Anyone that has ever worked in retail has several customers that they deal with on a regular basis who they dread or even fear. For twenty years I had worked at a smaller drugstore that was near a senior's complex. Every day I dealt with all of types of seniors and for the most part they were all very pleasant. As for myself, I was very patient and considerate to everyone who shopped in the store. But even with my unlimited patience I sometimes could only take so much.
Every Tuesday a couple of older Betties came into the store and I knew they were there even before I saw them. I could hear the metal walking stick of the one lady named, Pat, clacking on the tile floor. Her walking stick would clack silently in the distance but as she worked her way through the aisles the clacking of her metal walking stick became more and more audible in an agitating fashion. Then the noise would stop as she was likely looking at a product on the shelf. The thing about her was that she didn't really need the stick; she would just use it as a weapon. Sometimes she would creep up behind me as I was working in one of the aisles and jab me with her walking stick just to ask me a question. She liked doing that.
Then like clockwork, a few minutes later her friend came in. Her friend's name was Agnes and for whatever she always wore a name tag on her jacket. As soon as Agnes came into the drug store she would start calling out for her friend, "Paaaaat, Paaaaaat, Pat. Are you here?"
Pat would holler something back and Agnes would continue calling her name until she found Pat and then she would say, "Oh! There you are."
It was the same routine every time they came in. At some point they teamed up and went up and down the aisles commenting on the products. Agnes was full-throated and would never shut up, always talking loud so everyone could hear her; complaining about the prices and lack of selection. The whole time I could hear the clacking of Pat's walking stick driving me insane. Pat also had the annoying habit of banging her cane against objects. Apparently she liked to hear the sound it produced.
As soon as I sensed them coming into my aisle I would leave, but Anges always caught me and hollered, "Hey, you. Monty. You come back here. Monty. I have a question." I hated when she called me by name.
I would walk towards them as Pat waved her stick in a circular motion to come their way. From here I would get throbbed with a million questions about trivial things. After about twenty minutes of torture they went on their way. Their voices and the walking stick gradually fading away. But like always, just as they were leaving, Anges would cut to the front of the line claiming she had a return and couldn't wait. If anyone challenged her she would bully them with her size. For the next ten minutes she would cause a commotion and get louder and louder demanding her money back for a half used product.
Everyone in line became upset and soon the manager was called to the front to resolve the issue and she was given her money back. The whole time her friend Pat waited outside tapping her metal walking stick on the sidewalk waiting for the routine to end.
For a week or two I didn't see them. Then I heard the clacking of Pat's metal walking stick and Agnes's droning voice. I tried not to pay attention hoping they would leave me alone. I was then smacked in the ass by the stick. I turned around and Pat smiled and said, "Where does this go?"
"Oh, I can take that for you, Pat." But she wouldn't give it back and said, "No. That's fine, I need to learn somehow. I will find it myself."
That's when I noticed her shirt was the same as mine with an embroidered crest on the sleeve that said, "Mid Nighter Drugs."
Anges then waddled around the corner wearing the same shirt and screeched, "Isn't this great. Now we can all take our breaks together."