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Comment count is 12
casualcollapse - 2020-03-24

thanks, now I have that infographic of my lungs being destroyed in my head whenever anybody coughs at the homeless shelter

Binro the Heretic - 2020-03-24

Since I developed a physical disability, I was made a cashier at work.

Seeing us ranked up there with doctors & police in terms of importance to society kind of made me all misty-eyed & a little choked up.

It's balanced out by all the people whining that the government might give people like me money if we can't work. Our customers are already whining about bars & restaurant dining rooms being closed and are livid at the thought we might have to close down for a while.

I've tried to explain they can choose to risk their health by going out to a bar or restaurant but the employees have no choice but to be there. They counter by saying the fear of the virus is overblown. The also say even if you do get it, it's only as bad as the flu. I'm guessing none of these assholes has ever had the fucking flu.

And today's shift ended on an extra shitty note. I was out sick with a head cold last week. I came back to work yesterday. I've been gulping down all sorts of medicine & sucking cough drops non-stop, but coughed in front of my very last customer who freaked the fuck out.

The guy's stuff was already bagged. My left arm was holding the bag out to him and my left was reaching out to take the receipt off the printer when my throat got a tickle and I coughed reflexively. I didn't cough in the guy's face or even in his direction. As soon as I felt it coming, I turned my head down as close to my shoulder as I could get it. When I looked up, the guy had jumped back. I asked if he wanted the receipt. He shook his head & ran out the door with his bags. I tossed the receipt in the wastebasket.

5 minutes later, he came back in with another guy and threw the bags on my counter demanding his money back. I think I just looked confused for a second so he snapped, "I don't want them after you coughed all over them."

I tried to pass it off as hayfever (This is Florida and we're in the middle of a huge pollen bloom right now. In fact, one of the medicines I'm taking is Claritin.) He said it didn't matter. Out of habit, I asked if he had the receipt.

"You didn't give me one!" he snapped. I apologized and said I forgot he had refused it. I fished it out of the trash and started to do the return. He stood there, continuing to complain, saying things like, "You didn't even cover your mouth." I tried to be apologetic, but he just kept on until I finally asked him if he wanted to speak to my manager. He said of course he did so one of my coworkers went to get her. The guy followed.

I was almost done processing the return when the manager came up. She grabbed the bags and said she was going to do a return for the customer, but I told it was nearly done. She looked confused. I'm not sure, but I think the guy gave her the impression I had refused to do a return for him. The manager went back towards her office.

I finished the transaction, the customer approved it on the PIN pad. I told him the full amount was refunded to his card. "What's your name?" he demanded. I told him. "And what's her name?" I gave him the manager's name. He turned & left without another word. It was time for me to clock out at that point, so I headed to the back. The coworker who went to get the manager told me the manager wanted to see me.

I clocked out and went to the manager's office. She had me come in. She asked what happened and I gave her the rundown. She said my cold was "freaking people out." For the record, I have coughed & sneezed in front of customers since I returned (although I do usually have my face buried inside my jacket when I do) and nobody else has even blinked. As far as I know. This guy was the only one. I told her I was taking all sorts of medicine but now & then I get a tickle in my throat or nose and it can't be helped. This didn't seem to satisfy her, but all I can do is promise to be more careful.

She wanted me to wipe down my register and return all the groceries to the shelves. I explained I was clocked out, but would be happy to do so. She asked if I was clocked out for lunch and I told her I was clocked out for the day because I had worked opening shift. She told me never mind.

Nothing like going home with a big ol' heapin' helpin' of anxiety.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2020-03-24

Damn man. How do u *not* go on a killing spree?

Binro the Heretic - 2020-03-24

I pour all my effort & energy into working because my family needs me to bring in money.

At the end of the day, a bloodbath is just too much energy & effort.

Seriously, though, being a cashier really sucks for an introvert like me. I have to deal with people all day long and I'm literally too drained by the end of the day to do anything other than mindless housework.

Gmork - 2020-03-24

You have energy for mindless housework after that?

Binro the Heretic - 2020-03-24

It's sort of therapeutic for me.

Hell, most of the video games I play these days are chore simulators.


Stardew Valley

Slime Rancher


Viscera Cleanup Detail

TeenerTot - 2020-03-25

Oh, Binro, my heart goes out to you.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2020-03-25

yeah same, solidarity Binro!!

Simillion - 2020-03-25

that guy was a primo asshole. I just want to say that also in addition to I am sorry for such a bad day triggered by one dude who is clearly living with extreme anxiety over everything. You at least seem to have a very level and steady head. my heart to your family too.

Binro the Heretic - 2020-03-26

Thanks. I try to look at people this way:

Comedian Brian Regan has a bit about walking through a spider web. When you walk through a spider's web, other people can't see it, they just see you going nuts trying to pull it off.

"Lookit that guy over there! He was walking by that tree and just started freaking out. Look! He's still doing it."

I try to treat people who act out like they've just walked through a metaphorical spider's web. I have no idea what that guy went through before I saw him that could have made him act that way. Maybe he's an asshole all the time or maybe circumstances just put him out of sorts for a while and he's not usually like this.

I'm dealing with a lot of spiderwebs myself and I'm trying hard not to let it affect how I treat others, but I can never be sure how others perceive my behavior.





All the love & support here means loads to me. It's been a shitty year. Last February, my mother suffered a fall. We thought she was having a stroke, but she had fallen & struck her head causing bleeding inside her skull. She & dad had moved in with me years ago because her health was declining. Complications from the injury ended up taking her from us last May.

