Powered by Blogger.

A Sales Associate's Top 10 Annoying Moments

I work at a stationery and gift shop--and have been, on and off, for four years now. Most of the time, I really enjoy working there. I adore learning about the new paper products we get in. I get to help newly engaged people pick out their wedding invites (probably my favorite part!). I help create invitations for parties of every shape and size, from baby showers to ninetieth birthdays. I work with my customers pick out just the right present for graduations, weddings, showers, housewarmings and birthdays.

But then, there are those OTHER moments when I would like to tell the customer I am working with (in the words of Antoine Dodson--look it up on YouTube): "You are so dumb. You are really, really, really so dumb." Well, either that or strangle them.

The top ten things customers ask/ tell me that will take me from super awesome shop assistant to your worst nightmare, in order:

10. "Oh, you don't carry that? Well, do you know where on the East Coast does?" Oh, yes, ma'am, of course I know where that is. I'm a human GPS who has visited every shop in the tri-county area.

9. "I love these invitations. But it has a BOY (or girl) on it! What if my three-year-old gets confused since she's a girl (or boy, depending on the situation)?" First of all, you shouldn't be consulting your three-year-old for invitation advice. You're the parent. You make the decisions. So decide. On your own. The kid will not care, as long as there is cake and ice cream and gifts at the party.

8. "Do you still have that beach towel you had here a while back?" [Read: "a while back" is three years or more]. This is a boutique shop that constantly has problems with finding space for new products, not Wal-mart with thousands of square feet of floor space. We are DEFINITELY not going to keep those beach towels (or napkins or whatever) out on the floor years later...especially when they didn't sell in the first place. Lady, those things went on the sidewalk sale 24 months ago for $1 apiece.


7. "Hey, there. So you just called me, and I was just calling back to see what you wanted." This one especially drives me crazy because we call every stationery customer when his/her order is ready...and we leave a message telling them so. We also leave our name, number and our store hours if they have questions. I even had a lady ADMIT to me the other day that she didn't listen to the message that I'd just left on her phone. Do the customers not realize that I don't just randomly call them just for kicks and giggles?

6. "I really want the script font on my monogrammed baby bag, but it's a boy and he won't like that. He'll want the block script since it's more masculine." REALLY, LADY? This kid isn't going to care about ANYTHING except whether you're feeding him, holding him and changing him. Period. No newborn--male or female--gives two hoots about the script on the baby bag.

5. "Are these the same store?" No, we just decided to cut a WHOPPING hole in the back of our store so we could talk to the other employees. Just because we loved them so much. We're definitely not the same store, even though we have the same exact name over both the entry doors.

4. "Can you hurry up? I left my kids in the car and they don't need to out there alone." Really? Your little children don't need to be left alone in a very hot/ very cold car? Don't draw me into your bad parenting. I'm just doing my job at the very fastest speed I can. After all, the credit card machine runs at the same speed no matter what horrible parenting is going on in (or directly out of) the shop.

3. "The last time I was in here, this invitation had pink borders, not green like they do now." We don't try to trick the customers, even if they think otherwise. That invitation that she thinks was pink was ALWAYS green. It's not a magic trick I did when I saw you walking in just to fool with you. You've got the faulty memory here, unfortunately.

2. "You don't spell that word like that. You are so ignorant." Yes, I have actually had customers tell me that I am ignorant, which really, really irks me. I am of, at least, average intelligence, having gotten through college and grad school. It really, really, really irks me when they tell me I'm ignorant because of grammar or misspelling because 99.999999999 times out of 100, they are wrong. I try not to pull the "I've got a Masters in English" card too much at the store, but sometimes it just becomes necessary. Like the time a customer wanted me to misspell "commencement" because she didn't know what she was talking about, or the time when a customer was trying so hard to rhyme two words that just DIDN'T rhyme (think "Frank" and "Party"). I've also had to talk a few customers off of the apostrophe ledge (for the last time, it is "The Smiths"--no apostrophe--NOT "The Smith's"!!!!) How do you make the customer realize she is wrong when you're trying to stick to the old adage, "The customer is always right"?
P.S. These customers are ALWAYS the ones to demand a re-print for free when they get the invites home and their husband/ daughter/ friend points out the same mistake that I tried so hard to get her to correct a week before.

1. "This blanket isn't blue enough/ isn't pink enough for the boy/ girl baby I'm buying for." Again, the baby will be pooping, crying, nursing and wanting to be held. I actually had an older woman argue with me that the blue blanket I was holding for her was periwinkle and NOT light blue.

Luckily, these customers are the very few that you have to learn to grin and bear. Like I said, I really do enjoy working there, and I'm willing to put up with the few crazies! Have you ever worked a job (either in retail or out) where you had to answer inane questions?

