Monthly Archives: December 2013

Badd New Post

That’s what happens when you add a B to Add New Post. I wanted to call this Random Thoughts because that’s all it is, but I probably used that before, and so did every other blogger on WordPress, Blogspot and every other site that allows us to blast the universe with our mental excrement any time we feel the need. What a universe!! Anytime I want to say something to about 200 people including about 24 that I’m absolutely positive give a shit, and 176 or so that possibly do as well, but maybe not, I can do it!! (Hmmmm, do I fix that run on sentence, or just apologize for it in parentheses?) Nothing is here to hold me back other than my own lack of energy.

Some thoughts…..

Yeah, about this blogging thing….. I don’t want to get so negative right before Christmas, but how come I only have 200 followers anyways??? A lot of the bloggers I read have like 2000 followers!! I don’t think they’re 10 times better than me. I think they are probably only marginally better than me. I need to get that exponential thing happening, otherwise….. I dunno……I’m not off on Mondays anymore, and I don’t know how much longer I can push myself to do this every week. Maybe I’ll take a break at 200 posts. That would be one post for each follower. I’m no closer to writing a book than I was when I started this. Unless it’s a book of blogs….Then I’m really close to having it done. I’m running out of blog ideas though. I’m not fishing for inspirational speeches about why I should keep going either… I’m just thinking out loud. This hurts my brain some days.

I think that trailer trash mothers need to not berate their kids so loudly while on public transit. I’m not judging people who live in trailers either. It’s just the stigma…. to be honest, I have no idea where this lady lives, but nothing her 4-year-old was doing was cutting it. ‘Hold on, sit up, stand up, do up your jacket, pick up your scarf, take off your hat, put on your gloves, don’t walk, stand still, sit down, do up your shoes, tuck in your shirt’….. and on and on and on. Dammit woman… stop micromanaging the shit out of your kid on this bus ride, and lower your voice!! Your kid is gonna hate you by the time she’s six! Plus I’m trying to listen to some music. This is my quiet time where I start to unwind from work. I’m not expecting you to be quiet, but stop with the jarring voice noises!! Nothing you’ve said is important enough to say at that volume. You’re acting like you don’t have any stains on your sweatpants, but you aren’t perfect, and all you’re doing is training somebody to be miserable like you. END THE CYCLE!!!

In complete contrast to what I just said, I have another thought which I’d like to share with you. I said this to a friend a couple of years back and he said it helped him. I didn’t remember saying it when he reminded me about it recently, but it makes sense when you think about it, and I was glad he remembered. He asked me about my time working in retail for many years, and how certain bitchy and/or unreasonable customers didn’t fill me with anger to the point of exploding every single day. He wanted to know how I avoided strangling people in these situations. My answer to this is simple. I don’t know their pain. You never know what somebody is going through in their personal life, or how they’ve been treated/mistreated. Sometimes people who’s lives are spiraling out of control can get into customer service situations, and become completely unreasonable to you or I. A lot of times it’s because they can’t control what’s going on in their life, but whatever situation is happening now seems like something they can control and/or get a win out of. I don’t take these situations personally. If somebody is completely unreasonable and un-cooperative, I know deep down that it’s probably because they have other issues outside of this that are making them act that way. I try to find a resolution, and when possible I try to show them some kindness. I try to remember that I’m very fortunate in the grand scheme of things, and I have a really good life. Not everyone is as lucky as me, and if trying to win some sort of weird customer service battle is going to bring them some happiness or satisfaction, I try to let the babies have their bottles. I won’t let it bring me down.

I hope that you can all keep that in mind over the holiday season while you’re elbowing to get to the front of a line, or jostling for a parking spot. People are crazy this time of year, but only they (and sometimes not even) know why! Don’t judge them if you don’t know their pain…… Except for that lady on the bus with her kid…. she needs to take it down a notch 😉

I won’t see you until after Christmas, so I wish all of you (24 or 200 people) a wonderful holiday season. Be good to each other!

