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I Am Not Al Bundy

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A funny thng happend on the way to the Cracker Barrel [Dec. 7th, 2006|10:27 pm]
I Am Not Al Bundy

[Current Location |Not in the fire, TX]
[mood |bouncybouncy]
[music |Bloodhound Gang - Fire Water Burn]

Dig if you will a picture, of an aerial view of my store...Collapse )
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A Clockwork Shoebox [Oct. 13th, 2006|10:49 am]
I Am Not Al Bundy

[mood |crazycrazy]

What is it about a shoe store that makes people abandon every shred of decency and common sense? We understand it's a large mall, and that often times it's quite hot outside to walk from store to store, but please, check your bitchy attitudes at the door, and your rotten children, too, if at all possible.

I feel it might be my duty to start a little guide for all sales associates at shoe stores (and in any retail store, I guess) to better serve employees, employers, and customers out of my experiences. Remember, in no way am I using this as a means to rant about my job. It just comes out like a rant because there are so many assholes who visit the store.

MoosimusMaximus' Guide To Shoe Sales And How Not To Kill Obnoxious Jerks

Part the First: Nuisances to Standard Operating Procedures

Lesson 1: Recognizing the Difference Between Stealing Scams and Stupid Foreigners

Master Sun wrote in Art of War that to be fully advantageous in the battle over distance during armed struggle that one ought to "make [an opponent's otherwise small route] a long one, luring them on in hopes of gain." By using wild goose chases to mislead an adversary, you gain ground, strategy, and strength against your opponent. It is common practice for amateur and seasoned theives to use distractions caused by seemingly unrelated parties to escape being noticed by store employees. It is doubtful that many, if any, of them are familiar with the military history behind the tactics they employ, but they can be effective, nevertheless. The job of an observant sales associate is to discern the difference between a group of people attempting to steal and a group of people who are so stupid their presence is like a thorn in your side.

Situation: An 8-year-old girl runs into the store, grabs a women's pump, and runs out of the store.

Immediate Reaction: Some bastards somewhere are trying to distract the sales associates as they pilfer merchandise.

Realization: The little girl is saying "Ama! Ama! Mira! Que linda!" (Mom! Mom! Look! I'm a spoiled brat! Also, this shoe is pretty!)

Solution: After the family comes into the store, calmly explain to them why their crotch-dropling ought not to run back and forth by our security sensors with a tagged shoe (while she continues to do it for the next couple of minutes). Be glad when they go back to Mexico.

Lesson 2: Unnecessary Returns

Many stores have strict guidelines for employees to follow when an item return has been made. Many procedures are often put in place to ensure that a loss prevention check (i.e. has anyone stolen anything) occurs at such a time. This can be annoying, however, when multiple returns come in on the same day or even at the same time. As such, it is the job of the sales associate to ensure that the sale of any item in the store has as remote chance of being returned as possible.

Situation: A man walks into the store carrying 8 boxes of shoes.

Immediate Reaction: Oh please, Lord, let him want to exchange them.

Realization: This man walked into our store at some point, purchased a number of shoes without trying them on, and is now dissatisfied with the fit. He also would just like his money back.

Solution: After dealing with the annoying return protocol just to return the gentleman's funds to him, ask if he doesn't mind waiting when he's done with the mile of paper receipts he needs to sign while you finish doing box counts on every single shoe he's returned. Explain to him that in the future he may want to try the shoes or have his foot sized before making a purchase. Consider stabbing him in his throat.

Lesson 3: Respect for the Employees Only Zone

Many times the vision and common sense of a customer will fail them, causing them to enter into areas not designated for use by non-employees. These areas generally include loading zones, stock rooms, offices, and behind the counter by the register and vault. It is the duty of the sales associate to remind customers that they ought not enter areas where calling security might be warranted.

Situation: Customers feel that the most common way to enter or exit the main area of the store is to go behind the registers flanking the door and shuffle between the space created by the employee side of the register counter and the security scanners.

Immediate Reaction: Are you fucking insane? Get the hell away from here!

Realization: This person is fucking insane! Get the hell away from here!

Solution: In a clear, bold tone state "Can I Help You??" in such a manner that other customers notice the literal faux pas and won't becom subject to the same humiliation of dozens of glaring eyes on the offending party distracting the other shoppers from their precious shopping.

This concludes the first chapter, Nuisances to Standard Operating Procedures.
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(no subject) [Oct. 12th, 2006|12:06 am]
I Am Not Al Bundy

[mood |crankycranky]

Our store is located at one of the largest outlet shopping centers in the world, ranked highly among the most popular places to shop in the world.
Our store is the largest in the district.
Our store has the highest sales volume in the district.
Our store has the most complete selection of all the shoes the company carries in stock at our location.
Our store also has a high volume of foreign customers, who easily make up half of our sales.
We offer home delivery of any shoe that is in stock at our warehouse direct to the customer's home provided that they live in the continental United States.
Our district manager is pissed that we are consistently last in the percentage of home deliveries (calculated per our total sales volume) sold.


  1. The people who would most like to take advantage of our home delivieries are FOREIGN.

  2. We generally have the shoes people want in stock in our store.

  3. We constantly check our database for shoes in the warehouse, and *gasp* WE CAN'T FIND ANY FOR DELIVERY!

  4. Stores that have higher percentages of home deliveries are generally smaller, have a more local customer base, with less inventory to browse.


