September 27, 2005

Faith in Humanity

Someone really ought to ban me from interacting with the public in retail locations. Someday soon, I'm going to decide that one of these people has just lost the license to live. The parents of a family who came in today came pretty close.

We knew that we had incoming customers when we saw a toddler come... well... toddling up to the door. Caleb graciously let the toddler in and we stood amused as he charged down the center aisle while we awaited his parents and brother. Once they made it in the door, I took to talking to father (who was holding a computer) while the mother set about tracking down her children as Caleb stood aside, surveying the situation. Now note, while I have few doubts as to the status of the mother, the guy who walked into my store shouldn't, by all means, have been the father. He looked about 19 at the oldest and acted with an immaturity and social awkwardness that belies the onset of adolescence in most boys... and yet it would appear that this was his family and he was the head of it.

It became quickly apparent with the mother's frequent barking at her two young children and her simultaneous disregard for the fact that they kept getting more hyper and reckless that this woman had no control over her two sons, nor did she have any clue about this whole mothering thing... at all. As things became more apparently uncontrolled, Caleb and I had a quick whisper-conference wherein it was agreed that he would try his best to prevent the children from destroying any inventory, as it was apparent that the mother didn't really have the capacity.

I then went to talk to the man who informed me that they were evacuees from Mississippi who would be staying locally for a while. Asking him what I could do, he grinned (more about that later) and produced a "Matrix Online" box and queried, "What do I need to get so's I can play this?" I told him I'd have to plug his computer in, at which point he informed me that he was gonna have to type the password in himself and wouldn't give it to "nobody." After I informed him that we had utilities to deal with such problems and suggested (rather forcefully) that he could go keep an eye on his sons for a moment, his curiousity was piqued. Rather than going to deal with his children, he began pestering me for the application we used so that he could "play around with it" (otherwise translated, get into my wife's account... go figure.)

At about this point, mom wandered up, abandoning even the appearance of attempting to control her children. As I explained that the system would need RAM and a new video card to be brought up to spec, I noted that the computer was a bogged-down mess that was loaded up to the gills with porn. At this point , the couple decided to discuss what they could afford, so I wandered off to help Caleb with the brats. Unfortunately, I couldn't get out of earshot before I got the distinct impression that a significant amount of the relief moneys being received were about to be set aside for computer upgrades, and the wife was arguing that she ought to get her computer (left behind) replaced before the husband got more upgrades... and then there was the prospect of their ailing vehicle.

I hurried further away, eager to assauge my guilt for selling these people things that they shouldn't be buying, coming up to Caleb and helping him watch the children for a moment. As it dawned on me that I would feel better selling people things that they couldn't afford to buy than I would continuing in this babysitting fiasco, I waited for a lull in the conversation and returned to my customers post haste.

As I stood there, double-checking his system configurations and discussing his final choices, I began to play 20 questions. It came out that our husband and wife duo typically had the two brats in day care until 3 so they had plenty of time to do a bit of gaming, hence their presence in my store. They had opted to go the cheaper route on equipment at this junction so as to save money until after they had discovered how much it would cost to repair their car and perhaps buy the wife a new computer. At about this point my boss arrived back from an off-site job and began chatting up the husband while I completed the sale and talked with the wife. It was at this point that it came out that she was currently pregnant with twins. I didn't know whether to congratulate her or look up some adoption agencies and pass her the numbers.

In any event, it was at about this point that we finished the sale, gave the couple their new parts (plus a game that the husband had decided to snag) and sent them and their spawn on their merry way. It was at this point that I slipped through the back door and began shuddering at the thought of this couple continuing to breed and we discussed what we had all been thinking about: the husband and his "fresh out of the trailor" appearance. He smelled of the most foul things in nature and his breath was even worse, he looked kind of like a young, blonde Una-Bomber, and his teeth were nasty, yellow, caked in grime and housed in bleeding gums. All told, I was very glad the whole family was gone and hope that I never have to deal with any of them again.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at September 27, 2005 07:53 PM | TrackBack