What I Think: Review of Jeffrey Deaver's The Twelfth Card

I've been a big fan of Jeffrey Deaver for some time now, but I've never done a review of his work...until now!



My mom recently let me borrow a new paperback of Deaver's The Twelfth Card, which features Deaver's most famous characters, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs. You may have seen the movie adaptation of Deaver's first Lincoln Rhyme novel, The Bone Collector, that starred Denzel Washington as Lincoln Rhyme and Angelina Jolie as Rhyme's protege and girlfriend, Amelia Sachs.

In The Twelfth Card, these characters are the same that I've come to know and love. Rhyme and Sachs, along with their usual crew of NYPD officers, specialists and technicians, tackle the attempted murder case of 16-year-old Geneva Settle. They begin to believe that Geneva's brush with death may be tied to an article she was reading about the arrest and trial of her ancestor, Charles--who lived one hundred and forty years before. So, what in the world does a Harlem teenager have to do with a century old trial? Lincoln and Sachs quickly discover that the past isn't always past. Their desire to set the story straight, while catching the killer, is compounded by the fact that Rhyme is a paraplegic who is confined to his cherry red wheelchair. Sachs often has to be his eyes, ears, hands and feet at the crime scenes they investigate.

And in true Jeffrey Deaver fashion, the story twists and turns. And then twists some more. Just when you think they've figured everything out--BAM!--another plot twist.

While these murder mysteries/ thrillers might not be high literature, they sure are fun. The Twelfth Card reads like it's an action movie, and the suspense doesn't let up until the very end.

On the flipside, if you're easily offended by coarse language, you might want to seek entertainment elsewhere--there are many unsavory (and some savory) characters that need some help expanding their vocabulary. This is fairly true of all the Deaver books (as well as all of the James Patterson thrillers).

If you're searching for something to discuss in your Ph.D. level English class, you'll want to pass this one by. However, if you're looking for a fun and suspenseful escape from reality--and you like Criminal Minds or CSI:--then you should give The Twelfth Card, or any of Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme books, a try this summer.

Like this book? Check these out:

  • James Patterson's Alex Cross series
  • Patricia Cornwell's Blowfly (my favorite of the Kay Scarpetta series)
  • Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series (the Alphabet books)

One Year Later

Landon and I got married just over a year ago on May 22 of last year. It has been a crazy year--we've gotten jobs, bought a house, adopted a puppy, remodeled a bathroom, taken several road trips and experimented with new recipes.

We've learned what makes each other happy (baked goods are always well received) and what we probably should avoid (Landon hates when I stay up later than he does, then wake him up to talk. I hate when Landon dumps the clean pile of laundry on the bed and then forgets about it before folding it).

But most of all, we've grown as a couple, facing good things and bad things and coming out of both situations stronger.

To celebrate our first twelve months of successful marriage, we decided to take a mini-vacation to Jekyll Island, Georgia this past weekend. We had the best time, even if I did get a little a lot sunburned and we had to change hotels halfway through the weekend due to the million-watt spotlight that shone in our first room ALL NIGHT LONG.

Our cake survived an entire year in the freezer. Thanks to my mom and dad's ingenious wrapping system, we enjoyed our cake topper all weekend. Lemon pound cake--YUM.

Landon's happy to be on our anniversary trip.

The Jekyll Island Club, built by the fin de siecle millionaires, like Joseph Pulitzer, the Vanderbilts, and the Carnegies. We wanted to stay here, but, due to the six or so weddings going on this weekend, there was no room at the inn. We did spend our second night at the sister property on the other end of the island. 

Afternoon tea at the Grand Dining Room at the Jekyll Island Club. Delicious!

Landon explores Driftwood Beach on the northern part of the island. 

Driftwood Beach

Our favorite picture from the weekend!

Biking on Saturday. Hours before I realized I'd forgotten to put on sunscreen (major fail) and mere minutes before I ran over a snake with my bike (EW EW EWWWW).

Can you spot the alligator?

Scary.

My dad has worked as a banker for the last thirty-plus years. 

He and I were talking not too long ago about how lucky he'd been since none of the banks he's ever worked at had been robbed. 

As of this morning, we can't say that anymore.

About thirty minutes ago, his bank, where he's worked for the last three years, was robbed.

I still don't know much, other than that my dad called my mom to tell her he was okay. We're still waiting to hear about the other three employees. 

My sister works at the Town of Mount Pleasant municipal building, and as soon as the police heard the call, they came running to tell my sister, who (understandably) started panicking. She didn't know anything other than that the police were responding to a robbery call. 

I'll keep you posted. Until then, keep thinking good thoughts about my dad and his co-workers at Palmetto Heritage.