Friday, April 23, 2010

Hi folks. I assume most everyone has forgotten about this silly ol' retail blog. But just in case you care what I'm up to currently, check out my new blog and say hello. Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Here we are, the final post. I know it's a bit anticlimactic, considering how infrequently I've posted in the past couple years. That was symptomatic of just how tired of retail I'd become. I still loved my coworkers and some of the regulars, but for the most part, 15 years behind a cash register will grind down even the sturdiest person.

So on Thursday, February 28, 2008, I finally had my last day in retail. You'd think that by age 33 I'd be ready for an actual career with accompanying salary that pays a living wage, but it wasn't even my decision. A month or two back my boss told me how our owner needed to cut $30,000 worth of payroll and I was the first cull. Since I only made around 15 grand a year, I assume someone else's head will topple into the guillotine basket this year. Everyone remarked about how well I took the news, but what was I losing? 30 hours per week earning just enough to get by? Gaining my sanity back and perhaps even a future seems like a more than fair trade-off.

I wish I had more to say about the whole thing, some grand essay that would shed light on the retail institution and its deeper meaning in the human psyche. It's just too fresh. I need months or years to process the experience and figure out what it meant to me, why I did it for so long, and where the hell I'm going to go now.

I took the liberty of recording my final retail sale, and I hope the nice woman in the clip won't be too furious that I didn't get her permission.

And now I give you the words of Calvin: "It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy...let's go exploring!"




Monday, December 17, 2007

A woman just returned a book about stone walls. Her son is a stonemason but the woman's husband apparently decided the son "has enough books" and "wouldn't appreciate it." So no problem, I un-charged her credit card. She got all agitated that the receipt didn't say "credit" on it; instead it says "return," which I explained means the same thing: the book purchase price will be placed back in her account, no harm no foul.

Woman: Well then. You have a good Christmas.
Me: Why thank you! You too.
Woman: It's our lord's birthday.
Me: (joking) I have heard that rumor.
Woman: It's not a rumor, it's a fact.
Me: I have heard that fact, then.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's an inexorable slide downhill today. This crazy guy (early 20s) with windbreaker and baseball hat wanted rap CDs. He wanted to listen to them beforehand and I said we can't do that here. So he bought four CDs and came back in ten minutes later wanting to return two of them. I explained that you can't return stuff because you don't like it.

I decided to be nice and so I offered him store credit, saying that's the best I can do because they're opened. He gets all like, "Don't you think it's unfair that I work hard for my money and I can't listen them before I buy them?"

I just stared at him. There were so many things wrong with his question (statement) that I couldn't even begin. I'd lose it if I spoke. Finally he was like, "Anyway I'll take the credit...I'm just sayin' is all..."

Then he went over to our tiny rap section and browsed it over and over for 45 minutes, just going over and over the same seven rows of discs.

He ended up picking out a couple more CDs and came to the counter. I knew he was about to, because he started tapping his foot rapidly, escalating the volume and tempo until it seemed he was a bomb that might explode.

He remarked, "I don't get back here much so I have to make sure I get the right music. I live out in the woods of Vermont....VERRR-mont. Vermont. Sure is getting cold. I'm still outdoors painting and varnishing in 40-degree weather. Crazy, huh?"


"I've got a custom painting business. This is my business card [shows me but doesn't give me one] Really good stuff. I do work for famous, important people. Boy, I wasn't sure if I would find a CD I wanted over there. Thought I might go crazy."

"I wouldn't doubt it..."



Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This is by my friend Jam Torkberg in San Francisco. I love it. You really can't make this stuff up.


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