Retail? Therapy!

You’ve heard the expression “going postal”? I would have thought that “going retail” would be a more likely scenario – especially at this time of year.

Consider, if you will, the work environment of your typical sales assistant: The sound system has been spewing canned Christmas carols since October; there are annoyingly shiny things reflecting the light wherever you turn; and the store is clogged with customers who all appear to have had bargain-bin lobotomies. How is it that shop personnel are able to stand it day after day without exploding? You’d be able to replace the outer layer of the space shuttle with their stomach lining.

But there’s no time for these poor bastards to relax, even now, because in the week before New Year, ’tis the season to return (fala-lala-laah-la-lala-laah). Through some quirk of celestial mechanics (or possibly, plain stubborn stupidity), people who return gifts shortly after the solstice seem to lose all ability to read. Well, okay, maybe not all ability, but they certainly struggle with one particular phrase: “No returns without proof of purchase”


24 thoughts on “Retail? Therapy!

  1. Yeah, I always try to be as understanding as possible to those that work retail. It’s a tough job this time of year, and I feel bad when they have to deal with some moron trying to return something that wasn’t obviously purchased at that store.


  2. During this holiday season I was in the checkout line at Walmart and there came this elderly man who walked up behind the female cashier. She was also elderly and quite self-assured. With a very sheepish and extremely cute smile, he asked her what time she was getting off. When it was my turn to pay, I asked if the gentleman was her husband. She chuckled, and, with a well used smile, said yes. He was waiting for her to give her a ride home.It’s nice to make Walmart human whever possible.


  3. Suffice it to say I am SO glad I liked all of my gifts and don’t have to return anything.

    I couldn’t imagine being in retail at all, much less this time of the year.


  4. tripeak: A healthy dose of perspective. And socks.

    Phoenix: When the Martians land and begin subjugating the earth, it’s going to be the retail people who will lead the resistance.

    Brian: She probably didn’t want to disappoint you. I’ll bet you old dude was her lurve slave.

    scott: Certainly do. Do you have proof of purchase?

    tj: That’s because your nearest & dearest actually get you what you want, rather than something they like.

    Caroline: January sales / Relentless consumerism / The edge draws closer

    Zube Girl But you are in retail – you sell experiences.


  5. I am particularly thankful during this time of year that I do not work in retail. I deal with the public every day, but at least there are very few Christmas carols playing when I do.


  6. Hmm, you’re right. I never thought about what torture the people who work in shops must be going through. They do all seem grumpy at this time of year.

    I’ve never really been a gift returner though. I’ve never really gotten anything that I didn’t like so much so that I’ve had to return it. Maybe I’m lucky.

    Hope you had a Good Holiday!!


  7. Are these the same shop assistants whose heads you wanna bite off when they approach you to ask “Can I help you”…? or are these shiny-new-improved-post-Christmas versions…? or could it be, Eeyore, that Christmas has unleashed a touch of {gasp!} humanity in ol’ Kyknoord..?
    PS Hope you liked the pink polka-dot socks I sent you from Ireland πŸ˜€


  8. jason: Because they can.

    jay: And yet, they do. Thick skins, obviously.

    sophie: Me too. I wouldn’t survive.

    juliana: Right back atcha!

    terri: I speak of the very same ones, indeed. However, in this instance, it’s more a case of fear of being in the immediate vicinity when one of them finally pops a seam. The socks are lovely, by the way. Thank you πŸ™‚


  9. I really want to leave an intelligent, well thought out, witty comment but find I only have the energy to lift my wine glass and say a feeble: Cheers! : )


  10. I remember one guy bringing back a shirt that had obviously been worn. What’s up with that??? It was wrinkled up, and even had food stains.

    You BUY clothes, you don’t RENT them.


  11. Having previously worked retail for many many a holiday season, I think “going retail” is truly more appropriate. LOL

    Happy new year and may you have a great 2006! πŸ™‚


  12. I agree with you. It’s why I never return the unwantables. But I’m notorious for re-gifting. I have one or two, just waiting for the right occasion! πŸ˜‰

    I worked retail for a decade. It’s a nightmare.



  13. Since I can’t comment on the above, just know that your in my thoughts, Kyknoord. I hope it doesn’t hurt so damn much soon. And not just because I miss your posts. But because things can only hurt so damn much for so damn long.

    Take care.


  14. Really sorry to hear that you are going through a tough time. I hope you feel better about things soon. It may sound trite to say ‘Happy New Year’ but I do hope that it is a happier one even if there will be more bad times in the coming months.


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