Why I hate the Family Dollar

I spent much of the last three weeks at a local dollar store. As I mentioned in an earlier post, they had a small fire and we were charged with getting their inventory clean, their walls painted, and their store ready for its grand re-opening. It was an immense project with lots of moving pieces, and my team worked hard to make sure our deadline was met and our client was happy.

While working there, I got to come home every night. A far cry from my Belfor days that saw me live in hotels for months on end, our daily routine was not really affected. I was able to make the drive home each evening and sleep in my own bed. And Little Red would often ask me to stop by the dollar store closest to our home to pick up milk or bread or some other household need as she does quite often.

I am always happy to oblige, even though I secretly hate that place. They always seem to have stuff piled up in the aisles, the floors are always dirty, and I swear if they opened more than one of their 4 registers the place might fall down. And this is a vast improvement over how they kept the place before they moved two doors down into their brand new location.

My project at the Dollar Store in South Columbus ended last Tuesday. And ironically, Tiffany had not asked me to stop at the one close to home since then. Until today. And it was there, waiting in the never ending line at the register (seriously, only 2 cars in the lot but 9 people ahead of me) that my hate hate relationship with The Family Dollar rose to a whole new level.

I had two boxes of Texas Toast in one hand and a gallon of fruit juice in the other. I waited patiently as the cashier rang person after person and stepped forward each time he started anew. As I was counting the people in front of me for the 21st time, I heard the strangest thing. It sounded like the woman in front of me passed gas.

I had noticed her when we stepped in line. She sort of reminded me of my late ex mother in law, a dollar store regular who was going to wear jogging pants and a Christmas sweater no matter what time of the year it was. The kind of woman who leans on the cart for support and groans when she makes a step. And by the time I asked myself the question, my nose had already answered it. She most certainly had. And something had evidently crawled up inside her and died.

I nearly passed out. But she didn't move. I am sure she believed if she didn't acknowledge it that the odor would dissipate. And she was wrong. I stood there, eyes watering, caught between walking away and losing my spot in line (now 5 behind me and a cat lady with a cart full of fancy feast coming towards the front) or hoping she was right and that it would go away. I chose the latter, and a moment later the air was tolerable again. And then............

As the next person left with their bags we all moved up. And my new found friend took a step forward. Still leaning on the cart she let one rip that would have put me to shame even on my best 20 something days when I was full of White Castles and Beer. Seeming to last 10 seconds or more, I held my breath and did my best not to walk into the toxic path. It was all I could do not to laugh, cry, and fall out all at the same time. But I saw cat fancy look me in the eye with a "move up idiot" and knew what I had to do.

I looked at the guy behind me, whose look told me he had fallen victim to our gaseous co-shopper as well. I had to make a move. I stepped out of line, did a lap around the store, and came back. I stepped in behind the cat lady, waited another few minutes, and finally got to the register. I left the Family Dollar and vowed to never go back.

 Until Tiffany tells me too.

Seriously. can't we open a Dollar General over here?

Day # 589. Older boys had homecoming this week. Bunch of grown men standing in this house where my boys used to be. They make me so proud. It is good to be me!


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