It's the time of the week again, ladies and gents! Let's all be awkward together! Basically, the rules are that you read my awkward story, you comment on how you're amazed that I am so consistently awkward, you write your own story on your own blog, you leave a link to that blog post below, and then we all read it and feel glad that we're not alone in our awkwardness.
Throughout high school and college, I worked at a grocery store. It was awful, often mind-numbingly boring, and full of tons of awkward moments. Here's one of them:
At the grocery store, we used to have daily specials that were announced over the loudspeaker. It was decided on like, the second day that we ever had a special, that I had a "good loudspeaker voice," so they picked me to be the one to make all of the sale announcements. Which means that, for five years, my most meaningful and heartwarming speeches sounded like this - "Attention, shoppers! For the next fifteen minutes only (this was a lie, we repeated the specials every hour, all day long), we will be having a sale on oatmeal - buy two boxes and save one dollar! Hurry over to aisle three to take advantage of these great savings! And as always, thank you for shopping with us!"
Nobody ever bought the specials. They were never things you'd actually need or want, and the deals were never that great. It was always like "Buy 500 styrofoam plates, get 500 for half price," and who really needs 1,000 styrofoam plates for 25% off? Occasionally (this is true), some creepy man would come over, and I'd say in my cheeriest customer service voice, "Do you need 1,000 styrofoam plates?" and the creepy man would say something like, "No, I just wanted to see who that sexy voice on the loudspeaker belonged to," and then I'd wonder if perhaps working for a 1-900 number would be less humiliating than the grocery store. But I digress...
So, one day, the special was on an artificial sweetener that I won't name in case they read my blog and try to sue me. I made my little announcement and then stood by a cart full of sweetener, looking like a moron and waiting for the 15 minutes to be up so I could go back to straightening the deodorant aisle. Finally, an elderly gentleman approached me, and I cheerfully asked if he'd like to buy some artificial sweetener, to which he replied, "That sweetener killed my wife."
I said something meaningful and comforting, like, "oh, ummm.... I'm so sorry. Um, I guess you won't be wanting any..." Then he proceeded to tell me that his wife had put artificial sweetener in her coffee every day of her life, and then she died of cancer three years ago, and the doctors had said that, no, it probably wasn't the fault of the sweetener, but he (the elderly gentleman) was quite convinced that it was the fault of the sweetener, and nobody should ever buy it, because it would kill them. His speech ended with something along the lines of, "so you shouldn't be selling it unless you want to kill people." I very definitely did not want to kill people, but I also did not want to lose my job, and the manager had distinctly told me that I had to sell sweetener. So for the next 12 minutes, at three minute intervals, I made cheerful speeches about sweetener over the store loudspeaker while this man glared at me like I was selling cocaine to pre-school children. It was quite terrible, and by the end of the sale, I was starting to wonder if perhaps I was a horrible person for selling artificial sweetener to unsuspecting customers. Luckily, he had apparently left the store before I made my next sweetener announcement 45 minutes later. For the record, I think I sold one box all day, so at least I can't be held responsible for killing anyone.
So, what's your awkward story? Please share it!
|1. From KS to PA|
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