Monday, March 29, 2010

Scary Times at the Music Store

The various oddballs from the music store days keep popping into my head for some reason, so I might as well revisit that era of my life and will probably be doing so often.  There is a plethora of weirdness tied up and sunk to the bottom of that quagmire.
At the store, I had recently been promoted to the next step up from the bottom, I cannot even remember the title of the position, so let's call it Product Specialist. I was at the front of the store counting out my drawer and wondering if I was to be written up for being thirty five cents short, when one of my coworkers, Jenn, came up and asked me to speak to a customer at the back rental area who was not happy. I already had to listen to complaints all day long, so one more was nothing to worry about. "What do you mean Amateur Asian Anal A-Cuppers is here, but you cannot find it?" Or, "This video was not rewound?" "Why do I have to show you my ID before I can buy this Easy-E album?  My dad said I could buy it." "That music that you are playing...that Enigma... that's devil's music." I thought that I had heard it all.
The store was as large as a warehouse, and on the long walk back to the video rental area, even with my very poor eyesight the monstrous being waiting for me sent a shiver down my spine. My heart rate increased slightly and with every step an immense sinking feeling becan to develop and I became more worried. Now, I am a fairly big tall guy, but this man looked to be a close relative of wrestling's The Undertaker, only with shorter curlier hair. As I approached, I could more clearly see the T-shirt bearing an eagle, an F-15 fighter jet and an American Flag, and it would not have shocked me in the slightest if Lee Greenwood's "Proud To Be an American" were to pop up on the speakers for my impending funeral march.
Man, I did not want to talk to this guy. Was the extra fifty cents per hour really all that important for the title of Product Specialist? I would rather go around putting stacks of CDs away, jabberjawing the time away with my friends, or alphabetizing the porno section. "I'm a nice, fair guy," I thought, "this should be a snap."
"Weeeelllllll, looks like we got a problem here," said the giant.  I glanced at the counter and sitting in front of the man was the Steve Martin and Rick Moranis movie My Blue Heaven and the animated All Dogs Go To Heaven.
"Um...what can I help you with," I said stepping up into the booth to have access to the computer and now slightly taller than the man mountain.
"That lady there says I need a check in order to rent a movie and I don't have a check," he grumbled, puffing out his chest.
Through a cracked voice, I asked him for his card, but holy shit, this man was bigger than anyone I had ever met and he was visibly pretty ticked off. I did not want to die. To Clarify, at the music store rental area, customers had to leave either a credit card number on file, or they were required to write a check for one hundred and fifty dollars as a method of deposit before they were allowed to rent a movie. I scanned the card and the account pulled up and since we had no credit card number on file, the default of entering the check information popped up.
"No problem, sir. Let's see you have a credit card number that you want to leave on file?"
"Hell no, and if I did, I sure as shit would not give it to you."
"Ummm...okay. Do you have a check that you can leave for the deposit?"
"Nope, but that should not matter, I've rented here before without having to leave a check."
This did not sound right, "I don't think anyone would have rented out movies without some form of..."
The man visibly bristled at this, "What?! Are you calling me a LIAR, boy? Are you calling me a LIAR?! You better take two steps back!"
Oh god. Here it comes. I had no prayer of fighting this guy. I've been on the receiving end of a punch before, but that was grade school and this guy was the Macho Man Randy Savage's and Hillbilly Jim's illegitimate love child. "My fingers," I thought, "they are going very cold." I looked past the man for a fraction of a second that floated on as if I were in a dream, and I could see Anthony and Bo circling the man, and look there, it's Mark. My coworkers were there, circling the behemoth. I felt a warm comfort inside, "Wow. I have such good friends," I thought. "The moment this asshole drops me, my friends will jump in and...well...they too will get beaten to a pulp, but it's the thought that counts."
Having made peace with myself, I calmly looked to the man and said in a polite, steady voice, "You see here?" I said pointing to the screen. "I have to enter the check information into the system, otherwise it will not let me finish the transaction. The computer will not let me do it."
The man raised an eyebrow at this, looked at the screen, relaxed, and looked at the screen again before turning back to me.  With a massive shrug of the shoulders and a sigh, he gave me an approving nod and nice-as-could-be said, "Oh. Okay. That makes sense. Thank you very much. Good night." He turned and walked away. I never saw him again.


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