Absolute Power

The skill I’m proudest of is my ability to be mistaken for staff at various retail stores by fellow customers. It’s always at the top of the résumé.

I do nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe it’s my respect for the shelf-item organization scheme, maybe it’s an odor I cannot smell. Something about my face leads people to seek my assistance in locating the discount tool boxes or in seeing if we have the Pineapple Tablecloth in size XXXL in the back.

The temptation to misuse this power is great. Too great.

Sometimes I’ll scribble out little vouchers granting them 90% off any item they can fit in their mouths. Other times I’ll help them stuff single rolls of toilet paper under their shirt and point them towards an imaginary back exit.

If I’m in a really foul mood, I’ll march them through the store, forcing them to reshelve their entire order and demanding they leave, never to return, lest I call in the authorities.

And it works. You’d think the legitimate store employees would stop me but they’re almost all defeated inside and respond to any kind of authority with silent submission, casting their eyes to the floor.

My greatest moment came at a Shop n Save last year where I took the opportunity of an Indian Man asking me if we sold live ponies to commandeer the entire store, shut it down, reorganize it into a perfect replica of a 13th century monestary, complete with scriptorium and winery and re-open by morning with the staff and customers mumbling a crude, workable Latin.

My beating following the arrest was severe but entirely worth it.

About Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply