Kirk Allmond Is a Jerk
Do you know those store cards? The ones that fill up most people’s keychains? My father has a special one just for them. Gas cards, grocery store cards, drug store cards, everyone has a card now. Hell, even Lowes has one now. I hate them. I hate everything about them, from the tracking of purchases to the supposed ‘discount’ you get for using them.
About a year ago, I gave them all up. Instead of paying the artificially inflated “non-cardholder” price, when they ask me for my member card, I say, “Oh geez, I forgot mine. May I use the store card?” Every time, the cashier seems grumpy, and says, “Okay.”
Which is fine. I’m really not there to brighten their day, I’m there to pay for some groceries and go home. So, yesterday, I’m at Weis Markets. It’s a Pennsylvania grocery chain, I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of them, they’re terrible.
I really try very hard not to shop at Weis, for one reason. The cashiers aren’t given a store card, they aren’t allowed to use their own, and they aren’t allowed to memorize a bunch of numbers to type one in. They have to turn on their flashy light and wait for the manager to come over and use theirs. It’s a ploy to make it as difficult as possible, forcing people to get their own card.
Instead, I politely explain to the person behind me that they’re being held up by Weis’s policy. Most of the time that person just lets me use their card, but on this particular day, young Colton was checking me out and there wasn’t anyone behind me. I said, very politely, “May I use the store card, please.”
The pimply faced, mop haired twit replied in the most sarcastic tone ever, “I don’t have a card,” and twisted his face in disdain, as if my asking had ruined his day.
I lowered my voice a little, just above a whisper. I locked eyes with the arrogant young prick in my most intimidating stare and said, “I didn’t ask you if you had a card, I asked if I might use the store card. Now, flip on your flashy light and get the manager over here.”
I know, I know. I can hear you saying it. “Whoa, Kirk… That escalated quickly.”
Colton not only flipped on his blinky light, he walked over to the manager and got the store’s discount card personally.
Consider this. After the inevitable zombie apocalypse, who are you going to follow, me or Colton? I am a survivor. I am a survivalist, stuck in a pre-apocalyptic world. I am a character from a novel, waiting for the plot twist that allows my true self to take over. I’m the guy who does things, and gets things done. Sure, I’m an asshole when I have to be, but the situation didn’t start off that way. I was very polite. I used proper grammar and inflection, because I was the one doing the asking. It was only in response to Colton’s disparaging look and complete disregard of customer service that I escalated the situation.
Think about your favorite book character. Would Darlene Bobich from “Dying Days” have let someone talk to her that way? Would Jack Walker from “A New World: Chaos?” Would my very own Victor Tookes of “What Zombies Fear” allow that situation?
No. Victor, Darlene, and Jack are survivors. They are strong, interesting characters that kick ass and take names when the situation requires it. The trick is to balance the asshole with redeeming qualities. In the case of Victor Tookes, his abrasiveness is balanced out by his absolute love and devotion to his son Max, for whom he would (and does) go to the ends of the earth to provide a safe-haven in a post-apocalyptic world.
In my own case, I’m not sure there are redeeming qualities. But that’s why Victor Tookes is a better man than me.