Friday, December 19, 2008

I really am still alive, I promise!

So, it's been awhile. I've been around, but time to blog has been fleeting. So I suppose I'll do some catching up. I have composed several blog entries since my last post, but they were all in my head. Doesn't help my reader much, but hey, my head enjoyed them!

Lately I've been doing a bit of reading (when I can, that is). I've been reviewing books and then posting the reviews on my book blog. I have a few more reviews I need to post to be caught up. I hope I can get to them in the next few days. One book that I'm currently reading is particularly interesting. It is entitled The Customer is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles edited by Jeff Martin. I received a review copy from Soft Skull Press, and I have to say that I am thrilled.

I haven't read the entire book yet, just bits and pieces, but I have to say it's great! Ok. Perhaps if you haven't lived the world of retail like so many of us have or are living, it might not be great. The stories bring back great memories. I really think I could add some of my own. One of the main ones that came to mind was from when I was working retail in college. I will not give away names, but those of you know where I worked and who we worked with will know exactly who this person is. I remember working in the back of the store, doing my job of taking customers orders, copying them, and then returning them. We had a bell on our counter for when we were off in the store, either checking stock or helping other customers. (Or working at the register up front...that happened often too.) Anyway. We had this bell, and should we were be at the counter, the customer was to ring the bell and we'd return to the counter to fill their order. There was a customer who was the head of a large real estate company in the area. We'll call her Jenny. Jenny was apparently involved in a Bible study group. Every week she would be at the store, getting things ready for the weekly study. She loved to impart her 'wisdom' on the heathens that worked at the store. (Because clearly, to work in retail (not real estate) you had to be one.) Anyway. One day I was in an aisle, helping a customer, and I heard the ringing of the bell. I finished up and returned to the counter. There was Jenny. I did my best to hide my disappointment, because inevitably, the work would not make her happy, and it would have to be redone. And usually, when it was redone, it would look the exact same, but that time she was happy. She gave me my task, and I turned back to the copier to complete it. She decided to stay at the counter while I copied her 'worksheets' on the beatitudes. While I was at the copying machine, she continued to ring the bell. Not just a little bit. Oh no, for Jenny that would've been way too easy. She kept ringing the damn thing. When asked why...she said she was making a joyful noise, and perhaps I should learn the meaning. If only I could have shoved it down her throat. The choking noise would've been awesome!

Anyway...I highly recommend the book for those of you who have any retail/customer service experience. I am reminded on an almost daily basis these days of the 'joys' of retail, and how people watching can become quite fun around the holidays. They seem to want the biggest bang for their buck, and they want a 6K piece of jewelry to be mere pennies when it's on clearance. While that might be a great deal, it's not going to happen!

I am going to try to post more updates over the holidays, but I cannot guarantee anything! If you don't hear from me, have a safe and merry Christmas! :)

1 comment:

Chip Easterling said...

:-) Yep, I know who you are talking about! That brings back memories that I have apparently blocked. After reading that story, it made me think of "the colonel," or the overbearing pharmacy guy. Or the... Or the... :)I should read that book. Or, if I want to avoid thinking about those memories... maybe not!