I feel the need

I feel the need

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

3rd shift shoppers or Zombie parade?

Good morning!

I should be hitting the hay for one of my last all day sleeps.  But I have to share this little thing with you.

Working third shift, as I have for the past month and will soon no longer be doing (Sunday is my last night)  I have observed a number of things, but the biggest thing being...

Working third shift at a convenience store is not the unlike the opening scenes of "Night of the Living Dead."

Now, those of you who know me know that I have a huge fear of that movie.  In fact, I probably won't be able to do laundry today because every time I think about that movie, I can't go in my basement for a couple days without breaking into panic sweat.

Working the night shift is sort of like the opening scene.  That first zombie is just creepy, and scary.

Add "and in search of some hot gas station sandwiches" and you pretty much have my job.

When I started I'm not sure what I expected, but it was NOT constant parade of people, generally men, and generally guys who visit EVERY NIGHT, steaming in for odds and ends.  It starts about the time the final group of daylight dwellers leaves, their bellies full of microwaved meals, coffee, and donuts that have, literally, been out all day.

Then the fun begins.  One by one they march in.  There's the young stoner who comes in to eat what is not made, and therefore we must make something for him.  While he's emptying the store of the small bags of chips, the little kool aid bottles, and cigarettes.  I'd like to tell him that if he bought the BIG bags of chips, he'd save himself some money...and he wouldn't have to come in every night, but I don't think he and I speak the same language.

The food zombies are funny.  They stagger in...and stop immediately at the heat lamps.  Which are typically empty because we have to throw away everything after a certain amount of time, and zombies are not ruled by human concepts of time...and food waste.  I wish we had a big light over the store so we could flash "ZOMBIE FOOD NOW" when we made some stuff. 

Beverage zombies aren't as funny, but it should be noted that these are the people who buy the big coffees...on their way home to bed.  Their eyes never stop spinning in their heads.

Snack zombies...much like one of the other stoners that comes in, clomp around the store picking up random things, and putting them in the wrong spaces.  These are people who are in the store for about 40 minutes, and wind up leaving without purchasing anything.  But they've left their mark in a trail of misfiled snacks and cheese sticks.

Oh, and these night time shoppers wander in wearing pretty much anything.  I waited on a gent, who was obviously not listening to any of the voices in his drug induced delusion.  His zipper was down...not the worst...however, he was wearing very baggie shorts without a belt, so while his barn door was simply open...the ASS was running free in back.  (How do you NOT feel  a draft?)

It's when the clock strikes 3 AM that the weirdness really kicks into high gear.  That's when the regulars with special orders descend.  And heaven help the new employee who is not up on who the regulars are because there is no chart for these people and their demands...and if you don't have it ready when they show up, they will stand there, at the kitchen door, grunting and salivating until the item is ready.

Donut frosting lady:  A rare mid-night female who demands three cake donuts, super extra chocolate frosting.

Donut guy:  Two danish, three plain cake donuts, without fail.  He's a chatty zombie who is clueless that those around him have work to do.  He's already followed me to the bathroom door...I was mopping, and hoping to escape his "interesting tales" of his day job.

Coffee med guy:  This is a new one.  He wants a pot of specific coffee made on 2:30 for his arrival at 3:30.  I'm not making this up.  He wants coffee that is one hour old, no more, no less.  I cannot tell you how this screws up our schedule for making coffee.

Lottery guy:  I don't mind this guy, he's okay, but he's in the store five minutes after the lottery machines turn on for the day  (3: 30 AM)  and buys roughly $45 worth of lotto tickets and scratch off tickets.  (I would love to say to him...don't bother, no one wins on those anyway.)  Then he buys a newspaper...which is delivered by 2 AM every day....except on Wednesday morning, which apparently everyone knows but me.

"Tim"  I don't know what this man does, but he demands a double cheeseburger every night, made before he arrives  (Which is a variable time of night but we must KNOW) and he WILL NOT WAIT.  (It takes 5 minutes...time he typically spends wandering around the store, but the burger MUST be the first thing he puts on the counter, otherwise, he leaves.  He then purchases three Mountain Dews, a Vita water, a box of donuts, and a big bag of chips.  Yes, he is huge...why do you ask?

Cigarette zombies. They either do not speak English or they speak with a mouthful of peanut butter.  The cigarette they want has seven words in the name/description, none of which is actually what the cigarette is labeled as or is called.  (reference my blog about 5 Things I learned working 3rd shift.)

Pizza zombies:  These folks are different from other food zombies because they don't come in search of a specific thing.  They are drawn to the bright lights of the store...and if there's pizza available, they swarm like...well like zombies to fresh brains.  I'm not kidding you, I made a pizza last night, put the slices on the heat tray and sold the entire thing to six separate people in under a minute.  And that was at 1:30 in the morning.  Seriously, who is up, out, and trolling for pizza slices at 1:30 on a weekday morning?

I'm not sure if these folks are lonely, or just really, really into doing the exact same thing over and over again.  People who MUST do purchase the same thing, must have the same sandwich, must buy a single pack of cigs every night, as opposed to buying a carton once a week.  They are the people who know more about the store than most of the employees, especially when it comes to their special section of the store.  Maybe the company should hire these people.    They're up...they know a ton about the store...and, they're up!    Granted, we'd be out of cake donuts, chocolate frosting, double cheeseburgers, and danish...but it might just be worth it!

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