After two weeks, I return to retail. Chaos ensues.

14 Mar

Oh crazy customers, how I missed you

In the past two weeks, I had a temporary vacation from the world of retail. And, while I did enjoy experiencing what not working during the weekend felt like, I also felt terribly bored. All I could really think about during my weekends was what I was missing. How could I live a week without the drama of crazy customers? How was I going to function without witnessing a shoplifter or getting yelled at by super rich women who get kicks out of using coupons even though they probably cut them up with kitchen shears from Williams-Sonoma? I realized that after working in retail for almost six years, I have been somewhat conditioned to expect a certain percentage of drama and craziness in my life. And without it, well, life just seems so boring.

Last weekend, I was finally called into work. As I walked into the store, I breathed a sigh of relief: employees were standing off to the side bitching out customers under their breath, my boss was walking around and emmiting the typical American Psycho aura that he always seems to give off, and customers were setting off security alarms. In the words of J.K. Rowling‘s oh-so-profound last sentence in the Harry Potter series, all was well.

For like ten minutes, at least.

After that, it was as if our store had been punished for letting me back in. In a matter of an hour, the paper in our digital photo kiosk ran out, two people were caught shoplifting (one of which was a particularly gutsy customer who power-walked out of our store with a gift bag full of items), there was a consistent line of at least six customers at any given minute, and as I was running to the back of the store to grab a can of tuna for an elderly customer, I was asked by two different people to let them into the restroom. After I came back to the register and dealt with the line of customers, I turned to my co-worker and said, “Jeez, why is it so busy?” He gave me a weird look and replied, “Um, it’s always busy on Sundays. Remember?”

It seems that I really had forgotten what working in the store was like. After having a wealthy customer throw money at me and then ask me if I had counted it correctly, I realized that customers weren’t as kind and kooky as I had remembered them to be. At the end of that Sunday, my forgetfulness also caused me to scan in the magazine credits and seal them up into the envelope without putting the shipping label on. After telling my co-worker that I needed to open up the sealed package in order to get the shipping label still in there, she began cutting it open. As I was ringing up a customer, I heard her laughing. Not only had I managed to seal up the envelope with the shipping label still inside, but I had also managed to put fifty sheets of price adjustments in the envelope as well. I wonder what the magazine company would have thought if they had received those in the mail! My co-worker then turned to the customer I was ringing up and said, “Better count your money when you get it back. She’s not all here tonight.” She then proceeded to run off, still laughing, to tell our shift supervisor. I was not taken seriously for the rest of the night.

All in all, being back at work after the two-week respite allowed me to sink my teeth back into the healthy dose of chaos and craziness that I had been missing–even if a portion of it was entirely my fault.

6 Responses to “After two weeks, I return to retail. Chaos ensues.”

  1. Germaine March 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Yeah, it’s great when shoplifters can exercise (power walk) and steal at the same time! The modern day retail experience is like a 70′ live art happening.Gotta love ’em.

  2. alonewithcats March 17, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Welcome back? Sigh. Working for a living is hard. Why can’t we just be independently wealthy? WHY?

    P.S. My brother does seem to be totally your type. But, alas, he’s gay, too. Our parents’ genes were clearly not meant to mix.

    • Retail Robot March 17, 2011 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks! And I know, it would be awesome not to have to work. Then again, it does give me my weekly dose of entertainment, so I can’t complain!

      Lol! Well, it was worth a try XD

  3. Bunny March 18, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Ah, I remember what that was like after coming back from a vacation. I wasn’t forgetful after being off a week from work, but recently, after being out five days in a row, I felt the same way you did coming back to work. It just takes a while to get back into the swing of things. Your job sounds like there’s more responsibility in it than mine. I don’t scan anything other than what the customers are buying. That’s it.

    • Bunny March 18, 2011 at 10:31 am #

      Oh, and welcome back, dear! We missed you as a comrade in our fights against retail! 😛

      • Retail Robot March 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

        Yep, it’s definitely about getting back into the swing of things! It’s crazy how much you forget when you’re gone for a few days. And yes, I pretty much do everything that my higher-ups do except payroll, having keys, etc. It’s nice because the longer I’ve been there, the less I’ve had to just stand around and ring customers (although I really don’t mind it).

        Thank you! I’ve been having a super busy semester…can’t wait for it to end! 🙂

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