...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Friday, June 13, 2008

good job, you!

This week, the managers at the store created a clever little bulletin board encouraging employees to pluck a paper crown from a nearby stack and share on it a way one of our fellow booksellers have "gone above and beyond the call of duty."

Every once in awhile, management does this kind of thing to pump us up. In the nearly four years I've worked at the store, I believe this has happened three times. I guess they figure we all appear to be such happy clams the majority of the time, we're going around patting the backs of our fellow comrades constantly. But when we slip and tiny dark cumulus clouds seem to hover over our heads, we need bulletin boards so everyone who wanders to the break room to eat their discounted cafe items and bitch about an especially taxing day (What? You don't think that can happen at such a happy place as a bookstore?) can see how much we love and appreciate each other.

In theory, I dig this sort of thing because I like to see my name in lights. And bulletin boards that won't be changed for months. Especially when the bulletin board is decorated with images and positive sayings from The Backyardigans. Really, managers? Perhaps tomorrow we'll learn our ABC's after a tasty, peanut-free snack, for this feels like preschool.

However, I'm not adverse to a refresher course on the alphabet, because there's a few of my fellow booksellers who seem to have a hard time with the whole system. I wouldn't say that outloud, though. And I certainly wouldn't put it on a paper crown I would then pin to the Backyardigan bulletin board, for shelving eight copies of a book by someone with the last name of Mitchell between those written by the likes of Burnes and Carpenter isn't really going above and beyond the call of duty so much as it is being annoying.

Apparently volunteering to take a shift in cafe is, though. A coworker and I were in the break room last night when we saw the board, deemed the few crowns that were already posted a bit lacking in the exceptional vein, and decided that going above and beyond the call of duty meant really busting our asses (as I do every shift, I'll have you know! For you. I do it for you!) in the area of customer service.

"The other day, armed with just a plastic spoon from the cafe and a book on human anatomy plucked from the science section, I performed a complicated surgical procedure on a customer who had collapsed in the bargain section. I think that qualifies as above and beyond," I told my fellow bookseller.

"That's good, but this is better. Last week, I established a small triage area by newstand when a group of giggling teenagers, flipping through the sex books, became entangled and started hyperventilating while trying to bend themselves into the various poses of the Kama Sutra," he replied.

"Nice one. Let me get you a crown!" I said.

Wanting to make sure I was properly recognized as many times as possible, I informed my coworker of the many times I held my tongue (which is gross, so don't do it in public, but if you do, don't touch me afterward because blech!) when a customer approached me at customer service and asked for one of the following: A book; a red book; a red book they saw while visiting the Kansas City store: and/or Oprah's newest book.

(If you think we don't react to questions like that when customers walk away - after we've helped them, of course! - then you must have never worked retail, to which I say "LUCKY BASTARD!!")

A few crowns completed, my fellow bookseller (I'm contractually obligated to refer to my coworkers as such) paused in mid-sentence on a crown about how great my hair always seems to look when I come work a shift, and how he appreciates the effort I must put into smelling good (um...effort?!), when he put his red Sharpie down, looked at me, and said he believed what he was about to tell me should earn him the biggest crown on our Backyardigan bulletin board. Intrigued, I leaned in closer so he could tell me.

"Last week, I cleaned evidence of the most explosive bowel movement ever in human history from the toilet, floor, and walls of the men's restroom," he declared, shuddering a bit as he relayed how he had to mop the walls and endure the pity filled eyes of those who wandered in to the massacre.

Rendered nearly speechless, for nothing strikes more fear in a bookseller than seeing they've been assigned the nightly bathroom checks, I could only squeak out a feeble "Dude...you win," and started to draw actual jewels upon his paper crown for emphasis.

Anything, even bringing someone back from the dead WHILE ordering an especially hard to find book, is trumped by cleaning up bodily fluids, especially of the explosive kind, when it comes to going above and beyond the call of duty.

Make that going above and beyond the call of DOODY!


Yep. This is why I'm working a retail gig...



Blogger Wonderful World of Weiners said...

The Call of DOODY should be the title of a book. You write it and I'll read it!!

Hallie :)

Friday, June 13, 2008 8:41:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Paper crowns eh? Why is it management never ponies up stacks of $20s for these kinds of things? I mean, I totally would go above and beyond the call of duty if the chance of receiving a large stack of $20s was in the offing. But for a paper crown? Meh...

I was going to say I never worked retail but in point of fact, my mother once owned a used book store and I did indeed work there. I'm not sure a family-run used book store is in the same league as your gig though. I think the expectations were somewhat lower in our case.

Friday, June 13, 2008 9:06:00 AM  
Blogger Laura B. said...

Ha! Management's complete obliviousness to what truly improves morale is amazing to me. I think every company is guilty of it.

I love "The Call of DOODY"! I'd read it too. It should have a Baby Ruth candy bar on the cover.

Friday, June 13, 2008 9:25:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Once, as a 'motivational' ploy, our company hung posters on every wall in the building with the tag line, "Not Just the Program of the Month". Which hung on the walls for exactly one month, and were then taken down and stacked in a hallway, awaiting disposal.

And some wag (I can only wish it had been me) hung a hand-scrawled sign above the stack, which read "Used Program of the Month Posters". . .

Friday, June 13, 2008 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

Call of Doody has a rock and a ring to it.I love it!

Friday, June 13, 2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

My boss just gives out gold star stickers. I think I got one back in March of '87.

If we were Facebook friends, I'd send you pieces of flair.

Friday, June 13, 2008 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Choppzs said...

Ugh, doody isn't sounding to great to me right now! lol

Friday, June 13, 2008 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Oh my god. Longest blog post ever for the sake of a pun :}

Friday, June 13, 2008 2:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy Lou said...

