Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pants for sort-of winners! -Unsubstantial fashion tips from a mildly clothing-conscious individual

     I have a problem. It's embarrassing and serious and I'm not sure what to do about it. Admitting this to all of you is one of the hardest things I've ever done, so please forgive me, try not to judge me and I believe we can all get through this together.

     *sigh* Okay here it goes... I want a pair of Pajama Jeans.

    Have you seen these things? Nowadays I rarely trade style for comfort except at work where I don't give a rat's ass, but COME ON, how can I not have these?

   I am usually against anything sold on TV, usually because I've sold it, and it's all crap. I mean seriously, if I had no soul and didn't mind selling people stuff to solve hypothetical problems that no one really has (The EZ Cracker? really? If you can't manage to crack an egg without help you have no business cooking them) then I would be all over the infomercial business.
     But these things.. look awesome. There, I said it, judge away. Plus they come with a Free T-shirt. I love free T-shirts, and have the closet to prove it. 
     Of course the advertising for them has already gotten out of hand. 

       Bike girl looks ridiculous, and who wants to look like they're wearing jeans in that situation anyway? Plus she's still wearing her work-out top, which sort of defeats the purpose "That's right fellas, I work out in jeans. I sweat a lot, enjoy being uncomfortable, and am unaware of the proper attire for everyday situations. Don't you want some of this?"
    I can't even decide if it's business on top and party on the bottom or vice-verse. Depends on the party I guess.
    Anyway, I was totally against Pajama Jeans, until we got them in at work and I felt them. These things are awesome. All I can envision is how much better my life would be if I had these to wear to my morning classes, or while standing at the counter at work all day. My next goal is to find slippers that look like regular shoes. They exist, I know but they cost more than I've ever spent on an actual pair of shoes, which leads me to the downside of my issue here: Pajama Jeans retail for $39.95. 
   The most I've ever spent on real jeans is around 50 dollars (because I'm classy) and I was appalled at the price of these pseudo-jeans. Shouldn't fake jeans be half the price of regular jeans? Or is my problem that I'm not spending enough money on my actual jeans? 
     But come on you guys, how many times have you held up a pair of brand new distressed skinny jeans and then held up some old sweatpants and had to delve far to deep into your own psyche and ask yourself that one question: Do I act like I don't care what other people think today, or do I actually stop caring what other people think today? Pajama Jeans are the pants you wear when you feel bloated and gross but still care what other people think but are trying to act like you don't care while maintaining some semblance of current fashion trends but also being snug as a bug in a freaking rug. They come in "Skinny Jean" style now too, so all the comfort seeking hipsters can get on this boat.
   When I'm rich and famous and less self-conscious I will own a pair of these, and I will own them. I'll strut around the city in them and when people stare and whisper "Is that chick actually wearing Pajama Jeans?" I will look them straight in the eye and give them that wink/eyebrow shrug as if to say "You bet your boots I am and they are damn sexy!" Remember that once upon a time Harem pants were cool, and these can be too.

        Completely unrelated notes: I was informed by a reader (possibly my mother but I'll never tell) that there is now an ad for umbilical cord banking on my blog. I can't decide if I should stop writing about babies or just take down the ads, which seem to be growing creepier over time, and serve no other purpose.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pillow-Pet Threats: a glimmer of hope at the check-out counter.

    Something amazing happened today. Don't get me wrong, it didn't quite counteract the daily dose of dream killing that retail serves up on a platter, but it was a momentary spark of happiness and hope in an environment which, for employees, is otherwise devoid of anything other than allergens and bitterness.
   A young couple came in the store herding a small terror of about three years old in front of them (and behind them, beside them, underneath them, a few yards north-east of them, etc). My initial reaction was to thank the retail gods that at least it was a girl. Call me sexist if you wish but in my personal experience every single time a boy between the ages of two and twelve visits a retail location they always leave behind one of two things: bodily fluids, or an expensive gadget damaged beyond repair due to it's implementation as a weapon.

