Tales from Retail #2

Y’all. I worked 3.75 hours today (my second favorite shift after 3.25 hours) and I dealt with all these people.

  • The girl who looked in the case of keychains, money clips, and card cases and then turned to ask me if we sell any rings we can engrave on. We do not, because we can’t engrave on rings. She asked me why not. This is the response I get every. Single. Time. So I told her the same answer I always give: because the engraver is not equipped for it. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. It irritates me to no end when people argue with me when I tell them what we can and cannot engrave. Your ring? Nope. Your $600 watch? Nope. Your $20 watch that you won’t open up the band or remove the back? Nope. Your giant plastic souvenir wrestling champion belt? Nope. And yes, I’ve been asked that.
  • The lady who wanted a contact number for the hair straightener kiosk next door. I do not have one, nor would I give it out to a random shopper even if I did. You’re the one who spent way too much money on a no-name hair straightener from some good-looking smooth-talker at a mall kiosk, you figure it out. She got pretty upset that I didn’t have a phone number. Bet she didn’t even save her receipt.
  • The old lady who called to ask how long it would take to get something engraved. People, unless you are walking towards me while you’re on the phone, I could have a fifty-piece order between now and the time you decide to show up. All I can give you on the phone is a rough estimate, which is, it depends what you get and what you want engraved on it, but usually same day. So she asked if I came right now, how long would it take? There’s about a two hour difference between one word on a plate and four different monograms on a set of red wine glasses. I told her an hour, and she said she would be there in a few minutes. When I left two hours later, she hadn’t shown up yet.
  • The guy who keeps calling for my super-part-time coworker. I’ve talked to him four times this week. But at least today he identified himself and didn’t badger me with questions about when she’ll be in, which I won’t answer.
  • The man looking for a flask. He may have a memory problem. He’s stopped three times in the past two months while I’ve been at work to look at flasks. He’s always forgotten his glasses, and asks if the same one is stainless steel and how many ounces it holds. Yes it’s stainless steel, but I have to look up the volume. He always argues that it should be stamped on the bottom. It’s not, on the one that he likes. He always gets excited about the price of the flask but leaves without a word when I tell him the price for engraving.
  • The woman whose husband told her there was a Scentsy store in the mall. Now, I’m pretty sure we had a kiosk last Christmas, but other than that, no. But I don’t know. So I told her I don’t know. I don’t know why she got mad at me because I don’t know. So that’s now two things I don’t know, withing two minutes.
  • The woman who asked me why this mall doesn’t have an Abercrombie. Now, nearly all of you have never met me, but if you’ve seen my Instagram feed on the right there, you could probably guess that I do not frequent Abercrombie. Possibly because it’s not my style, but mostly because their clothes would not fit me. Also, I work in a kiosk. I do not have a backdoor on the ins and outs of mall management’s tenant plan.

New assistant manager starts next week, fingers crossed.

Tales from Retail

I love my job. I do. It’s so weird. Well, it feels like it should be weird. I guess it isn’t. I personalize gifts, so I make even more people happy than I did when I worked in pizza. Although few as happy as kids when they answer the door to a pizza driver. That’s fulfilling.

I have some awesome customers. Today I got a hug from a girl who ordered a watch for her boyfriend. She loved it. The other day I got a hug and a kiss on the cheek from a woman for whom I did three sets of dog tags and a flask. I guess cheek-kissing strangers is what they do in Oklahoma? I was only six when we moved away, so I don’t recall that being a thing.

I do have some slow customers as well, but the worst are the people passing by or just looking. If I had a nickel for every person who asked directions around my little-ass mall I wouldn’t need a raise. I wish I could put up a sign.

But here are some recent gems:

  • Do y’all do tattoos here? No. No, we do not. And frankly, dude, if you’re that hip to getting tattoos from a mall kiosk with no autoclave in sight, I don’t really want to get near you.
  • What’s an 8×10 album? There’s no way to answer this question without sounding like an asshole. No way.
  • I was calling to inquire… Okay, this was on the phone, but still. There’s no need for all that. You’re not calling about a job opening, you’re asking if we do engraving. Just ask. By the time you’re done stumbling over that intro, I could have already answered your question and gone back to what I was doing.
  • The Coach House Gifts guy. People stop all the time to ask where a store is, if a certain store is in the mall, if there’s a store that sells whatever item they’re looking for. But this guy. He asked where Coach House Gifts is. I told him they closed a few years ago, because they did. He showed me his smartphone, with the address of the mall and the phone number to the store. I reiterated that they closed. He went to go look because he’s at the right address. A few minutes later, he stopped and asked again. They’re still closed. I told him to go look at the map by the entrance, because it’s not on there. He wandered off again. A few minutes later, he stopped and asked again. This time he added that their phone’s disconnected. That’s because they’re closed, dude. Closed forever. He got mad and went to continue the search. Now, I don’t mind pointing left or right, mostly left, toward the bathrooms, but if a store ain’t here, it ain’t here. No amount of asking will change that. I also don’t answer to throat-clearings or hey.
  • The klutz. Some people are clumsy, it’s true. This was a first, though. A guy walked into our five-foot-tall easel sign. It’s a big ole sign with a bright picture on it. I have no idea how he missed it, but he walked into it hard enough to knock it over, and kept going without a word. I picked it up and thanked him. His response? It just fell.
  • The drooler. A grown man and his friend were eyeballing the knives in the glass case, and he drooled right on it. Now, I have nothing against drooling when you can’t help it. That’s fine. I don’t care. Every day I work I see people with disabilities walking around with their caretakers. Some of them drool. But this guy immediately sucked the rest of the saliva back into his mouth and wiped his chin, and his buddy laughed at him. Then the two of them hurried off. So I’m guessing he’s not normally a drooler. But come on, man, you could have swiped off the case while you were wiping your face on your sleeve.
  • The ones who think I’m furniture. When I ask how are you doing today, I mean it. If you’re having a shit day, I’ll listen and be nice to you. If you’re having the greatest day of your life, I’ll high five you. But when I ask, please answer. It’s great that you’re just looking, but that’s not what I asked. I ignore people who do this. Not that they notice.
  • The high-fiver. He was a gem. Just a couple of teenage boys walking up and down the mall, daring each other to attempt to high-five strangers. Of course I high-fived him!

It is fun, though, even with all this. Except for the people who think that twenty minutes is too long to wait.