Every young clerk has days like these, ones where you have done absolutely everything possible to avoid customers... and there aren't even of them around. Then in wanders that one customer that forever resides in the collected legends of clerkdom; these are the folks I live for.
A young junkie, fondly nicknamed "Scab Boy", had come in earlier that day trying (this time in vain) to sell stolen CDs for smack. We knew what was going on and sent him on his angry, open-sore-covered way. He set the tone for what happened next. Ugh, it's like the TV version of "Empire Records"...
Enter a college-age woman: clean, presentable, friendly, if not a little anxious. She plunks down some CDs on the counter: Madonna, Sarah McLachlan, Sex Pistols, Radiohead. Hell, she could own them... but they're BRAND NEW, not an imperfection on any of them. Then, BowWow Records (local store down the road where she got them) calls and asks if she's there. Next, a cook from a restaurant down the way pops in with the newly removed wrappers (price tags sill intact) in his hand.
Exit girl. Well, that's that, we think. She smokes her cigarette and disappears. Meanwhile, the owner of BowWow and another local shopkeeper (comics/toy man D'Elia) come strolling in. ... RE-Enter girl. No. she's not too bright.
So the minute she walks in, the two men close in on her, demand the stuff back and tell her the cops are coming.
For the next 45 minutes, she bitches and moans about being really sorry and "I swear it'll never happen again." She takes out her ID (a passport) and wags it around in our faces, saying "Give it to the cops. They'll come find me."
D'Elia makes his disgust plain several times; she's rifling through her bags, adjusting things. All through the ordeal she claims the CDs were stolen for textbook money... but slips up once and mentions methadone.
Keep in mind, business is going on all through this, So as a customer starts to leave, she attempts to run. We pull her off and insist that she sit in the unoccupied listening station. A co-worker is in the back placing orders, trying to ignore the upheaval out front... no such luck.
Little miss junkie genius runs through the "employees only" section and attempts to escape yet again, this time through a door that does NOT unlock. Me and another female employee bolt up the stairs after her and pull her off. While she has her torso, I grab a portion of her hair. She holds still long enough, I get all of it. It is at this point that I take over and drag her by the hair back down the stairs.
Silly me, forgetting her rights... She started shouting at me that I "have NO! right to be pulling me by my hair!!!" "Shut the fuck up. I work for a living. You stole. I don't give a shit how you feel." She threw herself on the floor and tried to get free. I am not aggressive, nor am I all that strong. Still, I could not let go of her. Finally, I managed to let loose of her hair while getting her arm, then threw her back into the chair. Customers still coming in and out.....
Cops finally put in an appearance, cuffing and questioning her while she cries and says that the cuffs hurt, would they take them off please? They finally get around to her backpack, from which they remove a plastic bag full of needles, spoons, pills, and silvery bottlecap things. But of course, they're not hers, they're a friend's things.
After half an hour of a useless police presence, I finally insist that she be removed from the listening station so the freaked-out customers can use it. They stop yammering and take her to the car.
As she's being escorted outside, a little cop filling out paperwork turns to me and says, "Do you have the soundtrack to 'How the West was Lost'?" Floored by all of the other nonsense of the day, I turn to him and say, "Yes. Was all that for a CD?"