(For the record. Timmy, Clive, the roommate and I are all good co-working friends. All things were done in fun.)

A couple of co-workers thought I was mean because I didn’t help a customer … or seven. Hey, my job’s boring. I gotta get my entertainment from somewhere. Please note, no one was hurt in any way because of this, and in fact, they probably learned something, which is more than can be said for the majority of their days I’m sure.

To refresh your memory, I work the self-checkout section of a large retail store. A lot of times, customers astound me with their actions. Take last night, when a woman kept bending over, peering into where the receipt comes from wondering where to put her dollars. So yes, I did wait until she asked me to come help her. I would have waited longer, this was getting good, but she asked for help. I’m not belligerent. So, I pointed out the clearly marked area with, get this, actual runway lights and the words “Cash in” printed in them. Yes, the area that takes your dollars literally has green lights that light up in sequence like they’re calling for a plane to land on them. No joke. I did this nicely, with a smile, heck I was wearing one anyway.

Another time I watched was when one of the kiosks was shut down. It had a sign on it, and the screen had a big red “X” that said “This register closed”. What more do people need? Please, tell me and I’ll start using it. I stood back and watched, astonished at the woman’s sheer lack of common sense, when a co-worker told me I was mean. Hey, I was about to tell her it was closed. This was my first time to experience this level of stupidity, and I was enjoying it. A story on that co-worker later. Trust me, it’s good. I went over to help her. Yes I was nice. No I wasn’t laughing at her. No she never knew I had been earlier.

So I’m reading a book in my car during lunch, and I go back to tell a co-worker about one of its passages: how the coachman got a kick out of watching the gentry folk try to get him out of a rut when he could have done it himself, simply because he wanted some entertainment. This co-worker, let’s call him Clive, (he’s going to be a common occurrence in these stories) laughs and nods. “I get people all the time that walk around me and all the buggies I have laid out for them to get their own.” He’s the person that stands by the front door and hands you carts. That job curtails a lot more than you would think, at least at my store. You can thank Clive for dried buggies, keeping the sanitizing wipes filled, and many other things you more than likely take for granted. He’s a great guy and a busy man. But anyway, he says, “I just let ’em walk past and try to take it. I know the buggy’s stuck, but I let them try until they give up. Then they look at me and go, ‘You knew this buggy was stuck, didn’t you?’ I nod and smile ‘hmm-hmm. Would you like one of these?’ and gesture to one of the ones already sitting out for them to take.”

I asked why they would surpass those instead of just taking what was already there. His flabbergasted face said, “When you find that out, you let me know!”

So yes, we most certainly have fun with you, and yes, we do it on purpose. You are our entertainment.

So back to that co-worker who called me mean. Let’s call him Timmy. There’s a button on the control panel for the kiosks that allows me to take control of them. It will display a message on the screen and say, “Please wait for assistance.” Timmy was clocked out for the day, and he and his roommate were buying their groceries. His roommate grabbed what he could and used another kiosk to make it go faster. I pressed the button. Every time Timmy would try to scan his 2-liter, I pressed it. He would go to bag it, only to hear the voice. I pressed it again, returning his control. He would wait until the kiosk returned to normal and then try to scan the 2 liter again. That would be when I pressed it again, making his screen change and the voice talk to him. This continued until I was doubled over crying with laughter. It kept telling him to rescan the items and everything. He spent several minutes trying to scan the same 2 liter. It was hilarious. Finally I felt sorry for him, after watching him scream at it, plead to it, and swivel around like someone looking for the hidden camera, and I asked him if he wanted me to stop.

“That was YOU?”

“Yes!” I laughed through tears.

His roommate held up a fist. “Awesome! Double points!”

Made. My. Night.

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