A Life of Convenience?

I bit the head off of the girl at the Circle K convenience store yesterday morning. OK, I didn’t bite it completely OFF… but I’m not gonna lie… I did leave a mark. In all seriousness, I snapped because she didn’t have Cherry Pop Tarts AND she couldn’t do a cash-back transaction at her register, which would have enabled me to purchase future Cherry Pop Tarts out of a vending machine on campus.

Upon realizing what I’d done in showing her my “dark side,” I immediately and profusely apologized to her and said that I was having a terrible, horrible, awful, no good, very bad day and it was barely 8 a.m. And then I said that I hoped that SHE had a great day today (extra emphasis on GREAT)… and I smiled just a bit too wide to show her HOW MUCH I meant it.

I settled on some strawberry pop-tarts instead and drove to work like Andretti on crack. As I drove, I began pondering the potential speed bumps in the life of the Convenience Store Clerk (bad pun intended). Please understand, I mean no disrespect to anyone who currently is or has been a convenience store clerk. Nor do I mean to offend anyone who knows or loves a convenience store clerk. I am merely presenting my take on why I think THIS particular profession would be a toughie.

  • Creatures of the Night – You most likely work odd hours and therefore interact with odd people. Aside from shift-workers, I personally don’t want to know who is roaming about at 4 a.m. in desperate search of a Twinkie, a Ho-Ho or a slushie… nor do I want to know why.
  • Twinkies and Ho-Ho’s – You deal largely with people who either ARE Twinkies and Ho-Ho’s or whose diets consist largely thereof.
  • Midnight Heist  – You probably live in consistent fear of the “hold-up” for the “less than $50” you carry in your drawer. Anyone else ever notice the 7-foot, vertical rulers framing the entrance and exit doors and how the place is lousy with not-so-cleverly-hidden cameras?
  • Lotto Lady – You have to put up with the daily blue-haired ladies who insist upon scratching their scratch-offs AT the counter (despite the ever-growing line of impatient customers chomping at the bit behind them) and if they win even one freakin’ dollar, they will use it to buy yet another scratch-off from you and continue standing there while they scratch that one too. This cycle could continue indefinitely perhaps taking up the better part of an afternoon.
  • The Conversationalist – Every store has at least one of these losers who are clearly one-can-shy-of-a-six-pack and they love, LOVE, LOVE to hang around and talk to you… about everything. And where can you go? Nowhere. Even though you are clearly NOT interested OR listening, they’ll talk about the weather… about their sister spending 2 hours straightening her hair every morning…  about their mother’s psycho ex-boyfiend and a detailed account on why he belongs in prison… about the government’s conspiracy to monitor our every move through jars of Jif peanut butter… and about Stella—their goldfish—and her third nipple.
  • Road Warriors – If your store happens to be attached to a gas station (which they often are) you inevitably deal with a vast amount of misguided wrath over the current price of gasoline.
  • Tobacco and Booze Police – Anytime after 2 p.m., on top of doing your regular work, you must be hyper-vigilant in your efforts to keep illegal substances out of the backpacks, pockets and coats of minors and/or would-be thugs.
  • Breakfast of Champions – Each morning there is a decent possibility that you will be greeted by an angry, I-hate-mornings and the-world-revolves-around-me bitch, running late for work, who throws a fit when you run out of cherry pop-tarts.