Friday, January 24, 2014


A couple of weeks ago, one of our regular customers at the Shell station tried to establish himself in the world of comedy with a routine that wouldn't be funny even if A) I had realized it was him before the gag started and B) Porky Pig was on the canopy rooftop over the pumps crying "R-Redbull g-g--gives you w-wings!"

Now that we are speaking to each other again, I accept that what Marty said, as he swung through the doors and pointed his cell phone at me in a gansta' wit a gun stance, was "Give me all your pennies or I'll be forced to call 911."  All I heard was "Give me all your... pfmhmghrrghrwwwuu...." and all I saw was something black pointed at me in a way that people on tv point guns.  Very much the same as when the actual guy with the actual turned-out-to-be-fake-gun pointed his fake gun at me a couple of years back.  Only that guy had his face covered and it was 3 in the morning and this guy had a bare face and it was the middle of the day, like the Marathon store robbery in December where the clerk was murdered.   So all I could think was "I'm dead.", until I processed the voice, and the scene.  Whereupon I pronounced him unfunny, flew into a rage and cursed him, bringing Sharon, our Assistant Manager to the scene to assess the situation and then berate him some more and run him off the property.  He hadn't come into the store when Sharon or I were there until yesterday and he was awful sorry.  I had forgiven him that same day, 'cause y'know... it's Marty.  He belatedly remembered that I have been held up, and was informed for the first time that the clerk I was working with has been as well, though it was when she worked for another company.

You would be hard put to walk into a convenience store with veteran workers on hand to find a group where at least one could not tell you about "their robbery".  I hadn't thought very deeply about what they pay us, because I took the posiition as a little second job to help clear up some bills and they very kindly work around my big job schedule.  But for most of the clerks I work with, this is their big, or only, job.  They are in harms way every day and being paid as little as possible.  Sometimes as little as the law allows.  The people who profit most from our risk are safe behind corporate walls where there's no money on hand.  It doesn't make a lot of sense.  Their only risk is financial.  The little people have their lives on the line, and their psychological well being.  Even the corporate office workers are higher paid.  My guess is it's because the big guys have to face them every day.  It's not because any of them is more competent than me.

I've been following the fast food workers strikes, and their attempts to unionize.  I know why they need to.  There are 7 of us in non  management positions at our store.  Even if we all went together to negotiate we would be unheard.  Support the fast food workers.  And when the convenience store workers wake up and revolt, support us.  This is a twisted twisted situation.