This Christmas, Think Inside The Box

| Right | December 24, 2016

(I am a middle-aged female employee at a fabric and crafts store and am on the floor helping people with finding items and planning crafts. A very tall man in his early thirties comes up to me.)

Man: “I am looking for gift boxes, but I can’t seem to find one large enough.”

Me: “All our holiday gift boxes have been moved to the front. I’ll show you.”

(I take him to the boxes and he begins considering which one to get and isn’t sure any of them will work.)

Me: “What kind of thing are you trying to fit in the box? Maybe I can help you find the right size.”

Man: “Well, I kind of need one with a lid that pops off.”

Me: “But what are you going to put in the box? Do you have it with you? We can check to see if it fits.”

Man: *looks awkward and mumbly* “Yeah… um. Have you heard of the SNL skit by Lonely Island about… um… things in boxes?”

(I understand immediately. I’m older but love funny things and being a general goofball. He’s referring to a song called “D*** in a Box” where the singer cuts a hole in the box and puts his junk in that box then makes his romantic partner open the box.)

Me: “Ah, yes, sir, I have! Hmmm. Have you considered the wine gift boxes?” *these boxes are very long and cylindrical*

Man: *seems somewhat thrown and relieved by my matter-of-factness* “No, I need something that opens at the top. And I need it to be really sturdy and big enough so I can cut into it and it will still hold up. I’m going to thread my belt through it to hold it up. There’s no room for my belt, and, um, in the wine box.”

Me: *I find something more rectangular with a flip open lid, about 6″ tall and 8″ square* “Hmmm, How about this one? It opens, has a magnetic closure and evens says “Rejoice!” in giant letters on the top. ‘See what I’ve got? Rejoice ye who open the box!’”

Man: *laughs* “Yes, I think that’s perfect! But I need a second one for my brother-in-law; we’re going to do a skit for the family this year.”

(I find this odd, but press forward as if I do not. Honestly, it sounds like a quite interesting family.)

Me: *picks up a slightly smaller box in the same design* “How about this one? I assume you want to seem like the bigger man.”

Man: *chortles* “If he asks me why I could say ‘Yeah, I’ve talked to your wife, dude, and you totally need a smaller box.’”

(We both laugh but he ends up getting the same size box as his own to avoid family fights over the holidays over d***-box-size. I still enjoy imagining that family’s Christmas party. “Hey Grandma, I got something to show ya!”)

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The Retail Hibernation Begins

| Working | December 21, 2016

(It’s been an unusually warm December, and no snow on Christmas eve, and yet I hear this conversation at work:)

Coworker: “I’m going to go on my 15 minute break.”

Manager: “What, you’re going to make snow angels?”

Coworker: “Have you been outside recently?”

Manager: “I work retail; I haven’t been outside for two months.”

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Beware Of Crafty Customers

| Right | November 12, 2016

Me: “Hi, thank you for calling [Craft Store]; how may I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, do you sell those little bags? The ones you put drugs in.” *I laugh thinking he’s kidding* “Well, do you?!”

Me: “Uh, yeah, we carry them in our jewelry making department.”

Customer: “Why would they be over there?!”

Me: “Uh, because you put beads in them.”

Customer: “Oh, well, that makes sense. Yeah, I want to buy them to put screws in them.”

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Put Away Your Confidence

| Working | November 3, 2016

(I and the coworker in this story are both cashiers at a small craft store. We’re such a small store that normally we only have one register operator at a time and we call for backup as needed. On this particular day my coworker and I have our schedules overlapped for about an hour, so she is sent to put returned items back. However, I keep calling her to register and she’s barely been able to get through the few items there were. Finally, we’re down to the last ten minutes and the last item.)

Coworker: “I’m going to go try to put my last item back.”

Me: “Good luck to you, with the way it’s been in here. I mean, you only have ten minutes. Are you sure you can do it?”

Coworker: *very cheerfully* “Nope! I have zero confidence in my ability to get this put away! But I’m going to try anyway!”

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Attack Of The Customers

| Right | October 2, 2016

(Things customers have said to me today that I thought were jokes… and weren’t:)

Customer #1: “What’s this sale you have going on?” *I explain it* “Oh, but that’s not the stuff I came in for. Can you change it?”

Customer #2: “Last month this was on sale. I want that price.”

Customer #3: “I want a yellow marker.” *I ask for clarification because we have at least 20 types of markers for all different mediums* “I said yellow. That kind. Kids… can’t listen for three seconds…”

Customer #4: “Hmm… I don’t like that price. You need to change it for me. I prefer around [smaller amount].”

Customer #5: *after doing a price check* “You are really annoying me right now. I don’t like that price at all. This is so frustrating that you are telling me this.”

Customer #6: “It’s disgusting that you don’t sell groceries here. Why do you make me go to TWO stores each week?”

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