True Tales of Urine and Vomit.

§ May 10th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on True Tales of Urine and Vomit.

1. It’s Sunday evening, and I’m working the store alone. It’s about, oh, say, fifteen minutes away from closing. It’s my day off tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to it. A young girl (about eight, maybe) and who I’m assuming to be her brother (about four or five) are at the comics rack, just looking at the covers. Parents are nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, after being generally quiet, they start giggling. I look over to see what they’re doing, and the boy had just wet his pants…like, a lot. It’s a real flood. And both kids think it’s just the funniest thing ever. I’m trying not to be mad…they’re just kids…but I’m pretty damned annoyed, especially at the still-missing parents. I tell the sister to get that wet kid out of here, and the two of them dart out the door, leaving me to stay after hours cleaning and sanitizing the area.

2. A mom is walking around the store holding her infant. She’s with someone who appears to be her sister, and the two of them are just looking around at a leisurely pace. As I’m helping other customers, I notice that the mom and the sister dash out of the store pretty quickly. I don’t realize why until, a few minutes later, a coworker discovers a healthy amount of baby spit-up in one of the aisles. Now, I realize that babies spit up, it’s no big deal…but don’t bail out on me and let me find the baby spit-up on my own! At least tell me so that it can get cleaned up right away, rather than letting me find that stinky surprise on my own.

3. A long-time customer brought his young cousin in the store with him on new comics day, and as he was looking at the new arrivals rack, his cousin suddenly spit up on the floor. Unlike the people in #2, the customer had the good grace to tell me immediately, and he helped me clean up the mess…but still, it was right in front of the new arrivals rack.

This was several years ago, but that customer still apologizes for it to this very day. Really, it’s fine, honest! (But, right in front of the new comics?)

4. Again, it’s Sunday, and again, I’m working alone. I have a store full of people. Someone I’ve never seen before, a heavier-set fellow in his late-50s, walks into the store and loudly asks to use the restroom. The restroom is employees-only, I inform the person…I’m not going to let someone I don’t know wander around the back rooms, especially when I’m too busy up front to monitor the situation. Plus, I was getting an odd vibe off of him, which was almost immediately proved to be justified when he announced “well, I’m going to pee right here then!” — “here” being the area right by the front counter and register. I immediately put my hand on the phone, and tell him “I’ll just have to call the police then!”

“I’m gonna pee right here!” he repeats.

“I’ll call the police,” I retort, picking up the receiver.



…and so the debate continued. Well, for about 20 seconds or so, anyway, until he realized I wasn’t going to budge and he’d have to go demand access to employee restrooms somewhere else.

Okay, I realize those stories aren’t necessarily comic book store specific…most people in businesses that deal with the public have some kind of horrifying bodily-waste story to share…but I thought you’d be interested to know that comics retailing isn’t all just glamour and elegance.

EDIT: The customer in #3 is a reader of this weblog, and gave me permission to tell this story. So, you know, it’s not like I’m talking behind his back!

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