He was an old man who wandered alone in his flip-flops through the mall I work and he had in his pocket eighty-four dollars and seventy-nine cents always without buying anything new. In the first forty days he bought and returned the same bag over and over again. But after forty days we were without his bag, and my managers had told me that the old man was now definitely and finally crazy, which he showed by yelling at me, yelling at himself, and I had called the managers to deal with him, because his bag was gone, and he was mad. I had seen the old man come in each day to buy a bag then return it, saying he’d come back and buy it later and I always had some naive coworkers help him, listen to him rambling about his son and daughter, who probably do not exist, while holding onto the bag he’d buy and return, then buy and return again. His clothes dirty, aged and wrinkled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat.
The old man was thin and Asian with deep wrinkles on his forehead, which creased whenever he spoke. While yelling at himself, he once left his clothes and Walkman in our tables, and then went away, forgetting he even did so. We returned it to him when he came back again. He came today, asking for his bag, but it was not there. We had finally sold them all. He yelled at me, telling me to prove they were all gone, to show him there were no more. Is this an oxymoron? He would not stop yelling. I ruined his habit, his daily routine which made him feel safe, for he is a crazy man that I once pitied and humored for his loneliness. Yet, I despise being yelled at and threw him to a manager instead. From now on, I will not be helping him anymore.
Tags: bag, cents, coworkers, crazy, customer, days, dollars, eighty-four, flip, flip-flops, flop, forty, man, managers, old, pocket, sales, salesperson, sandals, screaming, sea, seventy-nine, slippers, the old man and the sea, yelling