People continue to amaze me with just how incredibly stupid they are. And it's not just the store I work in. BossLady has the same problem where she works.
The company I work for has a very well known and very popular sale. When we run this sale, there is usually a ton of advertising and all kinds of signs up in the store. You can't miss it. We send out notices to people on the mailing lists, there's the TV spots, the fliers in the paper and mail. It is the current promotion we are running.
This leads to the most recent edition of stupid people doing what stupid people do best: being STUPID!
As I said, we have a ton of signage up telling what our current promo is. Our associates are instructed to tell people about it in the aisle and as they walk in the door, per company policy. By my count, there are somewhere around 40 signs in my store telling about the promo, including the big, bright 3'X5' sign in the window next to the front door.
I was asked if we are running said promotion today no less than 25 times.
What's worse: they seriously had no clue we are running the promo!
Maybe it's time these people see an eye doctor.
I mean, it's like going to a coffee shop and asking where you can get a cup of coffee.
BossLady says she gets the same thing at the store she works at for their major promotion as well, so I know this one isn't just me.
Of course, we had our fun collection of people today. The usual screaming heathen heebeejeebees. What was odd was the mother who wanted to go postal on her own kids. Wow, that's a bit of, well, don't have kids.
It was also fun watching the kid who I had asked to stop running in the store run head on into the front door, and then bust out crying because it hurt! (go figure on that one.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In other things, BossLady and I spent Thursday in San Diego at SeaWorld. We're geeks for theme parks, and while SeaWorld is the tops, it is a nice diversion. The hard part was keeping BossLady from trying to take every animal home. I told her the only whale she could bring home was me.
Seriously, if you are there, check out the Shamu Rocks show. (NOT Shamu's Rocks. That would be gross. And kinky. Chuck it, it's just straight perverted.) Pretty cool. None of the usual "save the whales" speeches or conservationism. Just straight LOUD music and orca's flipping out. Fun stuff.
I am also seeking last minute idea's for Mom's birthday. She is retired Marine Corps, and BossLady and I already have one item for her, USMC related. And I am taking her to dinner. But I am at a loss for other ideas. Any help? Only 5 days to go....
And speaking of ideas.... I only have 45 days till BossLady turns 21. Vegas has been ruled out (her freakin' grandmother is taking her!), so I am open to other suggestions. I have a couple of ideas in the works, but something good to ice it would be great.
Yeah, I like to plan these things out. Remind me to tell you what I did to BossLady last year for her birthday. I can't top it, and I will never live it down!
I hate kids. More specifically, I hate parents who don't control there offspring.
Today I had the full spectrum of these mini-human beings (terms used loosely... you can't prove to me some of these crazy heebeejeebees are human) at my store.
The day actually started quite well. A mother came in with two boys, one about 10 and the other about 3 years younger. Both boys were quiet (IE not constantly screaming at mom) and respectful to the people around them. They (amazingly enough in this day and age) had manners. Things like "please", "no, Ma'am" and "thank you" were a regular part of their vocabulary. They really amazed me when, after their mother paid for their items, they came to her and said "thank you, Mom" and they meant it! I made it a point to tell her how great it was to see that, and that I hoped that these two fine young men came back to my store. Mom was obviously overjoyed to hear that.
That's the good stuff. I wish it was more common, but it's not. What I got next, unfortunately, is the norm.
A mother and her three kids came into the store today when it was rather busy. The kids ranged anywhere from early teens (the daughter), to about 4 years old. The oldest boy was about ten. This family was in my store for almost two hours. It's not a big store. I had no where to hide.
The daughter started by asking where her sized merchandise was and dove into it with typical teenage glee.
The boys went ape-shit.
They started by grabbing anything they could touch. They opened everything. If it was on a peg, they took it off the peg and left it on the floor. And they took the peg and threw it like a dagger. They ripped open sealed packages. They broke the ties on certain items. They used other items like dusters (even though they are not meant for anything like that). They started pounding on my credit card pad. They got behind the counter and started dumping our supplies all over the floor. They got into the trash and started emptying that.
