If you’ve ever worked retail you know what swoops through the doors at the start of business on December 26th…and you know it’s not pretty.
First, you have your “returnees.” These are the folks who can’t wait to unload the boxes of stuff they’d never have bought for themselves (picture Ralphie, of A CHRISTMAS STORY fame, in that pink bunny suit from his aunt—’nuf said).
Next, you have your “bargain nuts.” These are the folks who think ahead. They manage to knock out next year’s gift buying in the span of about three days, enabling them to sit back and laugh at the rest of us pay-full-price-the-week-before-Christmas suckers.
Lastly, you have your “my kid’s birthday falls three days after Christmas” shoppers.
Yup, I fall into the last category. Which means I’ll be braving fast-moving elbows and inept parking lot drivers on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
So, I turn to my fellow Good Girl Blog readers (c’mon lurkers, this is your personal invite to de-lurk and leave a comment) to stick an elbow-proof smile on my face for the remainder of the day. Take a stab at the following two questions:
#1. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why?
I’ve actually liked all of my jobs for one reason or the other, but I will say that retail is one tough gig and here’s why…
When I was in high school I worked for the now-defunct Caldor department store chain in Connecticut. My position was in the Domestics department (quit laughing, Good Girls) which meant I cut fabric and worked with sheets, comforters, and curtains. I stocked shelves, smiled at the customers, and generally pretended as if I knew what I was talking about.
Anyway, the curtain aisles of our particular department caused the most headaches by far. First, they were located in a back corner of the store that was not visible to the various security booths. I knew this, firsthand, because I spent a few of my breaks in our department’s security booth with a really cute guard named Tony (nothing happened, I swear). But, somehow, all the Klepto’s knew this particular corner of the store was out of sight too, which meant that’s where they went to pocket their lip gloss and cassette tapes (I know, I’m dating myself with that one). The proof of their deviant behavior was in the empty cartons and ripped off sku numbers routinely found among the merchandise in that area. Empty packaging that we had to account for in written reports.
Second, this was also the section where the clueless liked to shop. You see, we had rod-hanging displays of each and every style curtain we sold—displays that people could see and touch. Yet, for some unknown reason, people still ripped those damn bags open ever single day to—I don’t know—see if the one in the package looked the same as the one hanging in front of their face. By the end of the night, virtually every single bag of every single style had been ripped open, rummaged through, and hurled around the display bins. Countless bags that we, in turn, had to restuff and reclose every night before we could leave. This is, perhaps, where my first few murder plots were formed…
#2. What’s the worst present you’ve ever gotten?
The only present I can remember despising was a babydoll I got when I was just shy of three. I don’t remember much about this particular doll except that she made a noise of some kind. That noise scared the living begeebers out of me the first time I touched her. And, like all two-year-old girls who have been appropriately freaked, I screamed…and cried…and hid behind whatever I could find that would shield me from such evil. As a result, I got a brand new white slip instead. I think that was my first lesson in keeping my mouth shut… Even creepy is better than practical when you’re two.
Okay, your turn.