    Little boys exude mindless destruction like Disney villain side-kicks. You can see it seeping through their pores as they fondle expensive wine glasses while their parents try to pick out monogrammed guest towels. It's like every single one of them was fed a breakfast of Pixi Stix and espresso beans and then tied to a chair and blindfolded until just before being released in the Fine China department.
    So while I was thankful I wouldn't be sweeping up broken glass or retrieving Kindle accessories from the ceiling beams in the near future, I was still wary of this happy little family, mainly because the kid was absolutely adorable. This is almost never a good sign. Any three year old that will sit patiently long enough to have her hair curled so perfectly has something sinister lurking inside. She was wearing a beautiful little pink and white flowered dress and her long blonde hair was impeccably styled. She was beautiful and she was unequivocally aware of it.
    As she hopped, skipped, sprinted and at one point definitely two-stepped her way through the store she made it clear to everyone that she was having an exceptionally wonderful day. This is almost always exactly the moment in every child' day that something will go horribly wrong, be it external forces or an internal breakdown of some sort. I made a mental note of this but had no choice other than to watch it play out. As long as she didn't break anything or puke on the floor I couldn't get involved, and anyway she was tiny and her parents seemed mildly capable of handling the impending catastrophe.

    As they approached the counter with a few items I noticed a Pillow-Pet in their cart. For those of you unfamiliar with this incredibly popular item, I find it easier not to attempt to describe it to you.

        That's right! It's a Pillow AND A PET! And it's only twenty bucks! The marketing on these things must be killer because every kid that comes in the store goes into addict-like fits of rage if they are denied one.
    As they approached the counter the little girl got distracted by our giant "wall o' candy" that is put there for that very purpose, and began hastily shoving whatever she could reach into her pockets, her father's pockets, her shoes, you name it. It was like the kid had never seen candy before, and was also being starved, except she was singing and laughing and shouting to her parents about how wonderful it all was, which I doubt  anyone suffering from starvation would have the energy for.
   As she was attempting to verbally manipulate a Toblerone bar into opening, her mother turned to her and said "If you don't behave and come here right now I'm not buying you the Pillow Pet" which also happens to be the one phrase that I hear more times in a day than "Can I get a refund for that?".
   As expected, the tiny blonde bundle of superfluous joy didn't even hear her and continued screeching at the candy bar while clumsily reaching for the ring-pops that were no doubt nothing but a pile of brightly colored distraction in her peripheral vision.
    Her father then chimed in with the ever popular countdown, but surprised me by starting from three instead of five. This obviously shocked her as well, since she looked up momentarily and whispered something under her breath. I was tempted to take her side for a moment and point out that three seconds is not nearly long enough for a person to thoroughly gauge the sincerity of such a statement, and weigh it against the  instant gratification of candy versus the instant gratification of owning a pillow that is also a pet.
    She decided to take the route most young minds do in such traumatic decision making events and simply ignored the countdown.
    Things began to play out in the same way they do every time. Mom says "Okay, no Pillow Pet today, sorry." Dad takes said Pillow Pet out of the cart and returns it to the bin where they are kept, and little girl starts to bawl as she realizes she has made the wrong choice.
   But then something amazing happened. The little girl continued to scream and cry, her doll-like face turning red and her little hands balling into fists. She begins to beg and plead, first to her parents and then right to the big man himself, promising anything if only she can have her Pillow Pet back. Her parents finished paying for their items, picked up their bags, grabbed the screaming child by the hand, and left the store without buying the Pillow Pet. 
   I have literally never seen this happen before in my life. Everyone threatens. Every child ignores said threats, and continues misbehaving. Every parent finishes their countdown and puts the toy away. Then the kid continues to screams and eventually apologizes, and every parent then goes and gets the toy and buys it. I have never before witnessed a parent give an ultimatum at the check-out counter and follow through with it.

   The thing that amazed me most is that I actually felt bad for the kid. For a moment I was upset that her parents, when witnessing her contrition, didn't bargain and exchange the toy for an apology. But then I got over it and realized she had been given plenty of chances and this was in fact the right move to make. It just shocked me because I am so used to spoiled kids whose parents get them whatever they want regardless of ultimatums.

    I had to fight the urge to give them a slow clap on their way out the door, and thank them for providing a glimmer of hope for American parents. If people like that still exist maybe our country won't be full of nothing but Kardashian-esque adults by the year 2040.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stalling Techniques- the Australian edition.

This is Algie (Aal-jee) 
     Truthfully his name is Algernon but I've noticed Australians tend to take whatever word assigned to a certain person, place, or thing, throw the last few syllables away and add an "ie" (or sometimes a legit "y"). I can't decide if this is laziness or if a country founded by hardened criminals actually intend to "cute-up" all their words.
    Anyhow, I can imagine at this point some serious questions are starting to pop into your head. "What is he looking at?" "Is he a wild kangaroo?" "Is he scanning the horizon for a dangerous predator?" "What sort of dangerous predator hunts kangaroo other than man himself?" "Seriously what is the Australian equivalent of a lion?" "Isn't it ironic that in a country known for it's giant deadly spiders and Jurassic era snakes, the largest predator is a dingo?"
  "Is he even in Australia?" "Is he trapped in an American zoo, staring wistfully through his bars towards a southern ocean, longing for the outback his ancestors called home?" "Is this zoo in Florida or Hawaii?" "Physiologically speaking, how can those tiny stick-legs support such outrageously proportioned hips?"
   And finally, the most obvious question: "How did a little sketch that was intended to be comical turn out so melancholy?"
       - Here's a tip for any mildly enthusiastic but tragically lazy artists out there: If you start drawing an animal you have never sketched before, and you get almost all the way done but can't get his nose right because dang-it kangaroos have weird noses and it's not as if this is an animal you are exposed to on a regular basis like the cow... just make him facing away. Not only is it suddenly a good kangaroo, but you have also raised some deep questions about the inner psyche of our zoo animals.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Inspiration and/or a secret guide to fame.

  Last week I read an old blog post by The Sassy Curmudgeon about how she became a successful blogger. I was excited to read it considering my recent declaration to win the internet and I hunkered down with my coffee and toast all ready to be enlightened and whatnot.

     It occurred to me halfway through that I should find some way of deleting it afterwards for selfish reasons. If this one blog post contained all the weaknesses of the internet and how to conquer it, I shouldn't let it get into just anyone's hands. How could I become famous if all of her 3 gazillion followers could also find out how to become a successful blogger?
    Unfortunately the only way I know how to dispose of highly sensitive documents is to eat them* or burn them** and both processes were technically rendered useless once people abandoned paper for what is turning out to be the much less secure method of shooting everything into cyberspace to be sifted through by everyone and their mother, provided their mother can use a computer.
    *An informative scene in the highly accurate film Cats and Dogs revealed that this method is not as secure as previously believed if your enemies pump your stomach before the acid can fully dissolve the remnants of said document.
    **Unless you have absolutely no access to fire or a cigarette lighter or something I would recommend this method before eating any paper, for various security and health reasons. 

   However it soon became clear that my momentary panic at such sensitive and magical secrets being made public was unfounded. The final lesson of the post was this: Be patient. Keep writing, not for others but for yourself. You might become successful and you might not, only time will tell.
   My inner child is not patient..... oh who am I kidding- all of me is not patient. I sometimes find myself being told by my inner child to be more patient because she is just as smart but much less uptight than me*.

        *But that's because she gets to do fun things and doesn't have bills to pay, the ungrateful snot.
    The thing is, Sassy Curmudgeon is secretly one of my idols- not in a creepy, I'm going to leave stuffed animals on your doorstep and steal your underwear way- but in the perfectly normal way that some people idolize other people......
   What I'm saying here is I trust this complete stranger to give me good advice about life and writing even though she has no idea who I am. Knock it if you will, but humans have been idolizing people they don't even know ever since there were enough people in the world for some of them to be strangers*.

      *It has just occurred to me that this is obviously because no one would idolize someone they actually knew- the magic is lost the first time you hear them fart.

   So I believe her even though I don't want to. Truthfully I didn't need to be told that this was the only way to go about winning the internet. I already knew deep down that patience and persistence should be my strategy. My only other plot at this point was to go streaking at a Rockies game and then as I'm escorted off the field covered in a blanket just shout "Read my blog!" to the news cameras.
   I know I should be talking about how I don't care if I ever get another follower because I am doing this for myself and for my friends and family whom I love dearly. Part of that is true, but I also have a slightly pathological need to be liked and validated by strangers. I could go into the deep psychological reasons for this or just go ahead and chalk it up to being a middle-child raised in a hyper-ethical, moralistic environment.
    Even more difficult to admit is the part of me that loves being the center of attention. I sort of love public speaking because it's a chance to say what I want in front of an often captive audience, and I adore being on stage for practically any reason (except like a public hanging or something. I imagine my need for attention in that situation would be overcome by my desire to live).
    If knowing this about me makes you like me less please forget I ever said it and understand that it is most likely a result of early exposure to musical theater (more specifically CATS, which is an exhibitionists haven if I ever saw one, and Phantom of the Opera, which is the only story I am currently aware of that leaves you with a desire to actually have a stalker- anyone who can sing like that can follow me anywhere).
   It was just nice to know that I'm not missing the big secret to all this that all successful bloggers know about.  I am promising right now to keep writing no matter what- for myself and also because if even one person reads it my ego practically goes into an ecstasy coma.

   Also I hope Sassy Curmudgeon doesn't mind being runner-up to Tina Fey on my notebook list entitled Awesome and Funny Women Who Inspire Me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Virtual Babies Smell Better- A comprehensive guide to children for people who only sort-of like them.

  I was watching re-runs of 30 Rock the other day (because that's what I do with my free time because I'm just that cool) and this moment resonated with me:    

This is exactly what my knowledge base consists of when it comes to kids. 

