Sunday, August 22, 2004


It's about time I rant about retail. I've done it oh-so little.


Sometimes, stores close. This unfortunate calamity, in fact, happens every EVERY store...except for, perhaps, your local Kroger.

When stores close, it's not the employees' faults.

We, the employees, do not choose when we are open and when we are closed. If we could, we would, but we can't.

So, please. Do the employee a favor... Don't throw slut-phrases around like:

"Weeeehlp, mah daughtah an' I travel ah who' hour tah get 'ere. Y'all didn't make yer announcement thatchy'all were closin' like y'always do."

Well, ma'am, I'm sorry. We do close at six.

(NOTE: there is NO announcement, nor has there ever been one. I'd gladly get on a loudspeaker and tell people to "Kindly make your final (damn) purchases and make your way (haul some freaking ass up) to buy your items (shit).")

"Weeeeeehl, that geeeeeeerhhhllll back dere in y'all's fittin' room done said mah daughtah can't try her clothes on."

Well, ma'am since we do close at six, we can't let anyone back after closing since the registers will close. And you have the option of returning all your items and receiving the full price for which you paid them, should you keep your receipt during the 90 day return period.

(NOTE: "the registers will close:" A white lie told to all customers. The registers cannot actually be closed until the last customer leaves the store and the doors are locked behind him and/or her. Don't believe retailers who tell you that load of crap.)

"Weeeeeeehl, none of this 'ere clothin' will prolly fit mah daughtah. An' we all live an hour away from this 'ere Old Navy."

Well, ma'am, I'm sorry (you live out in the middle of nowhere and) our store is inconveniently placed (in this suburban shopping center. God knows that it's never ever shopped at ALL and we constantly get complaints about how its location directly between Best Buy and Barnes and Noble marks its desolate position.)


Location: That inconveniently-placed Old Navy

Day and time: Sunday, 6:15-6:35 pm

Regular closing time on said day: 6 pm.

Number of customers still in said location: 1

Location of said customer: Register 6

Time said customer has spent at said register: 20 minutes

Brief transaction description:

--customer began transaction, requesting use of expired coupon

--customer said she did not need gift receipts

--after half of transaction is rung up, customer requests gift receipts for certain previously rung items

--customer requests cashier's assistance: "What size would a girl who looks like she's 30 in the face, 12 in the body, but she's 16, wear?"

--customer returns to store floor to grab new sizes in girl's size based on cashier's compromise suggestion of a size 14, since the girls' department does not carry a size 30, and clothing sizing is never based on faces.

--customer returns with new items, changes mind on some as they are rung up

--customer comments that she does not, in fact, know her own son's size, asks cashier if she would know

--cashier responds, surprisingly, that she does not know the customer's son's size

--customer's cell phone (with loud annoying song) rings at approximately 6:30, mystery-size son calling

--customer asks son following questions: "What size do you wear? I already chose a bunch."..."What's your favorite color denim, the one blue or the other blue?"..."Does Sissy like pants?"

--when transaction is totaled, customer attempts to use expired coupon again

--cashier takes coupon, throws it away

--6:35, customer leaves


Character description: The BAD PARENT, (usually accompanied by one to three BAD CHILDREN)

-BAD PARENT is male or female, usually parent to young BAD CHILDREN

-Most likely, BAD PARENT is dressed very nicely, while his and/or her BAD CHILD is dressed in rags

-Discipline for BAD PARENT involves combat and/or screaming

-Misbehavior from BAD CHILD involves combat and/or screaming

Sample scene 1:

OLD NAVY CASHIER: Hi, ma'am! Did you find everything you needed today?

BAD PARENT (not listening to ONC, yells at son, age 8): Joey!! Get your butt over here or else we're not having dinner tonight!

JOEY (enters from stage left): MOOOOOM!!!!! You SAID I could get a DOG BONE! I WAAAAAANT a dog bone!!!! YOU SAID!

BP: Shut your mouth, Joey! THAT'S IT!! You're done!!!

ONC (while ringing last item): And is that it for you today, ma'am? Did you want to open an Old Navy Account and save ten percent on this and your next purchase?

BP: Shit. No. Yeah, that's it. No credit cards for me, thanks. (pauses, watching son who is currently sticking hangers in electric outlets and kicking over piles of clothing) JOEY!!! Get over here NOW.



Sample scene 2:

PREGNANT BP stands in line at register with shopping cart in front of her. Her three-week old INFANT/NOT-YET RUINED CHILD is in the built-in car seat of the shopping cart. Her BAD CHILD/TODDLER is running around the front display, grabbing shirts and throwing them.

PREGNANT BP is distracted by ONC and turns back on both INFANT and TODDLER.

TODDLER runs around display twice, then at cart, jumps on end of cart, sending cart tipping over on its end, pinning TODDLER underneath and sending INFANT sailing six feet in air and landing on head on concrete floor.


Now then. I'd, unfortunately, be lying if I said any of the above wasn't true. So I just would like to make a plea.

I know you're the customer. You come first. We all do because we're all customers.

But please.

Take pity on the poor salesperson, who hath giveth his soul to the dark demon of Retail. He knoweth not what he does and what dark lord he serveth. Easeth his suffering with quick responses, a kind smile in return to the one giveth to you, and every once in a while, openeth a credit card account. He will feeleth your mercy.

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