So I used to work at a convenience store. I was the assistant, a good friend of mine was the manager. I no longer work for the company, and he's the only one left who was there when I was. None of his current coworkers know me.
I stopped in the other day and talked with my friend while he was doing some stocking. After about 20 minutes, I brought my purchases to the counter and the girl there rang them up. She had no personality whatsoever. She did have very crooked, redneck teeth, though. For this reason, I will call her Busted Teeth.
My friend told me the next day that his third shift had quit, so he was going to have to be pulling all-nighters and THEN staying through first shift, as well, to do the managerial work. No one else could (note: would) work it. He even did this yesterday, his day off, to help his current assistant manager out.
I stopped by today for a newspaper. Busted Teeth was outside, blocking one of the entrance doors, smoking, and talking on her cell phone. I nodded and smiled as I passed, because I can't stop myself from doing these things. She was looking right at me and her expression never changed.
I walked into the store and the assistant manager was there. We will call him Ass...you know, just short for assistant. Ass pulled out a cigarette, walked past me (bumping into me), and joined Busted Teeth outside. Just before the door closed behind him, he looked around at me, as if seeing me for the first time, and said, "Oh, hi."
I had picked a newspaper off of the stand and was already almost at the front counter with it. I said, "Hello," back, and he closed the door behind him.
I set my newspaper and on the counter and looked back toward the doors. They were glass, so I could see right through them as Busted Teeth and Ass just stood there smoking, looking in at me.
Now, someone's gonna say, "I know how it is, trying to sneak a smoke in, blah blah blah..." Sunday morning. In this town. At a convenience store. I did it for four years. You might have one customer an hour. When that one customer comes in, the last thing you do is walk straight outside with a cigarette and leave her unattended in the store. Especially when she was basically at the counter before the door closed behind you.
I stood there watching them watch me. I'm pretty sure they were arguing about who had to set their cigarette aside for a minute and a half to come in and help me. Finally, Busted Teeth walked in, looking annoyed, STILL on her cell phone. Ass held the door open as Busted Teeth walked around the counter to ring me up and they started conversing as if I weren't standing there.
Conversing about the manager.
They were making fun of the manager...who had just spent 17 hours there on his day off bailing their asses out of trouble. In front of a customer, no less.
If Busted Teeth hadn't been on her cell phone, she might have recognized me as the girl who was in there for nearly half an hour three days before, talking to the manager. We were standing RIGHT BESIDE her for much of that time.
In the middle of their giggles as they ripped into the manager, I looked around at Ass and said sweetly, "Oh, is he coming in today?"
Ass looked at me as if just realizing I was standing there. "What? Who?"
"Tyler. The manager."
He stared at me blankly.
I said, "I need to talk with him. We're looking for a place together." This is true, and I know his coworkers know he's looking for a place, so at this point, I'm hoping they put two and two together and feel shame.
"Ohhhh," Ass said, starting to look embarrassed. "No, he's--he's off today."
I smiled and headed toward the door. "I'll just call him at home, then. Thanks!"
"Thank you," Ass said. As I passed him, he made an, "Eeep!" face over my head at his coworker. I practically snorted.
I don't want to call him later and say, "Ooooooooh! They were talking about youuuuu! I'm tell-innnng!" but I think I will mention that he ought to tell his coworkers not to make fun of other employees in front of the customers.