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.

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

"Eeeesh...glass 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. Really...so 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.

Monday, March 17, 2014

You Ain't My Momma!

She was really chatty, and friendly—the way that makes you put up your guard and think "This middle-aged woman lives alone with lots and lots of cats." We both smiled and chatted as I rang up the few, large items that she had placed on my counter.

"Your total is $24.95 Ma'am"

"Oh honey I have more than that. It's down here in my shopping cart. Unless of course, you just want me to have it for free?"

"Yeah, I probably can't help you there," I said smiling "but nice try."

"Oh Honey, Sweety, Sugar...you can do it... We won't tell anyone" as she spoke she moved closer and closer to me. I had a wall to my back; I wasn't going anywhere. "You can help me out right baby?" She reached out—AND CUPPED MY FACE IN HER HANDS!

I kid you not, she nearly ate my fist.

I pulled my head away."I think I would prefer to keep my job."
I was borderline hostel at that point. Nobody has cupped my face in their hands since I was a boy, and I didn't even like my Momma doing it! Is personal space dead to some people?

"Well, then if you really think so," she said smiling, completely obliviously to my discomfort."Do you have children?" Not are you married? Or seeing someone? Or, do you like older women?

"ummm...No?"

"Aaaah, well then..." She sounded disappointed. She paid for her purchase, took her things and wished me a good day. Well—as a matter of fact it had been a good one. Let's just pretend this never happened shall we?


Friday, March 14, 2014

The Weakest Link

"Oh wait, I think I hit the wrong button." She mashed the stylus against the card reader touch-pad. "There...wait that ain't right. Let me just clear it out." Immediately, she hammered an imaginary nail through the screen with her jabs. Forceful lady.

"Wait, why is this screen here? I don't want to sign for this, I want to run it as a debit."

"I'm sorry Ma'am, you have opted to run it as a credit card, I can't change it at this point." My coworker told her.

"Yes you can, you can change it. I know, I work in retail too." She pointed to her polo shirt with a major grocery logo on it. "You can change it."

"I'm sorry Ma'am I can't. The transaction has already been run as a credit in our system. If you want, we can do a return and then you can repurchase as a debit..."

"No! That will take up to ten days for me to get my money back! You don't know what you are doing, I want to speak to a manager!"

The assistant manager listened to the complaint, looked at the screen showing a credit transaction for $10, and informed the lady the credit had already been processed. Would she like to do a return?

"Your machine is broken! I should be able to cancel this!"

"No Ma'am, it isn't broken, it's just that in our system—"

"This is unbelievable. There are some dumb-@$$'s working in this state!"

In my mind, a British voice suddenly spoke from the card reader announcing "You ARE the weakest link! Goodbye." Then it spontaneously combusted in front of the indignant woman. My day was suddenly better. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Shopping Emergency

"Thank you for calling," my coworker answered the phone, "How can I help you?"

"Yes honey, I am looking for a particular item in your store, I just need to see if you carry it and see how many you have."

"Okay Ma'am, what is this item?"

"It's a—oh, hold on a second will ya? 9-1-1 what's your emergency? Uh-huh..."


Because, you know, it's totally acceptable to call a place of business and put them on hold while you sort through your own work of saving people's lives.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Aromatic Behavior

Carefully, she placed one item on the counter. I rang it up, and she checked the price. Then she placed a second item on the counter, and watched as I rang it up. Apparently, she wasn't in a hurry, I thought as I glanced at her full shopping cart. Either this woman was very VERY concerned with her balance, or she felt the need to move at a snail's pace.

"Will you need a hand getting some of these larger items into your car?" I asked her.

"Oh. Ummm...well...that might actually be nice." She slowly replied.

Of course, I suddenly realized I didn't have a stockman available to assist her, so I lugged her items out to her shiny SUV myself. I am glad I did. When she opened the back door I discovered why she was three steps behind the world.

As the door opened the unmistakeable smell of pungent weed came rolling out of her vehicle. That was a freshly smoked party right there. I half expected to see Willie Nelson curled up in her trunk. As she left, I wondered how long it would take for her to drive home at a crawl. "Why no officer! I am just enjoying this beautiful weather! It's the perfect day to be out driving...and buying...stuff..."

Friday, February 28, 2014

Adventure Time

I am a big believer in spontaneity. I believe in living in the moment, of having adventure, and of refusing to grow old. I applaud anyone who shrugs off the frowning opinions society places on adults, and  those brave souls who live life with the joyful abandon of a child.