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – The Sad, Twisted Tale


I would have to say that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the best Christmas song that isn’t ‘Little Drummer Boy’ or that Paul McCartney song that isn’t on Itunes. I was walking through a store listening to it with a fresh ear the other day, and a few things occurred to me. If you examine the lyrics a little closer, it is not a happy Christmas song, but rather a song about oppression and racism. Listen to the lyrics again with that in mind.

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’….he’s not just a reindeer, he’s a ‘red-nosed’ reindeer. ‘Had a very shiny nose’……We’re already pointing out physical differences between him, and what’s considered to be a ‘normal’ reindeer. ‘And if you ever saw it, YOU would even say it glows’…….what they’re saying here is that his physical appearance is so different that EVEN YOU couldn’t be polite and non-judgemental. Even the least prejudice person in the world would HAVE to make a comment about Rudolph’s fucking nose.

‘All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games’…… Laughing and calling him names???? No reindeer games??? What the fuck is a reindeer supposed to do with his free time if they don’t let him play reindeer games?? They make this shit sound so temporary too, but do you know how old a reindeer has to be before he/she can fly a sleigh?? At least 14!! How did I figure that out, you ask? Well, I don’t know shit about reindeer, but a horse has to be at least 2 years old to race at your local racetrack, and there’s 7 dog years to a human year, so I figure Rudolph has to be at least 14 before they consider putting him on the sleigh. That’s 14 years of abuse! You can say this job is seasonal all you want, but reindeering is a lifestyle! He’s not a fucking volunteer firefighter for fuck sakes, this is his full-time job! He doesn’t work for 2 weeks a year and then fly back to Wisconsin for the rest of the year to chill. He lives at the North Pole (which is in Canada by the way ;)) all year round. A place where his nose is just so fucking red, that EVEN YOU would say it glows.

‘Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say’……Santa, the absentee landlord of the north pole. Enabler of bad reindeer behavior, who’s lost all control of the workplace, and done NOTHING to promote equality among his workers. ‘Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight’….HOW CONVENIENT that Santa just happens to have a freak of nature in his back pocket to play on a foggy night. ‘Then all the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out with glee. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, you’ll go down in history.’

The story ends happily ever after, right? Rudolph takes the high road. Saves Christmas. Proves himself useful, and earns his place among the ‘normal’ reindeer, maybe even going down in history. Maybe. There’s a part of me that always wants that song to end a little differently. Perhaps in the style of Bing Crosby or Perry Como or one of those guys that used to talk in the middle of the song a bit. There would still be a bit of music in the background, but it could turn into one of those breakdowns in the middle of a song, where they talk to each other instead of sing. It could be a conversation between Santa and Rudolph, and it would go a bit like this…..(When you do the Rudolph voice in your mind, it only works if it’s that high-pitched Rudolph voice from that TV special that used to come on every year… you know the one)

Santa: Say, Rudolph…it’s gonna be a foggy one out there tonight.

Rudolph: Yeah Santa, yeah??

Santa: You know the other reindeer just tease you cuz they like ya, right??

Rudolph: Really Santa?? Really?? You mean the last 14 years of suffering and abuse was all out of love??? Wow!!!

Santa: Yeah, and you’ve been a good sport about it too! I was thinkin….. since you’ve been such a good sport, and since you’ve got that red nose and all…….I’ve got an offer for you….. how would you like to guide my sleigh tonight??? Right in the front!!

Rudolph: Wow!! Really Santa??

Santa: Really Rudolph….. Head Reindeer in charge!

Rudolph: Santa??

Santa: Yes Rudolph….

Rudolph: I have a counter offer for you…

Santa: What might that be????


Rudolph flies to Wisconsin for a better life.

The end.

