The Diary of a Nobody – Drivel From Sparrow 4/4/18

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Wednesday, April 4
Right after I reported to the trenches at 9am to experience the wonders of the service desk, Register 2 copped an attitude and stopped working completely properly…It would do most things, but sometimes when you pushed a button on the touch screen nothing happened…None of the usual high tech troubleshooting techniques worked, either: hitting it hard, hitting it consecutive times, hitting it hard consecutive times.

This is tuff because it left us with two registers at the service desk and we were not shorthanded…Key in this situation is to look busy because if you’re merely standing around scratching your nose during the day you’re liable to be snagged for some real work like stocking or, horror of horrors, cleaning…Eff that noise…I went and pretended to straighten up the bread aisle which had just been stocked and needed no attention whatsoever…This is all right though because you aren’t standing at the desk not doing anything…You are looking busy.

One of the things I do to make a pest of myself is to pretend to understand and take part in a conversation in a language I don’t understand, which is pretty much everything but English and a little Spanish…Today Mamadou came by the desk and called for Customer Service Sam to come over and chat with him…I was standing next to Mamadou at the time and Sam dutifully came over…They are both from Senegal and were speaking Senegal and I nodded and pursed my lips importantly and, of courses, laughed when they did…Of course, I had some zero clue what they were talking about…They could have been talking about seagulls or the homeland or even the GOP tax cut – which none of them think was big enough…At the end, I laughed significantly and said “you’re telling me” and even pointed knowingly at nothing in particular…Customer Service Sam is a rather serious sort and if my shenanigans brought him any joy whatsoever he brilliantly kept it to himself…Mamadou, tho, is pretty funny and pretended to smack me while continuing to talk to me in Senegal…It sounded like a question.  

One of my duties is to wire money…We use MoneyGram for this and today a mother and daughter came in looking to wire money to Nigeria…A supervisor named Maria actually pointed them out when the walked in saying they had tried to send money to Nigeria yesterday but MoneyGram said no and perhaps they were being scammed…So they tried again today with me and it went thru…Maybe I should have asked some questions…Their clothes were neither new nor clean and $600 is $600 for Pete’s sake…But I didn’t…It’s none of my business…If they are hell-bent on sending hard-earned money to some dude in Nigeria, more power to you…If they choose to ignore the voice inside them that is telling them this isn’t quite right, that’s their lookout.

Because those voices are there…One time we did talk a guy out of wiring money after he said something inside told him not to do this…I asked him the details and he said he was selling something in the classifieds – a sander, I think – and a guy from Ohio had made an offer…He sent the buyer a cashier’s check for $960 only $950 over the agreed-upon purchase price…The seller told the buyer to wire him the rest of the money and that’s what he was here to do and his bank had made half of the funds available…In fact, one of his first questions was how much could he wire, which always gets my attention anyway.

– You want my two cents?
– Yeah.
He really did, too, probably to confirm his suspicions.
– Wait until the entire check clears…When it’s all in your account go to the bank and personally triple check it…Make sure they can’t take it out…Don’t wire the money until every penny is in your account and the check has cleared.

I didn’t say “scam” or “fraud”, even though that’s what it probably was…The cashier’s check had to be forged because you don’t have to be Joe Friday to wonder who in the hell would be sending $960 to buy a $50 sander…Eventually, the guy trusted his instincts about something not being right and took the common sense advice of not wiring the money until the check had completely cleared and, sensibly, he put his money back in his pocket…He thanked me and reiterated his claim that this had seemed fishy from the start

Got to use one of my favorite lines today…It’s not a Line of the Year candidate or anything, but it is pretty funny and it never gets old…Or so I think…It might…At least if you’re not me because I think it’s always great fun…This young couple came up carrying their rugrat in a carrier…They also had some diapers and other baby stuff…Or it looked like baby stuff…I never reproduced so what do I know…Anyway, I had the scanner in my hand an after scanning a couple of items I reached across the counter as if to scan the kid, announcing, hilariously, that kids were 33 percent off today….Sometimes they’re half off…The parents laffed and the dad said it sounded like a pretty good deal.

No sleep log…I’ve been up since yesterday afternoon and I am going to bed now.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

The Diary of a Nobody was inspired by the 19th century British novel of the same name. 

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