Friday, August 27, 2004

Don't Accept Open Beverages From The Homeless

Funny you should ask, Casimir. Walking home from the video game store last night, a man offered me a drink from a dirty bottle, and told me it was the Schlitz of sparkling wines. It was delicious, save for the crushed glass. I will always think of that man, whenever I have blood in my urine.

I think we've initiated this blog well.

For those who don't know, I managed a video game store for a year and a half on St. Marks Place in Manhattan. As the highest paid employee (which wasn't much), I was let go when things got rough. Three months removed, the owner asked me if I could cover the store for a week while he went on vacation. I agreed, needing the cash. The interesting thing about returning was that I never once caught someone stealing over the year and a half I worked there, but Tuesday I did. The culprit, a semi-regular who I always thought was rather shady, basically stuck a Dreamcast game in his bag while I watched, and I think he intended to try and sell it back to me. He may be mildly retarded. I went into his bag and found the game, which he then swore was his, until I screamed and cursed long enough and he finally fessed up. As I ushered him out of the store with a torrent of threats, he asked me in a shaky voice to please stop cursing at him. I felt bad. Still, I assured him that if he ever stepped into the store again, we would have him arrested.

It's very weird to go off on someone like that. I don't live my life in such a way where the opportunity ever really comes up. I felt sort of euphoric afterwards, something akin to how people say they feel after electroshock therapy. Still, I wondered if I couldn't have handled things better. What if the kid was put up to it by his parents, needing cash? Then he was getting it on both ends, from me and from his hypothetical evil parents once they discovered his failure. If I could have called the cops and kept the kid in the store, the kid could have reported his evil parents, the cops would have arrested them, and the young man would have a second chance at life with a new family. These are the things I think about.

The funny thing about that theory is that it's most likely utterly untrue. The kid was sixteen or seventeen, I think he's tried to sell me goods stolen from the store before, and I think his seeming retardation can be attributed mostly to nerves, as he was always trying to steal but just wasn't that good at it. And yet I now know that the game he tried to sell me back in the day was most likely stolen, so he foiled me that one time at least. Maybe it was another manager. Yes, that must be it.

In any case, I realized that my prescribed reaction was simply to handle it like the owner would, in his absence. In other words, like a maniac. The owner of said store is a colorful individual who somehow manages to threaten at least two customers per month with an aluminum baseball bat. Many more years ago I worked for him in a web office, and he took said baseball bat and destroyed an enormous color printer that wasn't working properly. The color printer was right next to my desk, and he gave me no warning.

He once gave me $20 for successfully jump-roping one-hundred times without error.

A woman once bought a dance pad and dance game for her PC from the store. Two hours later, she returned it asking for a refund, as it didn't work properly. The owner does not give refunds. She got huffy. He relented, but not without doling out a helping of verbal abuse. His choice quote, as she walked out the door... "Have fun sucking pussy." Priceless.


Blogger John-Paul said...

This story just proves my theory that there are no selves, only roles. Seth, you acted like your boss because, at that moment, you were the boss. Your transformation into him is identical to Jack Nicholson's transformation into the former manager of the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining." Seth, you have always been the boss at that video store. You have a lot more people to yell at. Go to it.

8:32 PM  

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