    Anyone who has ever been in a Barnes and Noble (and made it past the Starbucks counter ie: me one time.) knows that there is no shortage of information on babies and childcare out there. However, most of these guides are targeted towards people who already have a child, and really care about it. This seems unnecessary as it would be much cheaper just to take the "learn through experience" route- you already have the baby to experiment with. 
      ( My parents both act like they always knew what they were doing but I'm beginning to suspect they actually took the same "trial and error" strategy that I use with fish: If you keep Tropical fish around long enough, eventually you will learn important things like how often they need fed. There are going to be casualties, but if the majority of them turn out normal you are a successful fish owner.)
   At any rate, I thought it would be nice to have an upfront guide to babies for people who have little to no experience with them. I will also try to point out some key differences between real babies and virtual babies.
        -Babies are gross.
                    - No one in the entire world can argue with this. Babies ooze foul smelling liquids of varying consistency from every part of their body. The important thing to remember is they can't help it.
                     - You know how in Sims when nobody changes the baby for awhile and then every time somebody walks by it they start dry-heaving and their mood level drops? That's pretty accurate
       - Babies poop a lot.
                     - Never volunteer to watch someone's child without first making sure you understand exactly what the potty training status is.    -Also note that any claims of "totally potty trained" do not guarantee you a poop-free experience. 
                   - I babysat everyday for an entire summer once and soon figured out exactly when to feed the kid so she pooped at exactly the moment her Mom got home and I could just hand her over on my way out the door. I would be willing to share my secrets for a small fee.
                    - Virtual poop does not smell. Real poop smells. A lot.
      - Babies vomit more in a day than a hungover college frat boy. 
                        - Not entirely clear on why this is considering all they eat is blended carrots and peas. If I ate like that diet my digestive tract would be pristine.
                        - Virtual puke eventually disappears. Real puke must be cleaned.
         -Babies cry for no reason.
                      -It could be holding a puppy, sitting on a rainbow eating chocolate cupcakes frosted with Joy and listening to The Lovin' Spoonful's Do You Believe in Magic? and it will still burst into tears completely unprovoked.
                      - Once it happens your only option is a quick hand-off. Things may have been going fine for several minutes and then it will throw a surprise attack breakdown and nothing you do will stop it, so you will give it to someone else who will immediately sooth it. This will cause you to take the breakdown personally, which I believe is the baby's goal. - Virtual babies can be calmed by making silly faces. Real babies are scared of this.
                     -Moms always act like they know what the crying means but I think it's a bluff. I have spent extended amounts of time with several babies and I don't care what anyone says the "There's a zombie in my room" cry and the "I have to poop" cry are exactly the same. - Virtual babies have a little notification that tells you what's wrong. Real babies don't.
       -Babies are judgmental.
                       - Some babies will like you, and some won't. It's not you it's them. They are superficial and will judge you for arbitrary things like whether or not you smiled too big the first time you met, or which side of your head you part your hair on.
         -Babies are not good conversationalists.
                          -Not only do they not talk, they aren't great at making eye contact and do rude things like chew on their own feet while you talk to them, which makes you feel unappreciated.- Virtual babies have little thought bubbles that let you know they are paying attention.
                          - Even though babies don't care what you have to say, people will get very upset if you don't talk to them. Apparently it's rude not to engage a baby even though the baby never engages you.
                         - Talking in a normal voice to a baby is socially unacceptable even though using a high-pitched "baby voice" is probably just insulting to the baby.
           -You should never be rude to a baby, even when the baby is rude to you.
                           -A baby could come up, kick you in the shins, call you fat and throw food in your face, but if you retaliate by stealing his sucker people will always take the baby's side.
                            - If a baby ignores you people make excuses for it and expect you to keep trying to be it's friend, but if you ignore a baby people get all offended and say things like "What, you don't think Integrity* is the cutest baby in the world?" - this is a trick question. Either lie your ass off or run away.
                     *What is it with these names? I'm just gonna name my kids Genius and Lucky and hope for the best.
     - Never say you "hate" babies.
                                - People get all uptight when you use that particular phrase. Using that phrase in front of regular people or - God forbid- a Mom is like walking into a Contemporary Worship Service and saying you hate Michael W. Smith or a Tea Shop in Boulder, Co and saying feminists annoy you.*  No one there will ever like you again. 
                            *I have done both of these things. Neither ended well.
                                - Try replacing the word "hate" for less severe words. For instance: You "hate" Hitler, and you "disapprove" of babies. You "hate" seal clubbing and you "don't care for" children. People will still look at you like you're the spawn of Satan, but at least they won't think you are Satan himself (partly because Satan loves Hitler. If you're ever in a situation where people might think you are the Devil just start shouting "I hate Hitler!").
                               - Generalizing like this makes you racist. Not all babies are the same. Some of them have great personalities and I'm sure someday we will find a white baby that can dance.

