Thursday, September 29, 2011

Scenes from Retail.

Me: Ok and the coupon saves you four dollars so your total comes to $37.95

Customer: Wait, the coupon is only for one item?

Me: Well, yes, but it automatically comes off your most expensive item to save you the most money! *Giant smile and fake enthusiasm in an effort to ward off the inevitable...*

Customer: Oh. Well, I thought it was off my entire purchase...

Me: Oh, I'm terribly sorry about that, how about if you come across anymore you just bring them back in and I'll apply them towards today's purchase?

Customer: But I thought it was off the entire thing. It was a little unclear.

Me: Well as you can see on the coupon itself right here it says "Off one single item".

Customer: Well how was I supposed to see that?

Me: It's the biggest thing on the coupon.

Customer: Well, I was confused by it.

Me: *twitch*

Customer: I found it confusing.

Me: I am very sorry about that. Did you still want to purchase these items?

Customer: The coupon. It was confusing.

My Brain: GGGHAAAAAAAAHHHHH %*&$#@!!!!!

Me: I am so sorry about that, let me see what I can do to accommodate you today....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Apologize for the Convenience: Why Hoarders is no joke.

   A few weeks ago I started watching Hoarders for the first time ever. I was unaware when I started how quickly that show can suck you in. You sit down to watch one episode and before you know it you're halfway through a season and your own junk drawer is spread out on your living room floor as you desperately try to purge your life of anything resembling clutter. 
    It got so bad for me that I got a message from my cousin who shares my Netflix account which read:
                "I've been noticing how much Hoarders you have been watching lately and it's beginning to concern me. Is everything okay over there?"

   I replied with a few jokes and assurances that I am capable of handling such things like a mature adult, but she was right to be concerned. You can only watch so many kitty corpses be unearthed in someone's guest bedroom before the general horror of this affliction turns into full-on depression. Two episodes will make you feel great about your own house. Five episodes will change how you feel about that empty cereal bowl that's been sitting on your desk for three days from slight embarrassment to full blown terror.  
    Unlike my sister, who has to fight the urge to keep everything from empty lotion bottles to her baby teeth, I am almost the opposite of sentimental. I rarely have a problem tossing anything that I am not currently using and I only kept my childhood toys out of respect for my Mother. They have since been lost in the chaos of moving several times last year, and if I really think about it really hard, I get a little sad. 
   (I took a psychological profiling survey once that classified this behavior as psychopathic. I'll take psychopathic over pathological hoarder any day.)
    The nice thing about Hoarders is if you stop watching it (if you can stop watching) you can forget about it and remove yourself emotionally from the horror of it. 
    Except that I totally know a hoarder. I'm not even kidding, I wish I was. For the purposes of anonymity in the event that she finds and somehow learns to use a computer, and happens upon this post, we shall refer to her as Bilbo, for reasons that will soon become clear. (Also she kind of resembles him only bigger. Much bigger.)
    I know that Hoarding is a serious mental disorder and that we should be sensitive and understanding of those afflicted by it... but this woman drives me crazy. I know she only comes in to the store because she is sad and alone and a compulsive hoarder, but holy crap lady how many dented broilers do you need?
   When I spot Bilbo ambling across the parking lot I find every excuse to hide. These excuses have become so desperate they now include the following:
        - I think I saw someone puke in housewares, I'll go clean it up.

         - I'm really upset about my hamster dying

        - I have really bad cramps.

        - I'm just really emotional right now because I saw this Youtube video of a Lion hugging a human and I can't stop crying about it.

    I'm really good at handling crazy people. I used to work in the Aspen Valley for crying out loud and those women are bat-shit. It's just that Bilbo's personality can literally change in a split-second. She'll start out by calling you "Sweetheart" and "Honey" and then the very instant you even think about saying no to giving her an additional discount on the half-off used Bra-Baby in her hands she morphs into a crazy-ass gremlin and starts shouting expletives and accusing you of (I'm not even kidding right now) trying to get her to hyperventilate and die.
    Seriously every time she doesn't get what she wants it's like this:

  "You're exaggerating" you say. "She's just a lonely old lady who want's someone to talk to." you say. I'll prove it. Here is a play-by-play of her last transaction at our establishment.
   Me: Hello, did you find everything okay?"

  Bilbo: (Hands me a display model of a crock-pot already marked 75% off) I want you to mark that down for me.

Me: It looks like it was marked down to this price just this morning.. (looks up and sees the familiar glare beginning to form) but let me call a manager and see what I can do!

