I used to love to clicit a reaction or comment from people who clearly didn’t want to do it. I could name a thousand different occasions where I deliberately used to do such things just to annoy people, but that would make me sound like a real bastard so I wont do that. 🙂
Years ago when I used to deliver bread eliciting a response from some store men/store managers was the highlight of my day. Don’t get me wrong I talked to most of the of them on a daily basis but some of them were just too damn arrogant not to annoy.
Most store men just opened the door, signed the delivery dockets and let us get about stacking the shelves but we all knew that if it was requested we had to count off the products. It was annoying especially when you’re delivering over a thousand units that come under thirty different varieties (there was about twenty other ‘sometime varieties’ we had to remember too), but we knew it was part of the job and those of us who knew our job could do it easily.
When each of the thirty odd products had a four digit code, knowing the code meant the products could be read off with the code and quantity in docket order even if the bread wasn’t stacked in docket order. Once we trained the store man we could read off a thousand units in a just a few minutes. Understanding that there was twelve loaves of 680gm bread to a crate, ten loaves of 700gm to a crate, thirty six crumpets to a crate, twenty muffins to a crate, twelve packets of hot cakes to a crate and thirty six packets of piklets to a crate did make counting easier because full crates could be added together and like any sums you do every day you get used to the totals. But what made it even easier was memorising the order as we packed it and rattling off the numbers on the page no matter what was in the crates, yes it happened quite a lot, after all I needed to trade bread for milk and other stuff my fellows driving mates delivered. (and some people wonder why I can’t remember anything today, it’s because I spent too many years remembering the delivery quantities of store in case I was asked to check the order.
So to break the monotony of counting off bread I know I packed correctly (sometimes) I used to ask pointless questions in the middle of the count. “Hows the kids?…0156 is 36 loaves…Oh you don’t have kids…0158 is 24 loaves…didn’t you have five kids?…0182 is 24 loaves…How’s your mum?….0183 is 24 loaves…No I don’t know your mum…where did you get lost?” It used to bug the hell out of some of them, and of course it made the count take longer but I never did it when I was in a hurry. Sometimes they even got so frustrated they just signed the docket and passed it back, which of course was the point of doing it.
One day I did it on a new guy, it was store policy so I knew it was going to happen but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to be annoying for the sake of my enjoyment. The guy was hopeless to begin with, he couldn’t follow the variety numbers because they were in the second column and his brain said I had to read off the names in the first column. He then couldn’t scan from the first or second column (I was multi-skilled I could read off name and number) to the fourth column where the total was. The guy was just hopeless and I might have suggested how hopeless he was. I might even have suggested he should go back to school and learn to count. I might even have suggested that if the guy was planning to be on the following day he open the door three hours earlier so I could count the bread off before the store closed for the day. Strangely enough the guy wasn’t happy with me but bread on the shelf was more important than kicking me out of the store, which I didn’t think he could do anyway.
What I didn’t know until I got back to the depot was that the new store man, wasn’t actually a new store man, he was the CEO of the national supermarket chain, not only did he have the power to actually stop me delivering to the store he had the power to stop me delivering to every store he controlled, which at the time was three major supermarkets on my run. Loosing a small shop could be done without an issue but loosing a major supermarket would have seen me sacked. I still don’t know why the guy never pushed to have me removed from his stores for my words but he was lucky (or was I lucky) I didn’t make comments about his stupid toupee which on the TV ads looked worse than Donald Trump.