a reply to: nonspecific
You would think that as a locksmith, I would have seen and done more unusual work than I did at my previous job in a frozen food retail establishment,
but you would be mistaken. While I was working in food retail, the following oddities occurred.
1) While rotating the stock in the chilled meat section one morning, I stumbled upon a chilled whole chicken, which did not look like the others. The
others had one hole in them, at one end. This one had two holes, both of which seemed excessively ragged. I picked up the chicken, which was of course
wrapped in industry grade cling film and sat on a polystyrene base. Upon closer inspection, I could see that the inside of the chicken contained a
pool of a gelatinous, off white substance. Having inspected it and found this to be the case, and knowing enough about chicken that the substance was
not supposed to be there, I alerted my supervisor, who told me to take the chicken to the managers office and show him.
This I did, and I handed it off to him for him to deal with. Packing numbers, order forms, and tracking information were gleaned to establish which
depot this chicken had come from, and it was traced back to a particular packing plant, used by the chain for which I worked. As it turned out, my
worst fears were borne out, since it became clear that one or more of the staff at this plant had... Interfered with the chicken in question, before
it was wrapped, loaded, and transported to our store.
2) A mother and her many, many offspring came to my till one afternoon, an event which was not at all unusual in the offing, but became strange and
disturbing by the end of our interaction. The "lady" and her spawn were all covered in many different shades of muck, food stains, dribble, and
other unmentionable things adhered to their faces, their clothes, and so on. She had bought about forty pounds worth of shopping to my till, and as I
was scanning it, a young lad of between six and eight years of age, and part of her gaggle of gunk covered progeny, dropped his trousers, and did a
number two right on the floor, in front of my till. Now, kids and their toilet often come together in unfortunate ways, so without judgement or ill
will, I pointed out as much to the mother. At this point she became irate with me, and announced to the store "ITS A KID, I CAN'T WATCH IT ALL THE
At this point, and given her attitude and lack of apology, I sent her from the store without her shopping, and then had to go down to the cleaning
cupboard in the basement and collect the equipment necessary to remove the offending article, and any bacterial remnants of it from the area. That
task was deeply unpleasant.
3) Alongside the selection of chilled and frozen foods we sold back then, we also had a decent selection of budget booze, store brand versions of the
popular beverages, as well as the named brand ones. We also had a fair few total drunkards as customers. We were under strict instructions from the
management, not to sell alcohol to anyone who appeared to be impaired through drink however, and one night, just before closing, these things came
into unfortunate conjunction. I was the sole employee on the shop floor, manning the till points, the rest having been tasked to take a delivery,
bring up the cages full of waste cardboard, and prepare for the next day. The security guard had just left for the night, when a fellow of
approximately fifty years old, and possessed of a jowly face and sleepy eyes, walked into the store. He wove back and forth, and hither and thither,
up one aisle, and down another, until he came to rest in the beer and spirits section.
He hefted a bottle of store brand Irish Cream, a cheaper version of Bailey's. He inspected it for some time, and then blundered his way to the
tills. Upon arrival at the till, he placed it at the extreme end of the conveyor belt, and watched with glee as it traveled toward me, following it
all the way. It arrived at my end of the conveyor, and I took it off the belt, and placed it on the scale before me. I told him that I could not sell
him the product, because I believed that he was drunk, citing his movements through the store, and the smell of strong drink on his breath as
evidence, and explaining that technically, I would be breaking store policy to sell him the drink.
He responded by snatching up the bottle, and making ready to strike me with it. I disarmed the impending assault by deft application of a wrist lock,
and then, once I had extricated myself from behind the till, still grasping the gentleman firmly by the arm, marched him out of the store with his arm
up his back, pushed him out, and locked the door.