Yesterday, I worked. It was a fun day, like always. I really do get a kick out of that job, out of the people there (the customers and the employees too). No funny stories to relate, not really, just a simple gladness, on the part of everyone. I saw friends there. Doug came to the front of the store carrying two gas cans.
"No," I said, "You are not getting gas cans for Patsy for Christmas! Might I suggest a nice piece of jewelry?"
Doug got a confused look on his face. "Well, I've already bought her all the power tools I want."
We saw Dave and his boy. They've had flooding where they live. I knew that because I saw his wife the day before. We talked about jobs. Everyone is working, but there is this sense that everything could change in a minute. Do you suppose we'll ever get back to the point where people can simply rely on their jobs again?
I saw kids with their fathers buying gifts for their mothers. I saw kids with their mothers buying gifts for their fathers. I pointed out barn boots for kids to one woman and the next thing I know she was on the cell phone and getting sizes for half the county, seems like.
We had our Christmas party for the store, and that was fun too. Lots of laughing. Good food. I delivered gifts from Santa. There are so many good stories from that store. Like the time that Jeremy went to the freezer to get his mac and cheese for lunch, and discovered it was gone. Stouffer's mac and cheese is the 'bomb' apparently, and so when he found the empty package in the garbage, he went ballistic. He strode out on the sales floor and demanded of Gary, "What'd you have for lunch?" Gary replied, "A baloney sandwich and yogurt." Jeremy replied "Okay..." and headed off to Bob to ask him the same question. Bob said, "I went home for lunch," and Jeremy stormed off to find Jessica who was on the register. When he posed the question to her, she said, "Oh. I had mac and cheese. It was the best mac and cheese ever...man...that stuff was good," and she went on for some time while he stood in total shock and disbelief. "YOU ATE MY MAC AND CHEESE!!!" he finally hollered in frustration. It seems that Jess had brought some frozen meal for lunch, and grabbed Jeremy's in mistake, not remembering exactly what she had grabbed that morning to bring in. As Mark put it, with a sigh, "Yes, there was quite a bit of drama about that mac 'n cheese." All I know, is when Jeremy told the story one freight night, all of us were howling, about wetting our pants. He was still pretty irritated about it.
Ike got a pack of bear claws, for the most creative late-to-work story ever. He'd caught a bear in a trap. Mark got a package of metallic sun glasses in shapes. He has quite a job keeping an eye on us and I never fail to get nervous. When I get nervous, I do dumb things. This means, if I'm going to do stupid things, it never fails that the boss is standing right next to me. I thought if he went incognito, wearing sunglasses, I wouldn't know it was him, and I'd stop doing dumb things. The cashiers got 'Tension Buster' Celestial Seasonings tea. It's been very busy and hectic at the store, and at the end of shifts, we generally head to the office with our drawers looking like war refugees, haggard and stressed and ready to go home. Bob-the-builder assembles stuff. I thought perhaps he went through withdrawal when he left the job, so I got him a jigsaw puzzle. Gary. Dang. That man knows everyone in the county by name it seems like. And they know him. I got him an address book. Around and around it went, laughing, telling stories prompted by the gifts. It really was a fun time.
When we were done, we played a rousing game of 'Fact or Crap', which was a lot of fun, and then the party was over.
By Wednesday, finals will be over, and it will be time to focus on Christmas. I haven't done one thing. Not one thing. No wrapping. No cards. No cookies. The to-do list is getting longer and longer, and not one check mark on it.