You can stop speculating on that last post. One of the guesses is correct. Which one? Guess. One day, a photo will reveal all but unfortunately that’s some time in the future yet.
I was going to open the Daily Moonhowler to see what smoking’s getting the blame for today but nah. Can’t be bothered with them tonight. Instead, I thought I’d update on things at work. I’m still there, yes, but New Guy is proving efficient. Once I have his work up to my standards (to hell with retail standards, they aren’t anywhere near good enough) then I can leave, knowing Boss still has at least one useful worker.
New Guy has a nickname now. He’s ‘Target’ because Cafe Girl has him in her sights. The poor bugger has absolutely no idea about this and I’m not going to tell him. Cafe Girl knows I know, and now, if he’s around, we can’t look each other in the eye without laughing. At least they’re talking now. He thought she hated him at first, but she’s made progress.
One of my jobs is checking that toilets are clean and supplied with arsepaper and hand towels. So I get to lurk in the ladies’ loo. Before anyone gets too excited – fellas, if you knew some of the things I’ve found in there… well, it’s enough to turn a man right off women, I can tell you. If we had a gay man on the team, he would be intolerably smug.
Incidentally, there is one thing worse than finding a banana in the bin in the ladies’ toilet. Once there was one in the gents!
Sometimes, imagination is a curse.
So anyway, I have a big sign to stick on the door saying ‘Beware of Janitor’, of which nobody takes a blind bit of notice. I was just about to leave the staff ladies’ when Gullible Girl came in. She looked at me and said ‘You’re not a lady’.
Well, obviously I took instant umbrage at this. Who wouldn’t? I puffed myself up to as much height as I could muster…
‘Are you saying I’m some kind of tart?’
Then followed a lengthy, garbled and apologetic explanation of what she actually meant. I let her suffer for a few minutes, until I could no longer contain my mirth. She still hasn’t thumped me but it was close this time. She will one day but it will be so worth it. Then I can tell everyone she bullies me and beats me up when nobody’s looking. She is now expert at saying my name without opening her teeth.
I think some of the younger ones actually believe that Boss beats me with a mop handle if I get things wrong. If she ever gets to hear of this, I can expect the narrow eyes and thin lipped look again. She’s good at that one, she gets a lot of practice.
Another job involves hoovering the mats around the shop. We do this before the shop closes because there’s too much else to do afterwards. My method is to fold up the smaller ones and take them to the hoover. That means I don’t have wires trailing over the floor to tempt the compensation monkeys. The big mats have to be done where they are but they are near the mains socket anyway.
We wait until the shop is quiet and then one of us trundles out the hoover. Now, those big mats are in front of the flower display. A long set of shelves full of flowers that are pretty much ignored by customers until I plug in the hoover. Then they suddenly become the most fascinating thing in the shop. One woman stood in front of the flowers so long, I swear she was counting the petals. Meanwhile I have a loud vacuum cleaner going and am trying to hoover these mats while the customers standing on them seem to have gone into a trance. Maybe some flowers have hypnotising properties.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they bought some, but they rarely do that. Buy the damn things, take them home and stare at them to your heart’s content. Sometimes I think people come into the shop just to get in the way.
Sometimes men buy flowers in there. I now have Target involved in my speculations, based on the size of the bunch, of how much trouble they are in. Guys, if we see you buying a huge bunch of flowers, we are not thinking ‘How romantic’. We are thinking ‘Ooo, what did you do?’
Except in the run-up to Valentine’s day and Mother’s Day. You get a free pass for those, since not buying flowers is what gets you into trouble on those days. But buy them quickly, eh? Get off those mats. Fortunately men buying flowers don’t spend quite so much time staring at them. I think most are just looking at the prices.
Oh and ladies, I know some of you think it’s clever to say ‘A woman’s work is never done, eh?’ as you pass me hoovering. Expect to hear ‘No, that’s why I have to do it’ or something similar in return.
It still amazes me how many people come to the till I’m cleaning instead of the ones actually occupied by shop staff. We have very different uniforms. They still come even when I’ve taken the till apart. It amazes me even more how many still fall for my explanations of how I lost my till-driving licence…
I actually quite like this job. It just doesn’t pay enough for my plans now and doesn’t have enough time off. I did get a pay rise when I tried to resign, and it was quite a good rise, but even so – I am there too often and there’s no leeway for sick days, no easy cover for holidays, because there are only three of us. Boss could pull in covering staff from other shops covered by the Secret Ninja Cleaners but I don’t want them and neither does she. They don’t work to either of our standards. Still, it’s much better than when we were only two. Target is taking some of my 6-hour shifts so this week I only have 3-hour ones last night and tonight. It helps.
But, as I said at the start of the year, this year I have to move. Target is already proving to be good at the job and reliable at turning up. I won’t leave Boss with a duff staff because she gave me a chance when nobody else would. Target just needs to understand that ‘there is perfect, and there is wrong’, and he’ll be ready to replace me. He’s already close to that and he’s pretty smart too. So break-time conversations are not all about cleaning.
Ah, maybe I should try my hand at writing comedy. Local Shop is a goldmine for that genre!