Hi everyone!! Since Into You will be released this Saturday, I wanted to share one more excerpt from the story. This edited excerpt is from Vanessa’s fourth day at Suds when a lot is going on between the customers and the employees.
The excerpt is from Vanessa’s POV.
When I arrived at work, it was already busy; there was a line was wrapped around the building and down street. I looked at the clock on my dash, seeing it was only 7:30. I hopped out of the car, went inside, and saw that it was completely packed. Simone was at the register ringing up customers when she glanced at me. She motioned for me to hurry and clock in.
“I told you not to be late,” Simone hissed when I came to the register. “While you were sexing Mark, I had a line of customers at seven!” She gave a receipt to a waiting customer who looked between us before leaving.
“It’s only 7:30! Technically, I’m not late.”
“With Avery, you’re on time at seven; 7:15 is partly on time, and at 7:30 you’re late. We open as soon as a customer drives up, no matter what time it is.”
I sighed, and looked outside and saw two employees almost about to fight. I looked at Simone, who took a deep breath.
“Don’t pay them any mind; its just Louis and Terry. Those two always trying to fight each other over tips. Probably either to get drunk, high, or buy a hooker.”
I was still staring, curious to see if they would actually fight, when a customer approached the counter. I glanced at Simone as she continued to ring up hers.
“And I wasn’t sexing Mark. We haven’t gotten to that stage yet,” I finally said.
“Well, you two were doing something. I heard your loud asses last night; I had to put my earphones on.”
“Excuse me, but do you think you should be talking about your personal business at work?” my customer asked, glaring at us.
“Sorry, ma’am,” I apologized and began her transaction. I already knew today was going to be a strange one.
And as the day went on, my theory rang true: Every customer I encountered was either crazy, angry, or just plain cranky. I received complaints ranging from the soap not being sprayed on their cars to the vacuuming to even one of the employees not saying ‘have a nice day.’ Even though I’d run the store by myself the other day, I was glad Simone was working with me, even though she’s not speaking to me.
Mark came into the lobby a few times, and each time, he was greeted with a nasty stare from Simone. I really had to find out what the hell her problem was after our shift.
When I began ringing up another customer, she tapped her fingers on the counter. I glanced at her and saw her wearing me an impatient expression.
“You know, I’ve been standing in line for the past five minutes, and you have been extremely slow. I have an important meeting to get to in 20 minutes, so I don’t have time for it right now.”
I was completely shocked by her attitude and glanced at Simone. She shrugged then turned back to work.
“I’m sorry if I’m moving too slowly, but I’m new and – ”
“Figures! Why would they schedule a new person on one of the store’s busiest days?! Where is Maya or the other girl that usually be here?”
“I wouldn’t know, ma’am. But in the time you’ve complained about me and my work ethic, I could have been done processing your transaction,” I retorted.
“V?!” Simone whispered loudly.
“Where is Avery?!” the customer yelled. “I’ve been coming to this store for too long to be talked to like this from some uneducated cashier!”
My blood pressure began rising, so I took several deep breaths. I wanted to reach over the counter and snatch that blonde hair of hers. Instead, I called the next customer. If she thought I was just some uneducated cashier, then someone else finish her transaction.
“Excuse me?! What are you doing?” she asked.
“I refuse to service you. It’s my right as an employee to do so, especially when the customer is bullying the cashier.”
“Says who?! Simone, get Avery in here, now!”
“Yes, Ms. Windsor,” Simone agreed and paged him.
“I hope he fires you,” she snarled.
“Have a nice day, ma’am. And please come back to Suds soon,” I replied with a smile.
I wasn’t going to let some rich bitch steal my joy. I already didn’t want to be here, but at the moment, I didn’t have a choice. I just had to find another job soon.
After Simone got Avery inside, he apologized to Ms. Windsor for my behavior and gave her a free car wash. Guess whose check it was coming out of?
Now I was in his office to discuss what had just happened. I looked at the cameras, upset that I was in there, leaving Simone by herself.
“You do know that if Rosario was here, she would have told you to clock out, right? But I’m not going to do that. Instead, you’ll learn from this incident and try not to be snarly with any other customer again, especially someone like Ms. Windsor. She has been coming here for years and knows Enrique personally. If he knew about this, he would be upset.”
“She started being rude to me when she first stepped in my line,” I argued. “She knew it was busy, so why would she come here, especially when she had a meeting to go to? She should think about managing her time better and choosing what’s more important: getting her car washed or being at her meeting on time.”
“That’s not your decision to make, Vanessa. Every customer who walks into this store expects to have the same service, and they should. I know this is only your fourth day here, but I’m extremely disappointed.”
I sighed and glanced at the cameras again. I saw Mark in the lobby speaking with Simone. She probably was explaining what had happened.
“We’ll just chalked this incident up to a learning experience and move on. Just don’t let it happen again, okay?”
“But you are doing a great job. You did really well running the lobby by yourself the other day. I was impressed, so don’t let this one incident ruin that.”
“I said it won’t happen again.”
“That’s good to hear,” he said as he came over to the other side of his desk. He tried to take my hand, but and I stepped back.
“Avery, we’ve talked about this. I said if you touch me again, I’m filing a complaint.”
“It was a small gesture,” he said, moving closer. He looked down at my breasts then back to my eyes .
“I have to admit, you are one beautiful woman,” he commented, slowly putting his hand on my thigh. He tried to spread my legs, but I pushed him away from me. He looked shocked; luckily, there was a knock at the door.
“I’m in the middle of a meeting!” Avery yelled.
“You need to come out here! Now! Dominic’s wife is at it again!” I heard Mark say. Avery looked at the cameras and groaned. A fight was happening out front; a woman, who I assumed was Dominic’s wife, threw one of the employees on the ground. I looked closely and noticed it was the girl Dominic had been talking to after my interview.
Avery rushed to the door; when he pulled it opened, Mark was standing in the doorway. Avery ran past him and went outside. Mark looked at me and mouthed, “What happened?” I gave him a look reading “I’ll explain later,” then we both went towards the door. We watched Dominic try to get his wife off of the girl, but his wife sucker punched then kicked her in the head. She was wearing stilettos, so I knew that had to hurt.
“That’s enough!” Dominic yelled, pulling his wife away from the employee. She turned around and started hitting him.
“I told your cheating ass if you do this again, I will come up here and kill her!” she exclaimed then started speaking Spanish. I looked at Mark, who began translating. It was things I didn’t need to know.
“You need to go before we press charges, Elena, Again! And Dominic, take the rest of the day off. I need to take Cecilia to the hospital,” Avery ordered. He helped Cecilia up, who was holding the side of her head.
Mark sighed as he looked at all the customers, employees, and even people from other businesses watching.
“I told Dominic to keep it in his pants,” He finally said. “The man doesn’t listen.”
“Well, that’s just your typical day at Suds. Something unexpected always happens,” Simone remarked.
Mark and I looked at her, and she shrugged.
Pre-order is still available! Purchase now for $0.99 before it goes to $2.99 on release day!