My professional life reached a new low recently. As you may know from some of my earlier posts, I work in a bookstore. For some reason, bookstores attract the…what’s the opposite of the “cream” in cream of the crop? Well, what ever that is, it’s walking among the rest of the perfectly normal book-lovers.
This particular notch in my Olympian punishment belt was earned on the most recent Sanctimonious Saturday, the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It’s named this thanks to the following conversation.
“Are you open on Easter?”
“Yeah, regular store hours.”
“Oh my. Well, I won’t be shopping here anymore.”
Now read that, like, a dozen more times.
My day already had an odd vibe, I had helped a woman with translucent pajama pants and flowery thong before 10am, and I was curious to see what the rest of the day would bring. Luckily, around noon, a very unique person returned to my store.
He had been in the previous evening, and asked for an ambulance to be called because he suspected that he was having a heart-attack. As he and a manager waited for an ambulance to arrive, he explained that this heart attack was probably caused by his earlier use of meth, cocaine, ecstasy, anti-depressants, and a few other medications. The ambulance eventually arrived, and he was carted off.
Now he was back, less than 24 hours later, and looking to make amends.
“Thanks for calling the ambulance, I feel much better today,” He told the cashier, who happened to be the same cashier from the previous night.
“Oh!” She said, surprised by the unusual resurrection before her. “I’m glad.”
The man then proceeded to take a seat in the cafe of the store, and begin reading some magazines. After some time had passed, I was grabbing some dirty dishes at the table next to the man. There were some unused napkins at the table, and as I was clearing them, he reached for them as well.
“Oh, did you need these?” I asked.
His outreached hand then began moving strangely, like he was trying to work out a cramp in every muscle in his hands and arm, and he made a peculiar face. A face that my wife, when I recreated for her later, described as, “very upsetting.”
It was at this time I noticed the large amount of opened pornography underneath his table and put the pieces together. Needless to say, this made me more than a little angry at the man. Realizing that my current emotional state would not lead to a good resolution in this matter, I called for a fellow manager to assist.
“Hey, our friend from yesterday just had an…episode.” The words oozed out of my mouth like sick, thick blood.
The other manager arrived quickly, we began questioning the man about his intentions with our store. At this point, a woman from a nearby table revealed that she was a nurse at a local homeless shelter and believed that she may have helped the man in the past. I, seeing that the situation was under control, went outside and said every swear word I know in alphabetical order.
Oh, I forgot to mention one thing: he had a bunch of nail polish jars on the table. They didn’t come into play, but I just thought it was weird.
The f-ing End