1. A diminutive of the male given name Andrew. – YourDictionary1
2. A tall, gangly, acne-prone creeper who won’t take no for an answer. – The Nut
So I thought I’d kick off the first day of this whole crazy alphabetical blogging challenge thing with some thrilling tales about my current career in the exciting world of accounting.
(Although if any of you are having trouble sleeping, hit me up, I’ve got you covered.)
No, I decided instead to regale you with yet another sordid story from my cashier days. Now, based on my previous posts about the fascinating world of customer service, you may have developed some grandiose ideas of my store being some sort of happening party central; “the place to be”, if you will. But I’m sorry to say my life as a cashier wasn’t all glamor and drag queens and meat thieves.
The thing with working in customer service is that you’re essentially being paid to be nice to people. Literally the first thing on my store’s training checklist for any customer interaction was “Greet with smile.”
That’s right, you work that smirk, grin whore. WORK IT.
Unfortunately, a smile can be a dangerous thing. Because some people, bless their misguided souls, don’t seem to realize that their cashier or server’s exuberant friendliness is most likely a work-specific, limited-time offer spanning exactly the time between when they punch in at the start of their shift and when they punch back out at the end of it.
I got my fair share of date offers and marriage proposals during my tenure at the till. Most of the rejections – key word “most” – were shrugged off with good humor, although one crestfallen young man (who I’m fairly sure wasn’t even out of high school) did look close to tears until he remembered his friends were standing right next to him.
And then there was Andy2.
Andy was a good 6’5″ tall and scrawny, with hair that was either dirty blond or just dirty and a face so greasy he could’ve sold the McDonald’s franchise rights to it.
He also clearly thought he was quite a catch, and that my workplace pleasantness was a sure sign that I 100% undeniably had the hots for him.
I figured out within two visits that he was going to be a problem.
So I was ready for the day when, after I had obligingly endured his awkward banter for a dozen or so transactions – some of which were obviously purchases made solely so he had an excuse to come through my till – he decided it was finally the right moment to offer me the opportunity of a lifetime. By which I mean he scribbled his number down on his receipt and slid it back across the counter to me.
Looking immensely pleased with himself, he announced, “So you should give me a call some time. We could go out.”
I dropped my Cashier On Duty Smile. “Sorry, man, I don’t date customers.”
“You don’t have to decide right now.”
“But I am deciding right now. It’s not going to happen. No customers. Personal rule.”
He nudged the receipt closer to me. “Just take the number. You can call me when you figure it out either way.”
“I’m not going to call.”
“You can call to let me know the answer’s no, but just call.”
He smiled at me as he took his bag and left, clearly thinking I was just playing hard to get. I watched him go, mildly nauseated and entertaining evil thoughts about the automatic doors maybe crushing him on the way out. The receipt was still sitting on the counter, trembling slightly in the breeze of the store’s air conditioning. I stuck it in the pocket of my apron and forgot about it.
Andy didn’t come in for over a week. I guess he figured absence would make the heart grow fonder. But then, all too soon, there he was, looming once more in my line.
“Hey, how’s it going?” Feigning normality, I started ringing him through.
“Oh, you know. Not great. I had my cable disconnected.”
“Yeah, and I’m thinking I might have my phone disconnected too, because it NEVER RINGS.”
Yep. That just happened.
I ignored the fact that he was now embarking on a clear attempt to try and set me on fire with his brain. “Dude, look, I told you. I don’t date customers. I also don’t date people who don’t listen, or people who can’t take no for an answer. If you’ll remember, I stated very clearly that I was not going to call.”
He continued to stare at me.
“Your total’s $11.96, by the way.”
Without taking his eyes off me, he pulled out his wallet and threw a twenty down on the counter. I handed him his change and his receipt.
“You have a nice day, now.”
I would love to say that was the end of it, but I’m sure you know as well as I did that Andy wasn’t going to just let things go. He continued to visit the store regularly, but would now go through whatever till was directly opposite mine so he could glare at me without actually having to speak to me. One day he had an all-out meltdown at the service desk because they hadn’t gotten the next month’s bus passes in yet. He gave me a look that was pure murder as he left. I asked a manager to walk me to my car that night.
This strange form of punishment went on for weeks. But finally, mercy of mercies, Andy just kind of disappeared.
I still had his receipt in my apron pocket, though. And every time I heard it crinkle I was reminded of what bullshit it is that women are so often made out to be villains for turning down the offer of a date without an “acceptable” reason. That if we’re single, we’re somehow obligated to give a guy a shot just because he put himself out there. That we’re cold bitches if we don’t feel validated and grateful that someone we barely know deems us worthy of his time.
I used to have trouble turning guys down, even when I was in a relationship. Even if I had zero interest in the guy, I always felt a little bad.
Andy’s douchebag attitude permanently cured me of that guilt. So I guess I at least have him to thank for that.
A couple of months after Andy vanished from my life, a coworker told me she spotted him in the neighborhood she had just moved to. He was sprawled out on a bus stop bench, high as a kite and singing into a Big Mac like it was a microphone.
Yep. Definitely the one that got away.
Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter A, the number 5, and the WTFDidIGetMyselfInto Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Also there may or may not have been alcohol involved, but I’m not saying what kind until I figure out which brand is willing to offer me the most money.
1 “andy.” YourDictionary.com. YourDictionary, 2015. Web. 1 April 2015.
2 Name has not been changed to protect the guilty, because fuck that guy.