Yes happy readers, its time once again for me to share some fine tales from my third shift shelf stocking gig at a local retail store. In case you missed the first two episodes, they can be found HERE and HERE.
Ok let's get to it. We are going to start with the "Carnie Kid."
|Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know.
Smell like cabbage. Small hands.
I was working one night with "Kyle (*)" stocking the shampoo aisle when the topic of one of our very odd co-employees came up. His name was "Nate (*)." Nate was a nice enough guy, but there was something about him I just couldn't put my finger on. He talked really fast, and did a "twitch" thing with his head like you do if you think there is a bug swarming you. There was no bug - well at least I never saw any. Anyway, we were discussing Nate because he had recently dyed his hair black, and shaved it all up on the sides and the back. It was just the most f'd up hairdo ever. Then Kyle goes: "Well you know Nate is a "carnie" don't you?" I stopped stocking the item I was shelving, and said "Nuh Uh. Seriously?" I thought for a moment, and asked aloud "I wonder how someone goes about getting into that line of work?" Kyle's reply was "I promise you will have the answer by the end of the night." Oh God.
|The guys you entrust to put your kids safely on their
About a half-hour later, Kyle spies Nate up the aisle and goes "Nate come here! I want to ask you something." I look at Nate like "Ohh nooo." Nate shows up and Kyle starts making chit-chat at him, and then lets it out: "You have worked for carnivals haven't you?" To which Nate is all "Me? Oh yeah I do it every so often when I'm looking for work." With the straightest face ever, Kyle asks "How do you go about getting a job with a carnival?" Nate doesn't blink, and goes into an explanation of knowing "a guy who knows a guy" who knows when certain carnivals come to town that they need help. That was as much of an answer as I needed. Poor Kyle got "let go" from our third shift gig not too long ago due to his lack of punctuality. I'm sorry to say you might see him at your nearest carnival.
Our next tale is about a fun game we played on the truck one night as we unloaded it. Given the topic matter, I can't believe I didn't come up with it. One of the Team Leaders "Sam (*)" was pushing the boxes down the line while me and another guy were grabbing the boxes and putting them on the line. The line (a track of rollers) then runs down into the store's receiving area where the boxes are put on pallets according to the markings on the boxes. One of the boxes was leaking something and Sam said something to the fact that it was "oozing." The other guy throwing boxes with me goes "I've got a game we can play! Let's play "Things Said On The Truck That Sound Like Things That Could Be Said At Sam's Mom's House." I'm not going to say what was said.....oh hell who am I kidding...of course I will! It was things like:
Man this box is big.
This box is leaking.
Man that smells.
Why would you put something that heavy on top?
Wow this is slippery.
How did they get that in here?
It's hot in here tonight.
What's a guy have to do to get some water up in here?
Someone needs to sweep this out.
It got a lot worse - and funnier - but I'll let your imagination create your own jokes. I do have to say that poor Sam took the game like a sport and didn't even get mad. He even cracked a few jokes as well.
Then of course we have "Sally (*)". Ms. Sally had worked for this company for so long, she couldn't even get a raise anymore. She was at the top end of the pay scale for her position, and they wouldn't move her up. Sally in my opinion is clinically retarded, but I could be wrong. One day, Sally up and decides she is going to "retire." She was very much of the retirement age, but the whole idea behind it is that she wanted to get her hands on her 401k. Everyone joked that she would gamble it all away and have to come back to work again since she frequented the casinos a lot. Well sure enough, she came back 4 months later. No word if she gambled it all away or if she needed it for something else. I'm surprised they hired her back to be honest with you.
It wouldn't be a quality "third shift" story if I didn't mention old "Larry" again. Larry is the guy that is 100% deaf, and unintentionally does his part to make me look like a jackass due to his hearing impairment. I thought I would be able to make it to the next third shift update without having a situation with Larry, but since I've worked several overnight shifts during the week, sure enough our paths crossed and idiocy ensued. One night I was pulling a pallet of dog food and kitty litter that weighed no less than 1000 pounds towards the receiving area, and just as I am getting ready to round the corner into the receiving area - here comes Larry. He's got his head down (pulling his own pallet) and in no way sees OR CAN HEAR ME. If I don't do something, he and I are going to crash into one another as he is taking up the whole damn aisle. If I do something, odds are good I'm going to dump pet food everywhere. I opt for Larry's safety and immediately put everything I have into the pallet jack to stop its forward momentum and somehow turn a corner at the last minute. In doing so, predictably - one entire side of my pallet goes rolling to the floor as I swung the corner. Bags of dog/cat food are everywhere, but thankfully none of them broke open. So now I'm standing there looking like a jackass with my capsized pallet of pet food. I look up in time to see stupid Larry walk past - totally oblivious to the chaos his deaf ass has helped contribute to. I just shook my head in disbelief and began re-stacking the fallen 30-40 lb bags of pet food. Just as I'm about finishing up, Larry happened to come back past me on his way to receiving again. He looked at me and made a face that said something like "nice going dummy."
God damn you Larry. I should have hit you.
(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty and the innocent
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