Chapter 42:

Mac Mans the Till

It’s My First Time Working Late Nights at a Convenience Store, and If I Keep Getting Demon Lords, Kappa and Other Oddballs as Customers, I’m Giving My Two-Weeks’ Notice

“Haru, could I ask you for a favor?”Bookmark here

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Just as I was about to head home yesterday, my manager suddenly called out to me.Bookmark here

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That’s a first. I wonder what he wants?Bookmark here

“Sure, what is it?”Bookmark here

I’d be willing to do just about anything he could ask of me.Bookmark here

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“I know you’ve always been on the graveyard shift, but would you be able to come in for the afternoon shift the day after tomorrow?”Bookmark here

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“Seriously?!”Bookmark here

After all these late nights of dealing with nothing but weirdos, I might finally get to interact with actual human beings?!  Bookmark here

“I mean, I don’t really mind either way...but did something come up?”Bookmark here

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“Well, we have a new hire starting that day, so I was hoping that you could show him the ropes. And, he said he knows you? That you’re friends? The job can be difficult to adjust to at first, so it might be nice to have a friendly face nearby.”Bookmark here

“...Wait, really?”Bookmark here

I know someone who’d be willing to do shift work at a convenience store?Bookmark here

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Huh. I wonder who it is? No one comes to mind...Bookmark here

You’d think they’d have come to ask me for insider interview tips — or at least what it’s like to work in a convenience store — but it hasn’t come up at all.Bookmark here

...No, seriously, who is it?Bookmark here

“He’s rather handsome, with his blonde hair and blue eyes. Maybe he’s a foreigner? When the interview started, he was so nervous he was shaking. But, he had the biggest smile when he was talking about you. Gave a proper apology for the recording incident, too. He’s a good kid.”Bookmark here

I...don’t know any foreigners. Okay, this is getting a little creepy.Bookmark here

And this guy was probably just trembling because he was terrified of my manager, like most sensible people.Bookmark here

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“We don’t have a lot of people on shift that day, so I don’t have anyone else to call in. I’d rather not put you on the spot, but if you could come in, that would be a big help.”Bookmark here

“Uh... Sure, no problem. ”Bookmark here

It’s only ever just the two of us on the late-night shift, so it might be kind of nice to work a bustling afternoon block. The difference must be like, well, night and day.Bookmark here

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What would it be like to get some normal customers?  Bookmark here

That thought alone has me eagerly awaiting the slight change to my usual schedule.  Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

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Anyways, this marks the start of my first afternoon shift.Bookmark here

When I step into the break room to get changed, I’m greeted with...Bookmark here

“Yo, Murry! My main man!”Bookmark here

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The hero saunters up to me in a stupidly energetic and overly familiar manner.Bookmark here

...I should’ve known.Bookmark here

“What on earth possessed you to get a job here?”Bookmark here

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“It’s for my next vid, man! I’m gonna call it ‘Mac Mans the Till’! And as an added bonus, I get to hang out with you! I’d have been cool with the late-night shift, but I heard there weren’t enough people working this one.”Bookmark here

Standing there in his black jeans and his uniform shirt, he flicks his hair with a flashy grin.Bookmark here

His blond hair and blue eyes aren’t too common here, so he gets bonus style points without even trying.Bookmark here

Seriously, the only good thing about him is his looks.Bookmark here

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“I brought my sunglasses, in case I’m TOO handsome for this place and we gotta dial it back a little.”Bookmark here

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“Don’t you DARE wear those while you’re on the clock.”Bookmark here

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“Oh, dude! We should take a picture of us in our uniforms! My fans’d eat it up! I bet you’d get mad clout from being seen with a snacc like me! Uh, I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’m just sayin’!”Bookmark here

“Look, just give it a rest, would you?”Bookmark here

Does this guy ever shut up?Bookmark here

“Hey, you eatin’ well, bruh? Like, you’re kinda scrawny. Me? I got jacked from beating up monsters all the freaking time. My strength stats are all As! Why don’t we go hit up the gym sometime? Chicks go for guys who lift, yeah?”Bookmark here

Mac whips off his shirt, flexing and posing as he rambles on about himself. We haven’t even started work, and he’s already pushing the limits of my patience.Bookmark here

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Why is it that just talking to him wears me out? ...You know, I think I get why he doesn’t really have any friends.Bookmark here

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We go and trade places with my manager, who’s already out on the floor.Bookmark here

“Thank you for coming in, Haru. I’ve got some office work to take care of — but if anything happens, just call.”Bookmark here

He pats my shoulder with a heavy hand, then lumbers off to the break room.Bookmark here

Our shift starts at 9 AM.Bookmark here

I’ve only got a few hours to drill just enough sense into him to survive the lunch rush.Bookmark here

Today’s roster consists of myself, our newbie hire, and a woman around our age who’s wearing glasses, with her hair tied back in a braid.Bookmark here

I suppose I’d better introduce myself, seeing as it’s my first daytime shift.Bookmark here

So, I head over to the girl stocking the shelves.Bookmark here

“Hi, I’m Haru Muramatsu. I usually work the graveyard shift here, but I’ll be joining you for the day.”Bookmark here

“Oh, um... Hi. I’m Yukari Ando. It’s nice to meet you.”Bookmark here

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She says this with a bright smile. Yep. She’s another decent person.Bookmark here

“And this guy’s our newest hir—"Bookmark here

“You can call me Mac. And I must say — it’s a real treat to be working alongside such a lovely lady.”Bookmark here

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Mac casually compliments our coworker as he takes her hand and gives it a light kiss.  Bookmark here

“Oh, um, could you let go...?”Bookmark here

“By the way, if you need any heavy lifting done, or something’s out of your reach, just shout. I’m totally the tallest person here, and my strength stats are practically maxed out, so I can totally lend a hand!!”Bookmark here

