Monday, July 20, 2009

Tales From The Workplace

I have a notorious history of starting up series of posts on this blog then letting them die. This time, though, I might have one that will stick.

Introducing the first installment of Tales From The Workplace. These are true stories from my job as a cashier at a sporting goods store. Obviously, I'm not going to name any names but I also will not embellish these stories. The truth is usually far more interesting than anything I could come up with.

Today's story involves an older Italian-American mother and her adult son. One of my fellow co-workers was helping the mother as her son (who had to be at least in his late 20's or early 30's) hung around the register. He was looking at the gum we sell by the piece on the counter. I rung him up for a piece and he started chewing (and enjoying) it.

We also sell the gum in bags and he put a couple of bags on the counter next to the stuff he was getting. The mother comes back with some clothes and sees the gum. She turns around to her son and tells him how the sugared gum is bad for him. She says "Fuhgettaboutit" and puts the bags of gum back.

The mother goes back to look for more clothes and the son, who was sitting in a chair by the register, approaches the counter. He picks up the bag of gum his mother put back and proceeds to get a couple more. He tells me to ring him up and motions for me to do it quickly.

He takes the bags of gum and hides them in the box of one of the pairs of shoes he's getting. The son says to me "Don't tell my mom I bought these."

Let me restate this. A grown man asked me to hide his purchase of some gum from his mother. Now, I've seen husbands tell me that they're defying their wives by buying some golf clubs or kids pestering their mother or father for some candy. But in the four years I've been at my job, that is the first time I've ever seen a grown man try to hid any purchase from his mother.

I didn't say a word about the gum to his mother when she came back to buy her and her son's stuff. I even opted not to open the box of shoes where the man hid the gum. I aided and abetted the man's sugary gum sneakery.

I have to wonder. If that man is so afraid of his mother that he'd hide a purchase of some gum, what would've happened to me if I made a mistake while ringing her up?

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