               - If you have ever accidentally told people you hate babies, here are some things you can do to redeem yourself. 
                              - Start smiling at a baby every once in awhile.
                              - Get yourself a "token baby": these are much like a "token black guy" in a movie, but this one will let people know you aren't racist against babies. There are a few ways to do this:
                                               - Tell people about a baby you used to take care of or are related to that you like  - if you don't know of a real one just make one up, there are so many babies hanging around no one is going to fact check you.
                                              - Find a cute baby that isn't crying and snap a picture with it. Post said picture on any social networking sight of which you are a member, like so: 
 Ta-daaaah.... no longer a baby hater.
 Please note that little Maggie dissolved into tears not long after this picture was taken.... For No Reason.
          -Some babies are ugly.
                           - Some people will try to tell you that all babies are cute, but you and I both know this is not the case. There are some messed up looking babies out there. The key is to remember that parents have a blind spot when it comes to their own children. So even if a baby is obviously the weirdest looking little alien thing you've ever seen, do not attempt to joke with it's parents about it. Saying things like "Well I'm sure one day he'll grow into that  third eye" will only enrage a mother.
                            - Even people who don't know the baby will be offended by you calling it ugly. This is because calling a baby ugly is politically incorrect. Try something more vague like "unique" or "interesting".
                           - My "token baby friend" is not ugly at all, in fact she's surprisingly gorgeous for being a foot tall and having a Body Mass Index of like 86%.
     The truth is, I don't hate babies, I don't even disapprove of them, except in certain situations, like at a movie theater, or a restaurant. It's just that I don't feel the need to be obsessed about every single one of them. I'm not baby crazy, but that doesn't mean I never want to have one, and I actually like kids when they aren't completely spoiled or little know-it-alls, which is apparently 95% of the time. 
    Babies don't make me uncomfortable, their parents do. If I could meet babies in private without a mom breathing down my neck, judging me for speaking in a regular octave I would have more baby friends.
   I also have nothing to talk to a baby about. My last conversation with a 2 year old went like this:
 Me: "Hey Baby, what's your name?"
Baby: "mmmgrprrjgvnly"
Me: "uh...that's a cool name. So how is your day going?"
Baby: *confused stare*
Me: "So you're just chillin at the park today?"
Me: "Can you talk or do you just not like to?."
Baby: ......*bursts into tears*
     At any rate, I've raised dozens of Sims children and they all turned out fine, except for that one who I kept forgetting to send to the bathroom and he eventually went crazy and burned the house down.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We Apologize for the Convenience: the sordid secret of the add-on sale.

   We all know about suggestive selling, aka: the Add-On. Anyone who has ever worked retail has had to suggest an add-on and anyone who has every visited a retail location has had to turn one down. Everyone knows about them and everyone hates them. Well, everyone involved in the actual verbal exchange hates them. Upper Management however, loves them.

   Upper Management loves a lot of things that lowly associates despise, because they work in an office building and look at graphs of sales all day and imagine that every associate working for the company is very emotionally invested in their job but also dumb as nails and needs some hardcore micro-managing from above to get anything accomplished.
  Upper Management has done research and conducted studies and discovered that suggestive selling improves the sale of any item being suggested. They are very excited about this information and have set about over-implementing it to the point where lowly-associates are beginning to feel that if they don't sell enough odor eliminating candles they are going to lose their jobs.
   I would like to point out that the results of said studies are fairly obvious. There are three types of people who will purchase an item when asked.
     Type 1: The Coincidental Shopper. 
             -Of course if you ask enough people to buy a sponge eventually someone is going to come in who has been needing a sponge and forgot until just then. They will happily buy a sponge and thank you for suggesting it

   Type 2: The Shut-The-Hell-Up Shopper.
               - If you keep talking long enough and loud enough about how wonderful this particular sponge is, some people will eventually spend the three dollars on the sponge in order to get you to stop talking. Do not misinterpret this as a successful sale. This customer will hate you a little for what you have done and vow to never let it happen again. As a result, they next time you try this on them they will turn into Evil-bitch-who-shrieks-at-you-to-stop Shopper, and you have only yourself and Upper Management to blame.

   Type 3: The Easily Influenced Idiot aka: Upper Management's Ideal Shopper.
              - There are some people who will buy whatever you tell them to because they are not very smart and don't care what they are getting as long as they are spending money. However, the three dollar sponge that you just got them to buy is at this point arbitrary since you most likely already talked them into buying a 400 dollar stand mixer even though they bake something a total of three times a year.

