It's like lemonade- Sweet, Tangy, and Refreshing!

July 21, 2005

On Karen Foss and Kirkwood Commons

Drac asked in the comments if anyone had seen the news- and it was rather offhand at the time. However, big things were brewing that had been set into motion months before, and it all came down to this news broadcast on KSDK channel Five here in Honeytown.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After school let out, I'd been checking every card that came through my line at TJ Maxx. That is, every time I was handed a card, I'd check them, like I used to have to at SEARS. It was habit. But when I questioned one of my managers over it, she said that if they didn't have an ID it was no big deal- that's why we had the self-scan machines.

"Odd," I thought, but after having it confirmed by another manager on duty, I still checked the backs of cards if they handed them to me to scan. I even got a few dirty looks from people, asking to see an ID. It was quite unnerving. Eventually, I began following the succinct prompt for most debit/credit cards after a self-scan. That is, just checking for the Visa or MasterCard symbol on the front, and leaving it be.

So when a pair of gentlemen come through the store, one standing slightly to the side (with distinctly large horn-rimmed glasses), the other buying a few items with what appeared to be a normal debit card, I didn't question it much. There were other people in line- and it wasn't until after two other purchases had gone through my line that I could check the signature.

Or, in this case, lack thereof.

On the signature line, he had printed four words. "I Am Not Karen"

Lovely. I dashed away from the cashwrap for a second to see if I could spot him in the parking lot, but nothing. Just about then, a feeling of worry settled, then lifted. I couldn't help but think how ironic it would be if he was part of an expose... then dismissed it quickly. Bringing it to the attention of a few of my co-workers, I put it with the rest of the signed reciepts for the cash office to deal with.

In my defense, people use their wife's cards, their husband's cards, their father's cards... and I have had gentlemen come through my line with the name Lauren and Karen before. On their Driver's Liscenses.

Fast forward to the night of June 30th, when I recieve a vague and panicked phone call from Lar.

"Are you okay?"
"Yes- why? What's going on?"
"Sandy just saw you on the news, it has to do with your job!"

I checked every station in town, and then checked the online sites for them- but came up empty. The next morning, Drac called me again with the same message, Renzo and his mom had seen me on the news, and were worried about my job. With more details, I checked the recent cover stories for News 5, and WHAM. I watched it once, then again. Calling my boss, I was about in tears- but Paul said he'd do some homework and get back to me... wanting me still to come in that afternoon.

When I got in to work, Courtney met me at the door with a wide grin on her face. "There's our perky cashier!" She reassured me that I had nothing to worry about, and that the district manager loved me- I'd done my job and done it with a smile.

All's well that ends well.

But I ought to note that Monday this week, a memo was handed down from the upper regions of TJ Maxx.

From here on in- we check all credit cards for a signature- and check ID's when necessary. Dirty looks be damned.

Big, Big, Big Birthday Wishes

Tarrith turns 19 today. 19! I'm so proud.

Especially because he's got a venture in the works- but I won't go into the details. Only that it involves t-shirts. And money.

But everything involves money.

July 17, 2005

Writer's Block

For some time he sat gazing stupidly at the paper. The telescreen had changed over to strident military music. It was curious that he seemed not merely to have lost the power of expressing himself, but even to have forgotten what it was that he had originally intended to say. For weeks past he had been making ready for this moment, and it had never crossed his mind that anything would be needed except courage. The actual writing would be easy. All he had to do was to transfer to paper the interminable restless monologue that had been running inside his head, literally for years. At this moment, however, even the monologue had dried up... The seconds were ticking by. He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin.

Boy... do I know the feeling.

If you haven't read 1984 before, now's a good time to start. Read it here.