Friday, August 15, 2014

Confrontation at the 99 Cent Store

If you know me at all, I do not like confrontations of any kind. I will do almost anything to avoid one. Our restrooms are being remodeled on the 9th floor, and the doctor doesn't want me to use the stairs because I have an ankle spur. Rather than get rude looks from people like I was getting when I took the elevator up or down one floor (Lady, why don't you take the stairs kind of looks), I sometimes take the elevator down to the 2nd floor. That's how much I hate confrontations.

But last week I had had a terrible day. I hardly ever go into our 99 Cent Store here because it's filthy. The one in my grandmother's town is much better. I had to have a disposable mop (you know, the one that's still in its wrapper leaning up against my bathroom wall with the door closed so Callie won't tear into it.) I was already angry because I had just been at Walmart looking for a specific kind of mop, which, of course, they didn't have. I grabbed the cheapest one I could find - $1.42 or something like that on the sign. Stood in line FOREVER, only for the damned thing to ring up at $4 and something. I was pissed. It was hot outside. And I was parked a mile away. Did I mention my foot hurts?

So I went into the 99 Cent Store (I had to drive right by it anyway) and got a cart in case they had something else I wanted, like puppy pads, which they didn't. My blood pressure went up the moment I walked in. The whole place was disgusting. Crap all over the place, food and God knows what else stuck to the floor. Old spills on the floor, counters and gondolas. I owned a clean store for 9 years - it just upset me so much. People were buying food there, not just canned food but produce, people. The whole time I'm going to the back of the store, I'm getting angrier and angrier. There's just no excuse for that. People shouldn't have to shop or work in such an environment.

So I throw the damned mop into my cart, with the handle down in the bottom of the cart and the head of the mop sticking slightly out the front. I had folded the child seat up. Stood in line for a long time, which gave me more time to see the dirt, dust and grime on the counters at the checkout. The conveyor belt at the checkout was so grimy, that I just held the mop while I checked out.

Now, there's a man standing directly inside the front door of the store. I said, "Excuse me." He didn't move. So rather than yell at him to move, I went around him to the left as he turned towards my cart. I didn't hit him with the mop; never even came close. Okay, the CART did come kind of close to him, but the mop did not. I walked around him, and heard him say in a rude manner, "Well, you could have at LEAST said 'excuse me"!" I replied, "I DID say 'excuse me'." I was seething inside because all I wanted to do was get in my car and go home.

He said, "Well, you need to speak up!" I started walking out the door, and for some reason - I don't know why. Maybe it was his attitude, the heat, the disgustingly filthy surroundings - I said, "Well, maybe you shouldn't STAND in front of the entrance, then!"

We took it outside, and he kept going on and on about how he was just standing there, waiting for his wife when I come barreling through with a mop sticking out (which it was not) and telling me, "You should speak up like you're doing now!" Telling me how to talk and push a mop in a cart.

I finally let him have the last word. Well, I did have the last word; he just couldn't hear it. So I got in my car and my OCD kicked in. I never did see his wife; I was so focused on him. But all the way down the street - which is one of the busiest and dangerous 6-lane streets in the city of Houston - I kept thinking, "He's following me home." I checked my rear view mirror until I had to turn left, about 5 stoplights down. When I turned, there was only one car behind me, and it had a Dominoes Pizza sign on top of it. It finally turned and there was nothing in my rear view mirror, so I calmed down a bit. Then I went home, called my friend V and cried.

I don't handle confrontations well, which explains why I haven't had the nerve to confront my boss about that raise he mentioned a few months back. I don't like his attitude when I bring it up and I am not interested in defending myself when he's the one who brought it up in the first place.

Everyone have a great weekend. I'm going to work on my novel tomorrow for a few hours and then go visit my grandmother.


1 comment:

Maria said...

I've found that age has made me better at confrontations. When I was younger, I was rarely confrontational, but frankly I didn't notice as much as I do now. And then I hit 45 years old and suddenly I was no longer getting looks from men and I was just invisible...and it suddenly became much easier for me to speak occurs to me now that maybe I just do it to get attention!