Monday, May 19, 2014

Thanks for the Ride!

Some of you have noticed that I have not uploaded a post in the last two weeks. I am afraid that I am taking a hiatus from writing about my adventures in retail. It has been an enjoyable experience and I wanted to thank everyone for the encouragement they have given me. It made my first blogging experience a success.

I wish everyone happy shopping experiences and a great future. Thanks again!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Since it needs to be said...

The phrase "common sense" carries the implication that the knowledge is widespread, and possessed by fairly everyone. However, anyone who has spent a moderate amount of time on this planet will tell you there are quite a few "uncommon" people who seem to lack some of the most basic understanding of human interactions. I felt that it was time to impart some basic "common sense" to those who apparently don't know these things:

1) Never slap your money down on a counter. It doesn't matter if you lay each coin gently down or sling a wad of bills at the cashier, both communicate "You are beneath me and must pick up what I drop." Oddly enough, the person who counts out each nickle will also hold out her hand to receive the three cents owed back to her. Cashiers are people; hand them your money.

2) I am not the fashion police, and frankly people who are bore me. Having said that, unless you actually want people to know that you proudly wear a specific brand of underwear, don't tuck your shirt into them. They will ride up. Besides, Fruit of the Loom is not a brand you should be proudly broadcasting up past your bellybutton.

3) On that note grandmotherly ladies, unless you are intentionally meaning to look mentally unbalanced and a tad scary, don't wear your hair in two long, "piggy tails," or side "pony tails," or whatever they are called. As I mentioned, I don't know much about fashion or care, but if you are mature and still dressing like a child, the effect is startling.

4) To avoid looking like jerk, simply acknowledge store greeters. You don't have to carry on a conversation, you don't have to become best friends, you don't even need to give them money to buy cigarets and food. A smile would work, or even just a nod! It's simple really.

5) Items that are not scanning properly are never free. Let me repeat that. Items that are not scanning properly are NEVER FREE. While this might not be technically "common sense" sort of knowledge, let me just inform the general public that joke is tired and ragged to every cashier on the planet. Now you know.

6) If a company suddenly enters into the political spotlight for expressing a controversial opinion, charging into the nearest location to express your criticism OR support isn't likely to have any affect. You need to contact the corporate headquarters. It is quite possible the employees do not share your opinion but cannot express themselves while on the clock, making for an awkward exchange.

7) Employees at most store locations do not purchase, supply, or create the product on display. If there is a problem, their job is to work with you to the best of their ability. They cannot make you a new item, start carrying a something new just because you asked them to, or randomly change our product because it doesn't please you. Again, contact the corporate offices. Their buyers might be interested in your suggestions.

8) Talking on the phone while trying to conduct business is rude. Having said that, some people are clearly so self absorbed and obnoxious many cashiers are glad they are talking on the phone so that they don't actually have to interact with them. Also, it is rude to talk on the phone, putting a person on speaker phone while you walk through the store so everyone can hear your whole conversation is disturbing. No thank you.

9) Not all nurses, flight attendants, librarians or cashiers are female. I cannot tell you how many times I have been called "Ma'am" in spite of my shaved head and facial hair. Odd. Maybe it is my man boobs.

10) Shopping carts are not trashcans. Some of you will find this shocking, but employees aren't actually planning on cleaning out your left over coffee cups, chicken nuggets, crumpled-up used tissues, or soiled diapers. We only do it because we don't want those items cluttering up our place of business. If you cannot find the trashcan's that most stores have conveniently located right outside their doors or in the restrooms, feel free to ask an employee where the closest one is.

While there are more to be added, this has gone on longer than I intended so I should stop now. Hopefully, this will help the world be a SLIGHTLY happier place. I am not kidding about the change thing—hand it!

Monday, April 21, 2014

An Angelic Need

It was less than five minutes until we closed, and most of the shoppers were slowly, casually making their way towards the doors. One tiny, little older lady came flying through the doors, weaved her way through the flow of human traffic and made a bee-line towards me. Immediately, she rushed right up until she was inches away from my face.

"Excuse me, I know you are about to close, but I am hoping you can help me."

"Of course!"

"I am looking for... I am looking for...(sigh) I am looking for...Look, I'll tell ya what I need, I am looking for..."

Anytime now, I thought to myself.

" angel, a glass angel, about this big?" She held her hands roughly six inches apart.

" angel? I have angels that are resin and used for yard decorations, but I don't have a glass one. If you would like I can show you those?"

"Yes please."

We walked by the table of glass decoration, and no we did not have angels. We walked around the garden display, looking at the angels we did carry, when she finally said "No, No you see I am looking for an angel that is coming out...coming out...and angel that is coming out..." She began to pantomime and odd motion. What was she doing? Throwing confetti and candy at a parade?So help me, I thought, if she ends this phrase with "out of the closet" I will die right here and now.

"coming out...coming out...of the TOMB!" She ended triumphantly, as though proud she had recalled the right words.

