Field Reports

Field Report: Ah, Summer

August 23, 2021

Sergeant K

Encouraged customer to keep his tracking number for the cell phone he was returning. We get about 90 of these a day and could never find one individual tracking number out of the bunch. And cell phone companies who say you don’t return them try to charge a LOT of money unless you give them the tracking number.

“You could just take a picture of it on your phone in case you lose the receipt I’m about to give you,” I said to him.

He said, “No.”

I said, “No what?”

“Well what if the phone breaks? Then the picture is just gone with it.” Then he actually pointed to his head, the way people do when they’re indicating they are encouraging you to consider. “Sort of makes you think, doesn’t it?

This is a man who I absolutely promise you reads every single possible dumb meme on the internet that ends with some “Why” question and/or those that are completely devoid of actual logic but seem logical in their simplicity.

He waited for me to laugh. I waited for him to leave.

He left.

Glad we understood each other.

The Field gets weird in the summer. (Because it obviously is perfectly sane the rest of the year.) Heat does crazy things for people sometimes.

One woman adamantly argued with us that we need not measure the box. We adamantly assured her that we do. “I looked it up online and it said it would be $22 and the box doesn’t have to be measured.

PFC started to say, “Well that’s an amazing deal. You should go there.” I said that not measuring the box isn’t an option.

“Private Ryan always helps us figure out how to save money,” she responded.

There is nothing we love more than when Private Ryan isn’t here and someone tells us how he would do something. We just adore it. Totally motivates us to save people money.

[Narrator’s note: They did eventually save the woman money but measured each box approximately 12 times just for good measure.] [Get it?]

At 5:29 p.m. one day, a woman and her daughter came in and proceeded to have an all out screaming match which, apparently, started in the car prior to their arrival and escalated the entire time they stood at the counter.

It was honestly the first time I’d ever considered using mace.

One customer drove back to the store to specifically leave a note on a return. It wasn’t a return authorization number or some other valuable piece of information designed to expedite the return process.

No no. The customer came back and wrote this note on the box: I am returning this because I already received one of them. I love it! There is nothing wrong with your product so please know I appreciate the item! Thank you and have a great day!

I thought it was sweet until I realized what it might be like for that customer to try to set boundaries or to even attempt to tell someone “no” on something. Like a waitress at the end of the meal.

“Can I get you anything else?”

“No. But that is because I have said yes to you the first four times you’ve asked and now, I feel as though I might be sick. But I am not sick because the food here is bad. I’ve enjoyed my food very much! Thank you for making it! Now I must go throw up.”

Poor guy.

The customer who most rivaled the “don’t measure the box” lady was the “Alcohol Box Man.” We cannot send packages in alcohol boxes. While this may seem odd, it has to do with random dry counties in random states. (I personally have no idea how you can live in this country and choose a dry county, particularly in the states where these are present.)

A man came in with a package in a wine box. Wine boxes are amazingly tough, which makes sense given that they protect the most important passengers short of babies/children.

I calmly and nicely informed him that we would simply need to put it in a different box. Or, according to his reaction, I told him that we would also need to cut off one of his fingers.


“We can’t ship in alcohol boxes.”

“Yes you can.”

“No we can’t.”

“That’s stupid. It’s not even alcohol!”

“The carrier doesn’t know that.”

“Can’t they shake it?”

“Shake it?”

“Shake it to see if it’s alcohol.”


“Is this the rule at the Post Office?”

“I’m pretty sure it is.”

“Well, I doubt it. So I’ll just take my business there.”

And off he marched.

Less than an hour later, he returned. The box was now wrapped in brown paper. And I was fully prepared for him to be a raging ass. So I made sure to draw out the customer interaction before him so that Private Ryan could handle it. (And, also, because men get triggered by women who make them feel stupid even if entirely inadvertently. So I figured he’d be comforted by another male’s compassion.) (In addition, I just didn’t want to deal with it.)

“Turns out, it IS a rule at the Post Office, too,” he then said to both of us.

Turns out, Alcohol Box Man isn’t so bad.

And finally, a younger guy came into the store almost every day because he was trying to get something taken care of with the government. So he needed copies and faxing and the like. And every day, I felt myself get very defensive when he entered. He had this way about him – he would walk right up to the counter without breaking stride and then, without eye contact, say something like, “Fax” or “Print” or just like a one-word command. There was no smile; basically, he had no facial expression whatsoever. And he always came at the end of the day.

About the fifth or sixth time he came in, I printed something off, he signed it, and faxed it. His bill was something around $2 or so. He handed me his card per usual. And without looking at me, he said, “Run it for 5.”

I looked at him and said, “Run what for 5?” thinking he needed more copies.

“Run the card for $5 and buy yourself a pop or something,” he said. Still no smile. Still no facial expression. I said, “Thank you,” in a confused yet appreciative tone.

And then he left. The next three days, he did the exact same thing with the exact same words and the exact same lack of expression. On the last day, he said, “That’s all,” when I said thank you and I haven’t seen him since.

I think he started tipping me because I never tried to make an ounce of conversation with him. Some days, I wanted to tip him back for the same reason.

I might need a vacation.

Colonel C

My garden has run amok. I have tomatoes and lettuce and basil and a jungle.

Sergeant and I have always said that when we die, we want to be cremated and our ashes buried in our side lot and made into trees. We’ve invited other friends to do the same so that we can have a lesbian forest.

So while Sergeant keeps giving me shit that I’ve let my garden do its thing, I’m just getting a head start on the lesbian forest.

I’m also going to plant bacon next year, too. Let’s do the descent into madness in a tasty way, shall we?

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