April 06, 2004

In which I elaborate on a prior post

I'm supposed to be working on my take-home final exam before I head into work tonight, but the Bartender's comment to this post got me to thinking. We need a common lexicon of some kind to indicate what would be obvious clues in verbal speech that the person communicating is using hyperbole, irony, sarcasm, or other forms of attempted humor.

While I wrote:

Last night's assortment of leftover children numbered seven, but as these were all high-school-aged I mercilessly kicked them out into the cold to wait for their rides. Today is another 11am to midnight for me, after all, and a girl's got to get her beauty sleep...
I was attempting to make light of the fact that what I do for a living can be very scary for an unarmed woman in an urban environment. Wait--"urban" has connotations in these days of PC speech. So let me explain that I live in a city with a metropolitan area that numbers over a quarter of a million people. And when you get that many people together in an area, some of them are bound to be bad not necessarily of the highest moral fiber and rectitude. Furthermore, groups of young men who run in packs (whether they are gang members or all on the same high school football team) have been known to misbehave on occasion. So when seven young men in the sixteen-to-nineteen years of age range come to see a movie sans girlfriends, even though it's a movie about hockey so it's very possible that the girlfriends begged off, I am going to be on a higher state of alert for my safety than I would be around a group of seven high school girls sans boyfriends at a chick flick.

Don't get me wrong. I love men. But the sad fact of our society is that some men are not gentlemen. Some are even robbers and rapists. And some robbers and rapists are seventeen years old.

So, had Sunday night's group of "children" been female, or even included any females, I would have waited in the lobby providing free baby-sitting services just as I did on Saturday night. But because I was alone, in a large, unlit building at midnight, surrounded by businesses that had closed hours earlier (if they had even opened on Sunday) I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the lobby doors locked behind seven teenaged males who were the last patrons to leave, and I got the hell out of there.

Maybe next time I'll put quotation marks on "children"....

Posted by Susie at April 6, 2004 03:07 PM

Good call on kicking them out. I know when we our closer is female, whoever she is does have to worry more than I do when I close at midnight.

Of course I would have kicked them out anyway. No one stays in the store when I have to close. Women rob convenience stores too.

Posted by: GEBIV at April 6, 2004 06:06 PM

I would also argue that your owner is remiss in not providing adequate security for their employees and customers. Certainly if anything ever happened to YOU, they would bear that liabilty. Especially if safety concerns had ever been expressed to them and spcifically if had been expressed via the writtin word.

Personally, I would have kicked em all out and called the cops on 'em for loitering if they hung out around the store. Or called a cab for them. Or called their parents.

In the nightclubs, we always had our security stay until our money was counted and in the safe. We always keep the doors locked and had cameras to llok outside for badguys before we left. the alarm company was instructed to automatically call the cops if there was a re-entry after close and setting the alarm.

Posted by: Madfish Willie at April 6, 2004 08:29 PM

Yeah, most teenage boys are just harmless and goofy. The fact that they actually went out into the cold rather than deciding to beat you up is at least some evidence of that! But, you were absolutely right in laying down the rules for them. "Stray" boys are those that have no rules to follow. Take it from me; Boys always respect a strong voice.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at April 6, 2004 10:35 PM

mmmm... women with strong voices.

I agree with the consensus - better to listen to that little "this isn't good" voice in the back of your head than to wonder afterwards why you didn't.

Posted by: Harvey at April 7, 2004 09:39 AM

You did the right thing. We have a system at work where we can request a security guard walk us to our car after dark... not because of the neighborhood (which is sketchy, to be truthful about it) but because some patrons linger in the parking lot and are, as you say, not necessarily of the highest moral fiber. Actually, some of the employees are kind of spooky too.

Posted by: LeeAnn at April 7, 2004 09:55 AM

Good call on kicking the little bast...er...customers out.

The E-bay idea probably wouldn't work with them. lower profit margin...nobody will pay good money for a loafing/eating machine these days.


Posted by: Wind Rider at April 7, 2004 11:54 AM

I remember what I looked like when I was a teenager, and I'm here to tell you that I would be just as concerned as you were. Of course, me being "Heap strong He-Man" (Yeah right) I'd still have given them the boot. You did good, and nobody hadda get hurt/arrested. Can't beat that outcome with a stick.

Posted by: Johnny - Oh at April 7, 2004 01:35 PM

Hmmm - if they were about 17 I'm wondering why they didn't have a car - at least one of them should've I would think. Which means they were only hanging out because they didn't have anything better to do.

Anyhow, at that time of night - there's no excuse for them making you wait to go home. Or by extrapolation - no excuse for their parents making you wait.

Posted by: Teresa at April 7, 2004 05:51 PM