My dad, sister, nephews & I were all devastated. My nephews live with me, too. My sister, who has mental health & substance abuse issues, alternates staying with us during the week and her boyfriend on the weekends. Losing Ma hit us all hard, particularly dad who had to keep working because he still owes a lot on her medical expenses. Caring for her had drained all their assets, which was why they had to move in with me.

This was just the beginning of the shitstorm. I was already having issues at work with the manager of my old department who is definitely a super mega asshole and not dealing with any spiderwebs of any kind. She's a psychopath middle management type and made my life a living nightmare for years. I don't want to go into too much detail, but she really treated me like garbage, pushed all the heavy physical labor onto me, and promoted people with less seniority, experience & qualifications over me multiple times. I'm pretty sure she was trying to make me quit, but I couldn't without having another job lined up. I did look, but nothing ever worked out.

And then I started developing physical issues that diminished my capacity as a laborer. I was already slowing down. I'm no spring chicken. (I'll be 50 in June) and health issues run in my family. Right after Ma had her fall, I slipped on icy steps and fucked up my shoulder putting me on restricted duty for a few weeks.

Then, there was an ugly incident with psycho boss. I had put in for a week's sick leave under the Family Medical Leave Act to care for Ma when she got home. Because it was FMLA, psycho boss literally had no power to deny it to me. On the last hour of the last day before I was to take off, she decided to browbeat me by reading off a long list of my failures & shortcomings. Under stress and not in the mood for it, I walked out of the meeting. HR is not there for my benefit, but to cover the company's ass which means covering psycho boss' ass no matter what. I'm still dealing with fallout from that. I got my union involved, though.

When Ma died, I was only out for a few days and the following weekend. I returned to work the following week. It was too soon. I was always on the verge of crying. I had hoped returning to a normal routine would help me cope, but it didn't. And psycho boss was extra shitty to me. I think she was trying to goad me into some kind of emotional outburst because she had claimed I had become "threatening" during the prior incident. I didn't take the bait, though a few times she did literally reduce me to tears, but that wasn't hard to do at the time.

In the midst of this, I was worried about my dad. I still am. He's an old-school boomer macho guy who was pissed off at himself for not having the power to save his wife and is too tough to let anyone know how upset he is about it. He's 77. He still feels he has to work 6 days a week paying off Ma's medical bills. And now he's sick. He caught my fucking cold despite how careful I've been to stay ways from him and not contaminate the shared spaces.

At least, I HOPE it's just my fucking cold.

Anyway, I'd been having foot & leg pain for a while. Last August, my left foot finally hurt so bad, I could barely walk. Keep in mind, I'm still busting my ass at work because I don't want to give psycho boss any excuses. Anyway, I had been treating the pain & swelling with ice water soaks, which helped a little. When I started seeing bruising, though, I decided it was time for the doctor to have a look because maybe I sprained it or something.

Turned out I had something called "Charcot's foot." which is a thing that happens when you develop diabetic neuropathy in your feet. Apparently, I had been walking around for God knows how long on broken foot bones until the pain got bad enough for my damaged nerves to feel it. Not just walking, I was on my feet 8 hours a day, carrying loads of 75+ lbs and climbing up & down ladders & stairs. My left foot was put in an air cast. I had to stay off my feet for a couple of weeks then get one of those knee scooters.

Of course, psycho boss wasted no time getting me kicked out of the department using "reasonable accommodation" as an excuse. See, if you're physically unable to do your job, the company will try to find you a position you're qualified for that meets your medical needs. They're supposedly looking for something permanent for me but have made me a cashier in the meantime.

Also, last month I was rear-ended while waiting at a traffic light. Nobody was hurt, thank God, but my poor little 1998 Saturn was totaled. I've gotten a new vehicle, but that was an ordeal in & of itself.

And I know lots of other people have it way worse than I do. And even though I've been through Hell, things are starting to kind of look up. I'm on a carefully restricted diet. It's not fun, but my blood sugar is normal without insulin. My blood pressure is normal. I've gone from 330+ lb down to 269 lb. I feel better overall.

My older nephew is going to college. My younger nephew is doing excellent in school and will hopefully go one day. We've been working to help make sure that happens. They're both good kids who got dealt shitty hands by life, but maybe they'll have better lives than mine.

I have a 2007 Honda Odyssey with all sorts of fancy gadgets that suits my family's needs way better than the old Saturn. It's seriously the nicest vehicle I've ever owned and even though I had to pull $6,000 from my 401K & take the tax hit, at least I won't have to make payments on it. It's mine free & clear.

And I'll be done paying off the home loan in October. That will mean another $800 every month I don't have to piss away making someone else rich.

I'm still worried about my dad & sister during this pandemic, though. He's elderly, still working and has never been the best about taking care of himself. She's immunocompromised. I can understand that customer being scared about infection, but it's people like me, who have to be at work and have to be exposed to so many people who are taking the bigger risk.

Well, I've whined enough. Thank you all again for your support. It really does mean a lot to me.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2020-03-26

Thasa good story Binro, tx for sharing.. You sound very ethical, reasonable + hardworking.
Also sounds like u are doing pretty good, paid off *home* loan? Thats epic.
Also, losing weight.
No matter what age one is, being healthy will make a massive difference. When ure in good shape ure life is just better and more enjoyable + u get more done. My goals every day (in order of priority) are..
1.sleep good
2.eat healthily
3.get some exercise

boner - 2020-03-26

Binro I empathize with your story and appreciate your hard work.

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