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‘Welcome Back, Larry’
When Your Job Sucks so Bad it Drives You to Contemplate Infinity!
Forty-Four years on the grocer job and three years before retirement, Larry’s job truly sucks. There is one perk, though, four vacation weeks per year, one for each complete decade served in the retail food trenches, lifting, moving and displaying countless carbohydrate delivery systems as the guy in the tie asks you stupid questions and makes useless suggestions, and the douche bags in the aprons fail you at every turn on the polyhydron of inventory control. Then there are the old ladies ramming your shins with the shopping cart bumper to get your attention, the sex-crazed, bi-polar, middle-aged broads trying to feel you up in the aisle, the mud sharks with their teaming food stamp-bred broods—the 300 pound shoplifters who tuck the ham shank under their arm and relive their Jim Browne fantasy with you as the stand-in for the undersized Caucasian corner back circa 1965…
Last Monday morning, at about 8:00, as Larry corrected the chip vendor’s order, corrected George’s faulty rotation and fretted over Big Ed’s shitty merchandizing, he took a phone call, which at least permitted him to make faces at the unseen customer, where, if the complaint had been made in person, he would be professionally bound to smile and nod agreeably to the middle-aged sounding man on the phone.
FB: “May I speak with the manager, please!”
Larry: “He is on vacation and will not be back until next week, sir. But if you need help now, I am filling in.”
FB: “Yes, I was shopping in your store yesterday and had to have a bowel movement.”
Larry: [Throws his coffee in the trash can and grits his teeth.]
FB: “Well, I have never used a men’s room in any other supermarket with toilets so low-to-the-ground. Don’t you think it is odd that you have the only low-to-the-ground toilets in Baltimore?”
Larry: “No, sir, I had no idea. In fact, I have yet to conduct a survey of Baltimore Area toilets in super markets.”
FB: “Well, I will have you know, that not only are your toilets too low-to-the-ground, but you have no handicapped bar! How is person supposed to clean themselves properly with no handicapped bar?”
Larry: [Thought, “Really, really—this is how my first day back from vacation is going to play out?]
FB: “I would really appreciate it if you installed a handicapped bar. In fact, I may call OSHA.”
Larry: [Thought, “Not an occupational issue!]
FB: “But the greatest affront is the low commode. A man should not have to sit in humiliation, in a public restroom, waiting for a person to enter so that he can plead for aid, and then have –some guy!—haul him off of the toilet seat!”
Larry: “I am so sorry, sir, that you restroom experience was substandard. I will forward your complaint to the manager and push for the handicapped bar—which really is an excellent suggestion. As to the dimensions of your preferred toilet seat, I will refer you to Mister John, who will handle this issue with all of the attention it deserves as soon as he’s back from his vacation.”
FB: “I really do wish you would stress the importance of accessible toilet seats to your boss. You have no idea how humiliating this is.”
Larry: [Thought to self, “Exactly, because I’m not a Fat Bastard with nothing better to do with my time than test-fire supermarket toilets!”]
Larry: “I will do my best, sir, and thank you very much for sh-sh—opping with Box and Save.”
Sometimes God is straight with us, and lets us know, in no uncertain terms, exactly where we stand or otherwise position ourselves.
I’m rooting for your, Larry, only 144 more Monday mornings to go!
Your Trojan Horse
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