Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Confessions of a Budding Sado-Masochist

Over the past couple of years, I seem to have developed into somewhat of a non-sexual sado-masochist, at least to some small degree. Fortunately, it only manifests when I am in convenience stores. I tell myself that it was not a conscious decision; that it was purely a self-defense mechanism to prevent me from either shooting myself or strangling an attendant. However, I suspect, deep down, that it has been there all along. In fact, I am sure that it would not be hard to find people that have known me for any modest length of time to make such declarations about me.

It all started as I began to discern a trend in the quality of cashiers at various convenience stores. It was becoming increasingly difficult to find one that could produce correct change regardless of what the register told them. Heaven forbid that I would produce any change from my pocket once they had entered the total on the register. More often than not, they were stumped. At first, my reaction to this was irritation, then the more often it happened, anger.

At some point along the way, I began to notice that I was intentionally waiting until my purchase was rung up to produce some amount of change from my pocket. I was actually deriving pleasure from seeing the looks of horror on their faces as they were faced with the daunting task of recalculating my change. I usually leave them squirming for at least 30 seconds before I let them off the hook. I know this is rather petty, but it was either that or face an eventual snap that would lead to a verbal pummeling for some poor bastard just trying to do their job.

The reason I bring all this up is because I think I may have actually had a condescending smirk on my face earlier as I walked up to the local 7-11 for my monthly Big Gulp fix. I got a few other things and my total was $4.09. I gave her a Hamilton and waited until she had rung me up to then hand her a dime. I figured that should be a fairly simple one, but she was absolutely flummoxed. I could tell the woman behind me was in a hurry, so as she stood there with $3.00 in her hand desperately trying to come up with my change, I just told her the answer and left.

Of course, I should have known better. After all, this same girl had previously had problems giving me change, I even watched as a customer gave her $20.00 for gas. She accidentally entered $2.00 in the computer and told me the customer would have to come back in. Somehow, she managed to figure out that the she had to reset the machine for $18.00, but when the customer came back in, she then gave him back $2.00. At first, he looked at her like she was retarded, but after she "explained" that the $2.00 was for the gas he had already put in, he just took it and continued filling his car. I am sure he enjoyed the 10% discount she had unwittingly given him.

I can't imagine that she will last long considering that her register must be short after every shift, but then again, it is likely that 7-11 has a "stupidity tolerance" for its employees that will allow for being X dollars short per shift.

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