Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 82

The Time Mookie Sold Firearms At Walmart

My resume notes that as part of my employment history, I spent six GLORIOUS years working in the Sporting Goods and Automotive Departments for the hell-hole that is known as Walmart.  During that six year time period, I had the "opportunity" to work in THREE separate Walmart stores.  The reason for this was that the company was gracious enough to let me transfer to stores near the different schools and cities I lived in during that stretch.

I still can't believe they gave me the keys to a display like this.
As I said, I worked in Sporting Goods - which meant I was able to sell guns and ammo - and I sold A LOT of it. Prior to working at Walmart, my exposure to guns was almost zero. This is not because I am against them, but mainly because my family and friends were not hunters or big gun owners. Needless to say, this lack of gun-knowledge caused me to live by the adage "fake it till you make it" for quite awhile.  I literally had NO idea what a lot of these people were talking about. Plus, when I moved to Colorado from the Midwest, the learning curve started all over again because the hunters out there used high-powered rifles as opposed to the shotgun-toting Midwest hunters. Very different weapons killing very different animals.

The one thing I quickly found out with most of these people while listening and learning was that they just enjoyed telling their stories.  While this is true with anyone who is passionate about something, I found out that with hunters it was all together different for some reason. Perhaps it was because it entailed killing things - I don't know.  The one thing that held true more than anything though, was that the bigger the redneck the person was, the more INSANE the situation or their stories were. You seriously couldn't make up some of the stuff these people were doing.

Needless to say, their stories have became my stories - because frankly - they are hilarious.

One of my all-time favorite stories was a guy who told me about how he was out on a date with some gal, and he saw a deer along the highway while they were driving. He stopped the truck, grabbed his shotgun from behind the seat, rolled down the passenger window and shot the deer from inside the truck. Then he spent the remainder of the date cleaning the deer carcass. My only response to this was to act like I was impressed and say the word "Nice."

An Asian guy I used to deal with on regular basis in Colorado used to come in and buy a lot of handgun ammunition.  He claimed to have several hand guns and liked to frequent the target range pretty often.  One particular day he arrived at the Sporting Goods counter and asked to purchase a few boxes of .45 cal shells.  He also had a few items in his hands that he'd picked up around the store and asked if he could pay for everything there.  What did he have?  In addition to the boxes of shells, I rang up a few bras and pairs of ladies panties.  I'm not sure if his lady asked him to pick up the lingerie, or if he wore them himself.  In the back of my head I told myself that this guy probably liked to party. All I could picture was him firing off target rounds while wearing the matching bra and panties.

I had a housewife-type lady stop by the counter one time, and began asking very generic questions about rifles and what-not.  I took a few out of the display case to show her (yes, we gave complete strangers actual guns to look at), and answered her questions as best I could.  She said she wanted to "educate" herself about them in the event she ever needed to buy one quickly because it looked like the "government was going to take away her right to buy one."  Whoa.
Want some ammo?  We got ammo!

One time a guy asked to look at a box of .44 mag shells, so I took the box out and he opened them to look at the tray of shells inside.  He picked up a few of the shells and looked at them curiously....and then he asked me for a cloth so that he could wipe his fingerprints off the shell casings.

One store I worked at was visited by an ATF officer (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) - three months in a row.  The reason?  In three consecutive months we sold an individual a cheap-ass .22 cal rifle, and in each of those consecutive months those individuals went home and committed suicide with said rifle.  I never found out if I was ever the "seller" of any of the rifles, but it was definitely a sobering thought to know that I might have been a party to that.

One time I had to deny a guy the ability to purchase a gun because when he completed the ATF purchase form, he noted that he'd been convicted of a felony involving a firearm.  Needless to say he was PISSED when I told him this, and had to contact a member of management to help handle the matter.

And finally....

I worked at one store where there was a female employee who happened to be suffering from some weird liver disorder.  She was out a lot on medical leave, but when she did work - it was hard to look at her because her skin and eyes were jaundice-yellow from to the liver illness.  The store had even put on several different fund-raisers for her and her family to help pay for medical bills and help get her a liver transplant and whatnot. She did end up getting the liver transplant she needed, but sadly it didn't "take" and she ended up dying a few months after that.  A few months prior to her dying, I had to help sell her "winner" of a husband a fancy $400 .44 caliber revolver - while she stood there all jaundiced and sick - so he could use her employee discount.

Seriously.

Walmart - the place where things happen that you could never ever make up.


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