On a leash.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Kids always get dragged into the mall, and they are never happy about it. They might perk up at the toy store, but the mall is definitely not geared towards children. My store might be geared towards making children, but no one wants them in the store and they don't want to be there (and if they do want to be there and they're under 12, well that's a whole other set of issues.)
This boy couldn't have been older than ten. Short, pudgy, grumpy, he followed his older sister and mother as they shopped for bras and they chattered to each other in spanish, ignoring him. Obedient but not happy about it, he followed in tow. The funny part?
His t-shirt, black with white print and no censorship, read "Fuck off, I have enough friends."
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Most large retail chains are required to follow standards on how merchandise is displayed, how associates are expected to behave, what posters and marketing can be displayed and when, and what music can be played. The store soundtrack does not get updated very often, and associates often come to memorize the tunes to such a degree that they severely lower job satisfaction. A head manager at the time, to all of the associates approval, brought in a new c.d. The style of music was similar to the approved track, but more upbeat and energizing. The entire staff was just happy to have something new.
We were able to keep this up until someone complained about one particular track, a popular neo-dance bass-centered groove lyricked entirely by it's title, "I See You Baby (Shakin' That Ass)".
The customer expressed her complaint to a manager of a store that sells thongs, garter belts, garter skirts, best-selling panties aptly named "cheekies," brazilian thongs, thigh-highs, and many other items that prominently highlight the ass and its shaking.
The customer left with a bag full of merchandise. Whether she purchased anything suitable for shaking is unknown.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I saw a girl yelling at the cashier at Hot Topic. She was quite annoying.
"I want to return this cd."
"Sorry, we don't take open merchandise. Was it scratched or something?"
"No but it's so bootleg, it doesn't even have "Just Dance" on it."
"...That's because this is Lady Sovereign, not Lady Gaga."
Turning red, the girl left as fast as she could.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
A pretty teenage girl waiting while her friend is in the dressing room asks to borrow a tape measure. Thinking that some people don't feel comfortable being measured for bras, the associate smiles and hands it over.
The girl measures her bust, waist, and hips. She then walks to one of the impossibly perfect life-sized mannequins and measures its bust, waist, and hips in comparison. Her friend leaves the dressing room, she hands the tape measure back to the uneasy associate and says "Two more inches to go!" before she leaves.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Most national chains also offer a store line of credit, which is as much for sale as anything with a price tag on it. Associates are required to ask every customer they encounter, and for the brave, the pitch may be the first contact between sales person and client. Clients aren't always responsive, but if they don't dismiss you within the first sentence an associate might have a card sale.
I was friendly. I was talking about all the benefits. Two girls who looked old enough to apply were looking at me a bit oddly, but they were attentive. I thought I might be able to sign them both up and, while there is no incentive or reward for it, I would be following the guidelines of my job description to the letter.
After a full pitch speech, and still no response, I smile and ask, "Can I see if you qualify?"
One of the girls, in a speech pattern that proved her claim but would be in poor taste to even attempt to capture in print, put my perfect sales act to rest with one phrase before they both disappeared into the dressing room.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Larger malls, especially near a large city, attract tourists and visitors from all over the world. An associate offered to help a Japanese business man who was considering some of the nicer gift sets for his wife. After a bit of conversation, they both figured out that American sizes were a little different than what his wife had described to him, and the associate found the reference book for size conversion. Like most of the marketing for the store, although this book was for associate use it featured models on every other page displaying the goods.
"Is that book for sale?"
"Oh, no, I'm sorry sir, it's just for reference." He asks to see it and, being helpful and knowing some read better english than they speak, the salesgirl hands it to him.
With a wink and a smile, the man slips it into his breast pocket, and walks out of the store. The sales girl is dumbfounded. "Oh, um, Sir? Sir?"
Neither the japanese man, nor the sexiest size chart on earth, were ever seen again.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
When a mixed-gender group of pre-teens is in the store, it means a lot of giggles and no sales. Associates know this. Most of the time they let it go on until they move on to Hot Topic or they start messing things up.
When the latter began to happen, a male, muscly associate approached the group. He was polite, but impressive, saying simply "Knock it off." The group scattered out of the store.
Except for one boy they left behind. The 13-year-old comedian who put on a pink, lace, polka-dotted push-up bra over his polo shirt.
He looks at the associate, he watches his friends leave.
Looks at the associate again, watches his friends outside of the store.
He then tries to take off the bra that his friends help him put on. The associate just watches as it takes him two minutes to wiggle his way out of it.
When a mixed-gender group of pre-teens leaves one behind, it means a lot of giggles for the rest of us.