Monthly Archives: May 2014

There’s just something about a Sunday

I’ve worked retail for the last 19 years. That’s approximately 350 or so Sundays worked. Give or take a couple hundred. Back in the day (Which is NORMALLY a Wednesday but in this case it’s a Sunday to which I’m referring) {😁😁} .. Anyway.. As I was saying.. Back in the day.. When I worked in the bookstore, Sundays were my most FAVORITE days to work… The day was spent with two coworkers, a couple bottles of snapple, my favorite Italian sub (the best sub shop ever btw) and books, books, books. Sunday was our slowest day but was perfect for ambling up and down the aisles, picking up classics, or new books, or beloved books which felt like old friends. We’d each get lost in the book… Sometimes we’d have a lively debate, a lazy conversation with our favorite customers or just enjoy quiet reading time!! It was calm, peaceful.. FUN!!

Now, fast forward 19 years later.. Picture this.. Dreading Sundays at the Big D!! As I pull up on my once a month Sunday to work I can’t help but shudder a bit.. I picture the race car flag in my mind … 🏁 and a voice says… “And they’re off!!!!!!!!” πŸ‡ I have YET to work a Sunday at the Big D that wasn’t a WILD AND CRAZY SUNDAY!! Sometimes those Sundays entail employee theft, or escalator issues… Or one giant issue after another.. However, there’s one common denominator each and every Sunday: the people!! Sunday customers are unlike any other clients any day of the week!! I’ve wracked my brain trying to figure out why!! I can’t place it. Each Sunday we have a line of people outside of each entrance (like clockwork) and I always look around for the bus from the “home”. I never find it.

Sunday brings the crabby people, the hungover people, the high strung people who complain because the mannequin “looks angry” (I kid you not.. I’ve had that complaint). Today was no different…

9 minutes into store opening.. Called to customer service because a woman who refused to give me her name but stated she was a lawyer (and wishes she could sue for poor customer service ) wanted to complain about an accessories associate who didn’t pay any attention to her.

10 minutes after that another customer wanted to return a handbag. It didn’t work for her. She purchased it 3 years ago. It just broke. Could it be because your 3 year old just yanked it down off your shoulder by the handle, dragged it across the floor and then kicked it like a soccer ball?? Maybe? Could be?!

As I’m ready to scream “Calgon, take me away…” I am paged yet again to a customer who doesn’t understand why I can’t override the coupon (which she doesn’t have) which expired 3 and a half months ago.

On my way to customer service to ascertain where a dress may be (or may not be) in transit via fed ex (or maybe not) I’m stopped and asked if we have restrooms and if we have spring jackets?? I gleefully answered … “No we have neither I’m so sorry!!! ” And went on about my day!!!!

I love retail but HATE Sundays!!!

Bathroom Questions

Working in a large retail store means that at times we, as employees, are asked a LOT of questions.. My FAVORITE questions include (but are not limited to) :

*Do you have a bathroom here? (I would LOVE to respond.. No, I’m sorry.. We don’t.. When wehave to pee we just run down to Nordstrom)

*What’s the return policy at Saks? (I have no idea because you aren’t INSIDE Saks!)

*How do I get to …… (Insert any store here..) I see a directory but I have no idea how to read that shit.. Just tell
Me where to go. (REALLY?? Let me walk you there..)

*What time do you close? What time does the mall close?? Why do you not have a JCPEnny in this mall??

*How could YOU discontinue this product?? (Because they called me at home and asked my opinion.. I knew you liked it so I said discontinue it)

But my FAVORITE question is:

*Do you know where the bathroom is?? (My FAVORITE answer to that is.. No, I’ve worked in this building for 2 years and I have yet to find it. When you find it, could you come back and tell me where it is?)

Gotta love questions!!!



Daily 3 o’clock meetings in the retail world are normal and sometimes can be fun!! On a bright and sunny afternoon last week I experienced one of the fun ones and shockingly (!!) mrs George was a part of that !! Mrs George had a particularly bizarre interview that day (an interview where the candidate actually used the f word pretty liberally) Mrs George was in a state of shock and awe about all of this and clearly felt the need to share the circumstances with the entire group! This is good! Rarely does Mrs George share with the group!! This was tantamount to her sharing her “feelings” it’s a big deal. So her story inspired other bizarro interview stories being shared around the table. Not one to be outdone, and not one to not partake in the conversation.. I hear mrs george say: “well, listen to this one! I once had a woman interview who was convicted of a felony. For selling meat out of her basement. Seriously.” I wasn’t outraged or necessarily seeing the shock and awe factor, but said the first thing that came to my mind which was “that sounds like code.” To which, our visual manager, D, responded with “yeah, sounds like she was actually selling her ladymeat in the basement”.
The room ERUPTED in laughter… Ladymeat became our word of the day and Mrs. George, angry at being one upped yet again, stomped off in a rage!

Who do you think I am!?? πŸ†

In our position as sales managers, a lot of different “jobs” fall under the umbrella πŸŒ‚ of our responsibilities. Sometimes we are counselors to our associates, sometimes counselors to our customers, problem solvers, mediators (more on that later.. I’ve had to break up or prevent physical fights with certain beauty advisors) and sometimes we even have to be the ‘gofers’ for our associates. It just comes with the territory. One thing I love about the job in retail is that we don’t do the same things over and over. Each day is different. Each day holds a new challenge. Every day I think I’m going in to do one thing (or the 10 things on my to do list) and I end up doing none of those because other things crop up. It’s the way of the business. Wait ten minutes, things will change. So, having said that, you can probably already surmise where I’m going with this. Mrs George is NOT a personality who can handle the change OR step out the box to help her associates. Case in point:
It was a particularly busy day and the store was buzzing as the following day started out legendary POS sales (extra 30% off clearance items) you could feel the excitement in the air and all associates were on board to ready their areas and make sure things were signed. I was on my way back to the office when I witness one of Mrs George’s associates (who is black) walk in and ask her for the signs for her shoe tables. Mrs George snaps at her “they are in the back of the stockroom” she says “I know but I can’t reach them, there are fixtures blocking it and I was wondering if you could help if you have the chance”

(Poor woman.. Why oh why ask her for Help!!)

