The customer stood at the till staring at the rack of gum hemming and hawing. Karkat scowled at him wishing he could just demand the teenager make a decision but the front manager Roxy was watching him as she fixed the automatic till and her cousin Rose smirked from the till across from him obviously psychoanalyzing his every twitch. So he swallowed his annoyance. Mostly.
“Have you made a decision yet, sir?” The way he said sir left little doubt that he intended it as the gravest of insults, however the customer appeared unfazed much to Roxy's relief.
“Uh do you know if this one's any good?” The teen gestured to a generic gum brand and Karkat had to bite down his snide comment.
“I have never tried it.” Karkat snapped testily.
“What about this one?” He gestured again to another gum.
“Never tried it.” Karkat was no longer being polite and Rose had begun making notes into the little notebook she kept where he just knew she detailed the behaviours of her coworkers. Roxy had easily fixed the machine and was now flirting with the customer who was using it not paying attention to Karkat's growing annoyance.
“Oooh this one looks good what does it taste like?” The customer asked shoving the container in Karkat's face and he snapped.
“I don't chew gum you absolute fucking moron. I hate gum with the fiery passion of a thousand suns but I am pretty fucking sure I hate you more right now. Either buy a pack of shitty gum that all tastes the fucking same or get out of my store you unbelievably useless piece of shit.” He snarled the insults quickly practically spitting in the face of the customer who appeared very taken aback and nervous. Karkat snatched the gum from his hand and swiped it over the scanner viciously. He shoved it in a bag practically snapping the plastic handles off. “Well? Aren't you going to pay? Or do you think this is some sort of fucking charity where we just give out free shit to useless imbeciles who are too lazy to even pay for their own gum.”
The customer fumbled with his wallet dropping a twenty on the counter and muttering something along the lines of “Keep the change,” before grabbing his gum and absconding out the automatic doors although they were slightly too slow and he ran into them prompting a snort from Karkat. However when he looked away from the door any amusement he might have felt at the customer's misfortune combined with the hefty tip, disappeared at the expression on Roxy's face.
“Now, what was that I just saw?” She asked taking a deep swig out of her water bottle her face flushed and eyes wide frowning slightly. This was the maddest she ever looked so Karkat knew he had screwed up. He felt his cheeks burn with embarrassment and cursed genetics for making it so obvious especially when he saw the smirk gracing Rose's face. He hated getting dressed down but he hated it even more when it was in public. He assumed Roxy knew because she continued on despite the presence of her vexing cousin.
“He provoked me,” Karkat grumbled defensively looking away.
“Uh huh. An then you did that thing where you screen-m, scream at the customer.” Her stuttering correction only made him feel worse. She didn't always stutter but it seemed to happen more often when she was upset by something. She took another deep swig from her water bottle then shook her head at him. “So you know what the conts- consep- contes- fuck it punishment is gonna be right?”
“I have to clean out both of the fucking disgusting bathrooms,” He was rather sheepish at his behaviour especially since his boss was so greatly upset by it that she could barely speak past her speech impediment. “I'll take your closing shift.” He offered placating and she nodded before teetering over to the automated tills.
Karkat went back to his own till with a sigh glaring at Rose who had managed to look as though she was not paying attention just in time. He knew that was bullshit though. As he was preparing his outraged comment his store phone rang from his waist and he snapped it off his belt bringing it up and recognizing the number answered.
“Yes?” He groaned with an air of long suffering glaring up at the security camera pointed at him.
“That wath hilariouth KK it ith tho going on the compilation DVD.” The tech guy from the store lisped into the phone obviously rather amused.
“Someday I'm going to find one of those and shove it up your ass. You are literally the worst friend Sollux. You're fucking profiting off of my outrage. I'm starting to think you're actually paying the customers to be annoying as fuck.” Karkat bitched into the phone leaning on his till.
There was a chuckle from the phone which caused Karkat to flip off the camera knowing the other was watching.
“You do get thome of the profitth too. Bethideth everybody really enjoyed KK'th Greatetht Bitchfitth theathon one.” Karkat could hear the smirk through the phone. “Come up on your break, your favourite grocery boy wath danthing near the camerath again.”
“He is not my favourite anything. He is no different from the other useless asswipes that staff this store.” Karkat snapped defensively.
“Oh tho you want me to thtop purpothly scheduling you two together?” Sollux teased mercilessly.
“No I don't want you to stop.” Karkat grumbled self consciously. “I'll be up in like an hour.”
“Thought tho.” Sollux seemed satisfied with himself but when he continued there was an air of annoyance to his voice. “I'll get rid of ED everyone'th favourite merchandithing manager.”
Eridan was in charge of most of the store and it was rather apparent he would like to fire nearly everyone who worked there. The only things that stopped him were the head manager Feferi and the union. Karkat as union steward had been forced to order Eridan not to fire people several times but despite these arguments they got along rather well. The same of course could not be said for Sollux and Eridan who seemed constantly at odds with each other. Karkat had given up attempting to mediate and had decided that as long as they didn't destroy the store or each other there was little he could do.
“Sure whatever.” He said and then there was a customer standing in front of him a ton of groceries on the belt. The woman tapped her foot impatiently a rather bitchy look on her face as she waited. “Customer.” Karkat snapped then hung up to tend to it knowing Sollux would understand. He then prepared to deal with the inevitably shitty customer and groaned noticing the lengthy line of them waiting for his attention. It promised to be a lengthy hour before he could go on break.