Holiday Shopping Lineup Stream Of Consciousness

Shit……I can’t believe I waited this long……This is a long time to lineup for Yoga Pants……Ass sculpting pants that I believe them to be……Still too long…….I would love to line up half this long, and pay half this money……Awww man it’s hot in here, should I take off my jacket?…… I think an underarm sweat just dripped down my side……gross…….it tickles…….look at this chick trying to convince her husband that she needs that jacket……just get it…….if you think he’s gonna sign off on that, you’re crazy……nobody NEEDS a $300 jacket…..he doesn’t care, he just wants to leave this store…..just buy it so he can go watch football……do you think you’re gonna feel better if he ‘buys in’??……not gonna happen, just get it…….or don’t……but put the poor guy out of his misery……I can’t believe I ate McDonald’s before getting into this lineup……I read an article last week about how it was unfit for human consumption……and I ate it less than a week later……I suck……Maybe I should do yoga again…..I sweat too much…….like a faucet……so embarrassing…….I like these inspirational quotes on the wall…….”Friends are more important than money”……. that’s hilarious coming from a store that charges this much for Yoga Pants…….”Do one thing a day that scares you”…….I ate McDonald’s before lining up at Lululemon in December……..”Dance, Sing, Floss and Travel”……These are hilarious…..Who comes up with this shit?……… I would love to get a job creating inspirational quotes….. How about this one….. “The world is your hamburger……”…..Harder than I thought……I thought I had something there……Man, this McDonald’s is affecting my mind……Who brings their kids to the mall and expects to get feedback on purchases?…… That’s dumb…..What does an 8-year-old know about fashion?……Are you trying to keep them engaged in what’s happening???? Give them a toy….. Or tell them to read the quotes on the wall……I wonder how high/drunk/sweaty Rob Ford would be if he had to line up here…..Why do so many people have Canada Goose jackets??….. So expensive…..What’s an Arctic Program??…..I wanna be a part of an Arctic Program, do I have to buy a jacket or is it ‘no purchase necessary’?…….People in the city do not need that kind of protection….. Get over yourself, you just walk from the parking lot to the office……Is it really a program, or just a badge, or are they trying to make people feel like they’re in a club so they can sell more jackets?……that’s dumb….. Why do I feel like I want to be a part of it?…..I want to be in the Arctic right now, cut a hole in the frozen lake, and have a sea otter pop out and play with me…… that would be cool…..This lineup is slow…..Are they selling warranties or something???….. I better not buy a warranty, my wife always gets mad……I wonder what the return policy is….. This gift better work out, I am not coming back here……Wow, they have menswear here??….. What self-respecting man…… who cares….. I wonder how much Santa Claus gets paid?…..He can’t be doing all this for free……I’m gonna get into the eggnog a bit more this year…… I always forget about it until Christmas Eve, but I think I should keep some in the fridge for the whole month…… I have lots of dark rum……. I wish I was doing something way more glamorous right now…… I should be in France or something…… eating pastries…….Ughhh this music is too uplifting…… It’s having the reverse effect….. I want to go on an angry rampage……that would be dumb…… I’ll continue to wait quietly….. I wish I could get paid handsomely for waiting for stuff….. I’m pretty patient, and perfect for the job I would imagine…….I would totally wait for stuff all the time if it was my job……It sucks that I’m not getting paid right now…….That’s what makes it unpleasant……Plus these shoppers are idiots….. Just get the first one you picked up…..The gut instinct is almost always right….. The shirts you’re looking at are getting uglier and uglier the longer you stay here…..Oh my god I’m near the front of the line…….I feel like I’m being rescued from a deserted island after 5 years……. this is awesome…….”that will be on credit, please!”

Holiday Retail Pet Peeves Part 2

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday shopping experience is underway for most people. Having spent a good chunk of time as a retail professional, I’ve been on both sides of this simultaneously, several times. There’s those long grinding hours on your feet trying to make everyone’s holiday wishes come true, and then if you can possibly squeeze it in on break or after work, doing the same for your own family and friends. People get stressed out over the holidays. I’ve never really understood why. I think it has to do with unrealistic expectations being set either by yourself, or by others. I think high expectations can be a good thing because it makes you strive for success, but when those expectations are too specific, it can lead to disappointment. For example, I think it’s great to say “I want to find a great gift for my mom this year.” It’s a lofty expectation, but very achievable. When you start saying “I want to find a purple blouse with pink flowers that has a 60/40 cotton/polyester blend in just the right size that will go just perfectly with those pants she loves to wear and that new scarf I bought her last year, but it needs to be from that store that she loves, and can’t be dry-clean only for my mom this year”…….. you might be setting yourself up for a bit of disappointment.

