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Writer dreads return to summer job

By Chancellor Mills
On May 5, 2011


As summer approaches, I find myself experiencing a lot of familiar sensations and emotions. Chief among them: stressing over finals, pure and total exhaustion every minute of the day, a glimpse of relief because I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and excitement at finally getting some time to relax a little.

However, the one sensation that I hate to even acknowledge because thinking about it fills me with overwhelming, eternal depression: returning to the mandated prison sentence that is my summer job.

For legal reasons, I cannot explicitly name the business that employs me but I will say that it is a leading electronics retailer and its name rhymes with "Blessed Buy."

Don't get me wrong, it's not the act of working for "Blessed Buy" that I dread; it's the customers. When working in retail, you are going to run into the same types of customers regardless of who your employer is. So I figured I'd give a breakdown of some of those customers, as a warning to anyone considering a job in retail.

First, we have old people. It seems obvious that you would run into old people because, even though they appear as if they are moments from death, they're everywhere and their numbers never seem to dwindle. Old people are the worst shoppers in electronic stores just because of the mere fact that they don't know anything about modern technology. It's not their fault; they are just from a different time. You'd be confused too if you spent the last 20 years watching movies on a VCR and somebody tried to explain how Blu-ray players work. The reason that they are so hard to help is because they just have so many freaking questions. (That, and I'm always afraid that I'm going to catch "the old.")

Next, you have people who are trying return items that were either clearly purchased elsewhere or were clearly purchased so long ago that they couldn't possibly still be subject to return. For whatever reason, people seem to think stores don't notice that kind of thing. When you bring in an article of clothing to an electronic store, they will notice and you will not get a refund. Also, for some reason people also think that we won't notice that the HD DVD player they are trying to return wasn't purchased "a few weeks back" because that particular item hasn't been in production for over three years. That crap doesn't fly at "Blessed Buy." Take it to Walmart.

This next type of customer is by far the most annoying that I run into: people who can't read signs or even look around before asking for the location of a product. Just to be clear, these are not people who have vision impairment. They just apparently refuse to use their eyes to locate things. I am essentially a glorified greeter where I work and, as such, I am constantly the person who is being asked where the televisions are BEFORE the customer takes two seconds to look around and see that there is an entire wall of them on the right side of the store. How these people have survived this long in their lives is beyond me. I hate them. One day, I hope that I see one of them crossing the street as a car is speeding toward them just so I can NOT point it out to them.

There you have it folks: the worst offenders in the retail industry. They almost make minimum wage and no pee break worth it, don't they?

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