Ok, so what’s up with 7-11?
I have always had a certain amount of loyalty towards 7-11. Back when I lived in Sacramento California, 7-11s were kind of an icon. You always knew what to expect when you walk into a one. The guy behind the counter was usually hard to understand and most often from a country that you couldn’t pronounce. But that was cool; the owners did a fine job of keeping the business clean and efficient. I used to go there primarily because it was the only place that I could find Clove Cigarettes (80s). The best part of 7-11 is of course slurpee machines. I love slurpees, I always have.
Every time I think of slurpees I remember this quote describing the meaning of one of my favorite words, Fnord.
“Fnord is that funny feeling you get when you reach for the
Snickers bar and come back holding a slurpee.”
Something happened to 7-11s over the last decade. Not just here, but all over the west. The employees seem to have been hand selected to be a bit off. It’s like there are explicit instructions in the hiring manual for all 7-11 managers that specifies the type of employee 7-11 prefers.
Corporate directive 7-11a desired employee characteristics.
Applicants who demonstrate the following characteristics should be placed ahead of the line and hired immediately:
Tattoos on face, hands, and neck.
Multiple hair colors.
Irritating speaking voice.
Answers cell phone during interview.
Sends text messages to self.
Makes change using nothing but dimes and pennies.
Listens to death metal on I-pod during interview.
Talks loudly all the time.
Excessive personal itching.
Applicants who display five or more of these characteristics should be considered for management.
Honestly where does 7-11 dig these people up? I have never seen people like this walking around town until 7-11 moved in. It must be part of their dress code; either that or they must have had to relocate these people. I have never seen them working anywhere else in town. I guess I just don’t get around much anymore.
When I walk into 7-11 it seems that I am putting an incredible burden on the sales person. They are usually standing outside smoking a cigarette and talking on the cell phone when I walk in. Ding. A few minutes later they put out their smoke, slowly stroll into the store, and mosey over to their place behind the counter. Then I tell the clerk what I want, behind the counter. Pause. They finally ask the person their talking to on the phone to hold on a minute. “What did you say?” Sometimes I say: “Fnord, nothing, just a slurpee”
The expression on their face always leaves me somewhat satisfied.
Then the unthinkable happened. The slurpee machine stopped working. It must have been something serious because it was still broken a week later. What are these people thinking? The Slurpee machine is the only reason anyone goes into a 7-11! I went in search of another store to satisfy my frozen beverage needs.
I found Schrader’s Country Store around the corner and down the block from 7-11. They don’t have slurpees, but I found that the customer service is so excellent that I don’t mind.
At first it felt kind of odd walking into Schrader’s Country Store. There was pleasant music playing on a radio and the casher behind the counter was actually behind the counter. He was cheerful and seemed to be genuinely interested in helping people. I had to do a double take because he didn’t have any tattoos, facial piercings, blue hair, a spiked dog collar, missing teeth, or any of the other sure signs of convenience store employees I have come to expect. The floor was clean, the AC worked, and all the drink dispensers apparently dispensed drinks. It was like entering a mirror universe. I was expecting to see Spock with a beard.
I started a habit of stopping by Schrader’s each morning for a cup of coffee and a pack of Cigars. In only three short days the casher learned my routine and had my smokes by the cash register before I finished filling up my coffee. She would ask how things were going and actually seemed to care. This kind of thing is so totally refreshing that actually wrote a letter commending the store and congratulating the manager for doing such a good job screening his employees.
“Oh thank heaven” I found Schrader’s Country Store.
I miss Slushees, but not enough to go back.