Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Less Than Grande Dame

You know, when you work retail for as long as I have, (13 years) you see a rather staggering array of human behavior on a daily basis. I mean I know I have it much better than most, it’s not like I work at the DMV or Walmart, (people seriously, you have to check out peopleofwalmart.com magic, that site is just magic) or anything, most of the people that enter the doors of The Wine Country are perfectly civilized, kind, fun loving and they obviously like to get their drink on. Sure we have some kooky regulars, people that hork cheese while yammering about cat piss, animal dung, (what up with the wine and animal, “functions” comparisons? Might want to get out of the house more kids…just sayin) test our patience and can on occasion get on our nerves as I am sure we get on theirs…part of that whole, “I know you too well and you’re buggin the shit outta me” thing. But for the most part, we gots it pretty good at The Wine Country, I adore our customers, they are more than accepting of me and my, um…voice, they find my bites charming and know that all we are trying to do is share wine and run a business…like I said, I adore them. That being said, there are some real challenging individuals that come through from time to time…Friday night got me thinking….I might need to have a, “Character of the Week” feature here at Sans Dosage.

I find myself in awe at least twice a week, and while I have no desire to make anyone feel bad, (so I will not be including names or too much of a physical description) this stuff is too good to not share. Time to quit with the, “Oh My God” stares back and forth with the staff, time to use this space, my living journal, (thank you customer in the parking lot for telling me to stop calling it a blog and keep writing) to share some of this crap…it’s good for me, good for us, sharing is cathartic right? So yeah, Friday night….

Right about 7:00 on the nights of my events I find myself in a full on tizzy, I’m a wreck…my nerves are shot, my palms sweaty and I suffer a pretty severe case of the erps as it were, seriously feel like my legs are gonna give and I might wretch. People tell me this will subside, I’m still waiting…think 7 years is too long to wait? I suck at public speaking, I feel completely naked and man do I hate being naked in front of 30 people. I am confident in my knowledge of the wines, just wigged out that I may flub, or choke as I did this last tasting….got everyone’s eyes on me and my throat seizes up and I start hacking…dude. Anyway, I am in full freak out mode this last Friday and she walks in.

Hard to miss really, very “clad” in purple, very loud and she had this, Rosanne Barr, Momma Cass kind of look and feel. I heard her long before I saw her and found myself peering around the corner of the kitchen, (where yes, I was hiding) to see what all the hub-bub was about. As my eyes met the source of the noise I found myself making one of those Little Rascals faces, that sharp head jerk, big eyed, “what the hell?” look. She had one of those voices that carry, I could hear her from like yesterday, and the look…well, (picture the Little Rascals look here).

The dark purple shadow and the drag queen fake eyelashes were hard to miss, she stood out, she was looking to so I guess she got what she was going for, I noticed, that’s for damn sure. I was just starting my class when she says to her neighbor, (in a tone that would make an auctioneer envious) “I learned that in my pole dancing class. I’m a fun girl”….now I cannot, do not know what inspired the comment, but picturing this woman, this Violet Beauregarde looking woman, on a pole…well, that erp thing came rushing back tenfold. There were overtly sexual comments being tossed out left and right and try as I might I could not escape that little, “ewe” shudder that came with picturing this beastly woman, pole dancing…there had to some form of animal print underpants…had to be, but her love of “Champagne” well that made her all classy and junk.

I fought through all the noise that came from her end of the table, kept talking, trying as best as I could to ignore the ick but, well she decided to come after me, challenge me for that, “most listened to” spot, now I might be shy and what not but I am not going to let the lowest common, whatever you are, control the show. “Now this wine is a bit more austere” I said while introducing a flight, “Well I am going to stop you there and you are going to have to explain what you mean by that” the purple people eater barked at me…there were cheesy chunks flying I can assure you. “I mean, I know what the word means, but I think that sounds scary, so I am not going to let you get way with saying something like that without an explanation”. I stood there, watching her flap those ridiculous lashes, trying her best to work her sass. I let the room go silent for a moment, stared back at this ghastly person and said, “It means subtle”.

Who would have thunk a word as simple as, “subtle” would soothe the wild beast but I think paired with my special, “are you seriously trying to screw with me?” face it did the job. Heard almost nothing from her for the rest of the night….well unless you count her challenging people that found similar flavors as I did, “You’re only saying that because SHE did” and the ever charming offer she gave one of my regulars at the register, “I’d put out for a bottle of that!” while she was buying her bottle of Prosecco and 3 bars of chocolate, gross.

I get the big girl sassy thing, it’s kinda my deal and all…but there is a right way and a wrong way, she was so purplely doin it wrong it was simply repugnant. When she slapped her name tag down on the counter and told me, “I want to be on a funner table next time” I nearly shot Champagne out my nose…funner? Really? Might I introduce you to your people, the people of Walmart dot com?!