  1. Our district manager needs to get laid.

  2. It would do good to include a percentage of home deliveries made by the store per the total in the district.

  3. Our district manager really needs to get laid.

In other news, the district manager decided that we were unnecessarily going over our "projected" payroll hours from our almighty "store plan" that was probably written by some pencil-pushing son-of-an-executive who has never even had to SHOP in a store much less WORK in one. So hours have been cut. And we're supposed to perform above our current level.

Makes sense to me. </like hell>
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When Hysterectomies Should Have Been Lobotomies [Sep. 26th, 2006|11:49 pm]
I Am Not Al Bundy

[mood |bitchybitchy]

Is there a new shopping technique among middle-aged women taken from watching too much NYPD Blue? It seems like I've been running into a rash of "Good Shopper, Bad Shopper" which is never a good selling situation. Hell, it's not good for my sanity, and can be awfully dangerous for the wrong shopper's health if you know what I mean. (If you don't, it means I'm going to kill someone.)

Here's a typical example of the "technique" in action. Note, the names have been changed because I didn't get a chance to steal the shoppers' identities.

A dramatization

Courteous Sales Associate: "Hello! How are you ladies doing this evening?"
Kind Shopper: "We're doing fine, thank you!"
Courteous Sales Associate: "Is there anything I can help you find?"
Slightly Put-Off Sales Associate: "What size are you looking for?"
Annoyed Sales Associate: "Let me find another size 9 for you to try on."

This is the part in the story where the sales associate, against his better judgement, finds the shoe the shopper wants instead of getting a manager to explain to her how she's probably a size 10 or larger.

Annoyed Sales Associate: "Here's the shoe in a size 9. Let's see how this fits."

The Evil Shopper tries the shoe on.

Annoyed Sales Associate: "How does that one feel?"
Kind Shopper: "Maybe you should try a larger size."
Surprised Sales Associate: Silence. I wouldn't have even gone there.
Pissed Off Sales Associate: "We can measure your foot and have you try on shoes in different colors and similar styles and if we have something in our warehouse, we can send it directly to your home at no cost."
Urge-To-Kill-Rising Sales Associate: "We ship to the continental United States, ma'am. And right now there's no shipping charge and the shoes can be returned to any (insert name of shoe store parent company) in the US if there is a problem."
Kind Shopper: "Thank you, I think we're going to keep looking around."

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The Black Swarm [Sep. 20th, 2006|10:12 pm]
I Am Not Al Bundy

[mood |awake]
[music |Sin Bandera - Te Vi Venir]

My life is a "B" japanese horror film, on a miniature scale. It should be titled something like "They Came From Underneath The Filthy Trash Basins" or "Swarm: What You're Not Being Paid $7.25 An Hour To Keep Under Control (But Have To Anyway)." How about "コオロギは血がほしいと思う (As For Crickets, You Think They Want Blood)" (Engrish provided courtesy of BabelFish translation services)

Thousands of crickets. SEVERAL THOUSAND. Crawling all over the far side of the mall (and probably along most other stores, too. It's an outlet mall. Next to BIG FIELDS.). Hundreds made their way into our store. By the time I arrived, the assistant manager had already "entertained" himself by squishing the fuck out of a few dozen of the little buggers. Without asking, I knew he wanted me to sweep them up. Not a big deal, really, I like the managers of the store, and he was doing other things that needed to get done. Plus, we talk about fantasy football together, which is awesome.

On my way to the back, I notice dozens of crickets crawling over the boxes, INTO the boxes, INTO the spaces in the slat walls, INTO the backpacks and gym bags.

This was going to be a long day.

I opened the door to the back and another group of squashed (and hopping) bugs greeted me there. Next to them was the trusty broom, dustpan, and a new present. A brand new pushbroom with an aluminum handle. We had a wooden pushbroom, but I broke the shit out of that one trying to hockey-slapshot a group of crickets in frustration last week (oh yes, this has been going on for a while). I fought with the swarm of insects trying to hop through our front door and tried to get as many of the crickets in the store swept out or squashed and into the trash. I had avoided stepping on too many last week as it wasn't nearly as necessary, there were only a couple dozen crickets in the entire store. But these fuckers just kept coming. Screw you bugs. You go squish. It's a good thing I wore my Stacy Adams. I needed a flat-bottomed, old shoe for a good cricket-stomping.

Don't even ask about the crickets in the bathroom. I think they had been killed the night before and they were stinking it up. And the store manager had just cleaned it the day before. So much for "smelling fresh."

An unusual number of Canadians and British customers today. It's a nice break from the Mexican nationals who constantly visit the mall. (For readers who don't know me, I'm Hispanic. I can talk shit. Back off.) More on the Mexican nationals another day.

Why is it that when I hear an English accent, I almost immediately copy it? I can speak Spanish, French, and Japanese in my broken-non-native-speaker-American drawl but I slip straight into a fake accent around the Brits? Luckily I caught myself before they noticed and forced as much of a non-regional American dialect as I could muster. Curse the laws of foreign accents!
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