That type of motivation never works for me - mney talks. I son't need no stinkin' crowns thankyouverymuch.

Friday, June 13, 2008 2:55:00 PM  
Blogger That girl from Shallotte said...

Best blog post ever for the sake of a pun. My fandom for this blog is solidly based on the author's use of puns and the effort she puts into smelling good. Blogs without puns just stink and I turn my nose up at them.

Friday, June 13, 2008 3:43:00 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

It might be caused by the fact that it's past midnight and I was up at 6 AM today, but I just laughed my ass off! Thanks!

Friday, June 13, 2008 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

He's right. He deserved the crown more than anyone else.

But if the positive Backyardigans' saying is "What's gonna work? Teamwork!," you all deserve crowns.

Friday, June 13, 2008 8:20:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

dude, you shoulda bought that guy a latte er somethin.

no way in hell am i cleaning up a bathroom of complete strangers. you're talking pubes from GOD only knows who all over the toilet seat.

hell to the no.

he wins. definitely wins.

Friday, June 13, 2008 9:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

That's funny.

I'm going back to work in Sept in Human Resources. I might have to create the Doody award in your honour.

Friday, June 13, 2008 9:50:00 PM  
Blogger Manager Mom said...

hmmm.. elective surgical procedure.. how much would you charge for a vasectomy for my lovely husband? our insurance rates are riddick nowadays...

Friday, June 13, 2008 9:51:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

just checking in to make sure you're okay.
if i dont get an email from you please know i'll be calling.

take care of yourself.

Saturday, June 14, 2008 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger 1blueshi1 said...

yes, Chandler, the interview is over and "DOODY" does not count now that we're out in the hall speaking informally--
BTW, I refer to one of my son's favorite video games as Call of Booty. and I have no doubt that IS on the xxx video shelf at some store he is not old enough to walk into.

Sunday, June 15, 2008 7:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the call of doody! oh girl, u are a trip, i love ya!!

Happy Father's Day to yo'man!

Sunday, June 15, 2008 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Bee said...

I had a situation JUST LIKE THAT when I worked at Brown's Chicken only it was the woman's bathroom. This dipshit thought it would be gross to SIT on the toilet seat, instead she left a trail of crap everywhere but INSIDE the toilet bowl. Sad thing is, I'm still cleaning up people's shite. Figuretively, of course.

Sunday, June 15, 2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

WWoW - Now I just have to wait to be discovered by an agent and a publishing house dying for a tome about poop!

Michael - Heck, I'd be happy with a $20 gift card from my store! A win-win for everyone! How lame is it that I'm already stressed that I may not ACTUALLY get a paper crown?!

Laura - Wait! There is already a book about poop out there! Dangit. "The Truth About Poop!" is stealing my thunder!

Des - Kudos to the mystery marker man. That's the kind of think I would have talked about doing, but would have wimped out on if put to the challenge!

David - Thank you. It's pretty amazing where inspiration can fall, eh?

FTN - You totally want to flair me. I know it. I can't blame you. I think everyone wants to flair me.

Choppzs - My sympathies go out to you and your intenstines!

BP Dad - OMG!! Get this!!! It wasn't until I was at the end of firing off this stunningly fantastic post Friday morning that I even THOUGHT of the word 'doody'!! And even then, I wasn't even thinking of it as a pun! Am I awesome or what?!

Mandy - Heck, I'd be happy with a 'thankyouverymuch,' from time to time!

That Girl - Awww!! I would totally spray on a tasteful, yet borderline excessive amount of Love's Baby Soft perfume if I got to hang out with you and marvel you with my use of unintentional puns!

Frozen Star - I hope there was a little bit of humor in there that made you laugh, just not your exhaustion. Though, I'd understand if it was just you being tired. I've nearly peed myself laughing hysterically at nothing in the middle of the night. Thanks for the visit and comment!

Chag - That Backyardigans tune has been in my head all weekend. I'm all about teamwork, but I absolutely take a time out when I encounter the bathroom disasters we get from time to time.

kimmy - If it was worth anything, I would have totally signed my paycheck over to my fellow bookseller. I'd need a million dollars an hour to deal with these disasters!

Mandy - If you need tips on a Backyardigan themed bulletin board, I can absolutely hook you up!

Manager Mom - I think I need an extra break to bone up on some of the more intricate natures of such a surgery, but I'm game. We'll line up some tables in the cafe!

kimmy - totally high and dry (so far!), baby!

1blueshi1 - you crack me up, luv. I was totally doing the little hand wave in front of my face as I laughed at this!

Katie - You're a doll, doll! Thanks

Bee - I don't even want to know how people pull off the crap they do when they use a public restroom. What fires in a brain to think "This looks like a good place to create that abstract in crap I've always dreamt of!"?

Monday, June 16, 2008 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

The BEST PART of working retail is all of the opportunities to mock and talk smack about your customers! It's like License to Snark!

Monday, June 16, 2008 8:46:00 AM  
Blogger Lipstick Jungle said...

I havent worked retail in a long long time, and I will never return to that fate (unless it means I face living in a cardboard box - then I will consider it), so that being said, you should automatically win 10 gold crowns with lots of gems and sequins.

As if it were yesterday I remember the post: "Mother, I must henceforth without delay visit the privy for some private and alone reading (aka pooping) time". Ok, so that isnt verbatum, but I will never forget it!

I think you keep the job so you can entertain us with poop stories!

Monday, June 16, 2008 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Biscuit - When you're only getting paid slightly more than minimum wage, that license to snark is sometimes the only thing that gets you through a day!

Justlori - Sadly, it amazes me how many poop stories this retail gig of mine is giving me!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 9:52:00 AM  

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