TWG said...

You don't seem like the shy type, not in print at least.

Thomas said...

Oh boy, does this story bring back memories. Luckily, for me, I was raised in a household of sarcasm and irony (well, I didn't feel lucky then). My training, however, makes me able to shoot one back as quick as the one that causes mine tries to get at my sense of security--and I'm never afraid to shoot.

Benito said...


Any length of time in retail will expose you to a truly special rainbow of humanity.

I remember years ago we had a regular customer who had a side job as a Rod Stewart impersonator. The guy was cool but it was always weird working on a print order with someone who looked and sounded exactly like Stewart, clothes and all.

Ah, for the days of schizophrenics self-publishing their memoirs and prostitutes designing the world's most unappealing business cards...


Samantha Dugan said...

Sure not here beneath my laptop cloak. I am painfully shy in person though...it's bad, trust me.

I'm with you kid, the one thing that can help me be less shy is meeting someone like this woman...thing is when you are quick enough, they don't even know they are being made fun of, love that.

That's awesome, not sure I could keep a straight face!

vickibarkley said...

OMG, that is hilarious! I was terrified you were about to describe some terrible tipsy faux pas I committed over there at the Detention Table, until you mentioned "purple."
Yes, she was indeed horrific.

Erwin Dink said...

and people wonder why we're called snobs

Samantha Dugan said...


Had a feeling I might get some heat for this post but...she was ghastly. If this woman would have just been a member of the group, listened, tasted and bought her Prosecco and left I would have never even thought twice about her, (well those lashes I would have remembered) but she went out of her way to make a scene...draw attention to herself. The loud voice, the "I'm the party" talk and calling me out in the middle of a class, well she got what she was aching for, attention. Was it the kind she wanted, probably not but it was the kind she deserved. I had a bunch of people talk to me about her behavior after the event...not snobs, just civil people that were pretty horrified by the way she acted. I assure you, I am anything but a snob, shit half my posts are about me getting drunk...but even in my worst, "state" I would NEVER behave like that woman did.

You never have to worry about me calling you out lady, you get tipsy and have fun....that I adore, that is cool but that chick was a monster and she deserved my wrath, (and hell this post was rather kind when you think about how she was all night...could have been worse had I told everything!) thanks for baking me up!

Samantha Dugan said...

or err, um backing me up. See I'm no snob, I cannot even spell!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

A bit of an overreaction to "Erwin Dink" (if that's his real name I'd rather be the fat lady in purple). Even if you were a snob, and you most certainly are not (hell, you like me, so you have very pedestrian taste, at least in men), it is better to be a snob than a boor, which is what your purple pain was. And as ringmaster of the Champagne circus, it's your duty to crack the whip and keep Barney's ugly sister in line.

I love you!

Your HoseMaster

Samantha Dugan said...

Mr. HoseMaster Sir,

You cannot know how much I needed to hear that. I have to admit I felt shitty all day thinking someone, anyone thought I was a snob. So not true and I think the mark was missed. I did not single her out for asking questions, I welcome questions...this, well this person was just horrid, disruptive and rather disgusting, like I said, I left a lot out so there is a pile of steaming garbage I delt with all night...we all did, that I left out. Ah well, can't please all of the people right, shit if I have learned anything from you it's that.

Thank you again My Love, your adoration and support have more than slapped a Band-Aid on a somewhat wounded heart, it reminded me that my REAL readers know me and would never think I was a snob...a potty mouthed chick that drinks too much and never shuts up yes, but a snob...never. I love you kid!

The Woo said...

Well, it seems quite telling that this guy feel free to rant and post negative comments on your blog, but does not give the readers of his blog to post their thoughts on his blog.

Snob!?!?! PUH-LEEZE. I know you. You are not a snob... me on the other hand... well let's just say one must keep our standards up in the gated oasis that I live in... :)... See how I made it about me???? :)

Tessa said...

What a douchenozzle. Um, he had issues with that fact that you pointed out that she was fat? Did it hit a sore spot? I don't think he understands the whole character description; that's a part of it. This lady sounds awesome. She obviously just wanted attention. I love how the guy commented that George Clooney would get giggles saying the same stuff....he would get more than that from me...so would Catherine Zeta-Jones for that matter, I would buy either one of them anything for a piece. On that note, you are not a snob. You just don't like ugly obnoxious fat people...good thing I am only obnoxious and fat...!!!

Jessica said...

You're the nicest champagne lover I know - don't be hurt and know that this Colorado girl is sending you some love...

Sorry it is late in coming - I didn't investigate my "social scenes" till just now!

