Monday, April 01, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 62

The Time Mookie Worked Third Shift Stocking Shelves (Part II)

First of all, I hope everyone had a lovely Easter holiday, which of course is hilariously followed by today...April Fool's Day.  That makes me laugh for some reason.  But anyway.  I was going to do a silly "April Fool's" type story, but opted not to because that's stupid.  The only April Fools element this one has is the fact that it is a bit late.  Consider it a "Monday Afternoon Story."

If you remember back several months ago, I shared a story (Episode 25) about where I had been working third-shift at a local retail store.  I thought today would be an appropriate time to provide you with an "update" of sorts, and let you know how that situation is going.

The situation itself in a nutshell is pretty much "the same."  I have been there a little over a year now, and I am pretty much doing the same thing.  I unload trucks, stock shelves, and basically handle anything else related to those activities.  The one thing I mentioned in the previous story that has changed is the "characters" I am involved with on a day-to-day basis.  There is usually a new face amongst the night crew at least every week, and it always seems like they never last more than a few weeks.  I never hear if they up and quit or if management relieved them of their duties because they suck.  I just know that I don't get too chummy with people because they may not be there tomorrow.  Its kind of sad when you think about it, but that's retail.

In addition to some of the new people that have come and gone, I must share with you the details about a few of the "long-term people" I have met since Episode 25.  Just so you know....if it weren't for these people...I could not write this story....I swear to God.  I'm not even sure where I should start when describing the truck-load of insanity these people bring to the table.  But as a service to you, and because I love you....dammit I'm going to try.

As I have said before, people who work third shift are a bit "off."  I'm not sure if they are this way because they work third shift, or if they work third shift because they are this way.  It is probably a bit of both.  I've dealt with third shift people before, but when it comes to watching and listening to the people who work the third shift at this store, it enters another whole new realm of "weird" I have never seen before.  I have to admit that most of them are super nice people, but then there are a few that scare the b'jesus out of me.  At the top of the list is "Kyle.(*)

Kyle has been working at this store for a good five years now or so - at least that is what he tells me.  But that isn't all that Kyle has told me though.  In addition to working third shift here at this store, he has also told me (or I have over-heard him telling others) that he: has been training to be a cage fighter, has a degree in business and culinary arts, is training to become a pilot, is training to become a certified parachute jump-master, has ongoing training in various martial arts, can speak 15-different-languages, is a trained firearm marksman and enjoys taking vacations where he can shoot off random rare firearms, has had his back and leg broken in pursuit of the above-mentioned cage fighting expertise, has over $400,000 in the bank so he doesn't really have to worry about money, runs over 15 miles at least 3 times a week, and because of this exercise regimen - has to eat between 5000 and 7000 calories a day.  I'm pretty sure that isn't all he has mentioned, but its what I recall in this sitting.  I must add that he is supposedly in training to become a "team lead" at the store because he is "sick of telling all the store managers and other team leads how to do their jobs."  This guy is a piece of work.  He is the epitome of the lady Kristen Wiig played on SNL that had to one-up everyone's story or achievement.  I don't know if he has low-self-esteem and is trying to sound impressive, or if he is just a total crack-pot.  At first it was interesting hearing these things, but then it started getting really weird.  I don't even know if this guy is 30 years old, so for him to have done all of the above stuff he has mentioned... he must lead quite the charmed life.  Especially know...he works at a flippin' retail store on third shift  And if he HAS done all this stuff, that is just WEIRD.

One reason I started to think he was full of shit was the day he brought up the running 15 miles a day thing.  He is a dorky looking kid who does not have the appearance of a terribly fit individual - let alone a cage fighter / martial arts trainee / long distance runner.  In addition to the 15 mile run, he mentioned how he also did a bunch of other physical stuff that day as well.  It was by far the fullest day in achievements I've ever heard someone do - never mind the fact he supposedly did it all AFTER running 15 miles.  I mentioned to him that I have trained for - and - ran three marathons, so I could relate to running that much.  I explained that my training regimen took me on runs upward of 20 miles sometimes over 15-18 weeks.  So not only is there the difficulty of DOING the distance, but the immense amount of TIME it actually took to do it as well.  It was odd because he quickly shut up about the running stuff after that and I haven't heard him bragging about it since.  Of course he's back to training for the cage fighting thing so I'm sure he doesn't have time to run.