Having said that, if you are a thirty-something year old male who begins a dual-wielding foam sword fight with your buddy in a store, if you start exuberantly hacking and slashing and charging with abandon, working up a sweat while lunging and parrying—for the love of everyone's blood pressure don't do all that down the glass decor section. Have the decency to carry on in the children's aisle like they do.

Don't make me act all bossy and take the swords away from you. I will do it!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Psychic Feedback

As a Customer Service Manager, I tended to run into disappointed customers from time to time who just need to vent. I can understand that. If you are unhappy with something, you often need an actual person to "hear you."

Having said that, if I am dealing with craziness, I am more than happy to call a store manager to deal with the issue. They have a better pay grade, and more experience. That is precisely why I was off to the side doing some menial task why my Store Manager was standing ten feet a way listening to the woman instead of me. Though, standing off to the side listening, I found the exchange spectacularly entertaining. For nearly ten minutes she gave my manager her honest opinion about the situation.

She was only partly upset with our store policy about returns without a receipt. Granted, she wasn't entirely happy that she had been given store credit, but no—her complaint ran deeper than that. She was upset at the store's lack of professional staff.

You see, when she had sent her husband to the store to pick up items she needed for a project, and he grabbed the wrong things, we should have known it. Our employees should have asked him what he was using the products for, and known to tell him what he, or rather, she actually wanted. We should have kept him from making the wrong purchase.

If reading minds were expected of my job, I am pretty sure I would have received training at orientation day. Word of advice? Don't send your non-crafty husbands to the store for you. If you do? Save the receipt.





Friday, February 21, 2014

The Hobbits are Here?

We all have experienced it. We dislike it, and will avoid it every chance we get: Shopping with a cart that has a stubborn wheel. Sometimes, we even "test drive" a few before choosing an acceptable one. One evening, after rounding up the shopping carts, I found a particularly stubborn one. The front left wheel refused to rotate.

Well, enough was enough. I wasn't going to simply put it back with the others so that one frustrated mom, juggling three kids, a diaper-bag and merchandise had fight with it too. I was going to fix it! I climbed down and began to tinker with the wheel. That's when I found what was lodged in there—

Hair.

Long, LONG strands of copious hair completely bound the wheel. Well that must have felt pleasant. Someone is walking around with a bald patch in an unusual place.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Not a Daycare.

(Note: I wasn't going to write about this incident, because  it could have just been a mistake. Parenting is hard, and God knows everyone just needs a hand every now and then. Sometimes when we are stressed we don't make the best decisions. It wasn't until the woman called the store back I felt safe to say "Yup, you aren't playing with a full deck right now are you?" Hence this post.)

My Assistant Manager answered the phone to find a woman crying on the other end. "Oh! Can I help you?"

"I am calling to complain about your cashiers. I just left your store a few minutes ago and I did NOT feel welcomed" ,was her choked reply. "They were so rude to me!"

"I am so sorry, what happened exactly?"

"I was in the middle of my purchase, and suddenly my four year old had to go the bathroom. So I had to take her! I told the cashier we would be right back and I left."

"Well, that shouldn't have been a problem, we can suspend the transaction and pick back up right were you left off. She was rude about this?"

"Well...(snif) she said something about the babies and the shopping cart, and I just didn't appreciate it."

"Um, babies Ma'am?"

"I also have a two year old and a six month old. They were in their seats and sitting just fine. We came right back."

"So you left your children at the register?"

"Well I couldn't take the cart with me into the restroom!"

"Well—that is true, but couldn't you have take your children out of the cart and into the bathroom with you?"

"No! That car-seat is heavy and bulky. I had to leave it in the shopping cart, and someone might have stolen it if it was just sitting there."

"Okay Ma'am, I am not trying to be rude here but I need to understand you. You were afraid someone might steal a car-seat, but not your child in it? So you left two infants unattended in our store?"

The woman's tone sharpened "See? This is what I am talking about! I don't appreciate these implications!"

"I am not going to imply anything Ma'am, I am just going to tell you we are not responsible for your children. Please do not leave them unattended in our store."

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Funny Valentine

"Are you the young man who is going to help me to my car?" She asked brightly.

"Yes Ma'am, are you all set?" I replied. The store was empty, and quiet. My coworkers were frantically trying to finish their duties so they could salvage what remained of their Valentines evening.

It was hard not to stare. She was better than any character I had ever read in a book, standing there in the flesh. Her neck brace held her head rigid, so she turned her whole body to take my arm as we stepped outside the store. February was still chilly that year, and a slight breeze tugged at her ancient wool, long-coat and her hair. It was her hair that captivated me. Perhaps being somewhere in her eighties, she had no idea it was actually a fiery magenta that radiated in tight curls from the sides of her head.  Or perhaps she enjoyed it. Either way, she had been wearing it for some time as the iron grey roots underneath were clearly showing.

