Friday, November 17, 2006

I Do Not Miss Retail

Yesterday I remembered quite clearly how very thankful I am to be free of being a retail drone. I was in a party supply store and already Christmas music was pumping out of the loud speakers while an inflatable snowman dwarfed the entryway. Aisle upon aisle Christmas puked its holiday cheer all over Pilgrim napkins and turkey centerpieces. It was all just a bit too much to take. How do retail workers have any holiday spirit left after endless days spent listening to "Holly Jolly Christmas" and dealing with rushed, bitchyass, rude cell phone talking customers? I'd want to slit my wrists. In fact, I've been there.

I worked for a couple of years at Michaels Arts & Crafts. This was back in the day when they didn't have scanners at the registers. We're talking old school retail, you know, like back in the 1990's when life was so much simpler. If you are familiar with Michaels then you likely are aware of the multiple page sale ads that are included in the Sunday paper. Within those pages are items ranging in size, shape, purpose and cost. Packages of beads, skeens of yarn, dried eucalyptus, paint brushes, scrapbooking stickers, miniscule rhinestone studs, Barney plates, fake ficus trees, wicker baskets and picture frames all fill the pages with their discounted prices. And we, as the trusty cashiers, were given the ad generally the same morning of the sale. The SAME morning. Without scanners at our registers. Try remembering all those sale items while you have a line down aisle 5 of plump women in home-made iron on shirts with bears or koalas on it, their carts overflowing and their attitudes getting worse by the minute. The joy! Worse yet? As Head Cashier I had the distinct pleasure of appeasing all the irate crafters when one of the cashiers would "forget" something was on sale and charge them full price. Forget? We weren't robots! By the time the sale was over, I'd have memorized it but no way did I know it 60 minutes after having received it.

Multiply this scenario with the holiday season, add some bahumbug and carry the one and there you have Hell.

I'm going to try my best to be extra nice to the cashiers this seasons for the mere fact that I am so bloody grateful I am not them.

14 comments:

justrungirl said...

I worked in retail for about five months. It is not for the feint of heart, that's for sure. I worked in clothing and, let me tell you, you would not BELIEVE what people will do to fitting rooms. G-A-G!

I am always nice to fitting room attendants because of that.

alissa said...

I worked at the Gap for a while and I HATED Christmas. I'm so glad I quit retail and found my Christmas cheer once more.

Bob Merrick said...

As I continue to pour love into my home and update my decor, I sadly wish you were still working there. Those really were the days! Hey! Didn't Jenny work there first and get you the job there?

hotpinksox said...

. . . . carry the one and there you have Hell. LOL!!!! That is the funniest thing I have ever heard! And I will be stealing this phrase and using it from this day forth.

Ms. Sizzle you rock my world!

Jenny said...

You had to bring up Christmas at Michaels ;)
Oh those were the days... and nights and days...
We did have some fun, didn't we?
I rememeber you had given notice and it was one of your last days, I am sure it was a Sunday. Some customer got pissy with you...and you just let it out. Years of retail frustration just poured out from your mouth and I smiled, secretly wishing I could do it too. It was a beautiful moment.

Alison said...

Our Michael's is hiring. I thought of applying for a job there. For about 30 seconds.

Rhea said...

There was an F.A.O. Schwartz toy store here in Boston that played the same theme song in the store over and over and over and over again. I don't know how the employees didn't just shrivel up and die on the spot.

Rabbit said...

I worked retail for a year. My heart bleeds for those people on the day after Thanksgiving. That's the day you want to call in dead.

whoorl said...

My first job out of college was an assistant manager at Ann Taylor. My feet are jacked to this day from standing in heels everyday for 8-10 hours.

Melissa said...

3 years of retail and as god as my witness I will never do that shit again. That's how I perfected the eye brow arch and the shut-up-and-let-the-smart-people-talk stare.

Mr_Rodacre said...

I don't miss retail either. Though I did work one Christmas as an overnight stock person at the local K-Mart. The hour that I was there with customers still in the store was the worst. Everything else was awesome - I got to open all the new boxes of stuff first... we borrowed boomboxes from electronics and put away stock with no customers to annoy us!

It was kinda like the movie Mannequin... except with more people... and no Kim Cattrall...

Bone said...

"...women in home-made iron on shirts with bears or koalas on it..."

LOL So women wear those kinds of things out west, too, huh? I always wondered.

Why do some people seem to make it their goal in life to make everyone else's life as miserable as possible? I've never understood that.

Chickadee said...

OMG, you worked at Michaels??? Ohhhhh the agony. I work at a small retail shop...not fun. Right now the bosses are just as crabby, if not crabbier than the customers who come in.

I hope I can get out of retail soon...I don't like it much.

I'm back by the way! Our computer server crashed and since my blog was on the server, it crashed too. I lost all of my stuff but my hubby, bless his heart, worked diligently on it and was able to retrieve my files.

Chickadee said...

Oops, I got your mixed up with someone else that has Sizzle in their name ;)

But I really like your blog and I've bookmarked ya next to the other sizzle. hehe.

:)