Our next third shift weirdo is a guy named "Trevor (*)." God bless him, Trevor was one of THE most annoying people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  He didn't work too hard, and when he did work - he was slow as hell.  Plus he had one of those personalities that made you wonder if he was a serial killer or not.  He was just odd.  He talked constantly about anything and everything, but mostly it was the minutia about dork stuff like Magic Cards, Dr. Who, and Star Trek. I have no problem with people being fans of this stuff, and I can usually carry on a "topical" conversation about these things, but I am certainly not a super fan about this stuff - nor do I want to be.  Sadly poor Trevor was more about talking and less about working, and it wasn't long before he started pissing me off.  If he would have been working it might have been easier to take, but he was NOT.  I have to add that when it's 3AM and I'm trying to get shit done, I don't have a lot of patience for someone discussing why a particular guy who played Dr. Who was "better" than someone else.  One day I was being moderately nice (albeit stupid) and engaged him in conversation while we stocked the granola bar aisle.  He let me know that during his days off that he likes to write.  As I enjoy writing myself, I stupidly asked him what he wrote.  He told me he likes to write "science fiction short stories" that he hoped to get published one day, and various other things.  It was then that a little voice in the back of my head goes "you like to write stupid stories too!"  I have to admit that I briefly had a small panic attack and wondered if I was more like Trevor than I cared to admit.  "I like to write, and I work third shift at a retail store stocking shelves.  OH MY GOD I'M LIKE TREVOR!!!"  I quickly shook off this thought and came to my senses that I was not like Trevor.   At least I hope not.  Poor Trevor was thankfully let go not long after he started due to his sorry work ethic.  I fully expected to find him waiting outside some morning, ready to mow down everyone with a gun.  Thankfully he has never re-surfaced and I haven't seen his face in the papers for some horrific act.

Then there is a lady named "Pam" (*) who also scares me.  She allegedly worked at a chain store in California, and then moved here for some reason I haven't heard.  She reportedly worked the "day shift" at her previous store in CA, so the rules and regulations of the third shift situation immediately chapped her ass.  The biggest one was the fact that the doors are locked and you can't go outside and smoke on break.  If you have ever heard a smoker bitch about how they can't know what sort of travesty this was.  She's always complaining about the tasks she has to do, and how she doesn't need to be told how to do them.  "I know what I'm doing."  In the end she always does them they way they tell her though, so I think that's why they haven't let her go yet.

Pam's physical appearance also gives you a heads up to her level of "crazy" as well. She is always changing her hair color to something scary and odd looking, so much so that my mind screams "HOLY HELL!" when I see her on a given night.  The sad part is that she could probably be "OK" looking if she tried, but apparently she enjoys her trashy clothes that look like she paints them on before she comes to work.  One day as I left work, I saw that she was sitting on a bench just outside the front door - smoking - and presumably waiting for a ride.  To be nice I said "goodbye" to her and told her to "have a good day" (Standard remark to everyone when leaving).  The "nice guy" in me thought "I wonder if she needs a ride?"  The "common sense guy" in me IMMEDIATELY kicked me in the balls for thinking such a thing and said "ARE YOU CRAZY?  Do you know what she might do to you if you gave her a ride?"  The nightmares and nasty thoughts were horrific (death/sexual assault).  I walked briskly to my car and left.

Then of course there is "Larry.(*)"  I didn't mention Larry by name in my last story, but I did bring him up in the fact he is the deaf guy that inadvertently makes me look like a jackass from time to time.  I have to share the fact he got me again the other night.  We were unloading the truck, and the pallets of merchandise behind me were piling up pretty good.  Normally there are people assigned to move the pallets out to the floor as they fill up, that way the people on the line unloading the truck can focus on that instead of scrambling around full pallets and falling behind on the unload.  We were all scrambling because no one was coming in a timely manner to pick up pallets.  I got frustrated and asked the team lead on duty: "Dude, do we have anyone pulling f'n pallets?  Where they hell are they???  Can you page them?" The team lead said "Yeah we have someone, but it's Larry.  I can't page him because HE CAN'T HEAR.  He's deaf you know"

I'm sure it won't be the last time Larry gets me either.

Stay tuned, as I'm sure I will be back again in the near future with another update to the crazy people I see on third shift.  It's almost a definite.

(*)  Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

Miss a previous episode?  Click HERE to catch up!!

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