Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Get a mint

-I had someone ask for a biscuit knife.  What the heck is a biscuit knife.  Biscuits seems like one food where any old knife will work for cutting.  But who knows?  I could be missing some enriched biscuit experience. (doubt it though).

-Real customer quote: "Will we ever find a cheese cutter??  It is this ongoing problem!"

-It is usually amusing to overhear the kind of customer that discovered everything first.  I call it the Naysayer-Trendsetter Routine.  The customer walks around and, often quite vocally, puts everything down.  Then they talk about they had it first like 7 years ago and now it is EVERYWHERE. 

-Sometimes I don't understand how people can't find things.  Do they lack the ability to go to a store and read and use their eyes?  Do they not know how to turn on a computer and type in the thing they want?  Do they find phone books and alphabets truly impossible?  Or are they just LAZY?

-If you have bad breath, go to a dentist.  Work on it because it's a problem.  I know there are a lot of people that probably can't afford fancy shit like dentistry, but they aren't my customers; I'm selling people $300 soup pots and $10,000 sofas.  Chew some gum, suck a mint, eat some parsley, and take a step back.  Please do not get in my personal space and sigh in my fucking face.  Your death breath is gross and distracting and makes me dry heave.  Thank you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It takes 43 muscles to frown

Yesterday I was extremely cheerful and peppy and many of my co-workers were also in disgustingly good moods.  The customers, however, were not.  There are always a few curmudgeons, but nearly everyone I had contact with yesterday was grumpy and negative and foul.  I wrote a little note on a piece of paper:

"Everyone today is SO grumpy and negative."

I showed it discreetly to my co-worker in between customers.  She smiled and nodded in agreement.  After we closed the doors at the end of the day, we felt beat down.  Are we the only happy people in the world?  What the hell is up with all the grumpypants?

Some theories included a full moon (though I have since looked and the moon is not full; it is a waning cresent.  you know how crazy people get when there is a waning cresent moon.) and the parade happening a few blocks away.   

Lighten up people.  Your stress is killing you.  And you are stressing out over baskets, coffee makers, and house warming gifts for people you don't even like.  Therefore, it is like you are being killed slowly by baskets, coffee makers, and house warming gifts.  Embarrassing!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

call me, f*ck you

Among all the phone calls I made today, I had two in which the customers, at the time they gave me their numbers, claimed to be extremely eager to hear back from me.  Please imagine my annoyance when these two very important phone calls were not only unanswered, but denied voice mail.  There was this cute little message "this very important person is unavailable.  please try your call again later."  I mean, I live to serve.  I probably have nothing better to do than to call these people until they decide to pick up.

tales from the other side (of the counter)

I was at one of those stores that buys used clothes for cash or trade.  I had one modest bag of shoes that I was pretty confident they would accept.  There was quite the line-up when I arrived.  Sometimes when this happens, I shop and then go back to the line; this time around, I didn't want to take the chance that someone would come in with a bunch of stuff and take what could have been my place.

There was one guy with a garbage bag of clothes at the counter, a girl with a small bag behind him, followed by two college kids with paper shopping bags which did not appear to be holding much because there was no bulge.  Then there was me, playing Tetris on my phone.

The girls working got through the garbage bag of clothes, at which point they start going through another of his garbage bags.  Dude had 5 garbage bags of clothes.  FIVE.   I am repeating "garbage bags" for a reason; his clothes sucked.  I overheard him saying how his wife had cleaned out the closet and these were all the clothes.  They didn't bother to sort them at all, which I think is rude.  Do you actually think anyone is going to want to buy your gross, worn out, outdated clothing?  One of the girls actually made a yuk face when she grabbed a pile of dingy cropped camisoles.  I could see the old skin and sweat from my place in line.

The college boys left when the multiple garbage bags were revealed.  Yes!  I moved up a level.

While I was in line, another guy came in and took his place behind me.  He had EIGHT garbage bags.  I love having my choices validated.

Monday, May 23, 2011

there are a lot of ways to say "you're wrong"

I wouldn't mind if today passed without any customers claiming that they purchased an item at our store when they could not have because we never carried it.  From what I have learned, this is a common occurrence, not just for me, but for stores and clerks everywhere.  I have written about it before.  It is an annoying situation to navigate.  When the customer is insistent and refuses to back down gracefully, the clerk is basically forced to tell them that they are wrong, without doing so of course. 

I don't like to do it.  Please don't make me do it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cutting board innovation

Look at this cute wine bottle shaped cutting board!
which can double as a paddle!
Spank you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh fuck it. I'm happy.

I got paid today so I decided to take myself out for lunch at one of my favorite places.  I recently met the girl that was working and we chatted a little about our respective jobs.  She asked me if I liked my job and I said, honestly, "I do.  I probably shouldn't, but I do" and then gave three reasons why.

So often I feel guilty about liking my job.  I feel I am supposed to be aspiring to be something "better," better being something with more money, prestige, responsibility.  Somehow I am losing by being content. 

