The Non-Attentive Cashier – “It’s Sunday”


Only today and tomorrow left in my binge of  Joe’s Rusty NailJack’s Bar and the Stroll Inn celebrating the Pittsburgh Magazine, Best of 2014 recognition for ” Best Snarky Nod Toward Local Behavior

Today’s Guest Blogger is Frances Sansig of the Frances Files Podcast.


I’m the kind of person who likes to acknowledge that you are also a person. I think that’s called basic, human decency.

So when I’m checking out at the grocery store, usually, no one close to me is dying (that’s my litmus test for, “Is this call important?”), I stay off my phone because I want to be fully present. Hell, I’ll work with you to complete my transaction. Your job isn’t glamorous. You’re on your feet all day, you take shit from people, you aren’t getting paid much and you probably have someone who depends on you. I OWE you that dignity.

I can start bagging for you while you scan my sweaty buy-one-get-one-free chicken breasts and I honestly want to BE THERE FOR YOU when you ask, “Is this parsley or cilantro?” You want to tell me you figured out I’m making chicken pot pie by the items on the belt? I’m all ears. You’re paying attention. We’re interacting. I think that’s cool. And with keen eyes like that, you could catch a serial killer.

Which is why I get my Spanx all up in a bunch when you’re on the clock and you’re not reciprocating, like when happened last week when I was at a drug store in town, plunked my assorted bandages and an Oprah magazine on the counter, and I say “Hello” to you, but you’re ignoring me and my Oprah magazine because you are inexplicably enraptured by what you must think is the world’s FUNNIEST joke that your manager is telling, just a few feet away.

See, now – I get that folks have bad days. You might be in pain and I might not know it. Your husband might have just left you. Your grandma might have died last week and you’re thinking about her. Those are all good reasons for you not to give a damn about me or Oprah. But when you’re just being stupid? I’ll call you on it.

So when I ask you a question about my purchase and you continue to avoid eye contact with me, and keep looking OVER me like I’m in your way, so as not to MISS A SINGLE WORD OF THIS GODAWFUL DUMB JOKE, I get annoyed.

When I try to get the hell out because I’m so irritated and I’m ready to say something to embarrass you in front of the other customers, you yell, “Wait, you forgot your receipt.

Now you’ve asked for it. “Well, MAYBE you would have noticed that if you had answered me when I asked you about it, but you were too enthralled in your manager’s STUPID joke!

Then you laugh it all off and say, “I heard you, but, you know, it’s Sunday.

It’s SUNDAY? Your excuse is even lamer than the guy’s joke, which is lamer than his moustache. The level of lame here is so deep it would take a MONTH OF SUNDAYS for you to dig your ass out of it.

“Sorry I wrecked into you and killed your entire family because I wasn’t paying attention, but you know, it IS Sunday!”

“Sorry this meal you’re eating at the restaurant where I work has a rat in it, but you know: IT’S SUNDAY!”

“Sorry I’m total D-bag and had sex with your husband in your bed, but it is, after all, Sunday.”

I might have cut you some slack if the joke were remotely funny. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t even as funny as your raggedy uniform outfit. Which I’m guessing you wore because IT WAS SUNDAY, Ya Jagoff!

How Old is a “Sir?”


That’s J.J. Hensley, Pittsburgh crime fiction author up there.

I have a couple of more days running around to  Joe’s Rusty NailJack’s Bar and the Stroll Inn celebrating the

Pittsburgh Magazine, Best of 2014 recognition for ” Best Snarky Nod Toward Local Behavior ,

So here’s J.J.’s guest blog.

I’m 39 years old, but look significantly younger. Even when I’m sleep-deprived and in desperate need of coffee, I still appear much younger than my years. That is why there is no excuse for what recently happened to me in the parking lot of a local Best Buy.

When my wife and I moved here from the D.C. area in 2006, it took us a while to get used to Western PA attitudes. If a clerk in a store asked us how we were doing, our first thought was, “What the hell business is it of yours?” Friendliness had become foreign to us. Upon moving here, I’ve come to accept this change. However, some things cannot be forgiven.

