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Confessions of a Bitter Wal-Mart Greeter

Well, it finally happened. A Wal-Mart greeter snapped and robbed his own store at gunpoint. Eighty-three year old George Plane Jr. is the Travis Bickle of Wal-Mart greeters. Thanks to a few shady connections, we were able to get a hold of Plane’s personal journal. What follows is the entry that Plane wrote just before he committed his almost epic heist.

Sunday March 6th, 2011

Saturdays are the worst days. I’ve had a lot of them in my 83 years, but they didn’t hit me this hard until I started working at Wal-Mart. I’ve lived through fifteen presidents, four wars and two wives. I was once a hero, an admired man. A respected father and husband, but that’s all behind me now. Since I retired I’ve lost touch with both wives and three of my kids. I also shit my pants this morning. It’s not like I’ve never shit my pants before, it happens to everyone. But it’s just the metaphorical icing on the dog turd of a cake that my life has been these last few years.

As men grow older, they’re supposed to grow more patient and wise. I probably would’ve been one of those men had I not decided to take that greeter job. I took every shift I could because I needed the money. But day in and day out of saying hello to some of the most awful people I’ve ever seen has truly worn my patience thin. I smile, and I wave. Sometimes I give out a smiley face sticker to a child. Sometimes the adults smile back, and sometimes they just ignore me. Sometimes the children smile back, and sometimes they just tell me I smell like pee.

These people see Wal-Mart as a local excursion, a Sunday outing. But they’ve never been inside the belly of the beast. This place is worse than Korea, and I can say that because I fought in Korea. The only upside is, this place has toilets. When you’re 83, you forget a lot of shit. I couldn’t tell you when my children’s birthdays are, and sometimes I even forget my own address, but I can’t seem to forget the things I want to. I don’t pray for death like some people my age, but I do pray Alzheimer’s. Not severe, slobbering, “Why am I in this wheelchair?!” Alzheimer’s, just the kind of Alzheimer’s that makes you think every day is Friday.

I’m cursed with remembering every fat face I see walk into that store. Occasionally, I can’t hold my back my disdain for the customers. Two Saturdays ago I counted fourteen people wearing tank tops and camouflage hats. I said “Welcome to Wal-Mart, asshole!” to everyone of them. When they asked me what I said, I just pointed towards the middle of the store and said “Dorito’s and Mountain Dew are in aisle fourteen. Don’t forget to wear a condom!” Then I’d point to the smiley face sticker I put on my crotch and whisper “Caught ya’ lookin’, queer!” It took until later that night for someone to finally report me. When my boss, a twenty-two year old nerd, confronted me I told him that I was suffering from spells of dementia, then I handed him a doctor’s note I’d written myself on Wal-Mart stationary.

The Saturday following that, I greeted everyone by saying “Welcome to Wal-Mart, today everything is free!” By two o’clock, the police had attempted to arrest seven people for theft. When I was again confronted by my boss I just started talking to an imaginary woman standing behind him, then I started singing “The Star Spangled Banner”. He let me go with not so much as a write-up. People in American society don’t have a lot of respect for the elderly, they generally treat most of us like infants. But I think there’s a certain power in being unassuming. So, later today, I’m going to rob that Wal-Mart at gunpoint. When the cops show up. I’ll yell “Where am I? Where’s my wife?!” Then I’ll intentionally piss my pants and start crying.

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