"Oh, The tomb! I am sorry, I don't carry anything that directly related to Easter."

"Oh, ok. Just checking. Have a good night!"

Yes. Yes I did just gay up an Easter Angel. You are free to judge me. But then I don't recall the Angles having a parade on Easter morning, but perhaps that part was just left out of the sermons.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Say What???

These are snatches of actual conversations people have felt comfortable saying out loud, in the store, while on the phone. Enjoy:

"Then she did it! She made a crusty shank!"

"Then I tol' my Mom she messed up real good. She can't ever be in our lives anymore. It's over. I don' even kurr."

"You'll never guess what! Lisa brought a male stripper into the women's locker room at the tennis club."

"An Suriously...thu way she tawlks! It's so HILLBILLY!"

"Girl. Girl. Girl, now I understand all that, but see you knew already that I had a girlfriend, and now you wants ta go and give me trouble?"

"Yeah, I'm not a fan of demons right now. I don't think they are the best creatures."

"Look, I had no choice, and I still got three years!"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Verbal Ping-Pong

I looked at the crumbled up vinyl wall art sitting on my counter top.  It had been hacked into various shapes and pieces, was covered in hair and fuzz, and had lost it's adhesive backing. The owner was looking at me expectantly.

"I am sorry Ma'am, I can't return this."

"Then I am going to need to speak with a manager please."

My manager took one look at the mangled product and agreed with me.

"But I don't like this one, it doesn't look like I thought it would. You can't help me out at all?"

My manager shook her head, "I am sorry, but this product has been completely altered."

"So you can't help me out?"

"I am sorry."

"So you aren't taking it back?"

"No ma'am."

"You won't do anything about this?"

"I am sorry."

"You can't give me credit?"

"I can't."

"Wow. you can't do anything for me?"

"I am sorry."

Four minutes later—Yes, you read that right, FOUR MINUTES LATER...

"So you can't take this back?"

"No Ma'am"

"You really aren't going to do ANYTHING about this are you?"

"I am sorry, I can't."

"Well I just can't believe this. I guess I'll never shop here again."

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Suit by Any Other Name

They say to "dress for success", and "you can tell a man by the cut of his suit." We know from experience that we are more than what meets the eye. This particular woman, was an eyeful.

Looking fresh from an important business meeting, she marched through the door in her tailored, grey suit; her pointed heels tapping on the floor, she walked with purpose. She was a go getter. Apparently, this was a very important phone call she was taking because she ignored everyone around her.

Abruptly, she changed direction and came through the checkout lines. Still on the phone, she couldn't be bothered with asking a simple question, so she did what every "important" white woman does when she needs someone's attention: she started snapping her fingers.

That's right snapped her fingers.

My coworker and I turned to see who was beckoning to us like misbehaving house-pets and saw the most unexpected performance. She snapped her fingers, pointed directly to her crotch, and wiggled her hips.

Just to be sure you caught the full scene, let me recap it for you: tailored suit, snapping fingers, pointing at crotch, wiggling hips.

I was not about to say a word to her. My coworker looked at her in surprise, but asked "Are you looking for the restroom? It's in the back of the store."

The woman nodded without saying a word, spun around and tick-tocked off in powerful strides as though nothing out of the ordinary had taken place.

Just one more time for good measure: tailored suit, snapping fingers, crotch point, hip-wiggle.

You are welcome.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Power Play

She wasn't one to simply meander through life. She radiated power, leadership and purpose from her pointed pumps all the way to the top of her tailored business suit. She didn't even casually walk in the store in an unhurried manner like most of our customers. She charged through the automated doors as though she were entering the bridge of her own, personal starship.

In a matter of minutes, she was already at my register with her purchase. "Young man, I will apply the coupon on this item."

"That's fine, can I see the coupon?"

"I don't have one."

"I'm sorry, I actually need a coupon to apply it."

"You don't have any on you?"

"No Ma'am, we don't stock coupons here."

"Well, where can I get one? I want my discount!" Her voice was firm, as though she had just given me an order.

"You can pull one up from the company on your phone—"

"My phone isn't working right now. Let me use yours."

"Um...I am sorry, I don't have my phone on me."

"Of course you do! Everyone has a phone on them now-a-days!"

"It's against company rules for me to have it on the sale floor."

"Well who has a coupon I can use?" She said loudly, turning to face the other shoppers. Nobody said anything.

"Seriously. Who has one? SOMEBODY has one. I am not leaving this line until somebody gives me a coupon. I want my discount." Suddenly the others in the line had very important things to look at other than her.

"Ma'am?" I was loosing my patience. "Do you want to make this purchase or not? I can't hold up the line."

"Yes I want this! But I want my discount too. I am not moving until I get that coupon. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO SHARE THEIR COUPON!"

Thus the Stand Off at Register 2 began. Frigidly, I stared at her; Indignity, she did her best CEO stance and stared back at me. I am happy to report that after only 3 minutes of this, she left the store with her purchase, having paid the full price. It seems time is money and I was getting too expensive.