Last year I wrote part one of this blog, and was putting the consumers on blast for treating retailers like shit over the holidays while we humbly aid you in trying to make this ‘the best Christmas ever!!’ This year I will take the side of the shopper, and take aim at a few of the stores, and sales people whose ineptitude does not help us track down our purple blouses any faster. I bring you Holiday Retail Pet Peeves, Part 2.

– First of all, you don’t need to play Christmas music in November. This has gotten about as out-of-control as I ever could have imagined. I love Christmas, and I enjoy hearing Christmas music as much as the next guy, for about 2 weeks MAXIMUM! As a retail professional, I understand the psychological reasoning behind playing it as early as possible. It gets that clock ticking in people’s heads. As soon as Gene Autry’s voice starts singing ‘Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus’, all the little Santa Claus’s out there start shifting into the holiday panic mode, and if you’re a retailer, why wouldn’t you want to stretch that out for as long as possible?? It makes perfect business sense. Here’s the problem….. It’s fuckin’ tasteless!!! There is absolutely NO NEED to play Christmas music before December 1st. Even that’s early for my liking, but it’s a compromise.

– As a retailer, if you’re going to run a promo for a limited time, you had better have that promo item in stock! For your customers, and for the poor bugger on the sales floor that’s going to spend his day getting yelled at. This should never happen, but I’ve seen it happen a number of times. The last time it happened to me, I was working at a major national department store in the seasonal department (aka the Christmas Tree department). They put out an ad in print and on their website which was email blasted to their database. It was a great promotion on a particular make and model of a Christmas Tree, but it was a one-day sale. I can’t remember what the discount was, but it was substantial. When I got into work that morning, it was the first I’d heard of it. I checked to see how many of those trees we had in stock. We had none. ZIP. ZILCH. ZERO. We had already sold out of them. Now, if you run an ad like that, you’re probably smart enough to put something on the bottom that says ‘while supplies last’, and that typically gets you out of most customer service situations….. but when it’s 10:05 in the morning, and you opened at 10:00, and you have 3 or 4 customers there already asking for this tree, you’re gonna have a tough time convincing them that you sold out this morning already. Maybe at 1 pm I can make this claim, but not at 10:05. So I spent my whole day explaining to customers that we were sold out for several days leading up to this event. You get the whole ‘why wouldn’t you save some for the event?’ (Because customers of course assume that the same poor slug who’s selling them the tree is also responsible for advertising and inventory levels of a national retail chain….. I mean, wouldn’t they be???) Anyways, I spent the whole day hearing stories of how far they drove, and how much it meant to them, and their opinions on our customer service and blah blah wah wah wah. Lovely.

– Every time I turn my head, the mall hours keep getting longer and longer. A few of us were chatting the other day about when they first introduced ‘Sunday Shopping’. Malls around here used to be closed on Sundays. Man, what a world! I think I like the option of shopping on a Sunday, but they just keep creeping the hours, earlier, later, longer. Why would a mall need to be open on a Saturday night? In December I get it, but all-year-round? Maybe if there’s a movie theater in the mall, and a bunch of hip restaurants, but I would say most malls should be closed at 6 pm on a Saturday. Let mall employees have a life for crying out loud. I don’t think it brings anybody new to the mall. I don’t think there is a sub-culture of Saturday night shoppers who wouldn’t do it any other time of the day/week that we’re finally capitalizing on. People will work within the parameters you give them. We always did before.

Well, I’ll save some for next year. All the best in your holiday shopping endeavors. Be safe out there.