I had had enough. I had grown to hate my job as a clerk at Clooney's Variety where I whiled away the days selling nostalgia and kitsch items (blowup Elvis dolls anyone?) alongside home goods like saucepans and plastic tarps. But whenever I started looking for work elsewhere, I felt(more) overwhelmed. I had no special skills, other than a propensity for criticism bordering on the destructive that I was the much, much too frequent victim of. So I keep showing up to Clooney's so I can pay my rent and buy my groceries so I can keep living for the sheer monotony of working at Clooney's.
There is no Clooney at Clooney's, not anymore. He died a long time ago. Instead the place is owned by a husband and wife, Paul and Bing. The wife, Bing, is a Chinese national who speaks appalling English, and has equally appalling attitudes about the proper way to treat employees her employees. When Paul is there, she's not so bad, but when it's just her, she is shrill and sharp and perpetually suspicious of the staff and customers alike. There are numerous "you break, you buy" signs taped up throughout the store, and this policy is enforced at virtual spearpoint by Lady Bing.
There's an old fashioned gumball machine by the counter, and once, a little kid stuck his hand far enough inside that he was able to swish the gum around without quite being able to retrieve any. When Bing saw that, she barked "you pay, hands dirty, you pay". She made that boy's mother hand over $5.00 for having "ruined" the gum, and perhaps, to Bing's surprise, the lady angrily collected on her purchase with me helping to fill her purse with dozens and dozens of gumballs. The kid was elated. (less)