I quickly smack the hero upside the head.Bookmark here

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“I’m so, SO sorry about him!”Bookmark here

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I bow my head in apology for this loser, then drag him back behind the register.Bookmark here

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“Dude! Don’t hit on your coworkers. Don’t bother people, period. Don’t show off. You’re here to work, not to rack up new followers. Feel free to jot this all down if you think you might forget it.”Bookmark here

“I wasn’t showing off! Having a long list of skills is all part of being a bitchin’ adventurer, man.”Bookmark here

Great. And I’m the one who gets to teach this shitty influencer how to cater to customers and work the register.Bookmark here

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But, the hero manages to pick it all up surprisingly quickly. In about an hour, he’s retained most of the basics of good service.Bookmark here

“Yo, is there anything else I should know?”Bookmark here

“Well...”Bookmark here

Ding-a-ling-a-ling...  Bookmark here

“Welcome, irasshaimase...”Bookmark here

“Irasshaimaseeee!”Bookmark here

Our first customer is an elderly woman.Bookmark here

Mac calls out the greeting nice and strong, in a booming voice that echoes through the store.Bookmark here

The older lady gets one of those vitamin drinks and brings it up to the register.Bookmark here

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“Dude, lemme take this one.”Bookmark here

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“What? Wait, hold on a second!”Bookmark here

Sure, he’s picked everything up quickly — but it was all theoretical. Mac steps in front of me, to start the transaction.Bookmark here

“Welcome, irasshaimase!”Bookmark here

“My, aren’t you chipper. Are you new here?”Bookmark here

“You betcha, Granny! Ooh, I hear this stuff is great for your health. No wonder you look so radiant! Well, that’ll be one hundred fifty yen.”Bookmark here

“Goodness me, how kind of you to say that.  It’s not every day a woman my age gets compliments from handsome young men. Why, it almost makes me feel like a girl again.”Bookmark here

“Aw, don’t say that! I’m sure you’re just as beautiful as you ever were, Granny. But, thank you for your patronage! It’s a hot one today, so take care to drink plenty of water, okay?”Bookmark here

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“Why, thank you. You’re such a sweet child; I wish I had a grandson like you. I’ll be sure to stop by another time.”  Bookmark here

“You’re more than welcome to, Granny! Take care on your way home, alright? And thanks for dropping by!”Bookmark here

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Mac sees the older woman off with a smile and a wave, waiting until she’s out of sight before he turns back to me.Bookmark here

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“So? How was that?”Bookmark here

Oh my god, he’s some kind of silver-tongued monster.Bookmark here

“Honestly, I thought you did a great job. But not everyone’s going to want to stop for a chat, so keep that in mind.”Bookmark here

“Huh? Who wouldn’t be thrilled to talk to a straight up hottie like me?”Bookmark here

“See, THAT’s the kind of thing you’d be better off keeping to yourself.”Bookmark here

Ding-a-ling-a-ling...  Bookmark here

“Irasshaimaseeee!”Bookmark here

Our next customer is a much younger guy.Bookmark here

“Oh, hell. It’s a dude. Murry, swap in for me.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

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He’s only dealt with one customer, and he’s already trying to tap out.Bookmark here

“You don’t mean to say that you’re ONLY going to talk to the female clientele, do you?”Bookmark here

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“Sure, man. I’ll take care of all the ladies, and you can have the dudes.”Bookmark here

Mac rattles off this nonsense with a bright grin.Bookmark here

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“It doesn’t work like that! Are you going to take this seriously, or what?!”Bookmark here

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“But, I’m no good at dealing with bros!”Bookmark here

“Too bad! Shut up and do your job!”Bookmark here

It’s not like I’ve ever gotten a say in who I deal with on a given day! If Mac thinks he can just turn tail and run, he’s got another thing coming.Bookmark here

Since it’s still early enough in the morning, we haven’t been overwhelmed by more customers than we  can handle. But, there’s a stark difference between the way that loser treats the male and female customers — which is problematic, to say the least.Bookmark here

“Thank you for working the register all morning. I took care of everything else, so we should be ready to go for the lunch rush.”Bookmark here

It’s 11 AM.Bookmark here

While I’ve been walking Mac through the basics, Yukari’s taken on all the other day-to-day tasks that need to be done to run a convenience store.Bookmark here

“Thanks, Yukari. If it weren’t for you, I’d have never gotten that hopeless her-...uh...Mac trained on the till in time.”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about it. Our manager gave me a heads up, so I was expecting it. By the way, are you guys friends?”Bookmark here

“Not just friends, we’re BEST friends.” Bookmark here

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Mac, seriously! Stay out of this!Bookmark here

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“...Huh, you don’t say. So, are the two of you going to be working the afternoon shift from now on?”Bookmark here

“No, I think it’ll just be the one time, since Mac’s pretty much gotten the hang of working the register.”Bookmark here

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“Oh, really? That’s a shame.”Bookmark here

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I guess she’s fallen victim to his charms, too.  Bookmark here

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“Eh, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Mac’s going to be on the afternoon shifts, and I’ve still got my usual graveyard ones.”Bookmark here

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“Ah. That’s not what I... No, never mind. Good luck, guys.”Bookmark here

With that vague reply, Yukari glances away, then hurries off to open the second register.Bookmark here

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Meanwhile, I go give our manager a quick report on Mac’s progress. Since it IS his first day here, it’s decided that he shouldn’t be left alone at the register just yet.Bookmark here

Ding-a-ling-a-ling...  Bookmark here

It’s 11:30.Bookmark here

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The start of the dreaded lunch rush.Bookmark here

And my own personal hell.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.