Retail Life Sentence

Today’s young adult population is comprised of broke students, who can’t even afford peanut butter, and infestations of over-privileged millennial parasites. Meaning we have a bunch of hangry twenty-somethings working their butts off while other similarly aged individuals get hammered and sext their exes. Obviously only a portion of these plebeians will understand hard work, though it doesn’t necessarily guarantee success – that’s typically reserved for mortals of the silver spoon.

A focus on those who work will reveal that they also have a greater grasp of common decency. They are, however, an endangered species. Those who have nothing better to do with their time than complain about not having any, yet don’t feel it necessary to seek employment, are taking over the planet. This can be seen when a person, like myself, is forced to work over four part-time jobs at a single time while juggling full-time school work and fellow students come complaining about being unable to manage a simple social calendar full of booze and sexcapades. And this happens on a daily basis.

These facts hopefully depict the prudent need for drastic societal shift in order to orchestrate a fully functional populace composed of cordial human beings. The solution to this conundrum and our country’s desire for change is to make six months of retail work mandatory for every of-age citizen. This would result in the killing off of every person’s soul in the most appropriate portion in order to yield more humble, considerate anthropoids. The fact that my nights are filled with dreams of angry customers and the beeping of cash registers, yet I still find it impossible to pull myself out of bed, means that I have no desire to fight against the masses. If everyone were in the same boat then there would be no mass to fight against.

Once a person works retail, the polite spiel they are required to regurgitate upon meeting each new customer will become deeply ingrained. Doesn’t everyone appreciate being thanked for simply showing up, fielding inquiries about their well-being, and being asked if they are in need of any assistance? Wouldn’t it be nice if this were a more common and natural occurrence? It would also result in fewer exchanges fettered by hipster slang, or more accurately, non-ironic grammar discrepancies, and pardons for horrible French.

As a retail employee, one must treat customers with respect and do everything in your power to keep these patrons happy. In other words, workers are designed to suck consumers into a black hole that results in the spending of vast amounts of money on useless possessions of inaccurate monetary value. Repeating these behaviours time and again turns compulsiveness into the practicing of appropriate actions. This will result in the same performances occurring beyond the walls of each job site, despite workers forgetting that the real world exists, as they have no time to see the light of day.

Not only will these niceties lead to more considerate attitudes, it will also lead to individuals becoming more habitually humble. If everyone has similar work experiences while growing up, people will finally be sympathetic when it comes to retail workers being forced to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. No longer will people come in exasperated over their hectic week and tell people who are working, how grateful they are that it’s the weekend. They will start to understand that even though some people have two days off in a row others don’t get time off no matter the day of the week.

It would also minimize the risk of retail anxiety experienced by shoppers, the symptoms being extreme anger towards employees, screaming about unfair prices and policies, and brash exits over lines that are too long. Remember, mental health is an important part to the overall survival of our species.   

Let us join together and support a retail life sentence as a way to put society back on track. Every person can be rehabilitated, so why not an entire society that has appeared to have lost its way on the road to retribution? Or something like that….

 What happens to a person who is care free and innocent. don't I look smug?

What happens to a person who is care free and innocent. don't I look smug?

 What happens after a Person works a million jobs and goes to school. Don't I look humble?

What happens after a Person works a million jobs and goes to school. Don't I look humble?



Caitlin Graham

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Caitlin Graham prides herself on saying she graduated university without debt, after working up to six part-time jobs at a time. However, she can be classified as a glass-half-empty person with a tendency to be straightforward. She hopes to become a glass-refillable person after grasping a stable career.

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Smokers and Subs

There are very few moments a retail worker can relish, though they do happen. For example: the moment you punch out for break and run through the store avoiding eye contact and inquiries for assistance, the moment a horribly rude customer has their credit card declined, or the moment another insensitive customer says that they will be taking their business elsewhere (and that place happens to have gone out of business months ago).

However, the happiest moment in a worker's life is when they come upon a unicorn. And just like in mythology they only come around once in a while, only to be seen by the truly worthy – or at least that’s my version of it.

These unicorns look different to every retail employee. My unicorns are smokers, and not the traditional tobacco kind. Though I am not one for the smell of marijuana, high males are the nicest customers and the most exciting to engage in conversations with, nothing you say is taken seriously, and they love absolutely everything.

