ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷 (pjammer) wrote,
ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷

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Retail Hell (from Penny-Arcade.com)

What I learned is that retail is retail no matter what your job title is. It doesn't matter if they call you a Sales Associate, a Customer Service Team Member or an EB Game Pro. You are working in retail and your life is pain and sorrow. Tycho mentioned that we met a manager at our Local EB who obviously subscribed to the insane philosophy of their handbook. Tycho never worked retail so I can forgive him this tiny mistake. What we encountered at EB that day was no mere manager. No, what we saw was something far worse.

Anyone in retail could have spotted her a mile away and this same person, after identifying her for what she was would no doubt run as fast as they could in the opposite direction. What we saw that day was a district manager. These accursed demons travel from their own dimension to this one once every few months to terrorize the mortals they employ. They are grown in huge vats of blood and their tiny black brains, like bits of charcoal are filled with company propaganda from the day they open their leathery wings and take their first wobbly steps towards their BMW. Having never actually worked as a sales person for even a day all of their knowledge of sales comes from the company handbook, which they believe is infallible.

Picture if you will a young Gabe, dressed in his red Circuit City shirt cleaning and organizing the computers in his department. Now picture the evil district manager, let's call him Rich since that is his name. Picture this hell sent monster swooping down on Gabe and cornering him against a wall.

"Why aren't you helping that customer over there?" his forked tongue flicks in and out of his mouth as he speaks and his breath smells like rotting flesh.

"uh... Well they...uh, said they didn't need any help." I am just barely able to get the words out.

"FOOOL!" He cries. "All customers need help! What did you say to them?!"

My eyes drop from his burning red face to the death grip he has on his Starbucks coffee cup. His sharpened black talons are threatening to crack the Styrofoam at any minute. "I uh…asked if they needed any help and they said no."

He lets out a cry that shakes the very foundation of the store. I can hear the CD's playing in the Audio department skip as dust and debris rain down from the rafters. His face is only inches from mine now and his words are slow and deliberate.

"You never ask a customer if they need help. They will always say they are just looking. What you do is start a conversation with them."

I just pissed myself. "What should I ask them?" I stammer out.

He raises up to his full height and unfolds his bat-like wings. He is silhouetted against the four massive windows in front of the store. Outside it's snowing lightly and the road is busy with cars. I imagine where those cars are going. Are those people driving to jobs that that they hate as much as I hate mine? When his voice starts again it is like thunder and I am afraid.

"Tell them you have been inside all day and ask them if it is still snowing outside!" A tiny voice in my head begs me not to tell him that the entire front of the store is made of glass and that it is plainly obvious to anyone with working eyes that there is snow falling.

"Thank you sir, I'll do that."

- Gabe, Penny Arcade
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