Bilbo: Oh thanks so much Sweetie that's very nice of you!
(Non-confrontational manager marks down crock-pot without saying a word in an effort to get her out of the store as quickly as possible. Bilbo then pulls a total of six Jupiter Jacks out of her cart.)
 Bilbo: I want to know why these are marked down to $2.50 a piece. How do I know they are going to work if they are so cheap?
"cheeaaper pleeaassssse"

Me: Well I haven't heard too much about them I just know they haven't sold terribly well, probably because they plug into the cigarette lighter in your car.

Bilbo: I don't have a cigarette lighter.... oh well they will make great Christmas presents. I don't suppose I could get them any cheaper?

Me: Unfortunately these items can't be discounted because they are not damaged.

Bilbo: I can't believe this! Why the hell would I spend that much money on things I can't even use! If you don't mark them down I swear to GOD I WILL MAKE A FORMAL COMPLAINT! (Full on scary Bilbo face) I WILL HAVE YOUR JOB! I'M HAVING HEART PALPITATIONS AND I'M LATE FOR A DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT! WHERE IS THAT MANAGER WHO MARKED DOWN THE CROCK-POT??!!

Me: (Desperately)Why don't I just use this coupon you have on those and save you an additional 20%?

Bilbo: Oh...... well alright Honey if that's really the best you can do.....
  (I have seen enough Hoarders now to know that all of those Jupiter Jacks are now buried in the piles of other useless crap she has bought in the past, and will never become gifts. Plus, if we're her only friends, who's she going to give them too?)

   She proceeded to purchase:
         - Two double Boilers marked 75% off because of dents

         - A child's play tent (You know, for the neighborhood kids)

         - Three 50% off tank-tops, size S (This woman is at least a 2XL)

         - Four egg slicers

         - A used Genie Bra, size M.

         - A Frog key-chain that lights up and "ribbits" when you push a button, clearanced out for 39 cents because it doesn't actually make any sound. 
                         - She pondered this particular purchase for a good ten minutes, asking me if I thought the batteries just needed changed. You cannot change the batteries on two dollar key-chains. She eventually made the purchase after telling me her ex-brother-in-law is good with things like that and she's pretty sure he could repair it. Who want's to bet this froggy key-chain will never be seen again unless someone nominates Bilbo for the show?

    This post has no resolution because there is no resolution for Bilbo. It's like one of those really depressing episodes of Hoarders where the person cracks under the pressure and kicks the cleaning crew out of their house. The screen fades to solemn camera panning of the house and  then some close-ups of the person peering out through their window at the dump trucks pulling out. The script reads:

(fade in)
           " The clean-up is considered a failure and the crew pulls out after only three hours." 
(fade out)
(fade in):
        " Bilbo has refused aftercare and will not see a therapist."
(fade out)
(fade in):
"Her Hoarding shows no signs of stopping."
(fade in underneath):
"Neither does her verbal abuse of retail employees"


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Scenes from Retail.

 Me: (in reference to Madonna's song "4 Minutes" playing over the speaker system) I just don't get this song.. it really reminds me of Larryboy.

Male Coworker: Larryboy?

Me: Ya you know, the superhero version of Larry the Cucumber...

Male Coworker: .....Cucumber.....?

Me: Ya, you know... he sings the Water Buffalo Song!

Male Coworker: The.....Water Buffalo....Song....

Me: Yes! (Proceeds to sing Water Buffalo Song in it's entirety)

Male Coworker:.............It truly is a wonder that you're still single......

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Confessions of a self proclaimed baby-phobe (the medically correct term is pedophobe but that just sounds wrong).

   This summer I went on a journey of self discovery. Not a real journey, those take a lot of planning and apparently money, so the physical journey of self discovery will be taking place in the future (more on that that later... maybe.. but probably not).
     No folks, this summer I had an emotional journey of self discovery, set in motion and made possible by several individuals and many technological communication devices.

   Okay so if we want to get technical here, it was really someone else's emotional journey. They put in all the hard work, heartbreak, struggle and joy and what I did was watch from afar and feed off the emotion emanating from various Facebook posts and/or texts. At any rate, while someone else was going through what was perhaps simultaneously the most difficult and joyous time of their life, I was cyber stalking them and learning some things about myself. So here's the thing....

I actually really like a baby.

    I know right? I don't like babies. I'm a self diagnosed baby-phobe. I don't understand them, I can't stop them from crying, and I'm always sure their parent's are judging me for not holding them right. But there is something about this baby... I'm not even related to her and yet every time I see a picture of her I make that obnoxious sound that dumb girls make every time they see a picture of a cat wearing clothes.
     Watch this: I give you, Baby Piper.........

