Many many months ago this very eccentric "artist" came in to talk about how we wanted to take some of our posters for this massive collage he was planning on doing.
Initially, someone told him he could have this particular Figment poster. In my conversations with him, I said that we didn't really hold posters for people but when I took it down, I'd put it behind the counter.
Between this agreement and when we took down the poster, he talked about how he had three storage units and two basements filled with posters that he didn't think he'd ever get to.
Around August, I took the poster down and put it behind the counter, where it sat for a couple of weeks until a very excited kid saw it. His parents asked one of my coworkers for the poster, and my coworker, having no idea who the poster was for gave it to the family.
Here's the thing, I DID know who it was for, but if I have the choice between a fifty year old "artist" who has admitted he is a packrat who doesn't use shit, and a little kid who's excited for a poster, I'm going to give it to the kid every time.
Apparently, when he came in a few days later, my coworker told him the poster had been given away, and the guy shouted at him, and was a colossal jerk.
Today, I saw Packrat Entitlement outside peering at the posters. I nodded at him, and he scowled. After a few minutes, he came in to the store, as if he'd been chewing a lemon for several minutes. "Are you Adam?"
"Yes." I said, knowing this was about to go south.
"Do you remember me?"
"I do." I said.
"Did you know that I never got that poster I wanted?"
"I had heard." I said.
He plucked at his beard. "I was waiting for that for months."
"Well." He said. "I didn't get it. It went to some fucken kid."
I nodded. "I heard. Unfortunately, when you're waiting around for free stuff, sometimes you don't get it."
"Well, it was going to be the centerpiece of a collage I was making."
"Well, you should get in touch with Marvel about having a poster sent out to you."
There are three people in line and several other people in the store. "No. You would have to contact Marvel. We can't get it for you."
"But I was waiting for many months..."
"Here's the thing. It was a free poster that we had out in the hallway. I know you had expressed interest in it, and we said it would be behind the counter for you. It was for a few days, but then it went to someone else. I can't get you another one."
"But I was told..."
"It was a free poster. From now on, no matter what anyone here tells you, you need to know that you might not get the free poster. But right now I have people who want to pay me for comics, and I can't keep talking to you about how you think you deserved a poster more than a little kid who really likes Figment. If you want to come back in a few weeks when it's quieter and order some posters through us, we can do that. But free posters are free posters. They belong to the wind and desperate clutches of Scotch tape."
And then I turned to the next person in line And he was gone.
I'm sure he's going to be back,
I, however, hope to be far the fuck away when that happens.