Have a seat, Prince.

As you know, we conduct performance reviews here at Mr. McGee’s Five-and-Dime every six months. I think we are both aware of some issues that have come up recently and I would like to address them one by one. First of all, I’ve heard from other employees that you have had some problems with my management style. I know at typical companies you would take those issues to HR, and believe me, we’re working on that, but we’re just a simple five-and-dime.

It may seem like I’ve told you this several times already (though I’ve only counted once or twice), but it’s true: I don’t like your kind. You’re a bit too leisurely. Before you hire a lawyer to sue me for those comments, let me explain. I will grant you that often it seems like you’re busy. But what you’re busy doing is something close to nothing. And the thing is, it’s always different from the day before. So that’s my reasoning. You understand? Let’s move on.

The big incident that I want to address happened about a week ago during the storm. I think you know what incident I’m talking about. It was that lady (and I use that term loosely here) walked in through the out door… the out door! Think about that. And she was wearing that ridiculous beret. Only two types of people can get away with wearing that kind of hat: avant-garde artists and the French. I can guarantee you she was neither. It was raspberry in color. She must’ve gotten it from Goodwill, the Salvation Army, one of those second-hand stores. It was a good thing it was cold outside because I got the feeling that if it were warm she wouldn’t wear much more. Anyway, I knew she was trouble the second I saw her. And sure enough, when you tried to help her, she was standoffish. I could sense your agitation when she made that odd comment towards you. You remember? She had the nerve to ask you if you planned to do her any harm. You were showing her our new line of Mr. McGee’s Silly Putty, which I need you to restock after we’re done here, by the way. Listen, we get customers in here every day making much more damning comments towards us all the time. I don’t mind your frustration, but you need to maintain your professionalism, maybe take a ten and mellow out in the designated smoking area by the dumpsters. I will not tolerate you dropping everything and putting the customer on the back of your motorcycle to go riding down by Old Man Johnson’s farm. In the pouring rain, no less. Were you even wearing helmets? You completely left your co-worker Jimmy in the lurch. And you know he hasn’t been trained on the register yet. I don’t even want to tell you how long it took me to reconcile the till that night. Basically, it was a disaster and a fireable offense, but I’m cutting you some slack because I consider myself to be fair and forgiving. And we are short employees at the moment.

And not for nothing, but people are talking around here like you think you love this girl? Watch out, Prince. Watch out. You’ve already told everyone that she’s not too bright. And just because, excuse me if I’m telling tales out of school, when she kissed you, she knew how to get her kicks, doesn’t mean you should start sharing bank accounts. With that raggedy hat of hers and her fly-in-the-face-of-authority attitude, I’m guessing she’s unemployed. I’ve seen this a million times. You get up in Old Man Johnson’s barn, the rain sounds so cool pattering on the roof, the horses are wondering who you are and the next thing you know, the thunder drowns out what the lightning sees. Very poetic. I know what you think: I feel like a movie star!

Just a word of advice from your boss Mr. McGee, the first time ain’t the greatest. Between you and me, I’ve been around the block a couple of times and let me tell you… oh, look at you. You wouldn’t change a stroke. You probably think you’re the most, just because you’re with a girl as fine as she was then. Ok, Mr. Big Shot, Mr. Braggadocio. Whatever you say. You want to call the rain purple, that’s your business.

One last thing before I let you go: we have a strict dress code here. As stated in the employee handbook, you must match your issued red vest. No more doilies coming out your sleeves, velvet, shoulder pads, or 19th-century lace scarves, and I hope it goes without saying; you have to keep your shirt on. This isn’t 1999.