"You are a nice man, to help me to my car. I don't get out much anymore. HE doesn't like to. Oh but we used to go out. We went out all the time! We used to go bowling. HE doesn't like it anymore. HE just wants to sit in his big chair and mope. Well, I ain't dead yet! I want to go out. I miss dancing. I bet you think I can't dance don't ya? Do you like The Weeber?" She suddenly stopped walking and turned squarely to me.

"The Weeber? Is it...is it a dance?" I frantically began trying to think of old dances I had seen from the Golden Age of Hollywood. My grandmother had loved them. Let's see—there was the Charleston, the Big Apple, The Jive, The Jitterbug...what was the Weeber?

"No. You should know Weeber! EVERYBODY knows The Weeber. Justin Weeber?" That's when she began to screech out "Baby Baby Baby OOOOooh!" Like a robot trying to maintain its balance due to misfiring circuitry, she jolted and jerked to her song. She was going to throw a hip out. There we were, just the two of us in an empty parking lot. A woman older than my grandmother was caterwauling a pop tune and dancing all up in my business under the glowing lights above us. I suddenly realized that when I had wished for a Valentine that year—I should have been a bit more specific.


 

Note: Sometime has passed since that Valentines Day, and I have to admit one thing: When she danced I simply stood there. Granted, I was a bit dumbstruck, and slightly afraid she was going to hurt herself, but I actually opened her car door and stood there as she danced her way into her car—like an idiot.   I never saw that woman again, and I have often wondered what happened to her. Word of advice? If an ancient person suddenly breaks out in a dance, drop your absurd notion of protocol and join in. It doesn't matter if they are swinging old school, or twerking in the new, it will be an adventure. As she put it, "You ain't dead yet!"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Not to Sound Selfish, but That's Mine—Don't Touch.

It wasn't only that you stole up behind me, and reached around the chest-high wall of my register-booth to pinch my butt; It was also that you stood there laughing thinking it was funny. Seriously?

 I am glad you enjoy my store. I am glad you like me as a worker and often stop by to say hello and ask for my assistance with merchandise. I am not, however at your personal disposal. Just because I wear a name badge does not mean I am unqualified for normal human interaction. Now take your soccer-mom-goes-wild self away before I call security.

Oh wait—that would be me.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Actually, the Baby Talk was Preferable

"GooooBYAYA! WaaaAADIIIAHAHA!"

It could pass for signing I suppose. The little girl was sitting on the floor next to her mother, loudly belting out nonsensical words like only a four or five year old can properly enjoy. Mom had reached that Nervana like state where it was all background noise. She was shopping for wall art and the child was still, so therefor she didn't need to be actually paying attention.

"WaaaddaaDDDAD BEEEBEE!!!" The toddler suddenly sang loudly.

"English please." Her mother halfheartedly said from behind the stacks of posters she was immersed in.



"Haha. I WUZ tawkin Egwish!" the child said proudly, "An I said 'he has a cat on his F*%#in' head!'"

Leave it to a child.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Subtle Scissor Sister

"There is a little lady in the store—" my Assistant Manager said to me, "I want you to keep an eye on."

"Let me guess, her head is covered in a dark blue turban/shower-cap thingy, she has a denim skirt and wearing black knee-high stockings?"

"Um..yes? What did she do already?"

"Nothing, other than talking out load to nobody as she entered the store."

"Well she made a point of jumping out of the isle and starting a conversation with me. She is watching the employees."

A major indication you have a shoplifter in the store is when a person keeps watching employees. Regular shoppers are there for the merchandise, and don't make it a point to keep an eye on store personnel. A person who seems more interested in us and our movements than product is automatically suspicious.

"Look, keep working on your project here," she told me, "but try to keep an eye out for her too ok? I'll tell the others."

"Sure."

Ten minutes later I found my Assistant-Manager livid. "Well, I guess we all didn't keep a good enough eye on her. I have someone personally 'assisting her' now!"

"Something happened?"

"The scissors from the fabric desk are missing."

"Oh no."

"Oh Yes! And so are some nice chunks of fabric that have been randomly cut out of bolts." 

Friday, January 31, 2014

O's Doppelganger

"Young man, I need to ask you a question."

"Yes Ma'am?" I am not going to lie, as I turned to look at the customer, I did a double take. Her voice, the way she stood there—the resemblance was uncanny.

