For those of you who don’t know, I began my illustrious (illustrious means “eating an enormous red velvet cupcake while wearing dirty pajamas”, right?) writing career by chronicling my adventures in retail at the blog, The Checkout Girl. The site is offline for now, but the thought of my stories sitting around, collecting dust, makes me sad, so I’ll be sharing my favorites here, on Mondays.
I have a coworker that, on top of being a close talker, a too-infrequent blinker, a toucher, and inappropriately familiar, might also be a feeder.
Imagine, if you will, Steve Buscemi with a porn stache and coke bottle glasses that really magnify his creepeyes. Now imagine him volunteering to work every Saturday morning and bringing in breakfast for all of the employees. Now imagine him going to each and every person in the store, standing too close to their faces and saying, somewhat menacingly, Its Saturday. I brought food. Go get some. Further imagine him then pulling up a chair next to the food, which he lays out in a spread in the employee break room, and staring at each person as they wander back to try some. Eat up, hell say, or, Good, isnt it?, quietly, in a way that very closely resembles Hannibal Lecter.
Its so scary that I had an honest-to-goodness nightmare about this very scene just a few nights ago. Still, Saturday mornings usually involve me rolling out of bed at the last minute, throwing my unwashed hair into a ponytail, brushing my teeth, and applying deod, and running out the door. Brekkies? Okay, creeper, Ill eat your brekkies and even let you watch. Whatevs.
His usual jam is breakfast pizza from Ukrops. While I dont like bacon, its okay w/Tabasco (that concoction is called the Sat morn wakeup call!), plus I am a fat girl. The way he watches my mouth, raptly, with obvious anticipation as I take each bite, is a total freakout. The current rumor, which I may or may not have started, is that the coworkers who dont partake are followed to the parking lot, shoved into his trunk, and enjoyed on the next weeks pizza. People sausage? Spicy!
This last week, though, Mr. Mangia changed it up by bringing doughnuts. Having already downed a red bull and an apple (breakfast of champions), I wasnt feeling a march in the creep parade. No, thanks, I said, when he cornered me in my department. Aw, come on, Pink Sneakers (charming nickname which I worked hard to earn by wearing, well, you know), you know you want some of my doughnuts, he said. Okay, okay, I said, just trying to placate him so I could do my job, Ill be back in a bit. He must have then taken his post next to the Dunkin Donuts box but came back about 30 minutes later. Come on, Pink Sneakers, you can take a break for one doughnut. Come on. I wont take no for an answer, he pressured me. I heard him paged to the front of the store and ran to the back so I could say that I had one and it was delicious. When I got back there, my manager was just closing the box and stuffing a doughnut in her mouth. I didnt have breakfast, she said apologetically, her mouth full. Shhh, youre safe now, I whispered and petted her arm with the appropriate amount of drama so she would know I was kidding, Hes in the front of the store and cant hurt you. HE. CANT. HURT. YOU. NOW. She covered her mouth and laughed, I know, right? Hes so weird. At least hes changing it up from people pizza today. Those guys are so spicy, I said, as I walked back toward my department. Over my shoulder, I added, Oh, and you know hes humped every one of those doughnuts, right? Enjoy! The choking noise from behind me was all the answer I needed.