“I lost my fifty-two thousand dollar paycheck and you’re gonna help me find it.”
Crazy people and Sunday mornings seem to go together like a horse and carriage – or like a straightjacket and a mental patient – or like bitchy comments and “in the style of” posts.
I drag in Sunday morning after a hard day’s night spent praying to Ralph on the big porcelain phone. Thank you, bad Chinese food. I will never eat crab rangoon at a strange Chinese buffet again – as long as I live. I’m sucking down the Gatorade and the water and feeling like my stomach is playing host to the Mexican Jumping Bean Olympics of 2020.
The absolute last thing I want to get is a briefing from the overnight supervisor about “this crazy man.”
OK. There’s a crazy man. Par for usual at the Wal-Mart. Here’s the story so far, from the overnight supervisor, who is Haitian, and English is her third language, and she had been dealing with the man for three hours and was completely fed up with him.
“This man, he crazy. He come in at 4 a.m. He say he lose a paycheck for $52,000 in the store. I tell him I not find it. I tell him to call de cops. He tell me he have to have it and to close de doors and not let anyone out. I tell him it not my fault he lose things.”
“He tell me he a doctor and this his check for just one week. I look at him and he look drunk, like he not right in the head. I tell him I look for de check, but I not find de check and he need to go where he was in the store and look for the check.”
She is basically in tears at this point, because apparently the man kept coming up to her every half-hour all night and asking “Did you find my check? Did you find my check? Did you find my check?”
All she could tell him was “No” and all the while she is thinking “It is not my fault you can’t keep up with a check allegedly for $52,000.”
So I ask her “Where did he go?” Here’s the kicker. HE’S STILL HERE. HE HAS BEEN HERE FOR THREE HOURS WANTING US TO PRODUCE THIS HUGE PAYCHECK.
The overnight girl goes home. About fifteen minutes later, I get my first look at what all the fuss is about. So help me Shiva it looks like something that escaped from an insane asylum.
A man in scrubs and dirty tennis shoes comes around the corner, followed by a woman in one of those wheelchair carts. He had bloodshot eyes that had seen the bottom of many a bottle of Jim Beam and was likely on a first-name basis with Captain Morgan, Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker. He had an odor that came from no emergency room. It came from sleeping in the clothes you wore to bed again and again and again and again. I don’t even get time for a “How can I help you?” before he blurts out “DID YOU FIND MY CHECK YET?”
ME: “No sir. Why don’t you write your name down and we can call you if we do find it?”
HIM: “I don’t want to do that.”
ME: “Okay. Well, you can call or come back tomorrow.”
HIM: “I WANT MY MONEY. MY MOTHER NEEDS THIS STUFF.” What did Mommy Dearest having her cart? Some white bread, some skim milk and some strawberries.
ME: “OK. Like I said. You can write down your info, call, or come back.” Because I for one already think you’re crazy.
HIM: “I’m a doctor. That’s my paycheck for A WHOLE WEEK.” Seriously. $52,000. That’s a lot of scratch. And he really wanted me to know that it was his check for a WHOLE week.
ME: “OK.” Not giving him anything to work with.”
HIM: “I’m going to go walk around some more.” Because if walking around looking for this mythical check for three hours hasn’t turned it up, walking around some more will surely help.
And he rolls off.
At 7:45 a.m. he’s back. With Mommy Dearest in tow. She’s added a five-pound bag of potatoes to the mix – totally crushing the bread.
HIM: “DID YOU FIND MY CHECK YET?”
ME: “No.” Probably because this check only exists in your mind. Your fevered, deluded, drug-addled mind.
HIM: “Oh. Because I thought someone might have turned it in.”
ME: “Not yet.”
Off he goes again.
Repeat two more times until about 9 a.m.
At at the 8 o’clock check-in, Mommy Dearest has added a package of marshmallows and a jar of peanut butter. Oh, and I forgot to mention she’s wearing a gigantic floral muumuu the likes of which could keep any botanical garden in business for five years and which would make Alan Titchmarch and Charlie Dimmock blush with shame for the flowers that died in vain for that piece of fabric.
At the 8:30 a.m. check-in, there's a package of sliced cheese, a box of tampons and some adult diapers. LOVELY!
He also manages to bug the morning supervisor, the cashier on Register 14, the girl in Jewelry, the morning accounting associate and most of the morning sales associates. People keep coming up to Customer Service and asking “Is that man crazy?” Well, yes. But he’s not threatened anyone yet, so management won’t throw him out. Nor has he tried to steal. He’s just wandering around like a lunatic.
Around 9:15 a.m., I go out for my break and I see this man haranguing the girl at the self-checkouts down by Register 20. I’m thinking. “Geez man. You seriously need to give it up. And it would really help your cause if you didn’t look like a patient instead of a doctor!”
When I get back from my break – he’s back at Customer Service raising a racket with the girl who replaced me, telling this same old tired story for what has to be the 70th time since about 4 o’clock this morning. “I had a check, a paycheck for $52,000, it was everything I made for this week. I need to cash it.” The girl is looking at him like he’s crazy.
Which. You know, BECAUSE HE IS CRAZY!
He finally gives up and starts piling the stuff from Mommy Dearest’s wheelchair cart onto the counter. “Can you check us out? I guess I’ll just pay with my credit card.” You know, because you HAD TO CASH THAT CHECK!
Seriously. We sell scrubs at Wal-Mart. Anyone can claim to be a doctor. And if you seriously make $52,000 in one week, what the hell are you and your crippled mother doing shopping at the House of Wal?
Chalk another one up in the insane lunatic column at the House of Wal!