"I really love this sideboard, it would match my dining set perfectly. I know it's on sale, but I do see some nicks in it. Is there anyway I can get an additional discount?"

"...um..Actually Ma'am that piece is distressed intentionally. You can tell by the fact the finish on it covers all the nicks and chips in the wood."

"OH!"

"If the nicks showed raw, untreated wood underneath, then it would have been actually damaged."

"Thank you. You have been so helpful. Really. Thank you."

Now then—read this exchange again and insert Oprah Winfrey's voice for the customer. Shazaam! Instant uncanny moment at work.  That lady was channeling the Daytime Power Diva like Shirley MacLaine channels God: Badly. I really tried to be extra helpful just in case she decided to tip me with a new car. But alas, she was not the real McCoy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Above All—Shop!

I saw her answer her phone, and immediately she became agitated. She grabbed her nearly full shopping cart and wheeled it to the back of the line, frantically whispering on the phone and talking to the other shoppers at the same time. One by one, they pulled their carts to the side to allow her ahead of them, until she reached my register.

"I'm in a hurry." She said to me, then spoke into the phone "But you are ok? You are somewhere safe?"

While ringing up her purchases, I glanced back at the women lined up behind her—they all wore a uniform frown. This was interesting. I finished ringing up her purchases, and she rushed out of store with several bags, muttering uninformative "hu-uhs" and "Tsssss!"

As the next shopper began to lay her items on the counter, I smiled "Sorry about your wait there, that seemed a bit odd."

The woman sniffed. "She said her mother's apartment was on fire."

Because you know, it IS important to finish shopping first before running to family in crisis. Totally understandable.

Vive la Revolution!

"Excuse me sir, where are your guillotine kits?"

Now that was a sure fire way to grab my attention. "I'm sorry, where are my what?"

"Guillotine kits? You know, like what they used to execute people during the French Revolution? It's sort of shaped like..." and with that he began to roughly describe the shape and function of the guillotine.

"Yes, I know what the guillotine is, but I am sorry we don't carry that here."

"Well I was told you did!"

"Umm..well I can show you are science and model section where you can see the product we do have, but I don't have any guillotines."

"Well if you don't carry one, how should I go about making one?"

I was getting a bit nervous by this point. "I—don't really know that we have anything that big and sharp..."

"Oh I don't need anything with a blade sharp enough to cut, I just need it to look and act like a real one."

"Is this for a play?"

"Nope! I just want one."

It was at that point, I strongly began to suspect his last name was Addams.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pardon Me, I Think You Dropped Your Humanity.

"I am so sorry for you." I said to my co-worker.

"I just want this day to be over!" She replied, "It wasn't a fun moment, that's for sure."

"Please—please tell me someone brought their dog into the store."

"No animals came in today. I thought it was some crumpled up rubbish until I kicked it out of my way. Nope—it was poop."

We all have done things we are not proud of. It's true. However, if you squat down and poop in the middle of the store instead of actually walking to the restroom—you have reached a new low.

We actually have restrooms in the store. We even clean them! Why not use them? It's just a thought.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pardon the Avalanche

It was Truck Day. Truck day means boxes to be opened, product to be sorted, items to be priced, and shelves to be stocked—on top of all your regular job requirements.

Someone had precariously stacked a pile of merchandise on the sales floor, and a box began to slid off the top, which of course started a mini avalanche. My manager caught it with one hand and began to steady a second one from falling. I grabbed a third, and a fourth, while a third co-worker jumped into the fray, trying to re-stack the boxes that were attempting to rain on our heads.

That was the moment she chose to address us.

"Excuse me, I noticed this item doesn't have a price, could you check it for me?"

"Yes..um.. just a minute Ma'am." I grunted from underneath a few boxes that far heavier than they looked. Another box seemed to leap off the top and my Manager and I both began juggling our escaping product, trying to keep it from smashing on the floor.

"Excuse me" She began again "could you just stop what you are doing and give me a price?"

I looked at her from underneath a pile of boxes. "It's going to be just a second Ma'am."

Believe it or not, if I could just suspend boxes in midair I totally would. Though I think I might try to get a job in a circus instead of dealing with impatient people.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Mr. Bones

"Is your head shaved?"

I looked up from the register and checked the man's eyes. Yup, they seemed fully functional as he was staring at my cleanly shaved scalp.

"Yes, it is."

"Mr. Bones! Mr. Bones!" He immediately began to chant in a sing song voice, "That's what I am going to call you from now on. Mr. Bones! Mr. Bones!"

He continued to sing that until left the store. Delightful.