Sometimes when I’m shopping and I see a great widget, I talk to myself. Or I talk to the widget. I say things like, “Oh, hello my pretty, you’re going to make me a lot of money!”
Then I usually look around to see if anyone heard me talking to the merchandise like a crazy person.
Okay, I only did that once, and I was in Walmart. People wear pajamas in Walmart every day, so really, what’s talking to a piece of merchandise? At least I adulted enough that day to get dressed in real clothes and comb my hair.
That was a Friday, and I found a lot of good widgets that day. After I left the store with a car full of crap to resell, I found myself driving by the place where I used to be employed. Where I got fired for no reason. Bastards. Where they told me I did nothing wrong when they fired me, they just wanted to go in a “different direction.” Where they then turned around and told Unemployment I was fired for “misconduct,” thus ensuring I couldn’t collect any Unemployment benefits. Assholes. Where I’m fairly certain they then farmed out my job duties to interns making a fraction of what I was paid, with no benefits.
So I’m driving by this shithole, and it’s like five minutes to five on a Friday. The parking lot is full of cars. Now when I worked there, I’d leave at five on Friday and there would be like two cars left in the parking lot. A lot of people worked a lot of short days on Friday. And sometimes other days. Apparently you can’t do that when you fire your full-time workers and give their jobs to interns, who can only work 20 hours a week.
Even though I knew no one could see me, I waved at the building and yelled, “Have fun, fuckers!”
I will admit that made me feel a little better about the whole thing. I mean, I still hate them for screwing me over, but because they did, I was able to focus on my internet reselling business. I also had time to finish the novel I was writing. Most importantly, I no longer have to go to work at 8 AM, and since I’m an unfixable night owl, that means I now get more than five hours sleep a night. (I never could go to bed before two AM. I can’t even.)
Plus I have time to walk around stores all day, find the stuff that sells, buy it, pack it up, and ship it. Yesterday, I shipped 76 lbs of merchandise. One box was 35 lbs, one was 41. Yeah, that was a heavy box to carry to the car.
And, apparently, I have time to talk to myself in big box stores.
Here’s another thing I do as an internet reseller: I haggle. Not just for prices, but also for access to more stuff. The other day I was in one of my usual haunts, and I found a great deal in the clearance section. Everything was 75% off. Now, that doesn’t mean buy everything. A lot of it was useless crap. I have several apps on my phone that help me sift the crap from the gold, and it takes time. So I’m digging through this mess, and the manager and an employee walk up and start talking about straightening this up and organizing it and making room for the new merchandise.”
“Are you bringing out more stuff?” I asked them.
“Um, we have some stuff in back, yeah. We don’t have room for it all,” one of them said.
“Do you have any more of these Brand Name Widgets?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know.”
So then I looked at the other one, who I thought was the manager. “Because if you do have more of these Brand Name Widgets, I’ll probably buy them all.”
He left and came back with a whole box of Brand Name Widgets.
Later another employee came by and asked if she could take my pile of stuff to the front, since that particular place doesn’t have shopping carts. (I wish they did. I sometimes think I should keep one in my car for places like that, but where can you buy shopping carts? Also, I’m not sure one would fit in my car.) Then the store manager came over and asked if I’d like to pick through the stuff in their back room that they hadn’t had a chance to put out, thus saving them time and giving me the first shot at it. Of course I did!
After an additional 10% off, I ended up leaving with $422 worth of merchandise, which filled the entire backseat of my car. (That was the 76 lbs I shipped yesterday.)
W. T. Fallon is the author of Fail to the Chief, a political satire in which the presidential election is carried out via reality show, which is almost as bizarre and far-fetched as our current reality.