Dentists, optometrists, and guerillas

So... I went to the dentist today. First they jabbed a bunch of mirrors and pokey-things in my mouth. You would think over the course of three thousand years dentistry would have evolved beyond using pokey-things, but I think dentists consider jabbing their patients' mouths with hooked metal spears to be one of their job perks.

While I was verbally incapacitated:
"Hi Ryan!"
"How are you doing today?"
"Hrboigj buom."
"Haha. And would you like the miniature drill or the twelve inch behemeth with special pain injectors that is illegal in twelve states and also Wisconsin?"
"The big one it is!"
(For brevity's sake, I have omitted stenographing the various bouts of maniacal laugher that ensued.)

Also, yesterday I visited the optometrist. He was not nearly as scary as my insane dentist. In fact, I was hoping to hear something along the lines of "I'm sorry Ryan. There is nothing we can do to save your eyes. I'm afraid our only hope is to replace them with cybernetic implants that see infrared and shoot class IV laser blasts." But no, they said everything was just dandy. DANDY FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

I also baked cookies with my good buddy from Dork. All I'll say about that is that there were some casualties. . . .

Finally, today was my first day of work since heading off to school. The first and most important rule to understand is: Customers are nuts.* Really. I mean, if someone finds a $.32 sticker on on a gold plated washing machine with built in big screen TV and sauna, you had better be prepared to part with it for $.32, because at least half a dozen customers are going to demand you give it to them at that price (and another two dozen will find 'defects' with it and ask for 20% discounts).

It gets worse if you work at the return desk. There is nothing people won't try to return. Typical conversation: "I'd like to return this lingerie." "We don't sell lingerie. We sell building materials." "But I have a receipt!" "Mamb, your receipt is from a different store, not to mention an entirely different type of store, it's expired, it doesn't list the product you are asking to return, and the closest thing to lingerie this store has ever carried is fan belts for electric blowers." "Would you please just call a manager for me?"

You see, all along it was really just a dirty ploy to get you on the bad side of your manager. If customer's can't have their $.32 washing machines, they're going to go after your job in retribution.

In order to combat the customer scourge, we employees are equipped with state-of-the-art 1920s technology. I must say that the software that runs on our computers was either written by 1.) a nimrod 2.) several nimrods 3.) a clever fiend who, after writing the software, immediately liquified his assets and bought up as much of our competitor's stock as possible.

The paleozoic computers they run this brain-damaged software on might even stand chance if they didn't run a fancy gui in the background. (the software does not use a gui, it is all text based). The gui probably consumes 20 times as much resources as the software it launches that can run without it.

The salvation of the whole system is the PA system we use to communicate. This enables people to alert you that they need help so that you can try to avoid them and look busy. However, it is also important not to let the customers know that there is a serious problem, because then the customers might think that they were winning against us employees. So we have a code system. For example, "Code six" might mean "The customers are swarming the registers in mass! Send reinforcements to the checkout counters." "Code sixty" might mean "A customer who will probably decide he wants a different color in an hour has just ordered a gajillion cinderblock bricks. Come help him hand load them into his station wagon." "Code yellow" could mean "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! THE BUILDING IS A FLAMING INFERNO OF FIERY DEATH!" I have also suggested adding a "Code GUERILLA" to alert employees if there is an angry guerilla rampaging through the store, but so far management has ignored all of my important store-safety concerns.

At least it's over. I go back tomorrow, though. What disputable fun! *Contrary to popular myth, "the customer is always right" is not the 1st but rather the 87th rule of service, right after 'big foot is real' (86) and 'oh look at the flying pigs!' (85).