Samantha Dugan said...

Woo, Tessa and Jess,
You are all so freaking sweet, I'm sending hugs to all of you. It's done, I'm over it and everyone's very kind comments have proven that some of you get me...that's what really matters.
Thanks everyone,

Thomas said...


Do not take serious those who hide their identity and are afraid of the opinions of others.

Charlie Olken said...

My pappy used to say, "Once a purple hippo, always a purple hippo".

He also once said "I don't suffer fools or purple hippos gladly".

But, Sam, the line, "I would put out for a bottle of that" is so good that I am sure it will show up sooner or later on some comedic blog somewhere.

Besides, I have no problem with the word "snob". Hells bells, I bring wine to all my friends dinner parties so I don't have to drink theirs. They know I am going to do it, and when I ask, "can we bring something", they just shrug their shoulders and say, "Oh, the usual". Of course, they are snobs too. They would rather drink my wine than theirs too.

So, don't worry--and hope she won't come back. After all, she had to buy her own bubbly because no one took her up on her offer.

Samantha Dugan said...

Sir Charles,
Dude, where you been?! I was beginning to wonder if that HoseMaster of ours had either told you I was a troll or killed you off as inspiration for the next MS Conspirecy piece! As always, flattered to see you here. I so wish you, Ron and Anon1 had been there that night, you three would have LOVED her...

I hear the snob thing from time to time because I prefer French wine, always baffles me...really, I'm a snob becuase I prefer to drink my $11 Loire wine to your $60 California Cabernet...really? Whatever, I have long thought that people that use the word snob are a lot like those that use the word classy...full of insecurity and trying really hard not to look like they are.

Samantha Dugan said...

Conspiracy...fuck I wish there were spell check in the damn comments section....argh!!

Yellow Hat said...

Sam - as the person at whom (I think) the "I'd put out" comment was directed (which did seem wildly inappropriate, as I had never met this woman and was with my wife), I was reminded of an uncle of mine who always said there were only two types of women in the world, acceptable and un-acceptable. I found this women in the latter camp, although, she was, in a horrific, John Waters, can't-take-your-eyes-off-of-the-train-wreck sort of way, entertaining (well, for the first five minutes). And, as a proud member of the detention table, she is not invited. Prosecco!!! (before all you Prosecco lovers out there get up in arms, I like Prosecco, really, but it was a Champagne tasting!)

Samantha Dugan said...

Yellow Hat,
Okay first off...thank you so much for speaking up, that was horrific...almost died standing there ringing up the beast when she was barking that at you with your wife there! Holy crap dude, who does that? I could not make that kind of shit up. You were a trooper dude, loved the, "I can't help you with that" retort, awesome...that was awesome. Do not worry that "person" will NOT be on the "funner" table should she sign up again, I got your back and you can tell your wife, I'm cock blocking the beast.

Eric V. Orange said...

Just had to say that this was a very entertaining read Samantha. Likely all of us who has ever been involved in tastings/events like this have seen the like. What snob?? You can't scoff at an uncouth person? If so, I'm SNOB all caps.


Charlie Olken said...


Methinks you are making too much out of the word "snob". It can easily be applied to any of us who think that there are higher orders of quality and enjoyment and we want them. You may drink $11 Loire wines and not like CA Cabs, but you also like Champagne, which ain't all that cheap and red Burgs.

In its own way, that makes you a snob at some level. Do I look down my nose at cheap, boring wine? You bet that sweet ass of yours I do. And, unless I am way off base, you look down your nose, quietly one hopes, at cheap, boring wine.

None of us who seek quality for the pure sake of it need to be embarrassed by that fact, or by what anyone else might think. We are not consuming for conspicuous reasons. We are consuming for the only good reason, and that is because it soothes our souls.

So, screw that bitch. She craves attention and does not know how to get it.

And, now Sam, please tell me that Ron had a picture of you in the last installment of the MS Conspiracy.

TWG said...

Oh she knows how to get attention

Samantha Dugan said...

Thanks so much, it was fun to write...that chick so had it coming. The things that tose of us on this side of the table see can be pretty amazing, often REALLY entertaining and sometimes just sad, but least we always have a great story right?

Sir Charles,
Dude....has Ron hijacked your email?! Holy crap, you lit my face a fire...blushing, I was fiercely blushing...Puff Daddy talked about my ass! (pink cheeks, the ones on my face I mean) How did you know that was a picture of me?! It's true I am a cartoon drawing of a blonde in a red dress....

Puff Daddy said...

" How did you know that was a picture of me?! It's true I am a cartoon drawing of a blonde in a red dress.... "

Sam, I will settle for that as a reasonable facsimile, but I did have some different in mind.

Puff Daddy said...

That would be "something different".