In an effort to restore the blog to some semblance of relevance, I'm going to start mirroring my Online Onslaught precaps here once again to my twice-weekly articles, which means you'll probably see new posts every Monday and Friday. The blog has been dormant due it being basically the absolute last priority in my creative outlets lately, but I need to get back into writing practice.
Anyway, I've mentioned before that I work at Walmart. Technically I'm the bicycle and furniture assembler, but as all us employees do, I'm "trained" in helping out other departments. Due to geography, I tend to assist the sporting goods department more than any other.
For the most part, I enjoy chatting with customers, but being around ammunition has quickly become an exercise in my tolerance and patience. Ever since the Newtown shooting and the government's debate on what new gun laws (if any) need to be enacted, sales of ammunition have massively increased due to panic buying. It's not limited to Walmart; most stores that sell ammunition at all are running low, especially of the .223-caliber rounds that the Newtown shooter used to blow out the glass door.
The frustration felt by many gun owners I've interacted with bleeds into their politics, which unfortunately further bleeds into their interactions with me. I recently took a call from a customer asking if we had any 9mm rounds, and I replied that we didn't. Typical exchange with a customer... until he then replied to my negative answer with a scream of "FUCK OBAMA!" before slamming the phone down.
Just for full disclosure: I'm an independent, I voted for Obama both times, and I tend to lean left when it comes to social issues. For this one issue, I'm actually leaning slightly right, so I'm not one of the crazy people who is calling for the banning of anything with a trigger (not that the President is doing that either). But it doesn't matter what side of the debate I'm on: I'm at my freaking job! Leave me alone!
Small talk with customers is part of the job but I lost my patience with idiots in the run up to the election, and I've lost my patience hearing about this issue. Certain co-workers, who I love dearly, have fueled the fires of my annoyance by openly discussing with customers whether Obama is actively fighting against the country and what steps should be taken to stopping him, including extremely idiotic ideas that, if I type them, will lead to the Secret Service knocking on my door. Meanwhile, Walmart is paying me to be as polite as possible until I can excuse myself from the uncomfortable situation and get back to, you know, earning a living.
I feel for employees of any job where they have to unnecessarily endure people blathering at them. The poor bastards at Chick-Fil-A had to deal with the homosexual debate some months ago when their CEO decided to them under the bus with his public comments. Again, this goes beyond whether or not you agree with the issue: you're at your job to work, whether that means making chicken sandwiches or trying to check people out for buying stuff. It bothers me that customers, instead of wanting to just get the transaction over with as quickly as possible so we can both move on with our day, prefer to stand on their soapboxes and prattle a political diatribe that I can do literally nothing about other than assuage their own frustration by repeating "Yes, sir" more times than a private in Basic Training.
To an extent, I suppose I'm guilty of the same thing. Here's the difference though: you're well within your rights to scroll down, or click away and go do something else; some readers already have. But those employees who work with the public don't often have that choice. I certainly can't just walk to the backroom and leave a customer in mid-sentence unless I welcome complaints and official discipline. Still, by blathering about it, I've at least released some of the frustration I've had built up about it, and now I feel better. Maybe that's all my annoying customers want too... but it still gets old after an eight-hour shift, five days a week.