We were leaving Best Buy and I was preparing to put my daughter in a car seat. As many of you know, this is not always a quick process. So, when a couple of guys walked up to the junker car next to us and wanted to leave, I had no problem stepping aside and saying, “You guys go first. This can take a while.” That’s when it happened. One of those two, rough-looking, tattooed, 25 year-olds actually said it. He said it loud and clear. He said, “No problem, ___.

I stood there in stunned silence as the guys pulled away. Doing my best to stay calm, I put my daughter in the car and then placed myself in the passenger seat. My wife started to speak to me, but then she saw my expression and knew something was amiss.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

I tried to unclench my teeth.

“What is it?” she tried again.

“Did you hear what that guy called me?”

“No,” she told me. “What did he call you?”

My fists were tight and my jaw tighter. I did my best to keep my voice level. I kept my voice low, so my daughter would not hear.
I replied, “He called me… Sir.”

What… the… hell?

Look here, Western Pennsylvania – civility has its limits. I’ve done my best to adapt. I don’t think twice when I see fries on my salad. I don’t blink when someone asks me for a gum band. You want to reserve a parking space with a plastic chair? Have at it! But, you will not teach your children to call a thirty-something “Sir.” I still get carded at the Olive Garden for God’s sake.

And to you, random 25 year-old in a Best Buy parking lot: You may think you’re being respectful. You may think that a man putting a child in a sensible family vehicle is your “elder”. You may think positive Karma is heading your way because of your attitude. It’s not. All you have accomplished is to get this Pittsburgh-area transplant to say a phrase he has never before uttered. That’s right. I’m saying it for the very first time, Ya Jagoff!


You can stay up on J.J.’s books by going to his website, HensleyBooks.

Don’t be a Jagoff to My Stroller


That’s Liz Golden-Phillips, a Pittsburgh Stay-at-home mom, up there.  

While I continue running back and forth between  Joe’s Rusty NailJack’s Bar and the Stroll Inn celebrating the

Pittsburgh Magazine, Best of 2014 recognition for ” Best Snarky Nod Toward Local Behavior ,

I have asked some guest bloggers like Liz to take over. 


One of the best tools a parent can arm themselves with is the stroller.

I love how the latest strollers are less fluffy and more utilitarian. I have the honor of owning a Navigator- Double Jogging Stroller (reason listed below).  This bad boy takes it to a whole new level. You probably could care less so I will not go into much detail. I can say it holds both my tots who are equivalent to 50 loaves of Mancini’s bread.  It’s also a Jagoff magnet.

On many a Saturday mornings you can find me down the Strip District w/ my Irish Twins (Sophie 2YO & Layla 11Mos).  Sample some great foods, do some shopping and soak in the local sights. You should see the looks I get trying to make my way down the sidewalk with the double stroller. Like someone forgot the coleslaw on their Primanti’s sandwich. Death looks from sidewalk hoggers. Most of which are being jagoffs on their phones!!! I am courteous and my kids are pretty darn cute. Don’t care. I am in the way. I am in the way of everyone. Even strollers w/ one baby shun me. So I take to the street only to be honked back on the sidewalk by a PAT bus. My only fan. Sister Mary Whateverhernameis selling baked goods at a little table outside of Roland’s. I think she could see my Catholic school day scars. She was very sweet and so were her treats!

This isn’t the first time my glorious stroller was hated on. Arts Festival goers were annoyed too. Oh well. I always have Frick Park. I am welcomed with open stroller. Joggers share the lanes w/ smiles and the occasional “hello.”  Dogs prance past us w/ ease as we stroll free of smirks and dirty looks. After the park I can swing by D’s Six Pax for a hot dog and beer. Oh wait, my jagoff stroller doesn’t fit through the door!?!

Be nice people!!! And don’t be a sidewalk hogger, Ya Jagoff!!!

Be sure to follow Liz on Twitter @LizPgh