Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's just like riding a bike...

As you may or may not know, I've recently started working in the land of retail again.  It's only part time, and I only ever work a few hours at a time - 5 max - so it isn't the full drag that a 40 hour week would be.

Now, I can't really say where I work but I can tell you it's a major craft store chain.  Kind of narrows it down for you, doesn't it?

The company itself doesn't really make any difference to the experience - retail is retail whether you're flogging furniture, fish or Fluevogs (speaking of which, if there are any wealthy benefactors reading this, I'll have this pair or, if you're not feeling quite that flush, this pair will do).  All it really boils down to is smile, don't be afraid to talk to people, keep the place tidy and try not to break the till when you're working the register.  Having over a decade of previous retail experience, I can tell you with all honesty, it ain't rocket science.

I also find that there are two constants, no matter kind of store I have worked at.  First, there is no end to weird questions that people will ask you, or requests that they will make.  Example, I had a lady ask me for a silicone based glue.  I led her over to adhesives and pointed out what we had.  She looked at me like I was a bit soft in the head and said 'No, the big tubes that you put in a gun'.  I asked her if she meant  silicone caulking used to seal around tubs and whatnot.  Bing! went the lightbulb over head 'Yes!' she cried.  At that point it was my turn to look at her like she was soft in the head - 'No, you'll probably have to try a hardware store, not a CRAFT STORE'.

Second, there always seems to be one item that people gravitate to and that will always end up misplaced in the most unlikely parts of the store.  This past week it's been ladybug stickers.  Why?  I can't tell you but I've been finding them everywhere except where they're supposed to be hanging.  I'm sure next week it will be something new.  Anyone want to take bets on what it will be?

Ultimately, I have no intention of staying in the job forever.  The moment something better with higher pay comes along, I'll be leaving a me-shaped hole in the wall as I run for the hills.  I think that knowing that is making it a lot easier for me to not take it all too seriously.  I'm not going to lie to you and say that I LOVE going to work but at least I get to look at things that interest me and spend my time talking to people about the projects they're working on.  That aspect is good in that my creativity is being fed.

Of course, the real reason I don't want to work in retail forever is because of the flatulent customers.  Sorry to be gross but it's so true.  You'll be going along happily restocking the floor, you'll turn unsuspecting down an aisle and BAM!  You walk right into a wall of stank.  Other retail plebs know what I'm talking about.  Funnily, it seems to be worse in card stores.  I know because I've worked in one of those, too.  Maybe I should start wearing a tool belt to carry cans of air freshener...

3 comments:

Lea said...

Very funny post! I am visiting from Blogtoberfest:)

The Happy Ranter said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lea :) I just popped over and had a look at your blogs - your fundraiser blog is such a great idea.

Jamie said...

In my experience, flatulence is most common in places seniors frequent. Nasty old buggers. If you're working at the giant craft chain I think you are, how can you smell anything but the potpourri?