To which Mrs George snapped “can’t you have one of the guys help you?? JESUS CHRIST I’m swamped here!! Can you not see that??? I can’t do everything for you!!!!!! ” as I’m walking in and Mrs G’s associate is walking out (and within earshot still) Mrs George says to me.. “JESUS did you hear that?? Who does she think I am??? Does she think I’m her SLAVE or something?? ”

ACCCCKKKKKK!!! My only response was “MRS GEORGE SHUT THE HELL UP!! What is wrong with YOU??? That’s INAPPROPRIATE !!!! Why would you say that??”

Her response was, “what?? I didn’t mean it in a bad way!!! I’m just saying.. I can’t do EVERYTHING around here!!!”

God Help US ALL!!! Is all I can think!


The bitch and the new girl πŸ†πŸ†

*** It’s a lovely spring day, devoid of controversy when I walk into the office :

Mrs George: oh lovely!! The bitch and the new girl are friends already!

Me: well, hello to you too.

Mrs G: I don’t know why I expected anything less. I mean they are both trash!!

Me: trash is kinda harsh don’t you think??

Mrs. G: not at all.. They are trash and I call it like I see it. They went out to lunch as we are speaking TOGETHER!!

Me: well, first of all, how do you know this?? I barely know what’s going on on my floor Nevermind what’s going on on the third floor and second, why do you care?? Don’t you think we should all get along?

Mrs G: I heard the bitch page the new girl and then the new girl left. I don’t like the new girl. She says she has no relationship with her mother because she’s an alcoholic (she whispered this with as much animosity as if she was kicking puppies instead of battling a disease)

Me: well, let’s not judge someone based on a parents actions.

Mrs G: I’m not judging. I am simply stating she’s trash.
** door slams as mrs G goes out to terrorize her associates

The New Girl πŸ†πŸ†

Few things at the Big D are faced with as much trepidation as Mrs George faces a new person. I walk in to the office on a quiet midweek morning and she says to me “the new girl started”. Now, as we know, we are constantly hiring new associates (big turnover in retail always) and I had no earthly clue what she was talking about. My response was “and good morning to you too Mrs. George. What new girl are you referencing?”

With a disgusted sigh and a tone of voice usually reserved for the mentally challenged she says “the NEW accessories manager! Geez! She’s coming from Great Lakes and she’s supposedly a know it all and lazy. Sue told me on the phone last week that she likes to leave at 5 till 6 and she’s in her car at 6pm on the dot. That really burns me up, Penelope.” Now, we all know Mrs George is the self appointed head schedule watcher and there’s nothing she hates more than when people leave on time because it doesn’t affect her in the least. At all. Ever. πŸ†

And that day became infamous in my mind for reasons that will be revealed later. Suffice it to say what happened next set the tone for the entire length of Karen Smith’s career at the Big D.
Speak of the devil, Karen smith walks into the office to introduce herself. My first impression is that she’s a sweet girl, not a plastic. Immediately my eyes cut to Mrs George’s face where I literally watch her do an OBVIOUS eye roll as Karen says.. “Hi! I’m Karen! I’m the new accessories manager.” Now, “NORMAL” people would stand up, go and shake her hand and introduce themselves as well. It’s the socially acceptable thing to do. But, no. Not mrs George. She sat in her chair, looking Karen up and down and said “I’m Mrs George. I have shoes.” And then got up and walked out of the room! πŸ† now, I was left alone in the room with Karen who just stared after her with a look of confusion on her face. It was rather uncomfortable. I had no choice but to say, “well, don’t worry about her. She’s just going to her shoe floor to pee on the rug and mark her territory to keep you away. She’s very possessive. Don’t take her personally!” What a lovely first impression Mrs. George! Lovely!


The mini pink phone

A couple of weeks ago, an ex coworker called me and said he had an opportunity to move up to the buying office as a buyer for the men’s department. The new job would require a move to Little Rock, Arkansas . He called to ask me for advice. I believe his exact words were… “I’m a white man in a gay, interracial relationship. Is Arkansas the right place for us??” His partner was willing to go but he was unsure and just called to talk it out. As we were talking we started to reminisce of life at the Big D at The great northern store versus my life at the big D now at my store.

We had pizzas on Saturday in the training room, Monday meetings that made both of us crazy but it was the MOST fun working environment with the most supportive managers. We all helped each other out, pitching in and making it work.

I am beyond thrilled with where I’m working right now. I adore the location, my clients and my associates. I’ve met the most wonderful people ever In this location. People who will be forever in my life and in my heart.
Even Regina and Mrs George, as CRAZY as they make me, still provide extreme entertainment!!! ❀️❀️

As we were wrapping up our call, Bruce says to me.. “Do you miss your princess phone?? ” and the memory came flooding back to me. It was a crazy busy holiday season, stressed out beyond compare. The woman who comes in and drinks all the Clinique clarifying lotion (for the alcohol content alone) was in store and I was sick of kicking her out!! I went back to the office to decompress and I went to pick up my desk phone but in it’s place was a tiny, pink, rotary dial princess phone. As I’m laughing my ass off… In walks Bruce and says “a pretty pink princess phone for the princess” I never did find my office phone. I kept the mini pink princess phone.