There are a lot of things I could use that my job doesn't provide, but I don't know if it would necessarily be an improvement.  Sure, I could use more money, but more money isn't going to solve any unhealthy relationships I have with it.  Health insurance would be nice, but I'm not even going to get into that.  I used to think that my job didn't provide me with enough respect, but I am finding that respect can be gained and propagated by giving it to myself.

There are only so many days I have and I don't want to spend them being unhappy and thinking I will have this magic perfect life someday.  My life is pretty fucking great and I'm thankful.  Fellow clerks:  when you are feeling sad or down, think of the good things in your life.  Don't let stress and sorrow kill you.  Be a little fucking pollyanna ray of sunshine and at least a couple of fools will appreciate and smile with you.  And the grouchy judgey assholes can flip off.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the crappy American

Some customers are truly childish enough to interrupt and get fussy when they should know to wait their turn.  I was ringing up a woman today in my normal brisk yet unrushed pace when another customer went to another register and started talking to me even though I was already talking to the first customer.  I told the interrupter that I would be with her in a moment.  Then I looked at the customer I was helping, hoping to make an unspoken connection.  "This is crazy right?  I actually have to tell her to wait her turn.  Some people!"  But there was nothing.  I'll be nice and assume she was being polite.

After I rang up Interrupting Cow*, she bumped into one of her friends and they spoke for about 20 about IC's travels, both past and upcoming.  Friend asked IC if she could pick her up a souvenir in Norway.  IC then spent several minutes describing all of her travel trinkets and how she has them displayed in her home.  Now, of course I would like to travel more than I do and so my next few sentences might sound like jealous clerkspeak, but I promise you it's not.  IC was so unpleasant.  The idea that she is traveling the world, telling everyone where she is from, being horrible to foreign clerks pissed me off.  Dear world, this crappy American doesn't represent me or many of my compatriots. 

*Every time a customer interrupts, my mind plays through that knockknock joke:
Knock Knock Who's There?
Interrupting Cow
Interrupting Cow wh... Moo!!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

theme of the week

Primary colors don't make them less suggestive.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oil, mister!

The new oil misters are here!  With a stainless ribbed casing for improved grip should there be any drizzles!  All we need to learn now is where to insert the batteries.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I don't know if the internet is big enough to hold the weirdness I experienced today

Sometimes I forget that there are a lot of different realities.  For example, I think it would be obvious that if something is being custom made, it will probably take longer to make than something which is not.  There are people, though, that have things custom made and do not see it that way.  That person might tell me how easy it should be to make their custom piece, even though they have no experience or knowledge in the making of these items. 

And sometimes people have ideas about how a thing should be, despite written and photographic proof that they are wrong, like thinking a double boiler gadget should come with a lid, even when the picture on the box shows it without a lid and I call the company that made the product to check that there was no included lid.  When we look at the box together, a delusional person might say, "See!  A lid!"  and all I see is a picture of a double boiler full of melted chocolate because that is the subject of the photograph. 

I bet it is terrifying to work at the Department of Licensing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No housewife should be without this brush!

With its long handle for control, accommodating bristles, and curved bulb tip, this is the perfect tool for any dirty vessel or hard-to-reach area!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

a collective "fuck that shit"

I know your grandparents are mad at me. I don't count back change. I see what the computer tells me to give, mentally assure myself that it's right, and hand it to the customer in an orderly fashion. I do count the bills so we all see that I did give you three $20 bills and not two, but I don't do that whole counting forwards bullshit. That was the past, in a cold dark time before machines did math for me.

I am not alone. I don't remember the last time someone counted back my change and I am thrilled because, if no one else is doing it, I'm not going to feel guilty.

High five, my fellow clerks! Old lady at Target, kids at the drugstore, volunteers at my thrift stores, and self check out at the grocery store! One less oppressive chore!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

mutha's day

I know it's my job to help people find gifts, but I get so sad and distracted when people ask for help finding gifts for the following:

1) mother-in-law who has EVERYTHING, is wealthy, is moving, is picky, and is diabetic. Maybe she just needs some flowers and a card?

2) best friend. You just said she is your BEST FRIEND. Shouldn't you know what to get her?

3) daughter or daughter -in-law. This is hard, especially for mother's day and especially when you start to describe her parenting style and tell me that she is very specific. This makes me think that nothing you will pick will be right anyway, so why put too much thought into it?

4)Grandmother in a nursing home. With dementia. Maybe she needs a hug and not a dustcatcher? Sending her a trinket is not the same as your feeling your touch and hearing your voice.

Or maybe everyone needs some nice soaps and bath oils.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Harmless and satisfying: just my style

Every once in awhile, when a customer has been horrible and then has me hold or store merchandise for them, I might rub it on my butt. Over the pants, on the cheeks, like what a chair sees when you approach. I get giggles thinking about how much this amuses me. Then, when I hand it to the customer later, I think "I rubbed that on my butt."

Immature, perhaps, but I don't care!