Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Queen for a day. Or Three

As the manager of 3/4ths of the town's liquor stores, I'm used to the over all red-neckyness that occurs on a daily basis. I speak fluent Pabst Blue Ribbon but occasionally (read:rarely) something a little fabulous and sparkley comes into my life.

I live in an area where there's more farm trucks than convertibles, more good ol' boys than techies. Although it's 2010 and Cletus has a Blackberry, this is not a cultural mecca. Some days I long for culture and art and decent Thai carry-out, but overall it's a decent trade off for less crime, congestion and college students.
On a recent hiring spree at the stores, I had the usual applicants. There was Officer Doofus, retired local policeman on a pension. Next up was Billy Ray Jim Bob, whose momma told him to git his sorry ass offa the sofa and finally git a job, 'cause she was not having no 31 year old bum in her house. There was also Betty Barfly, who did not believe that the 9 previous public intoxication arrests would influence her ability to do good hair... I mean, work. And then there was the Queen.

Lawdy, the Queen. Words cannot express my unbridled shock as a real live drag-queen, born and raised here in Hooterville, sashayed in the door. Now for the purposes of clarity, I shall refer to him as, yeah, him. Since he did not come into the store in full drag, I believe this is proper. I stood, stammering my "May I help yous" while this pudgy, 40 year old gay man with impeccablebly groomed eyebrows gave me the once over and announced that he was here to answer my prayers.

My prayers? Are you kidding me? I know I mentioned to the man a few weeks back that I needed a new gay man in my life for shopping and gossip purposes, but I really didn't think that he would custom order me one.

I soon discovered that he was not shipped to me from Drag Divas R Us, but was a friend of a current employee and overheard that there may be a job opening. The Queen was thinking about taking a break from the show circuit and all the travel that it requires. Lucky me.

Now, I never want to be one to show any bias against anyone diffently colored, oriented, or classier than me, so after checking his references and liquor license, I offered him the job. (Here's where you scream "What the hell are you thinking? and Do you know where you are?)

Day one: Due to lack of personnel, I'm working Friday night. Perfect time to try out the new employee and see how he fairs against the masses. Quite honestly, I thought it went great. He knew many of the customers and came off as affable and helpful. This naturally didn't stop the snarky comments after the door closed behind said customers, but the evening flew by. (In hindsight, it may have been because I was running my ass off due to the fact that it was Friday night and the locals need cold beer. Could be. Possibly.)

Day two: I scheduled the new employee to work with one of my longer-standing employees. Let's call him Ghetto. Think multiple piercings and many bad tattoos. Also think under-motivated and involved in baby-mama drama. How could this not work?
Needless to say, it did not go well. There were phone calls in the middle of my Saturday night. Multiple phone calls. There were also dueling rounds of finger-pointing and name-calling. *Sigh*

Day three: On one of the rarest of occasions, I called in sick. This has only happened a couple of times in the past ten years, but a migraine hit me that made me want to call the Grim Reaper and invite him over, and give him ammo. And a highly accurate weapon. So, I placed some calls, got someone to open the store that I should have been in. I also sent the new employee in so that he could get some more training.

Several hours and many, many ignored phone calls later, I decided to answer the damned phone, if for no other reason than to make the fucking thing stop ringing.

(Sorry for that, but if you KNOW that your boss is home sick, and you KNOW that that sickness is a migraine, and you KNOW that said migraine is sensitive to light, heat, noise and smell, would YOU call 4,873 times for someting that was not death, dismemberment, pestilence or wolverine attack? I'm just saying.)

I basically told the caller, which was neither of the above mentioned goofballs that I would speak to the owners and deal with the aftermath tomorrow. Yes, I was the Scarlett O'Hara of bosses. Then I crawled back to my miserable bed and commenced the moaning again.

So, basically, today was spent mopping up the blood and putting band-aids on hurt feelings. But alas, the Drag Queen is no more.


Anonymous said...

Nice. PBR and a drag queen. It isn't often you get them both in one post.

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