The Diary of a Nobody/October 12

Read Free Week continues!

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Friday, October 12
The new half-glasses, the ones I bought at the thrift store in the next county on Wednesday, made their debut at the retailer today…This is why I bought them, really, because glasses are on the edge of my nose all the time at the retailer…I need them for working the computer screen but they just muck things up for far away stuff and they were perfect today…The magnification is exactly what I need and they are smaller than my old glasses…The only drawback is they are rather delicate, so I have to take care of them, but that’s no big deal…An excellent 98 cent investment.

ProTip: Glasses last longer if you take them off with both hands, pulling straight out…Taking them off with one hand is very tuff on the frames.

Busy at the retailer today…One guy used no less than four gift cards to pay for two windshield wipers…I am not making that up…He looked like a guy for whom a buck was a buck, too…His clothes were dirty and his hair mussed and he was missing teeth and couldn’t afford falsies like I could…In fact, it was surprising he could afford a car at all…He had three Visa gift cards, but only one would produce funds towards his purchase, the other two were declined, and he still owed eight bucks or so when he whipped out one of our gift cards and that had enough on it…You might – or you might not – be surprised to learn using multiple gift cards is not unusual…You don’t see it every day, and using four is rare, but it happens.

Then this guy comes up looking to get some cash back with his credit card…Most credit cards don’t, here at least, and I told him that, but he was determined to try and he had a box of eye drops because he wasn’t bright enough to find the Band-Aids he really wanted in the pharmacy despite the fact Stevie Wonder could probably find them…They’re right there…So I ring it up for $3.21 and it turns out he cannot, in fact, get cash back with his credit card so I refund him his money, so he has at least $3.21 in his pocket…Why he does not use a debit card is not clear…So he waddles out and comes back later announcing there were two options “in play”: one he buys something for $12 – the amount he needs – and then immediately returns it or he waits until his wife in Wisconsin wires him some money…Again, I’m wondering why a plainly middle-class white male does not have access to a debit card linked to an account with money in it…I tell him that returning something merely to get cash is not really in the spirit of the retailer’s return policy – it’s to allow customers to return something that is defective or no longer needed – but it is hardly a federal crime and it doesn’t cost us anything so I say I’ll do it…He goes and buys a $13 first aid kit, and the Band-Aids he really needs, and I go thru the motions of selling them to him and returning the first-aid kit so he can have his twelve goddamned dollars…It was easier than saying no and arguing with him.

I was assigning checkers left and right the whole shift…Maria was the only supervisor and several times when a checker came back from break or lunch they needed guidance on where to go and they asked me, even tho I’m just a common employee and don’t have the authority to handle this awesome task…After pretending to give it some thought I’d solemnly assign them to whatever register was open…One time I changed my mind, tho…I had dispatched the new girl Autumn to #4 but then I said go to #5 and send Jacki to the service desk because we were busy.

Scott dropped by to buy some things…I used to work with Scott at the timeshare…He does maintenance and did some time in the Army in Afghanistan…He’s a good guy, 40ish and his wife is still in her 20’s, hubba-hubba…Anyway, he wasn’t buying any of his Mountain Dew this trip…Usually, he’s good for at least a 12-pack, plus a one-liter bottle for the drive home…Today, tho, he had a sports drink and he said he was trying wean himself off of Mountain Dew, which I’ve heard is only slightly easier than weaning yourself off of heroin…He said he was doing pretty good, except for some headaches, blame for which he assigned to caffeine withdrawals…I told him a story about a guy on the old diesel submarine I was on who drank Dr Pepper constantly and quit one three-week at sea period…The first week was tough, on both him and us, but he got over it, and Scott nodded and said that would probably happen with him, too.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log:  The Sleep Log will return next week, when we are back to the regular odd sleeping schedule.

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.

It was inspired by the 19th century British novel of the same name.

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