Thursday, October 28, 2010


My friend found this book from the 1940's. It was sort of "Everything you need to know about retail." I took a picture of the illustration in the front.


That pretty much says it all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The carbon footprint of candycanes

It's Christmas time again and we are getting in the candy canes! my least favorite of all the holiday candy because they use so much packaging and they are mind-blowingly wasteful. Each 14"x9"x12" cardboard box that the canes come in holds 36 candy canes. They arrive nestled in that plastic wrapped foam that is blown into a box around the contents. Any canes that arrive broken are immediately put into stockloss. Usually we break these up for sampling. The candy canes will be hung up in displays throughout the store. If they break, customers will not want them and they will be stocklossed. When customers purchase them, we wrap them in paper in hopes that they reach their destination whole; broken candy canes will ruin Christmas.


Love in the aisles

Everyday I am surrounded by people in love. It is different than seeing strangers on the street. I see people shopping together, planning for a home together or sometimes just a meal. I hear snippets of their conversations, giggles and compromises. Sometimes they are people I know from my community (oh, THEY are together now, hmm???) and sometimes they are couples that feel a little more romantic when they are visiting from out of town.

I caught this attractive couple making out in the Halloween section last week. They were liplocked and assgrabbing and didn't notice me right away. Not that I stood there watching; I saw what they were up to, did a 90 degree pivot, and started straightening the merchandise in front of me, eyes focused on the napkins and glitter pumpkins.

PDAs can be almost cute, but they can also be fucking gross. The incident that sticks in my mind is the couple that was whispering and rubbing each other on a sofa. Apparently they were making their final decision to buy it because a few minutes later, they had me order them that sofa (but in a different fabric). All I could think about was how they probably couldn't wait to hump on their new sofa.

Love. Eeww.

Friday, October 8, 2010


A lot of our customers use credit cards, specifically reward-earning cards. They talk about their points. One customer encouraged her husband to pay for their sofa with his card because he was "low on points."

Occasionally someone will pay cash for a large purchase, but this seems like an outdated payment method. If you are really someone, you will be working on racking up your points.

It's like a game!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weekly highlights!

- I do not like it when Canadian customers expect me to know what sort of taxes, duties, and fees they may have to pay at the border. I kind of feel like this is not my problem. I will say that I USED to try to keep up on what could and couldn't go, what got taxed for what reasons and so on. But that shit changes and I have a lot of other information with which to fill my mind. Also, people ask me to do sneaky things, like ringing up items on separate invoices so that it looks like they bought less. My thought on it now is this: if you are entering a foreign country, the crap you are bringing in is your responsibility, not the poor clerk that sold it to you.

- I had a customer call the other day and ask if we had the "traditional gift for an 8th wedding anniversary." I asked what that was, because, whatever the traditional gift might be, I was sure this woman was going to ask for something crazy. And she did. "You know, a sculpture of a man and woman, embraced in a figure 8." She was SHOCKED that she could not find this item anywhere.

- I was helping a customer the other day while she looked for a curio cabinet. She was appalled that none of them came with lights.

- The other day I was working with this customer for awhile picking out knives. He ended up buying 4 and he seemed quite happy with his purchases. How do I know this? Because he shook my hand at the end of the transaction. And in a good way. That was a good day.

Friday, October 1, 2010


It is inevitable that when you work a customer service job, where you touch the moneys and talk to people, you will have a deal with a grifter once in a while. I have no patience for these people.

The novice clerk is quickly confused and a grifter's dream. Their grifter tricks (switching bills, making claims, tandems, demands) throw a new clerk into The Customer Is Always Right mode and they give them the $20 bill because, surely, they, the clerk, made the error and they don't want to anger the precious customer.

The seasoned clerk knows these tricks and is not intimidated. How dare they endanger my job by trying to trick me out of 20 bucks! Or whatever amount. Fcuk off grifter. You say you gave me a fifty?? I say you gave me a 10. (This grifter trick is especially juicy if there are none of the bills they claim in the till). You don't believe me? Well, I will call the accountant down to count the till and she will compare it with the days sales. And I doubt you have the guts to stay for that truth session.

I don't believe that anyone should be taken advantage of or robbed or milked, but the people that rip off stores via the clerks til are especially low. You don't want to piss them off. I remember faces and I will tell everyone what you do.