Thursday, December 5, 2013

Weird Things I Saw Working at Target -- The Purse

Oh how I miss you, Tar-ghetto.
The first ever job I ever had was working at Target—for two and a half years, I did the retail thing, and let me tell you, there’s not a day goes by that I don’t miss it. Well, maybe not, but I do look back on those innocent days fondly--in part because it was just so weird. Here is the first installment of what could be others in Weird Things I Saw Working at Target. Believe me, I saw some weird freaking things.

Today's story is one I will call The Purse Incident. When I began my illustrious career at Target, I was a “cart attendant.” This was a fancy way of saying I was the general “b-tch” at the store. My main duties consisted of collecting carts from the parking lot, cashiering if needed, and picking up hangers and those little plastic CD holders (remember those?) from the checkout lanes. Easy enough.

Off to the women's restroom!
Unfortunately, that wasn’t my entire job. There were other situations that could arise on a given day. If there was puke in an aisle, guess who came to clean it up? Me, of course. Spill in aisle three? I was on the way. Someone spray sh-t all over the bathroom stall? Yeah, me to the rescue. (Ladies, I am looking at you, the women’s restroom was ALWAYS worse than the men’s!)

However, out of all the nasty duties I had dumped on me (perhaps a poor choice of words), my least favorite duty was emptying the trash cans in the front of the store. Why, you may ask? It doesn't seem too hard, does it? The reason is simple: nearly every time I did this, someone I knew came into the store. It is impossible to look good while trying in vain to stop a leaking trash bag--leaking because someone chucked an entire Big Gulp soda in the bag. You are the lowest employee on the Target employee totem pole and everyone knows it. Good stuff.

This might be a better candle idea than Trash in the Summer.
So that brings me to the purse story. It was a hot summer day, though still early in the morning which means someone forgot to empty the trash the night before and I hope they burn in hell. The trash had fermented rather nicely by the time I got to it, emitting that beautiful summer trash smell. Coming soon from Yankee Candle. . .

When I went to switch out the trash, I happened to notice that there was a purse sitting on top. Since purse snatchers were not uncommon, I opened it up to make certain the purset didn’t belong to anyone—it was ratty and beat up, but you never know. The purse was empty, so I threw it back in and went over to the other trash can, paying it no mind.

I was going about my work, moving as fast as I could, when I noticed an out of “costume” transvestite walk up to the can I had just emptied. Yes, I knew he was a transvestite despite being out of costume--there was a group of them that shopped there regularly. I paid him little mind because they would often fish through the ashtray on top for any cigarettes not fully smoked, which always disgusted me. Then again, waste not, want not, right? (For the record, this was not only a transvestite thing by any means. It happened quite often, but it was commonplace to see many of them doing it. And I apologize if I am using the word transvestite wrong—he was a male cross-dresser and I think it is the right word? Maybe?)

After I bagged up the rest of the trash, the cross-dresser transvestite walked over and asked if I had seen a purse. Well, as you know, I had. Weird, but OK, I live to serve. I opened up the bag and since the purse was conveniently on top, I let him take a look. I didn’t know how it got there, and I didn’t really care, but if he wanted it, he could have it.

So he stood there examining the purse while I pushed my flatbed loaded with putrid garbage into the store. Just as I entered, he approached me again, handing me back the purse. He seemed upset as he did, and waved his arms around while he talked to me.

“No no no, this isn’t the one. There was ANOTHER purse that I was looking for! Did you see another one in there?”

Can’t say that I did.

He asked to look through the bag o' trash, and who was I to deny him? I was nobody, that’s who—the low man on the totem pole, the guy that took out trash and cleaned up the puke. I let him have at it.

But while he was digging through the trash, all I could do was stand there and wonder how in the hell this guy could be looking for a purse in a trash can where I just happened to find one, and yet somehow it was not the right purse. How is this even possible?

As for the other purse, he never did find it in that trash can, and he left dejected. Sorry dude.

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