"With the pearls! And the Bow! Eeek and her TINY FINGERS!"

      I know you guys, I'm broken. What is wrong with me?! I hate myself for loving this baby. What is it about her that gives me that weird excitement gurgle in the pit of my stomach? 
    I have always been able to judge babies completely objectively. (Not all babies are cute, and if you don't want to know the truth don't show me your baby because it's hard for me to lie convincingly.) So I guess it's possible that this is in fact the cutest baby in the world right? Because that's what my formerly objective brain is telling me.
      (Maybe it's because I have never met her- it's a lot easier to like something when you've never smelled it's poop.)

     This baby has me doubting myself in ways I never thought possible. A large portion of my personality is dependent on my apathy towards babies. If I admit to liking this baby, what comes next? I start liking pink toss pillows and Precious Moments figurines and start wearing bows in my hair and volunteering to teach Sunday School? If this is where it starts, where does it end?
    I noticed a wavering in my stance on babies a few months ago when I met my friend's daughter Maggie, of "token baby" fame.  I enjoyed that baby's company to the point where I almost volunteered to babysit. Almost.

    But there is something about this baby. Her story, or rather her parent's story, and her tiny LITTLE CHUBBY CHEEKS, and how she somehow accidentally became a part of my life. 
     So anyway, at the risk of bringing this whole Blog crashing down around itself due to it's flaky comedic foundation not being able to support the weight of this post, here is my confession: 

The Truthful Tale of How I Became Uncharacteristically Emotionally Attached to a Baby I Have Never Even Met.

   My sister's friend Kari got pregnant.* Obviously that's the beginning of the story, since the story ends with a baby. I didn't really care at that point though. No offense to anyone but people get pregnant all the time. I have documented proof (Sixteen and Pregnant) that it doesn't take a scholar to form an embryo. 
      *Why does that sound dirty? Anybody else notice that? It just always sounds like an accident when you put it that way... like, "I got Mono". I tried to class it up  but "with child" makes it sound like Jesus is about to pop out.

    So my sister was all,
  "Hey my friend is pregnant isn't that great?" and I said:
    "Ya cool!" and thought "Great, another freakin baby I'm gonna have to pretend is cute"

   But over the course of the next few months as I learned more about Kari, her husband, and the tiny person that one day would be Piper I found myself in an awkward place- emotionally invested in the lives of a family I do not know. 
   Kari's husband is a Marine and is currently deployed overseas. When they found out he would not be there for Piper's birth they began making plans to document everything as best they could. My sister is addicted to event planning and I can only imagine she jumped in and was halfway through the baby shower decoration designs with a junkie's glimmer in her eye before Kari even had a chance to ask her. She connected Kari with my roommate Rhema to take some maternity photos.
   It wasn't long before I was hearing about Kari from not only my sister but my roommate, my mother, and a friend of the family. Given my penchant for not giving a crap, I got nervous when I found myself caring.
   I actually wanted to know how things were going... I would text my sister just to check up on the tiny bun in a stranger's oven, and I found myself doing something I still have a hard time admitting- I Facebook stalked.*

      *It turned out to be less awkward when I found out Kari is a fan of this blog and had stalked me on more than one occasion. Still, it's just more creepy to sift through maternity pictures of a couple you don't even know...

   When I was told it was a girl I actually squeaked a little. It was so out of character that a coworker who was sitting near me when it happened actually offered me a painkiller. I found myself thinking about tiny little dresses and dolls. Seriously what is WITH that? I have seen a ton of baby girls before and my foremost thought is usually "we get it, she's a princess, can we tone down the pastels please?". And yet....

Gah!!! with the BOWS.... and the FEATHERS!

    Because Kari's husband couldn't be there for the birth my sister was offered the job. Don't even ask me how that happened, I'm still mystified. I love my sister but I can only imagine it going down like this:
      "OMG it's like, so gross down there. Oh Gosh what is HAPPENING?! Look I know you're the one in labor but I just really need to tweet about this.. it's like, soooo exciting! OMG are you ok? Push.... now smile for the camera!"*
     *I'm told it was nothing like this and she is a responsible adult.. but I can't get the 16 year old version out of my head.

   At any rate my sister was in the delivery room holding an iPhone with Kari's husband watching via Skype. Doesn't that just give you the tingles? It makes you want to smile all big and cry a little at the sweetness and emotion of it all right?* 
           *What has become of me? Maybe I should start collecting Beanie Babies.