   These three types of people still only make up roughly 10% of everyone you ask to buy a sponge. This number is significant enough to show up on a corporate graph that someone will use to justify the whole process, but not significant enough to stop the associate from hating their life a little and 94% of the customers from hating the associate (remember Type 2 still hates you as well).

   Most shoppers hate being asked to purchase something at the check-out. It makes them feel awkward and as if they are being taken advantage of. I'm with them on that. It happens to me all the time. I'm a Type 2 because I can't be rude to people so I am constantly getting taken advantage of and harboring residual hatred as a result.
    Associates in most retail establishments are forced to hawk, bargain, and plead to sell a certain number of various add-ons every month in order to not get politely threatened by various members of management. It's a lesson in humility that you shouldn't have to repeat every two minutes every day, and yet we do. All pride is lost when the phrase "And would you like to try our new odor absorbing gel today?" is the conclusion of every conversation you have with any stranger.
   The next time someone asks you so purchase a two dollar item, or asks you to sign up for a rewards program, stop and evaluate the situation:
     Did the associate mumble and fail to make eye-contact while asking you this question?
                   - If so, please consider purchasing said item knowing that this associate has been rudely rejected by so many people that day already that if you don't give them some hope they will most definitely end up shuffling home and drinking themselves into a despair stupor while mulling over how it all came to this.

   Did the associate make too much eye-contact and is their voice tinged with a hint of desperation?
                     - If so, allow me to interpret. When they asked "Would you like to try a new micro-fiber sponge today?" what they were trying to telepathically scream at you was "Please buy a sponge!!!! No one has bought a sponge all day and I'm going to get fired!!!!! Please for the love of God by a sponge!!!!!!" Once again, please consider spending the three dollars to save someone from a night of despair and a tomorrow of condemnation.

    Did the associate make the appropriate amount of eye-contact while cheerfully and sincerely offering you a sponge?
                     - If so, one of several things is happening.
                               - It is possible the associate is new to the job and is still innocent, having not suffered too much rejection yet. Please consider purchasing a sponge from them knowing that you have helped prolong this blissfully ignorant mental state for at least a few more days.
                               - It is also possible that this associate enjoys their job way too much because they are either obnoxiously positive or tragically unintelligent.* Please note that this person is most likely despised by all of their co-workers and needs to be brought down a peg or two. Feel free to rudely reject them.
                              *Statistics have proven that these two things are usually linked.
                                        - It is less likely but entirely possible that this person is simply an incredibly good actor. They still hate their job and abhor the fact that they are essentially begging you to buy things you don't need, but possess an uncanny ability to hide it from you and appear terrifyingly sincere.* Please consider buying a sponge from them because the facade can never last and constant rejection is better at destroying someone's soul than any amount of physical ammunition.
                                * I know these people exist because if I've had enough coffee I am one of them.
   If you're having a hard time telling which of these things is happening, the eyes truly are the windows to the soul. You can always tell how innocent or truly dense someone is by their eyes.
   The essential lesson to take away from this little insight into the world of retail is this: No matter how much everyone involved in the actual add-on exchange hates the process- none of them are to blame. The associate is merely doing their job under threat of punishment leading up to and/or including termination, and the customer is the unwitting target, who can't always avoid the situation because everyone needs toilet paper.
    It all comes down to misdirected rage. Associates and customers have to deal with it all the time when the only people who truly deserve angry letters and violent condemnation is Upper Management, who I imagine sit in their in-office hot-tubs eating grapes and ho-ho's together while laughing about how how many sponges they forced people to sell/buy this month and how the employee suicide rate only increased two percent while sponge sales increased ten with only three truly violent outbursts from customers.
          All in all that makes it a success.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Scenes from Retail.

Me: "Hi how can I help you today?"

Customer: "I'm looking for a blanket that will keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer but isn't down and doesn't ever have to be washed. Where would I find one of those?"

Me: "uh....Narnia."