Now that they were warmed up, they started running in the store. It was an all-out game of tag, and when you got caught, you got punched. If you got caught and you weren't playing, you got punched. They tripped over other customers (and there were many). They were screaming the entire time. MM and I were doing everything we could to stop them. No luck.
The Mother wasn't doing anything to stop these hooligans. The boys went nuts. They got mad if they got asked to stop by us. The mother didn't say a word. Other customers were joining in, trying to tame these raving rabid twits. Nothing worked.
I lost it all after I was measuring the youngest child and the middle child grabbed my shoulders and started using me as an obstacle for his game. He was pushing my shoulders, grabbing what little hair I have left, punching my back, and kicking my feet. As I looked up at the mother to tell her what size shoe her son wore, the middle heathen literally screamed in my left ear. He was one inch from it at the time. I just looked at the mother and said if this behavior continued, I would ask them to leave as they were disrupting my store for other customers and they were not being safe. They were also a hazard to my health.
I went in back and punched a wall.
I came back out to find the eldest boy hanging from the door. It's a glass door and not designed to support any weight, particularly not the tonnage this overweight fart was carrying. I just looked at the mother and said "do I need to call the police?"
They finally made their selections, and the mother had the gall to ask me to give her a discount!
What planet are people like this from???
And my mother wonders why she will never get grand kids out of me.
BossLady was making fun of me since we had taken a road trip and I bombed the car. (I got revenge on another trip, but that's another story... she so does like to one-up me.) So being the smart-ass that I can be, I decided to run with it.
I was coming home from work one day, and sent her a text message. "Just killed a bunny" it read. She asked what I had I done, made road-pizza? I said no, but that I had rolled the windows down and had a serious need of fresh air. Since then, it's bunny-time or killing a bunny or squishing the rabbit.
Today at work, I was at the register counter updating the books when E5 was ringing up a customer when I noticed a rather rank smell. My first thought was, "well, for once it wasn't me" followed quickly by "DAMN!, E5, warn a guy!". I quietly turned to him and said, "did you just die on me?". He glared at me, and finished with the customer, a middle-aged woman. The woman looked at me with a strange glare that I thought nothing of, then quickly ran for the door. E5 just looked at me and asked what I meant by him dying. I asked him if he cut loose. He said no, he thought it was me. Nope. We both then realized that the reason that woman made a speedy exit was because she absolutely BOMBED us! And it was NAAAASSSSSTTTYYYY.
So, as I scrambled for breathable air, I got to thinking about all the ways we talk about farting.
There's the Southern Style (blame the kids). There's the Texas Style (blame the dog). There's the Ozark Style (brag about it). There's Los Angeles Style (blame smog). There's San Fransisco Style (blame the fog or your boyfriends). There's New York Style (blame New Jersey. You gotta problem with that?) There's Washington DC Style (form an action committee to study the problem, the environmental impact studies, forms in triplicate sent to the House of Representatives, passed, sent to the Senate, passed, vetoed by the President, reworked in Congress, recommended by the State department and finally signed into law before being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court). There's Seattle Style (grab a coffee and celebrate nature). There's Chinese Style (What fart? No fart here. Move along). There's French Style (run up the Brown flag and surrender). There's British Style (Have a spot of tea with that, chap?). There's NASA Style (Houston, we have liftoff). There's Florida Style (which of you old farts just died. Seriously). There's Mississippi Style (Slow, wet and brown). There's Shakespeare Style (full of sound and fury, but ultimately, smelling nothing). There's Wisconsin Style (man, that's some SERIOUS cheese). There's Airport Style (better check your bags after that one, sir). and finally... Jack the Ripper (no explanation needed).
I'd say more, but I need to go talk to the porcelain deity about this bunny issue I had today.
Every so often, someone comes along in your retail career that turns your world around.
I have always made a light-hearted joke to a new crew when starting a new job, just to break the ice and let them know I don't take myself too seriously. I am here to do a job, and I intend to get it done, but I am going to have fun doing it. The statement usually gets a few strange looks, a laugh, and a few smiles to let people know I appreciate a little humor.
Imagine my horror when that joke got turned on me!
"We will get along just fine once you realize that I am God. Thank God for Athiests!"