    Because of my sister's very serious addiction to cell phones I was informed almost immediately when little Piper was on her way. I spent the next several hours locked in an emotional struggle with myself that went something like this:

Me: Oh my gosh Piper is on her way! I hope it's going alright! I hope Kari is okay!
Me: What do you care? it's so late go to bed already.
Me: But the baby is coming! I haven't gotten an update in awhile.. I hope everything is okay...
Me: You don't even know these people. If they let Leslie into the delivery room how smart can they be?
Me: is going to be gooey and smooshed and not cute at all... go to bed..
Me: Baby's coming...
Me: Who gives a crap?
Me: Baby....

    It's important to point out here that of course my emotional struggle is minuscule compared to the person actually giving birth without her husband there to hold her hand. Even thinking about the emotion-casserole involved in the whole situation makes me tear up a little. I can't stop admiring their strength.
     That said when I finally got an update saying an emergency C-section was scheduled I actually got worry-pangs in my stomach. Worry about two things:
    1. I hope and pray that Kari and Piper are both okay.
    2. I hope this baby is cute so I don't have to lie about it.

   I have been shown literally dozens of grainy cell phone pics of newborns and I think we can all agree that 90% of them are disgusting. For pete's sake can we just clean the white goo off it's face before snapping a photo? No one needs to remember the goo twenty years from now. I've seen pictures of me fresh out of the uterus and they are not attractive. I was born with the under-eye bags of a sixty-year old insomniac with a drinking problem.
   So I was at first surprised, then relieved, and finally horrified when I received my first picture of Piper and immediately thought she was beautiful...

With the tiny fingers holding the big finger!!! and her tiny little nose!!!

    Seriously I can't figure it out. Have I lost all objectivity, or is this honestly one of the cutest newborns in the world?  Suddenly I became that person running around the workplace forcing coworkers who couldn't give a crap to look at grainy cell phone pictures of my sister's friend's new baby. I abhorred myself at the time, and everyone else just thought maybe I was on drugs because why else would I be this emotional.  

    At any rate, it all went well and I received dozens of other pictures in the following weeks. My mother is now providing daycare for Piper and from what I can tell my whole family is just as obsessed with her. I can't decide if this is normal or not but there you have it. 
    I skyped them last week but it turns out babies aren't very good at video chat. They can't hold their heads up so they just stare at the ceiling and get increasingly frustrated by the disembodied voices. Nothing you say can really help them understand either.. comments like 
   "Hey baby, over here!" are met with startled gurgling and you can't help but follow it up with 
   "Hey baby, this is Jesus speaking... I'm watching you.... mwahahahaha.... oh don't cry baby I love you! I was just being funny..."

   I can't wait to meet this baby. Of course it's possible that this entire thing is only happening in my imagination and I'm really just like that crazy lady who stalked Paula Abdul for like four years or whatever, and the only result of this post will be a restraining order. I don't even care because this baby is way cuter than Paula Abdul and I don't want to kidnap her I just want to be her friend.

Look! with the teddy bear! And she is sucking her TINY thumb!!!

WHO AM I???!!!!!

   ***All of Piper's baby pictures were taken by Rhema Sturgeon of Rhema Faith Photography. I'm not just saying this to be nice, you all know I would never do that, but she is extremely talented and artistic. Check out her website here or follow the link on the side of my blog to visit her blog!***

Monday, September 5, 2011

Scenes from Retail.-Holiday Special

Happy Labor Day everyone! While you were all busy drinking, snacking, and generally relaxing, I was at work (as usual) having this conversation. More than once.

Me: Your total is $57.26 today.

Customer: Those rugs are on sale.

Me: Actually they are still full price.

Customer: The sign said they were half-off!

Me: Actually it's just the blue that's half-off. The other colors, including these beige ones, are not.

Customer: Well the sign should say that!

Me: Notice here at the top of the sign where it says "Blue only"....

Customer: Well no one would notice that!

Me: Yes, that's why we typed it in bold.......and then underlined it.......and then highlighted it......and then printed two more......

Customer: Look I'm just saying, it's confusing is all....

Me: I am very sorry about that, would you still like the rugs?

Customer: Not for full price!

Me: So, no on the rugs then?

Customer: Well I don't want to pay that much for them, they are too expensive!

Me: So... I'll just put these away for you.....?

Customer: That sign was very confusing.

Me: And I do apologize for that. Will you be purchasing these rugs today?

Customer: The sign......

Me: Is highlighted.....and underlined.... and only in front of the blue rugs.

Customer: But I was confused by it.

Me: That is unfortunate... would you like to pick out some different rugs?

Customer: I like those rugs.

Me: They are very nice rugs.

Customer: The sign...