Thursday, March 09, 2006



Roboclerk and the Wienie Whistle Epic.

I like to pepper my material occasionally with tales of an anecdotal sort, since I do have a few.

And honestly, as God…er, I swear on a stack of…er, you’re just going to have to take my word for it, so there! (Yeesh, theists have a lockdown on ALL the good words and phrases, I swear: but that’s another post entirely)

Where was I? Oh, yeah. “No word of a lie, squire,” as John Constantine likes to say. No embellishment whatsoever (okay, so it’s NOT an epic: it’s still funny. So sue me for false advertising. See ya in court!).

Lo these many years ago, I was working between these two mini-marts. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty, the innocent, and the guilty-by-association. I worked in this one place, nice people, crappy hours, crappy pay, you get the idea.

We had this one fella, there, I kid you not: he was convinced he was the manager. Even though the owner had never EVER promoted him, title, etc.

He was obnoxious; capital O. He’d come in on his DAY OFF and do ‘busy work’. He ran around mercilessly micro-managing EVERY detail, you name it, he did it. He seemed a nice enough guy at first, but it came almost to blows, and I stopped talking to the…putz. I’m being kind here. It’s an effort; trust me.

He was so bad, someone nicknamed him ‘Roboclerk’. I was accused of doing this, as I have a penchant for hilarious nicknames: but it weren’t me, I swear by…oh, just take my word for it.

I was working graveyard. I came in one evening (here comes the back story!), and this fellow, nick of ‘Sarge’ (he was an older man, MUCH older, former gunnery sergeant for the Marines), this crusty old salt of the sea is just STOKED, I mean, nearly FROTHING.

What about?
Wienie whistles. And Roboclerk.

Turns out, the mart was having this special on those hot dogs (yeah, yeah, let’s not go THERE yet: comment later). Buy two, get a wienie whistle free. Little plastic thing, maybe cost ½ a cent. Tops.

So, as the story goes, Sarge was selling Lotto tickets, decided to be clever, gave a ticket buyer their lotto ticket, a whistle, said, “There’s a WIENER!” Hey, it’s a dull job: liven it up a bit with banter.

What happens next is just…unbelievable. Roboclerk YELLS at Sarge about not giving any whistles away at all, unless he sells some HOT DOGS. Apparently tore into him, judging from his state. So old retired fella’s going ON and ON about this, when I interject:

“Why don’t you do this? Take all the whistles, put them in a bag, and hide them?”

Sarge says, “CAPITAL IDEA!” And promptly does so.

The next night, Roboclerk approaches me with: “Did you give away any whistles last night?” To which I replied (disingenuously, I might add): “No.” Suppressed laughter.

The NEXT night, I come in, old RC is just STOKED! “Why do these people do this to me? He hid the whistles from me, just to provoke me!” “Gee, I dunno.” I was younger then, and more diplomatic.

The very NEXT night, I come in to…someone else nearly bursting a vein. This time it’s a younger fellow, and three guesses why he’s incensed? You got it. Got yelled at for giving away whistles. So he decides to start dispensing them around select areas of the store. “That won’t work,” I tell him. “What do you mean?” “He’ll just pick them up.” “What do you suggest?” Shame on me folks. Honestly, at that point, he was getting up MY nose, and I was only peripherally involved. I mean, come on! “You should glue them in place,” I told him. “Got any glue?” “Here you go.”

By the end of the week, the owner was (I got this second hand) screaming “Just give them away, for {expletive deleted]! They’re JUST wienie whistles! You people will argue about anything!”

Well, somehow, he got word of my involvement in this fiasco of immense proportions, and it devolved from there. It got to the point I absolutely would not even talk to the guy. Turns out later, he was not only diabetic (which by itself is no biggie), but also doing an eightball a week (or night, or whatever: hearsay, but reliable source). Not exactly rational.

Stealing from the company, no less. Blamed me. Got me fired (actually, ‘suspended’ for a month, but I had a relationship with that other mart, so I picked up working without a beat. Wasn’t a union job, so this still tosses me). Hey, traditionally, the graveyard guy is the first suspect in those cases: but I’d been clean and sober for going on 3 years (no, not AA: I did it on my own). And I pride myself on my honesty.

And there it is, gentle readers: a minor sidebar into the foolishness that all of us are prey to.

Would I do it again?

You betcha. But for one exception: I’d give this guy a royal verbal whipping. Not for being the way he is, but for how he treats other folks. There’s discourtesy, there’s rude, and then there’s just DAMNED rude.

And every detail’s the truth. Yeah, I paraphrased a bit (memory’s not what it was), but I’m taking a little literary license here.

No hidden metaphors, similes, agendas, etc. Life’s just wonky, sometimes.

Just felt like sharin’.

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Mesoforte said...

Let's get you to swear on an Ingersoll speech to make sure your not lying. ^_~

That's interesting. I'm surprised that you didn't try to glue the whistles to the cieling.

Ah, the joys of youth.

HairlessMonkeyDK said...


Sounds like a snapshot of my life.
Uncy Relucty,
if you've got more of these stories,
mail 'em to me, and I'll send you mine.
THIS was what I meant, if you know what I mean.
And I promise:
I got you beat.

Krystalline Apostate said...

I'm surprised that you didn't try to glue the whistles to the cieling.
Hey, there's limits to everything.

I got you beat.
Thought you'd like it. But...a competition?
I dunno...lemmee think about it a bit.

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

I got you beat.

Thought you'd like it. But...a competition?
I dunno...lemmee think about it a bit. "

Didn't mean a -competition-.
Just that it'd be fun to trade stories.

udonman said...

Hey, traditionally, the graveyard guy is the first suspect in those cases

hey reluctant it wasnt me honest

Krystalline Apostate said...

Just that it'd be fun to trade stories.
Okay. We can work somethin' out.

hey reluctant it wasnt me honest
I knew it was thee, foul varlet!
Playin'. Relax.

Anonymous said...

"If a man gets violent over his whistling wienie, his wienie needs to be glued down", I always say.
At least I do now

:) K

Krystalline Apostate said...

Well, now, a whistlin' wienie is...must be...a genetic mutation?
Must make for interesting hummers, ey?

Anonymous said...

Must make for interesting hummers, ey?
Whistle and hum, you bet!
Ummm, thought of somethin'...better not say it. Might give you a 3rd degree blush.HEE!