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Sidewalk Signage: Neutering for the whole family

Thrift Store Hell: The Silent Rage Tantrum


Carolanne cover mouthFrom Puppies In Prada

Okay, so, yikes, y'all. I'm afraid this is going to have a lot of backstory and character description. Also, any of you who have been in an abusive relationship: this is your content warning. I think I just saw a lot of red flags today, and you may get the shivers reading this. Just... wow. Fucking WOW.

Character description:

Among my coworkers there are some that I haven't mentioned until now, for various reasons. The one I'm going to tell you about now is a dude I'm calling Lemkil... named after a game character that shares his sparkling personality.

So Lemkil. It's... kind of hard to describe the man. He's got this vibe that says he's an angry man. It's not even that general hatred of humanity that most retail slaves have... we all get that, and it's all mostly grousing and frustration anyway. We find camaraderie amongst ourselves that makes life liveable. It's more like he honestly views the entire world as a shithole, fuck everyone, and the only reason he's dragging through life is because he's just too spiteful for the Grim Reaper's tastes, so he just fakes the "life is worth living" persona. And if you know him for more than twenty minutes, you can still tell he's faking. The one and only time I ever saw him have an actual.... genuine... smile on his face was on a day 15 minutes before he signed out and went on a vacation.

He gets on because he does his job and if you leave him alone, he leaves the rest of the world alone. Minimal contact, tolerate his presence, and everyone can get on with their life.

Well, life doesn't let that stay status quo for long.


We're shorthanded today. A couple of coworkers are gone. One is doing cooking (12 hour shifts) for the firefighters, who are trying to wrangle the whole "the west coast is on fucking fire" dealie that we're dealing with. The other just happened to make a requested day off. We're down just enough that Missy needed myself and Scotty to split an hour on the Donation Door. So I took an hour and a half, he took an hour and a half. No big deal.

*sigh* Well hold on, because it does take a bit of a turn off the paved Path of Convenience. We ALSO had a customer request (and pay for) a delivery of a wine refrigerator. Fucker was 7 feet tall, so it required two people for safety's sake. So Steve needed help delivering it. Which meant Scotty would be with Steve for the time he would have been on the door.

Jason chainsawSo short handed, minus two MORE people. Which means Lemkil needed to cover Scotty's door shift until Scotty came back. Which meant that Lemkil would have two shifts on the door; he had an hour later in the day, plus the shift where he covered for Scotty.

It took Scotty an hour of his hour-and-a-half door shift to safely deliver the refrigerator. Apparently this shifted Lemkil's overall hatred for life into a full blown silent-rage-tantrum.

Now in case anyone needs a refresher on where I work, this job is a once in a lifetime job. I may not be full time with benefits, but I have TWO rare-as-a-unicorn bosses who support their STAFF over the asshole customers. We get away with shit that would easily have us fired in an ass kissing corporate company (mostly smart mouthing off to jerks, and refusing to kiss said asses). We make money for a no-kill animal shelter, so regardless of our department, its meaningful work that we know is for a damn good cause and a damn good company. In short, it's the kind of place that would make most jaded retail slaves willing to deal with a minor inconvenience once in a while. Two door shifts, or two register shifts? Eh, it's not happy-fun-times, but we're willing to do it since it's rarely asked of us anyway, and it IS appreciated.

Not Lemkil though. Holy shit does this dude need a reality check on just how good he has it.

Lemkil sent me upstairs to tackle my in-bin, apparently mistakenly believing that covering the door would be a few minutes to half an hour. It took a full hour, and I look up to see the lift come up with a cart of donated books.

Then the Silent Rage Cloud comes storming up the stairs. Lemkil does the angry stomp over to the elevator and yanks the door open. He wrenches the book cart off the elevator and storms over to his book area. He's yanking on the book cart and dragging it viciously behind him with no real control over where it waggles. Naturally, it skews wildly, and a cardboard box full of donated books hits the ground and explodes.

Freddy face patMe: "Easy Lemkil, you're rampaging like a wounded elephant."

I go over to help pick up the box of books.

His response is to yank the poor cart in front of him and just shoves in roughly in the direction of his area before storming over to where I'm reaching for the spilled books. The cart rolls due to momentum and bangs loudly to a stop against a stack of boxes filled with books.

Lemkil: "Just leave it! I'll take care of it."

He says this in a tone of voice I would normally associate with someone who had to deal with Jar Jar Binks for a week.

I raise my eyebrows and back away, leaving him to pick up his own mess.

He grabs the books, spins on the balls of his feet, rage stomps back to his area, puts the broken cardboard box (and everything still on the cart) onto his Incoming shelves before storming away again.

I watch the whole thing in utter silence. One of our helper volunteers just comes over to me as he disappears down the stairwell.

Volunteer: "You know, I thought temper tantrums would be over by this time in his life."

Me: "I don't even know how he made it this far. If I still had tantrums like that, my mom would have spanked my ass. Hell, my MOM would deserve a spanking for not making sure I stopped tantruming by now."

Carolanne frustratedVolunteer: "You know, that's not the first rage tantrum he's done. A week or so ago he had a fit and took one of the tables, you know, the ones where we stack sorted clothes? Well one was empty and he just... flipped it to the floor. Then he just grabbed it, slammed it back upright and stormed back out again."

Yes. You read that right. He fucking FLIPPED A TABLE! Granted, it was one of those lightweight folding tables they use in fairground shows, but a table nonetheless.

Me: "Oh my god..."

You know, I once heard that if someone gets mad and storms through the entire house, slamming all the doors in the entire building, that the slammed doors are a substitute for performing violence upon you. And I got a really creepy feeling that I was seeing something similar to that with that book cart.

*deep breath* I'm thinking I should have a talk with Missy when I see her tomorrow. I'm not SCARED of him, but I DO think that aggression should be very much addressed.

I am also getting an ugly feeling that there's a reason why Lemkil is divorced...

--Puppies In Prada



Misty Meanor

Something tells me he needs to go.

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