Friday, August 03, 2007

I Prefer to Think that God Is not Dead, Just Drunk

I was going to write a very deep and profound post about spirituality, fulfillment and the use of religious texts as control. I was going to draw on my considerable experience working with people and studying literature to raise thought-provoking questions about who we are and why we do the things we do. I'm not ready to write that post yet. I think it's still gestating in my head. Instead, I'll write something flippant and vaguely amusing...

Those who know me know that, for the second time in my illustrious teaching career, I have picked up a dread "Summer Job".

Most people view teachers as whining ne'er-do-wells and malcontents who are underworked and overpaid, biding our time during the 185 day work-year until we collect our (admittedly) fucking fantastic retirement benefits. This is not the case. Frankly, most teacher salaries are so abysmal that we are forced to find other ways to subsidize our meager existence: organ theft, sales of oxycontin (helps when you have a ready-made customer base of over 500 teenagers you see every day), weekend dominatrix work, killer-for-hire, etc. While I may have a booming trade in contract killing, I decided to lay a bit low this summer.

Yes--I work in retail.

Of course a man can't stray too far from his roots, so I conned a kid into having her dad hire me. At a liquor store. At a HUGE liquor store. With a rare room that I sometimes wander around in while touching myself. Well maybe that part's an exaggeration. Maybe not.

Working in retail seems to me a huge step backward. People ask me if I have plans for a certain day and I actually have to respond with "I dunno, I have to check the schedule". I don't italicize in conversation, I just added that for emphasis. But really. I haven't "checked a schedule" in like eight years. Sometimes I have to work a bullshit 5-9 shift. 5-9? What is that anyway? It's like I'm held hostage the entire day. I wake up and think about all the things I could do that day (all right, so maybe most of them have to do with broadband Internet porn and alcohol), but then I realize I've got to go to work at 5PM. For the past 7 years I've worked 7AM-330PM. Dammit, I'm a creature of habit.

Working in retail has also helped me more deeply entrench my belief that people are fucking idiots. Anyone who works in retail, or in a job where you have to deal with people (as in "the public", ass. Not just your office-mates), needs no further explanation of that statement. If you need it explained you won't understand. So I'm not going to bother. Nyah.

I've also learned that the vast majority of people will believe anything you tell them about wine provided you sound really confident while doing it. That's probably true about any subject area, but it seems especially true about the more esoteric, such as the mystical beverage known as wine. They come in and ask a bunch of questions and for your recommendations; you spend 15 minutes trying to understand their tastes; giving them information about grapes, terroir, dry versus sweet versus fruit-forward styles; matching their wine-drinking history to some new (to them) and exciting wines. They then proceed to buy the same bottle of cat-piss they buy every time they're in there. I swear it's the only way Yellow Tail is still in business.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that most people are exceedingly cheap. A woman came in the other day and asked for Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, a very nice wine that resides in our Rare Room and comes in at a $48.99 price-point. She immediately blanched at the dollar amount and asked me if I could "show her something comparable". The asshole in me (you know, the only side of me that ever comes out while blogging) was tempted to show her some of Gaja's 2000 Sori San Lorenzo which comes in at a bargain-basement $449.99, just to fuck with her. But I figured if she asked for Cakebread by name she'd at least know the difference between a red and a white. I asked her what price-point she'd like to be at. I usually say that instead of "how much do you want to spend?" Not that it matters, they're both just euphemisms for "How fucking cheap are you?" Anyways, she replies, "Well, what can you show me comparable for about $12?" I deserve an Oscar for not laughing in her face. I managed to say, very politely and with decorum, I might add: "Nothing." I wish I had a camera so I could post a picture of the look she gave me.

I'll close with a blinding flash of the obvious: I am an elitist prick. :-)

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