PEORIA, Ill. — Punks and their subcultures have long expressed themselves through wild and outlandish fashion choices, but area skinhead Melinda “Rude Girl” Rodriguez never anticipated her personal style would result in an honest day’s work.
Ms. Rodriguez was unwittingly conscripted into service late Tuesday morning by Tanya Bargazzi, a local Target daytime shift manager, when she walked into the store to buy hair clippers while wearing her favorite red Fred Perry shirt.
“I was looking for a come-up on some track pants on my only day off this week, and customers started asking me if there were any sales, or if there was anything ‘in the back.’ One thing led to another, and here we are,” said Ms. Rodriguez, quickly putting away a cart of “go-backs.”
“Ms. Rodriguez is an exemplary employee,” said Ms. Bargazzi of her unclassified proletarian. “She doesn’t ask for much — just does the job. She seems perfectly built to handle the near-psychotic abuse of retail.
“I don’t think she’s taken a break yet, unlike Johnson over there,” Ms. Bargazzi continued, motioning disdainfully to an elderly man eating a sandwich.
Ms. Rodriguez, despite looking forward to her one day off this week in between swing shifts at the local metal factory, could not refuse the allure of more constant and tedious work.
“Employment is, like, 60 percent of my identity,” said Ms. Rodriguez while restocking shoe polish. “Plus, I only worked 72 hours at the factory this week and I was starting to get the feeling back in my feet. I’m no slouch — I’m a blue… well, red-collared American.”
“She takes this job so seriously,” said teen part-timer Caleb Herman. “Who the hell would run to clean up a broken pickle jar? For $8.75? Not me.”
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Management attempted to compensate Ms. Rodriguez, technically and literally not on Target payroll, with complimentary popcorn and coffee from the Starbucks cafeteria, but were rebuffed by Ms. Rodriguez’s strict “no handouts” policy.
UPDATE: The Hard Times has received unconfirmed reports that Ms. Rodriguez has been spotted manning the register at a local Best Buy, wearing a blue Ben Sherman and khakis.
Article by Mark Turner @Marg_Turder. Photo by Darb Vader.
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