By audience DEMAND I could not leave Greensboro without adding a bit of finality to my last blog. I received several phone calls and inbox messages asking who certain individuals were and if it was THEM! Each time I responded often smirking at their stabs at names and positions with “I don’t know what you are talking about!” The purpose of my blogs are to entertain and offer humor to real life situations with real life people, while also respecting their confidentiality.
My original plan was to dedicate a post for each store but Greensboro, holds a special place in my heart and always will. It was there I feel I truly became a WOMAN. I learned valuable lessons, this time not at the University of A&T but the university of LIFE. So here goes…
Names have been changed within this post to protect the character and individuals I will be discussing. However, I am sure that if they were to read this they would most clearly know who they are and perhaps others. I do not write this post with the intentions of demoralizing or shaming any person, especially since most are still currently people I would not mind knowing again. These stories are REAL and TRUE.
I will never forget a conversation I had with one of the managers there named Larry, God rest his soul. I recently heard he passed due to Covid-19. I confided in him often due to his candor and realistic advice, yet often had to cut the convo short before his advice turned to flirts or cheap pick up lines. He was a heavy weight fellow with a sharp chin strap and line up. He had a vibe of an uncle that would be at the cook-out making everyone laugh. While also asking which females were his blood relatives because he saw a few he wanted to “marry” into the family. Larry and the flight attendant manager from Wal-Mart Part 2 often schemed on which cashier or front end attendant they would try to run game on next.
We were standing on the front line of the registers in front of apparel (where he would usually fish for young cashiers and CSM’s looking to score an old man they believed to have money because he was a manager). I was speaking to him about my marriage and why it wasn’t working out no matter how hard I tried. He placed his heavy hand on my shoulder and said “ you know, nothing will ever be perfect, my marriage is going down the drain but I’m happy as hell! I got some lil booty coming over DAILY and couldn’t be better” (by lil booty he meant a cashier from the store). He went on to say “we made each other miserable and hung on to the years until even those didn’t matter compared to the years I have ahead!”
I thought about this deeply as he walked on towards the Lawn & Garden department. He really did look genuinely happy. Many times I had tried to look the same, never quit could being that so many other things were going down hill at the time besides my marriage. As Larry hobbled down the walk way he smiled and waved at fellow employees stopping periodically to watch some “lil booty” walk past him. I couldn’t ponder Larry’s “words of wisdom” long because at this store if it wasn’t one thing it was always another. I would get called to the customer service counter for assistance with a customers return almost every 30 minutes, either for customer returns or returns that needed to get put back on the floor. When I reached the counter the line for people wishing to return everything from spoiled fruit to items bought years ago with no receipt awaited me.
Thinking back, I would never look at the line of customers in the eye as I walked past them to the counter. In some way it made me feel invisible like I truly wished I was. I recall an employee named Leslie being behind the counter under the mounds of folks in line, she only stood around 4 ft tall but had 10ft of Brazilian bundles, 1ft of acrylic nails and another 5 ft of eyelashes! She stood behind the counter clearly frustrated. She wore her hands crossed in front of her on the counter displaying her freshly polished nails as if taking a senior pic; as a middle aged woman with three girl children yelled to speak to a manager.
Leslie: Manager Jan, this lady would like to return these.
Manager Jan: opens Walmart bag to find soiled children’s underwear. (Looks at lady)
Lady: I mean….they didn’t fit….
Manager Jan: 👀
Manager Jan: Ma’am do you have the receipt.
Lady: yes I do!
I turned the key on the return handed the lady her cash and let her watch me throw the draws in the trash and yell “NEXT”! Because that’s WTF THEY WANT YOU TO DO AT WALMART! I mean what the hell did she expect me to do WASH THEM IN THE FRONT END BATHROOM SINK AND PUT THEM BACK ON THE SHELF?! Wal-Mart had no standards when it came to returns! I recall almost losing my job when a man came to the front counter with a lawn mower with grass and gas still in it asking for a refund over the summer. From that point forward it didn’t matter. If they had a receipt and even if they didn’t, worked or didn’t recently bought or passed down generation to generation just TAKE THE SHXT AND PUT IT IN A BIN!!! ANY FXCKIN BIN!!!!!!!!! Overall working for Wal-Mart was like applying for a career in “never ending busy work”! Lay-away during the holidays was one of these things. People were specifically hired for this purpose however, would still somehow end up working in DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS! Like electronics, toys or as a front end cashier.
Often I had to depend on a somewhat socially awkward and quiet woman named Madison that mostly worked in electronics. I was surprised to learn Madison was married with three children. She had a substantial amount of chin hair, wore glasses and had a slumped posture at all times. She wore a navy blue polo shirt that was never buttoned and hung around her neck line loosely as if she’d stretched it out and stepped into it. General conversation with her in passing quickly escalated to her divulging that she was an unhappy mother, wife and wanting to walk on the “wild side” as in participate in a same sex relationship…..WITH ME!!! I assured her I wasn’t interested and began diving in racks of clothes like a child hiding from their mother when I’d see her coming. Several times I have accepted her friend request on social media out of the goodness in my heart only to unfriend her again after awkward small talk through messenger. Seemingly the next day I’d get a notification and see her friend request waiting again amongst the jumble of others….even now it sits. I finally decided simply to leave it there. Like so many other things….but the memories came with me….to Georgia Part 3.