Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 25

The Time Mookie Worked Third-Shift Stocking Shelves

For about the last 4 months, I have been working 3rd shift unloading the shipping trucks, and stocking shelves in a local retail store a few nights a week. The extra income helps pay a few bills, and the employee discount definitely helps the family budget when my wife hits the store for groceries/necessities.  The discount pales in comparison to the savings she already pulls down with her super-savvy coupon usage, but it is a nice additional savings on top of it.  Anything is helpful.

I'm sorry Tiffani, I have to work.
Some nights I don't mind going, but then there are those where I totally loathe it.  It is hot, mindless, and tiring work.  It always takes me a few days to recover from a weekend of working 3rd shift, which is a frustrating sign I'm getting older. I used to operate pretty well with minimal sleep, but not so much anymore.  The biggest overall complaint is that it cuts into my family time, spouse time, and general doing anything else time.  I can't tell you the last Friday night I spent having a three-way with my wife and Tiffani Thiessen instead of stocking the macaroni shelves in aisle 4.  It is rough. 

Add in the fact my wife has the un-envious task of wrangling the kids while I go out to earn our meager income, and then come home and crash during the daytime.  It REEEEALLLY makes me wonder if it's worth it when I leave, and I know she's thinking the same thing when she goes days with little to no break from those little heathens.  Then the mortgage bill comes and puts it in a perspective we all understand.  It would be  nice to live on love, but love don't pay the bills.

Working 3rd shift definitely has exposed me to some "interesting" people. There are a few that - like me- just do it a few nights a week for extra cash, and have a "real job" during the day. Then there are those where the 3rd shift gig is their "real job" and ONLY job. Most of them are nice people, but I can only best describe these people as: "Off." 

Putting stuff on shelves so people can buy it - a thankless job
Seriously, they are "OFF."  In fact, I'll go as far as to say that some of these people are MESSED UP.  It makes me wonder if these people are "the way they are" because they work 3rd shift, or if they work 3rd shift because of they are "the way they are."  I think it has to be a little of both, but leans towards the latter.  I wouldn't want a majority of these people working with the general customer during the daylight hours because it would scare the hell out of them.  While I said before that most of the people are really nice (they are), there are more than a few that are just strange in how they act, talk, and behave in general.  Its hard to explain unless you've experienced it yourself.  People who are reading this right now and have seen this for themselves are nodding their head going "I hear you."  In adding to the strangeness, while I wouldn't call most of them un-hygienic, there are a few where you question if they live in a box given their hair and clothing choices.  Some have obvious physical defects/disabilities, such as hearing aides (or full-on deafness), limps, possible hernias, and mild brain damage.

Yeah I said brain damage - which sounds mean - but it is true.  But like I said before, the job is mostly mindless and a majority of people can pull it off as required.  It always makes me laugh when one of the trainers shows me a procedure on how to do something.  For the most part, I can usually learn what they  are doing pretty quickly because it isn't THAT hard.  Every time - without fail....the trainer is impressed.  At first I was offended by that because the shit isn't THAT hard, and it almost insults my intelligence.  But then I see "who" they deal with most of the time, and they genuinely probably are impressed when someone figures something out quickly.  Being smarter than the average bear is a curse some days I guess.

Then again, sometimes my smartness does nothing to prevent me from looking stupid.  Take for example the night one of the managers asked me to help "Joe" with his aisle when I was done with mine.  He was a newer old gentleman, and wasn't terribly fast.  I walk over to his aisle and yell up the aisle at him "Do you need any help?"  He doesn't respond at all.  So I walk up the aisle a bit closer and kindly repeat myself.  Again, nothing.  

Inside my brain, I'm like "What the f is up with this guy?"  So I walk up to where he is working and he sees me in his peripheral vision, and I say again "Do you need any help?"  He makes a few animated gestures, and  from this I gather that he is totally flippin' DEAF.  I was nice and we figured out a mutual understanding and went about finishing the aisle.  However in my head I wanted to slap the manager for not giving me a heads up that the guy in the granola aisle is f'n deaf so could prevent looking like an idiot.

Then there was another night where they called out for "lunch break" (even though its 2:30AM.)  A guy walking next to me on the way to the break room mentions he was hungry.  This guy - he has a cochlear implant, so he is sort of deaf, but can generally hear.  I say something to the fact that I was pretty thirsty and could use a "cold one."  His reply:  "Boy I hear that."  My brain about had an aneurysm trying to go "Do you?  Do you really hear me?"  Ohhhh Man.

So, other than that I really don't have any "good" stories to share.  However I'd like to show you what happens when I am left alone in the toilet paper/tissue aisle.  Right now the "store brand" of tissue boxes have letters on them like building blocks.  What am I supposed to do, just make them look pretty and not spell inappropriate things?  Whatever man.



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