I discovered my first unicorn while working at Subway. It emerged in late spring wearing a tuxedo and cummerbund, with a corsage pinned to its lapel. It came in and smiled, and made jokes while ordering everything on the menu.

These kinds of unicorns appear to thoroughly appreciate my service, their mouths spilling an endless surplus of benedictions. Each time they promise me their first-born for the simple act of making them a sub. It doesn’t matter how I put it together, they always think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread! They honour me by taking multiple pictures of my creations. They even apologize for the fact that they won’t be able to make a shrine in honour of the delicacy I concocted for them, seeing as they are so hungry.

They disappear as quickly as they emerge. Leaving me feeling happy and rejuvenated enough to finish my shift without going into Hulk-mode. And it is in those moments that I regain my hope for the survival of society, despite being tainted by what the government has deemed an illegal substance.

I have yet to find my unicorn in the world of electronics. Those who qualified in the world of sandwiches just don’t make the cut anymore; they come in to complain of fried electronic devices. Hopefully I will find my copacetic unicorn soon, before I give up hope and start losing my faith in the myth.


Caitlin Graham

Caitlin Graham prides herself on saying she graduated university without debt, after working up to six part-time jobs at a time. However, she can be classified as a glass-half-empty person with a tendency to be straightforward. She hopes to become a glass-refillable person after grasping a stable career.

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Rant Against Stupidity

Begin rant:

I pride myself on always telling the truth; though honestly it’s something I say to disguise the fact that I don’t have a filter. I am not afraid to say that people are idiots! I don’t say this to be mean or hurt people’s feelings, I say this because it’s the truth and something has to be done before my head explodes as a result of the world’s overwhelming stupidity. However, I do sometimes contemplate if some people are just ridiculously inconsiderate, as they act like their ego somehow negates the existence of other individual people.

I know this is a harsh reality to face, but I don’t lie: people are dumb! If you weren’t aware of this than maybe you should check for a pulse. And don’t worry, I have unlimited examples to back this up.

How about, for example, how despite my concentrated efforts to bag groceries correctly customers still insist on holding up the line to repack everything – moving their bread and tomatoes to the bottom and their canned goods to the top. Why in God’s name do they think this a wise decision? Plus, they do it right in front of me, and then come back 10 seconds later to yell at me about damaged goods! If they think this is acceptable, then they have another thing coming!

Then there are the people who continually pick up items and put them back down wherever they want. Like it’s too hard to just put it back where you found it, instead of hiding it for me to find later. Customers even insist on putting things on the wrong pegs as I stand beside them. It’s hard to tell if in this instance they are actually idiotic or sadistic and get pleasure out of tormenting me.

There are also many instances when customers forget that I’m human and not a magic robot. There is no way I will ever be able to memorize an itemized list of everything in-store and online. I have a life and despite being at work for over 40 hours a week I do have other priorities. Also, customers insist on asking me the same question over and over, but expect a different answer each time. I can’t read minds or construe a different meaning from the same words no matter the change in intonation.

Furthermore, people still take closing time as a mere suggestion and insist on coming in five minutes before close – or even right when we try to lock the doors – and insist they just need one thing. This is then followed by a hundred questions about that “one thing” and 20 minutes going back and forth between various options of the same “thing.”

Since I have clearly stipulated the stupidity of society, all the jokes about things being free when they don’t scan need no explanation.

In other words, people are NOT horribly inconsiderate... they are just dumb.

End of rant.


Caitlin Graham

grad.jpg

Caitlin Graham prides herself on saying she graduated university without debt, after working up to six part-time jobs at a time. However, she can be classified as a glass-half-empty person with a tendency to be straightforward. She hopes to become a glass-refillable person after grasping a stable career. 

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Sales and the Sexually Racist

I am a woman. My right to vote, and numerous feminist movements suggest I am equal to men - surprise! This means I have a brain that isn’t sub-human - who knew? And knowledge about electronics isn’t incomprehensible to me - go figure.

I thought all this was common knowledge, but I guess not… because people still seem to think I am incapable of comprehending even the simplest concept pertaining to technology. I’m including other females in this reference because apparently some of us still have no faith in our abilities. This makes things more depressing than they should be, and every time I think about it, I want to do something radical, perhaps blow up the entire planet and start over. Just joking! Sort of. 

