, she still wants to “push the envelope”, Miss America is still going apparently (I thought that died out years ago), and “Celebrities are wearing…” click. Some group of rude people are cooking in a contest and making WAY too big a deal out of it, all the weather is Knox/Nash/nat’l and none local, and a white girl and a black girl with a giant fro are duking it out to Michael Jackson music while their clothes just happen to rip off here and there in certain places. So…so…sad…
So, I read Enola Holmes and the Case of the Bizarre Bouquet, eat two bars, drink half a coke, and try to sleep, waking up every hour or two. Finally, I leave to go back to another 6 hours (9-3). By now the Wal-Mart associates are asking how I made it last night and are happy with my decision to be in a hotel, and as time goes on, it gets busier to normal flow almost, so I know it’s OK to go home.
But the real adventure was actually work that day. There’s the buggy…guy?…that looks like a really ugly Jack Black. Only, I can’t tell its gender. The one time it went to the bathroom, I had to answer some questions for a potential client. Drat! So then the freaky weird buggy guy comes back to talk to me again. He says the same sentence twenty times, “You know Nashville’s where we got that snow from.” Really? I thought it was God. I didn’t know they made snow in Nashville. (at this point I have a severe attitude problem with horrific snide remarks, but I actually managed to keep them all inside and still smile-yay for me!!)
He leaves, I answer a few more questions, and not a single…oh wait..he’s going to the bathroom again…and..it’s…a…BOY!! …ew…
Not a single tax return allowed the day to last even longer. I get an e-mail saying I’m supposed to get paid today for those 12 hours of training in Cookeville. I still haven’t…
Sure enough, when the time comes, I can traverse without too much trouble where I buy a pizza and chow down on the way home to light and fluffy music. I am scheduled again next week, but I will be with someone, and there should be a few returns to do.
HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH-may God have mercy on your soul!