Monday, April 17, 2006

I Am Releasing, Dammit!

I have been dissatisfied lately with my negative attitude. When I say lately, I mean for many months. When I say negative, I mean I am always looking at the down side of a situation, never at the good that is there. This stems from my mental condition (read, I’m nuts) called hyper-vigilance, which I began to discuss previously at Time Flys,
Disclaimers & Definitions,
Hype, and
In the Beginning.

In an effort to protect myself and others, I search for every tiny possible flaw in people, places and things. The hyper-vigilance is what causes me so much stress and that in turn makes me want my drug of choice, carbohydrates. That white stuff just calms me the hell down and blows me the hell up and since I take up so much physical space, I feel strong and powerful and secure. After all, no one can move me and all I have to do is sit on someone and they’d be squished. Makes me one tough cookie. (Oh, now, I want a cookie.)

So, anyway, while I was driving back from the store on my lunch break, I was thinking that I’m also addicted to the stress I cause for my self. It’s like a jolt of adrenaline that gets me going. I’m not a morning person, or a day person or even much of an afternoon person. I like the night, always have. But once I had my daughter, I had to make myself function in the normal, adult world, and get a real job and therefore, I force myself to keep going during the day with loads of caffeine, and I create problems so I can get the adrenaline rush and then I have to take a potato to calm down.

Well, Jenn suggested I read The Sedona Method, and I have begun to do that. This book teaches you how to release your emotions so they don’t sap all of your energy and you can then go on to rule the world (if you so desire.) So, I’ve been doing this little procedure for a couple of days and I feel all weird, like I’m in slow motion. I’m not sure I can handle the lack of stress hormones coursing through my veins.

“And now, for something completely different…”

If you ever see me in a check out line in a store, go to a different line. Really. Something always happens in front of me to cause all forward motion to cease.

Today, I went to a mart store whose name doesn’t begin with a K. This should have been a simple process. I just stopped for a gift card (my niece loves to shop there for clothes, “You can get lots of cute tops real cheap!”) and a couple of birthday cards. In and out, right?

No such luck. I chose a line with only two people ahead of me and they each only had a couple of items apiece. First lady gets out fine. No probs.

The woman directly in front of me is buying an amp and an electric guitar. The amp is scanned and bagged by the cashier, an elderly black woman. The customer has the guitar in her cart and pushes her cart past the scanning area. The cashier instructs the customer that she must pull her cart back and place the box, shaped like a triangle, on the conveyor belt. The customer places the box on the checkout counter, standing it on end (the end with the bar code, of course.) She lets go of the box; it tips towards the cashier, who backs away. The customer grabs the box, tries to stand it up again, it tilts towards the cashier again, and we are off on the fastest power struggle escalation I ever saw.

“The bar is on the bottom,” says cashier.

“I know,” says the customer, with her eastern bloc accent.

The customer attempts to let go of the box again. It won’t stay standing. The cashier won’t touch the box.

“It’s on the bottom,” says cashier.

“I know. I should lift it up? I should do your job?” Customer says, voice rising.

“Don’t yell at me.”

“Do your job. I don’t work here, you do.”

“I am voiding your transaction. You can go to another cashier.”

“I am not going to another cashier. Call manager.”

“I don’t have to take this,” as cashier takes the amp from the bag and voids it. Cashier calls over the manager, a girl of about 19.

“She was being rude to me about picking up the box. I’m not waiting on her,” says cashier.

“What am I her slave?” says customer.

“She’s not your slave either,’ says manager.

“She employee, I’m customer.”

“That doesn’t mean you can be rude.”

The manager signs in to the cash register and scans the amp and the guitar. The customer scans her debit card. It doesn’t work. She rummages through her purse for another card, a credit card this time. It goes through. She takes her time signing the slip. She gets ready to leave and her son tugs on her jogging suit sleeve (remember jogging suits, where the velour pants match the velour top?) He didn’t get his candy. Manager doesn’t see candy.

“It’s there,” says customer as she points to a pop up tube lollipop that is sitting next to the cash register.

Manager scans the candy and customer searches for a dollar. She finds one, pays, gets her change and storms away.

“I’ll ring for a while to get your line caught up,” says manager to cashier.

Manager rings up my items. I pay.

“Have a nice day,” manager says to me.

Yeah, right, as I have visions of climbing a water tower with an Uzi. I am releasing, dammit!


  1. yeah for releasing!!!!!! go at it friend go at it.

  2. Actually, if you look at it in a detached sort of way, that whole thing was kinda funny. A lot of grown ups acting like petulant babies.

    Also, it makes for great posting material.

  3. Thanks, Dear. I'm trying.

    Jenn - There may be something to The Sedona Method. I actually watched the whole situation like it was a movie. Normally, I'd be steaming and totally worked up inside.

  4. Three cheers for detachment. Soon I will refer to you as Zen Master (or mistress if you prefer).

  5. LOL!! I think I'd of blown a fuse in that line! great post!

  6. LOL, I too, have the ability to curse check-out lines and various "marts"....It's amazing. OH, and steer really clear of me if it's a self check-out line!

  7. See, this is why you should ALWAYS walk around with a gun in your purse. A nice, discreet little number. Maybe with a pearl handle, to match your earrings.

  8. jamie: Normally, I would, too.

    mary: It is a curse put on us by the evil, fairy godmother at birth.

    jay: The bullets are getting expensive, so I need alternative coping methods.

  9. I was a cashier (at haagen dazs). Customers do think that the title "customer" means they can be rude/condescending/overly demanding. Granted, one should do one's job pleasantly with no attitude, but well, it's not an easy job as it is, it doesn't pay nearly enough to put up with people's crap, and bad moods do spread like a virus. That's why I'm not in that industry anymore! haha.


  10. jadzia: Retail is a killer business.