Sea food department and how I got written up the first and only time
So I was on a fourteen hour shift on New year’s eve to steam shrimp for hours on end in horrifying quantities.
People were buying shrimp because they wanted their mudbug appetizers for their new year’s parties and whatnot but many customers who had not come for shrimp were ordering them because they could smell the shrimp and seasoning as I worked tirelessly.
I had orders to fill for people that had called up to a week ahead to reserve shrimp. I had a list and pounds of shrimp stored away to thaw in the cooler.
By 9:00pm we were out of shrimp that was not already reserved for the customers who had called in.
A man in his thirties wearing a nice blazer and perfectly ironed slacks approached the counter. At that moment I was steaming the last ten pounds (YOU READ THAT RIGHT) of small shrimp for a call in who was scheduled to come pick them up at 9:30. Our steamer was tiny. I could only do about five pounds at a time so I had five one pound bags of shrimp sitting on the back counter while I steamed the first half of the order.
Back to nice blazer guy. He orders two pounds of farm raised shrimp. I politely explain that were out of shrimp. All shrimp. We are out.
He wordlessly jabs his thick, sweaty finger toward the back where five bags of thawed shrimp sat pretty and neat on the counter by the steamer.
I wait for him to say something, he does not. I explain that they are reserved for a customer who called in hours before we were out.
“What the f#+! makes them so special? I’m paying for shrimp now, I want those. I should come first! I’m already here.” He grumbles and barks.
I had to explain that they called hours ago. I have to fill that order or I could be fired. Those shrimp are not his and I apologized profusely.
I spot him talking to my manager who is just shaking his head and clearly frustrated that he has to explain something to this entitled stain. It’s probably about the friggin shrimp.
Ten minutes later there’s a SPRAY of ground black pepper being flung into seafood department, then the plastic spice container bounces off the back of my head.
Thank the gods that all the bags of cooked shrimp were closed and I had my back turned, or else I’d have been blind and the shrimp would have been ruined.
I turn around and GUESS WHO IS STANDING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SEAFOOD CASE. That’s right. Blazer guy. He’s standing there huffing and puffing and shouting at me. To this day I have no idea what he said because I was in complete and utter shock.
I could not think of what I should do. This guy was nuts and pissed… but so was I at this point. My feet hurt, I stunk like old bay, I was missing everyone’s new year’s parties and I was just so beat. Best of all I had to be in at work bright and early the next day.
Something dark and unnatural possessed me. I reached back toward the sink, grabbed the spray hose and let loose a stream of cold water on this royal prick. I did not shout, I did not growl.
I said “please leave…” in a mantra over and over until he left to escape the icy flow of my inability to take more crap from him or anybody else tonight.
Yes, he got the manager again. Yes, he caused a scene. Yes, he demanded that I was fired.
The manager, an older fellow who had worked retail for fifty years found me the back room crying because I KNEW that I had just lost my job.
I was handed a write up slip (not the termination notice I was expecting) with a smile and a pat on the shoulder.
“I would have decked that little turd.” My manager said before walking away with a bounce in his step.
I was not fired.