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I’ve moved!

Since I no longer work in the wacky world of retail, I invite you to follow my different, but strangely familiar, blog over at Salon Chair Shares. I promise the same snarkiness and general disdain for people that you have grown to love.



Part of selling new batteries and lightbulbs is that we also dispose of the old ones properly. You’re not supposed to just throw any of that in the trash because it contaminate ground water, cause fires, etc. So we gather them up and ship them off safely to a recycling facility.

Generally when someone brings us the old battery to show us what they are looking for, we ask if they want us to recycle the old one for them. Really the only reason to hold on to it would be that it still works. But some people get apprehensive at the word recycle. “Do whatever you want with it, I don’t care!” is the most common response, followed by “Yeah, you can throw it away.” Because I’m me, I always correct them and let them know it’s getting recycled, even if they’re not into “that hippie bullshit.”

Sometimes people will ask us to dispose of them, and that’s no problem. The only catch is that one certain kind of battery has to be shipped in an extra-special way which costs the store money. So we in turn charge the customer. It’s a small amount (normally less than a dollar), and we’re not making profit from it, but many people don’t want topay us for something they could just do at home. I repeat to them that we’re actually not throwing them away, and that’s technically illegal, but all they hear is “this will cost money.”

On the flip side, some folks are upset that we don’t pay them for bringing in their recyclables. Since we don’t make money off the service, we can’t afford to give money out for it. However, these people are of the mindset that if there’s no financial incentive in it, it’s not worth doing. Nevermind the contaminated ground water or explosions I mentioned before. But these people will spend time and energy hunting for a place that will reward them for not poisoning the earth. rather than just bringing them to us to dispose of properly.

Now don’t take this as me preaching the Gospel of Mother Earth and how we have limited resources and all that. It’s just that I spend my days around battery acid. I’ve seen what it does to clothes, skin, and various other materials. I don’t want that stuff anywhere near my food or water. Or my as yet unborn children. But sadly I’m not like most people, who have a “what’s in it for me?” attitude.

customers of status

Why do people feel the need to prove to me that they’ve been customers here for a long time?

You get the name droppers:
“Old Frank got the day off? I’ve been talking to him about motorcycles since before you were born.” (That last part irritates me on a different level, because they are always wrong about my age.)
“Chris still own this place? I ain’t seen that son of a gun round here in a while.” Because that son of a gun moved across the country and now just sits back in his mansion while we keep his investment running.

And you get the folks that assume you’re new (and thus don’t know what you’re talking about) because they’ve never personally seen you. Because everyone knows that in retail, we all work the exact same shifts, every week, and no doubt that customer only comes in at the exact same time of day, same day, as well.

These people don’t get any special discount for being long time customers, though many of them “jokingly” ask. They just feel like they can look down on you, even though they don’t realize that they are still coming to you for help.

It certainly doesn’t make me want to help them. I feel like if they were that important, they would deal with all their good buddies that are higher up than me. But since they aren’t…. yeah.



ps – are you following me on twitter? You get little one-liners that aren’t blog worthy, and a few random thought s that have nothing to do with this blog (or anything else).

No wonder

So a lady was very cranky at me because her batteries were dead, but she wouldn’t tell me what they were for. Therefore I couldn’t help her. She had talked to someone else at the store and kept arguing that since I wasn’t him, I wouldn’t know anything. I was understandably offended at this, but I figured Fine, let my coworker have her. She’s very unpleasant anyway.

Turns out it was her vibrator that was not working.

Though why she felt more at ease talking to an awkward man than a fellow woman, I’ll never know. But at least I understood where her crankiness was coming from.

Intro / About this blog

Working retail is one of those jobs that everyone should have at some point in their lives. I’ve worked it for the majority of mine, in every setting from large department stores to small boutiques. I’ve learned that entering a store can make normal people turn from reasonable, polite human beings to mean, stupid apes with no explanation or warning, and vice versa. 

While dealing with customers is hardly life changing, and rarely even noteworthy at the end of the day, the situation creates many anecdotes that can serve as warning, entertainment, and / or lots of  “me too” moments. This is a place for me to record them.

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