Here are a few instances where I have come in contact with customers who have dragged my sorry retail-working, millennial ass back to the past.

An old man I approached, ready to answer any inquiries, because he was looking questioningly at a laptop: “No, you are useless!”

He continued by saying that I would be incapable of selling him a computer, to which I wished him luck and walked off. In my head I was thinking of a whopper ageist comeback. 

A younger male looking for instructions on how to use a Chromecast: “I know you’re a woman but….”

This blatant attitude comes from his magical power of acquiring a wife from the 50s, possibly retrieved through the use of a secret time machine. I hope he at least compliments her on her meatloaf.

A woman looking for a gaming headset for her son to whom I supplied information: “I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.”

I followed by finding a male employee, who repeated the exact same information I already gave her. Apparently only men speak the truth. Also, that woman is why our gender gets a bad rap.

A man walking into the store that I simply said hello to: “You look lost here!” 

He was of a larger stature, so in my head my comeback was… not repeatable.

A gentleman on the phone looking for information about a computer monitor, but got accidentally transferred to the home-theatre department where all the employees happen to be male: “No thank you, if that’s my only option I’ll just figure it out myself.”

The “that” he is referring to is me and he was very lucky I wasn’t physically present at the the time.

A young fella looking for a waterproof camera (of which we sell very few in store, and all of which are pretty much identical except for the colours and the number of megapixels): “You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about, even I can read the [product information] cards! I would rather talk to him.”

He then pointed to the “him,” apparently his mom never taught him that pointing is rude.

Then there’s the onslaught of customers who answer my inquiry of whether I can help them with a "no" and walk directly towards the male employee standing right beside me to ask for their help.

If I didn’t think people were idiots, I would say they were doing me a favour by allowing me to fully sympathize with my suffragette ancestors. However, it is blatantly obvious there are no silver linings to any of these sentiments, and these people are inconsiderate donkey butts. So sorry to disappoint: I am a strong, independent woman, and I’m not the only one.


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Caitlin Graham

Caitlin Graham prides herself on saying she graduated university without debt, after working up to six part-time jobs at a time. However, she can be classified as a glass-half-empty person with a tendency to be straightforward. She hopes to become a glass-refillable person after grasping a stable career. 

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Crusty Customers

This is a public-service announcement: If you have the time and the money to go out shopping, don’t be a dick to your sales person, because despite what you think, they are in hell.

I have spent the past eight years working multiple part-time jobs, wasting precious years of my life. These years occurred during a period when I was supposed to be out having fun and experiencing different things: under-aged drinking, dancing at clubs, flirting with guys. When I wasn't going to school, I spent all my free time working. I spent every evening, including Fridays, and every weekend trapped between four walls, with no view of the outside world, meticulously counting down the time until I got to go home and sleep. Every time I served a customer I had to grit my teeth, push down sarcasm, and resist the overwhelming urge to scream. Though I am grateful that greedy consumers have paid for my education, having to slave away while others frolic in the moonlight is not exactly the most pleasurable experience.

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So when you come into my place of work mid-morning Monday looking for a new digital camera to use on your trip, please do NOT do any of the following: don’t ask for my help choosing when you’ve already picked one out and then yell at me for not being able to read your mind. Don’t claim that Future Shop went under because of me, just because I take a little too long to find your product. Don’t brag that you not only have the day off, but that you can see the future and know that I will cause Best Buy to go out of business as well, and will be coming back in a couple of months to laugh in my face. This is totally uncalled for behaviour, and you can guarantee I’m building a voodoo doll of you in my mind.

However, I know you will not heed my warnings. I know this because, on average, you all insist on being rude, but don’t admit it to yourself. It’s not my fault that you get to go out shopping in the middle of the day or on the weekend, or stop in and browse after catching dinner and a movie. I would be more than happy to switch places with you; you wouldn’t even have to bribe me. If I weren’t a broke student with tuition, rent, and multiple bills to pay, I would bribe you to switch places with me. 


CAITLIN GRAHAM

Caitlin Graham prides herself on saying she graduated university without debt, after working up to six part-time jobs at a time. However, she can be classified as a glass-half-empty person with a tendency to be straightforward. She hopes to become a glass-refillable person after grasping a stable career. 

MyPieRack Blog LinkedIn