I had been working for a retailer in San Jose, CA for a little less than a year when I was transferred to the Fremont, CA store. It was a bittersweet move for me. For one thing, my commute was being cut from 25 miles (which, in the Bay Area, means about 2 hours) to 3 miles (and NO FREEWAYS!). But I was replacing a good friend, MDC, who was leaving the company.
One thing about transfers. They are always more fun than leaving a company. You are leaving friends, but there is still opportunity to interact with them as you go about business. And it's a new horizon and usually, a vote of confidence from the higher-higher than you are a capable person. So I looked to this as a great chance to improve my quality of life.
I had to stop by the new store the night before I started there so I could get my password and key. In doing so, MDC was there and asked me to join the going-away party his team was throwing that night. I said I would be there.
The party was down the road at City Beach, a sports club/restaurant. I arrived, had a drink and waited for everyone to show up. Finally they rolled in, about 10 people. Finally, MDC walked in, and I bought him a round.
MDC and I sat around talking as people started shooting pool, playing video games or just horsing around. I asked him what I was getting into, since I was going from one of the highest volume stores in our district to one of the lowest. He said I was joining a cast of real personalities, and that they were more concerned about me than I was them.
"So, do I break out the God-Line?" I asked him.
"Sure, but don't be surprised if it turns on you" was his smirking reply.
Finally, everyone got buzzed enough to let the barriers fall, and started asking me questions. Several people were there, mostly young, but one older woman. Everyone was fun and laughing until LittleBigWoman asked the dreaded question.
"What are you like to work with?", she asked.
I swallowed the last of my drink, faced everyone, who had gotten deadly silent, and dropped the line. From off to the side, I got a sarcastic comeback. "Well, I must be the mother of god since I am way older than you, Junior".
I had just met the woman everyone called Grandma. She was easily the oldest person in the store, and could quite literally be their grandmother. I told her she wasn't old enough to be my grandmother, so Mother was a possibility.
Imagine my fun the next day when I learned that she was assigned to work my quadrant of the store.
Grandma and I developed a healthy respect and friendship at work. We were always joking and keeping it light during our time together. In time, I did look to her as a resource and pseudo-mother figure. I took to calling her Mum, and she would call me Junior. We must have developed some respect. She followed me to my next company when I landed back in Fremont.
Two stories from this company stand out to me about her.
We were having a corporate visit one day, and while I don't recall who it was, I know they were way higher than the standard DM or RM visit. During the walkthru, there is a page on the intercom, "Junior to the front, please, for return. Junior to the front." My boss, the Dog, was wondering just who was being paged. "We don't have a Junior, do we?" he asked. The DM was just as confused as she prided herself on knowing everyone. I quickly replied that it was me, and that I would be right back. I walked off to dazed and confused suits trying to hide my laughter. Apparently, Mum decided I needed a breather, so got me out of the walkthru for a few.
Another time, we were working in the Back To School section, helping a young lady who was getting a collection for her freshman dorm at Fresno State. We had spent some time looking for just the right things when I saw Mum walk by. So I called out, "Mum, what do you think of this?". She looked and said she thought there was a better option and would be right back, telling me, "Keep the young lady happy while I look, Junior". I spent the next 15 minutes explaining to the girl's mother that Mum was not my true mother (inside jokes are the best!) and that I did not have any sexual designs on her daughter, even though she was cute.
Over our time working together, Mum became one of my closest friends. Everytime I go home to the Bay Area, I make it a point to see her. She became a key part of BossLady's life as well, as the two got to work together with me at one time. (If you haven't figured out, BossLady is my better half). When BossLady wanted a kitten, Mum delivered (that is a story in and of itself). When I had surgery on my arm, she insisted on running me to the hospital and taking me home.
It's truly funny how you find the best people in the worst situations. I don't look back at my time in that company with any fondness. But The Mother of God, well, she put me in my place and will always be an idol to me.
I graduated from Woodbridge Senior High School in Woodbridge, VA in 1989, and from St Mary's College of California (Cum Laude) in 1994). I am a long time retail veteran trying to find the lighter side of the stupid stuff people do in stores. Stick around, and I can train you how to be the IDEAL customer!