Yesterday was my very last day at the bookstore. It doesn't really feel like I put in just over three years at that place, but that's how long I was there. It was, as lame as this sounds, the best job I have ever had. I felt appreciated, I knew my stuff, and I helped out as many people as I could, even if it was just saying "You might like this book" to someone and having them walk out with something they knew they were going to like. Apparently, my three years of service wasn't enough to merit a goodbye card (really, the manager that was there for four months got a goodbye card), but I'm trying not to be bitter about it. Although yesterday I did have the worst - or, according to the guys in Kow, best - customer experience of my entire retail career.
A customer I'd see fairly often in my tenure at the store, but who couldn't exactly be called a "regular", is an older gentleman with a thick Spanish accent. I've helped him a few times before, and he's been genial and polite every time. Yesterday I helped him find a book on Buddhism, and he struck up a conversation with me. What follows is, as best as I can relate, the conversation we had:
CRAZY OLD MAN: And you know? We men? We don't even have the power in our own house!
THE DOC: I'm sorry?
CRAZY OLD MAN: (Pointing at himself.) Me, I'm a man. (Pointing at me.) You, you're a man. But we go to our homes, and our house is not our house. Our wife is not our wife. Police come and take you out of the house and say "Your house is not your house. Your wife is not your wife. Your kids are not your kids." You cannot discipline the way you should. You have no power in your own home.
THE DOC: (Kind of freaking out now.) Oh?
CRAZY OLD MAN: And there is a group of us men. Some are maybe sixty-five, sixty-seven, seventy. All of us, we have no power. And you see this? (Pulls out his wallet.)
THE DOC: (Fearing that he's going to give me some terrifying manifesto or a Chick Tract.) Actually, I have to--
CRAZY OLD MAN: (Pulls out an American $1 bill, and points to the six-pointed star on the back.) You see this? This is Star of David. (Gestures at the 13 stars that compose the star.) These are the thirteen tribes of Israel. The reason we have these problems, that we do not own what we own, is because the United States is run by one of the tribes of Israel. And that is why we men have no power.
THE DOC: (Eyes wide with terror.) Ha, ha, well, I hope that doesn't happen to me, okay, bye!
Crazy old man spewing hate speech and ranting about his domestic troubles. What a way to go out.