Thursday, November 27, 2008

Overheard in Retail

The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year in our business. It's followed closely by the day before Christmas, Mother's Day, and Father's Day. What do all of these days have in common? They are tied closely to family. Seriously, I cannot convey how many times I hear people come in who say that they are buying alcohol to "deal with" their family. It far outnumbers those who come in and tell me that they are sharing a joyful drink with the skelatives.

So, we were busy yesterday - extremely busy. On top of the crowds I had to take in a new truckload of merchandise and place an order for next week's truckload without the benefit of the report I use to do this accounting for the merchandise I was about to receive. It's a ton of sweat labor and poor programming adding to more stress on the day.

During these types of days I look for a moment that will bring joy to the day. It lessens the stress, adds the proper amount of cheer, allows me a respite from the chaos, and generally keeps me from looking down upon the nastier figures who come in. Such a moment was visited upon me around 4:30 yesterday. My junior clerk is a Native American. A customer she was waiting on was all a twitter about the holiday. The customer paused and said, "Oh, do you people celebrate Thanksgiving?" (Note the use of the phrase "you people", meaning "other", meaning, "not quite our people or my people" another person's world it could be considerably offensive, but my clerk is smart and kind enough to know this and yet forgive). Her reply, which lit my day:
We tried that once and look what happened to us. So, we don't do that anymore.
The customer smiled. I laughed, literally, aloud. My customer laughed, literally, aloud. As soon as her customer left, I turned to her and said, "That's fabulous." She made my day.

No comments: