Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service: What About No Pants???

   This is a tale from my retail past; a field that I have been in for many, many years. Though I currently live up North, I lived in the South for most of my childhood. At first, Mississippi, but after I caught the preggers bug, I moved to Florida. Now, I know you are thinking, "Florida! Why did you move from the sunshine state to rainy, rainy Washington???" Well, before you go off thinking I am crazy, I did not live in the nice parts of Florida, like Miami or Tampa or Orlando. I lived in a rural ghetto. Yup. Rednecks as far as the eye could see, and not the nice ones that you see on TV. Not the funny ones that get their own shows and are clean, no. I mean the dirty, unwashed mean ones that smelled like liquor and weed, with feral dogs that wanted nothing more than to chew on your face. The urban ghetto gets gangsters and turf wars; the rural ghetto gets angry burly bear-men who own shotguns and face-chewing dogs. Neither is a good place to live, but I digress.
   In my old home in Florida, we were a cut off people. The closest store was about a 25 to 30 minute drive, but  I could do it in 15 minutes on a good day, and I could have driven it blindfolded if I had too. Now why was I so familiar with this drive? Because I worked at that closest store, that small oasis of food that you didn't have to grow or hunt. I mean, you could drive out another 15 to 20 minutes, depending on traffic, to get to the nearest Walmart, but most people just didn't have the gas, even back then, when gas wasn't $4 a gallon. 
   There is this sign that small, country stores tend to post, and we all laugh at that sign  posted on  windows and  front doors. Ya'know, the one that states: No shoes, no shirt, no service. Many of you think that this sign is unnecessary, but us workers in the retail field, we can tell you different. We can tell you of all the people who come in barefoot, bare chested, with a complete disregard for a sanitary environment and a total lack of dignity. I understand that in Florida, the weather does get a tad bit toasty, but come on! Flip-flops and tank-tops are completely acceptable, people!
   Well, I had thought no shirts were the worst I was going to have to deal with. But one day I was working the customer service desk, and in this store customer service was right smack-dab at the entrance, so on top of all the other typical customer service duties, we had to monitor the customers coming in (and those going out. Theft is a common problem in retail.) I was working the desk, as I had said, and in came this man, no shirt, all his chest hair and man boobs proudly and shamelessly on display for the entire store to admire.  I made motions to the supervisor, because I didn't want to deal with him. I could tell he was trouble.
   "No shirt! No shirt!" he yelled when confronted by said supervisor, "Well guess what?! Your sign don't say no pants!" And he stormed out. The supervisor and I looked at each other in horror, and she called all the managers to the front of the store, because they were guys, and us little girly-girls did not want to deal with Mr. Winky.  Uh-uh. No way. Of course, all those manly protectors didn't want to deal with Mr. Winky either, until my supervisor (a true kick-ass Southern lady) stated that if they didn't want to deal with him she had a gun in her car and she was more than capable of shooting the snake. Yeah, they couldn't really let her do that, as tempting as this offer was. He did come in, with Mr. Winky flapping in the breeze, and was promptly thrown out again, with much cursing and yelling on his part, exclaiming vehemently that we were infringing on his rights. Whatever you say, but I think that my rights are that I don't have to see your neither regions. And all I'm saying, is while we might think that those signs are common sense: the truth is that they need to be upgraded. 

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