Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Zach Attack!

I sort of got someone fired at the bookstore. I say "sort of" because the person in question, who we'll call Zach for obvious reasons, has spent the entire summer almost getting fired. Those of us who are not Zach have spent most of our spare time at work trading Zach stories and asking each other "Why don't we just fire him?"

After Zach nearly ran over the owner's entire family while driving 45 mph down the hole-ridden dirt road that leads to the bookstore and still didn't get fired, it became clear that our question was merely rhetorical. But we kept asking it anyway.

I personally asked it first thing yesterday morning, but with a new twist. As we put away the 50 or so new books Zach hadn't felt like putting away the night before -- despite the fact that that's his job -- I whined, "Why don't we just fire him? I mean, on principle."

So we did. Or rather, Bill the owner did as result of Meaghan's impassioned pleading.

Since I'm the only employee who's ever sent anyone to the principal's office, which is apparently almost exactly like sending someone upstairs to get fired, I was charged with the task of delivering the cryptic "Bill wants to talk to you" message when Zach arrived for his shift at 1:00. Then I went and hid in the bathroom until he was gone.

What, you may be wondering, was so bad about this Zach character? What could one possibly do to get oneself fired with only 9 shifts remaining before one's return to college?

I'm not exactly sure what made Bill finally decide to fire Zach, but here are some things I do know.

  1. He never let us listen to The Very Best of UB40.
    In addition to selling books we also sell CDs -- mostly classical music and smoooooth jazz, with a handful of adult contemporary artists thrown in for good measure. I know UB40's not the greatest band ever, but if your choices are Tchaikovsky, Dianna Krall, the same Jack Johnson CD you and every other store on the beach have been playing for the last week, or UB40, you choose the goddamn UB40. C'mon, cherry oh cherry oh baby?!

  2. Premeditated pigeon theft.
    I have it on good authority (he told me and Sara himself) that Zach was plotting to steal our beloved pigeon. "That pigeon would look great in my dorm room," he said, "if it's still here when I leave for school, I'm taking it." "You mean buying it?" we asked. "Taking it," he clarified.

  3. Excessive snacking. And not on carrot sticks.
    The first time I worked with Zach, I courteously asked -- as I usually do -- if anyone wanted anything at Winks (a convenience store) when I went on my break. Sometimes people request a soda or a bottle of water or a small bag of chips. Zach presented me with a list of the following items: a frozen cheeseburger, a bag of chips, a candy bar, and two Vault sodas.

    When I returned to the store and handed Zach his stuff, I sort of expected him to save it for later seeing as how he'd just arrived at work. Instead, he immediately microwaved the frozen cheeseburger and devoured it -- along with the chips, candy bar, and one Vault soda -- while sitting behind the counter. Oh, but first he complained that I'd gotten him Vault Zero (diet Vault) instead of regular Vault. Three hours later he petulantly announced that he hadn't taken his break (!), left the store, and returned with an ice cream cone. Which he proceeded to eat behind the counter while attempting to ring up customers.

    As it turns out, this was not an isolated incident.

  4. He hates people. And horses!
    It's bad enough that Zach always sighs as loud as humanly possible when customers approach him with a question or, god forbid, to purchase a book. Or that whenever you work with him you feel like you're in some weird good cop bad cop routine. But what's worse is when he actually tries to engage people in conversation.

    As he was ringing a customer up one day, he announced -- apropos of nothing -- that there were two things that could make him leave the country: if Roe v. Wade was overturned and if they passed an amendment banning same-sex marriage. Dude, I totally feel ya, but you don't go around picking fights with customers at work.

    Remember that day a guy came in wearing a t-shirt with a picture of an aircraft carrier and the caption "here comes 90,000 tons of diplomacy"? Remember how I just found him a book about F-14s and sent him on his way without throwing even a single bucket of blood on him or forcing him to look up "diplomacy" in one of our many dictionaries? That is the appropriate way to behave at work.

    The not-so-appropriate way to behave at work is to routinely tell customers who drop spare change into the Corolla Wild Horse Fund donation jar that the public library is much more deserving of their coinage and that horses are only good for glue.

  5. Did I mention that he doesn't put the books away? Or that when he does, he deliberately puts them in the wrong place? Or that that's really fucking annoying?

So Zach is no longer with us. I'm mostly happy about that, except for the fact that my mom says it's not nice to make fun of people -- as I just did -- coupled with the possibility that I'll have to start taking out the trash now.


Brian said...

I know it's wrong, but I just don't like the looks of that cat.

He just screams, "I hate beautiful, wild, Spanish Mustangs! Turn 'em into glue!"

That bastard.

Meaghan said...

If you only knew how Megan did not fib, stretch, exagerrate, or embellish. He's actually worse than she stated, but Megan's being nice.

I, on the other hand, will also mention his nose-picking on the floor, his enormous butt crack that he shared with the world everytime he bent over, and the horrible path toward an early heart attack by eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's everyday.

I think I'll miss him just because he amused us.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I seem to always make friends with the slackers at work - because they're usually amusing, but then I hate them for their annoying habits and tendency to increase my own workload.

The last one was named Barry. He was an desktop IT tech. He lived in an abandoned bus in his friend's backyard. He would invite me to their parties, saying that I needed to unwind a few revolutions. I would invite him to actually fix my boss's printer problem, saying that he needed to prove he could do more than shrug his shoulders and promise to "call HP support."

And oh yeah, he thought wearing shoes at work was "bogus."

Megan said...

I'm not shocked to learn that a guy who lived in a bus thought wearing shoes was bogus.

I personally think wearing shoes ANYWHERE is pretty bogus -- well maybe not in a public restroom or if it's snowing or something -- but I (usually) wear them anyway.