I work at [undisclosed shipping store] and there is a customer I have who will guaranteed make Jesus think he’s a lost cause. He shall be heretofore known as the Candyman–all pervy, creeper implications welcome. And he has been plaguing me for years.
His mother lives in a nursing home in Florida. She has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember much except her bi-monthly supply of 15 pounds of candy and chocolates (not an exaggeration, people) from her son, the Candyman. The Candyman is an ungentleman in his late fifties (at least), plump, stout, thinning mop of grey hair, face like a frog, and an attitude that says he’s used to being found utterly charming.
Interaction, September 1, 2010:
I’m not even open an hour, the Candyman walks in. He has parked his shiny silver Porsche in the fire lane outside my store. He carries a rather large bag of candy and chocolate purchased from the grocery store next door. This is what he does every time he comes in.
Sayeth the Candyman, “I lied to my mama. I told her I sent this out last week… but it’s okay, because she never remembers.”
Pause. Consider courses of action. Decision: Do nothing. Say nothing. Hope he goes away.
I shove all ten pounds of his candy into a padded mailer–the method of packaging second most likely to send the message, “I can’t be bothered to pay for a box to send this to you,” second after, of course, the non-padded mailer, which is, in fact, the envelope–and I weigh it and measure it and do all sorts of jiggery-pokery to get the job done as fast as superhumanly possible. Meanwhile, this guy decides to tryout his audition for Last Comic Standing to me.
I ask him a standard question, “Can I get your phone number please?”
He stares at me and moans what he always moans, “You’ll never call me.”
Lately I’ve been responding, “You’re absolutely right.”
“Lemme tell you a joke,” says the Candyman then.
“Please don’t,” I silently plead.
“So this guy is sitting at a bar, and he’s just staring at the shot in front of him, not doing a thing. And a biker–big tough guy, all leather–comes into the bar and sees this guy. And the biker says to the guy, ‘Well, hey, if you ain’t gon’ drink it,’ and the biker takes the guy’s shot and downs it. The guy bursts into tears, and the biker starts apologizing, ‘I’m sorry, I’ll buy you another one. What’s going on?’ And the guy says, ‘Well, yesterday I lost my job, and this morning, my wife left me, and y’know, I just don’t have any more poison!’ “
A pause. Crickets can be heard chirping at 9 am. I don’t think it’s funny. And I have an amazing sense of humor. Just no patience for this man. This man who has bothered me for close to two years. This man who is constantly inappropriate. This man whose mere presence makes me shiver with discomfort.
“You don’t think it’s funny?” he drawls.
“I think it’s horrible,” I say, sort of smiling in a way that hopefully masks whatever animosity I feel.
He takes this pretty personally. We finish up the transaction, and he hears the total and slides his card and signs his name. Then he says, “You know, you should wear a mask.”
I look at him, full of dread, thinking, “Oh my Joss, I don’t see how this could end favorably.” So I ask him why.
“Because you’re a burglar.” And with that he leaves. What a flair for the melodramatic.
Interaction, September 25, 2010:
Enter Douchie McDouchenozzle, Esq. (sometimes I call him this when I’m real extra upset).
He brings in TWO bags of candy, plops them down. I’m keenly aware that he has another bag, a gallon bag that you fit food in and such. “Another bag,” I think with complete dread. “That means he plans to stay longer.”
(let’s kick this conversation a little faster and change up the format)
Him: Hey, lady… I’ve come to send some candy to mama.
Me: You’ll need to grab an envelope.
He unrolls the bag and dumps its contents onto the counter. It’s all cheap jewelry.
Me: …why? [please go away we don’t need your money]
Him: I wanna show you somethin’.
Me: …okay. [I hate you]
I walk over hesitantly.
Him: See any of these trinkets that strike your fancy?
Me: [oh god oh god. what do I do] Um. No. Sorry. I don’t wear jewelry. [well, at least that’s the truth]
Him: You don’t?
Me: …nope. [also, I would rather subject myself to many very painful tortures than accept jewelry from you]
He somewhat angrily puts the jewelry back into his bag and rolls it up. He waits for me to do something with the candy.
Me: …You’ll need an envelope.
We debate about whether to use an envelope or a box, since he’s just brought a mountain of stuff. He decides a box, I pack it.
I bring the package back to the counter and he gives me his phone number [thank god I don’t have to ask him for it, so he won’t say, “You’ll never call me.”] and we get started.
Him: Hey, do you like jokes?
Me: It depends on what kind of jokes. [I don’t want to dignify that stupid question with a response]
Him: Well, it’s a good one.
Me: If it’s the one with the guy in the bar with the poison, I’ve already heard that one.
He pauses. And stares at me. I stare at him. I’m uncomfortable. The silence has gone on too long. I’m just going to keep working on the shipment.
Him: Do you have the winning lottery numbers?
Me: What? No.
Him: Have you already heard that joke?
Him: Did I tell it to you already?
Him: Did you think it was funny?
Him: You didn’t laugh.
Me: [Good god] no. [you’re awful]
His feelings are hurt. Again. At least this time he didn’t say that I should wear a mask because I’m a burglar. This time, he’s much more mature. He turns on his sad face.
Him: I think I’m going to go home and curl up in bed. Are we done here?
Me: No, you have to sign these two sheets of paper. [THAT YOU HAVE TO DO EVERY TIME YOU COME IN HERE WHICH IS FAR TOO MANY TIMES IF YOU ASK ME BUT THE POINT IS WE HAVEN’T CHANGED SO YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS]
He signs one of them.
Him: Am I done yet?
Me: And the other one.
He signs the other.
Him: Are we done yet? I want to go home and go back to bed. [because you don’t think I’m charming, aren’t I charming? who doesn’t think I’m charming, raise your hand]
We’re not done. I make him actually pay me and then he leaves.
Oh how I wish this wasn’t true.