...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.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

attention shoppers!

  • It's not a display of your own smarts when you reply, "You probably can't help me. You don't have a college degree," when I ask if I can help you locate a book. I may be working at a job that pays just above minimum wage, but I assure you, I do have a college degree. I used that degree for several years to produce and edit a variety of publications. Very successfully, I might add. My framed diploma and awards might now be tucked away in a storage container in my basement rather than on the walls of an office like the one you must work in, but I assure you, I can still use my skills as a writer even if I all I am doing now is selling the works of other writers. If I had the opportunity to edit our conversation, I'd respond to your comment with one of my own that contained an expletive or two, for you pushed me to the point where all I could do was think "Asshole," as I walked you over to the science and technology books. But I like my job, even if it doesn't require me to use my college degree.
  • It's not funny when you throw up your hands in victory and shout "Approved!" before wiping the imaginary beads of sweat off your worried brow when your debit or credit card successfully goes through the system and your purchases are paid for. It's especially not funny if you're the fourth person who does it during a 45-minute shift spent manning the cash registers. I smile because I'm a nice person, but if you put yourself in my position, you'd be annoyed by it, too. Perhaps not enough to blow the dust off my college degree, but annoyed nonetheless.

...'twas a long night last night.



Blogger Kelly said...


People are assholes.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to come on over to my blog (I'll poor you a cup of strong coffee -or- hard liquor) and get this all off your chest.


You'll feel better. I do.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Trueself said...

No, that's a display of arrogance, not smarts at all. I have two college degrees, and it would never even cross my mind to talk to someone that way. I learned a long time ago that a college degree, or lack thereof, isn't an indicator of whether someone will be competent or not.

That second thing, OMG, how stupid! It's like going around admitting that you're an idiot who doesn't manage his finances. I'm so sorry that we, the public, act like such idiots sometimes. I could never work retail. I'm afraid I'd kill somebody, and really, proprietors so frown on killing their customers.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said...

Oh, that's terrible. And annoying. And terribly annoying. You are a better person than I, FADKOG... you only *thought* "Asshole". I would have let loose!

... or, judging by MY last blog post, I probably wouldn't have. It seems I have lost my balls. Any idea where they might be?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

I've got a degree or two of my own, and somewhere along the line of acquiring them, I also learned that the correlation between possession of a degree and actual intelligence is not as great as some degree-owners like to pretend it is. . . You're not making yourself look smart by condescending to your perceived inferiors; 'Asshole' is about right. . .

And the second bit, why not just save everybody the interpretive effort and proudly announce, "I'm a moron!"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Can't believe that first comment. You definitely need to steer those people in the wrong direction.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger cat said...

That first person? Douche.

I have to admit I have, on occasion, felt elated that a transaction had been approved. This is generally when I realize as I am about to pay for something that I have not checked my account balance recently and have no clue what might be in there. Money? Moths? Who knows! And APPROVED! Woohoo! We went the money route!

(I do not, however, throw confetti in the air and do a little happy dance or shout gleefully while in public. I wait until I get home to do this.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger San Diego Momma said...

Oh oh. I think the second bullet is me.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

You should ask that your name tag display your credentials. However, that would probably only look good if you have a B.A. and not a B.S.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

You know, Cocotte, when I was in grad school, the joke was that, once you got your B.S., you could go ahead and get your M.S. (More of the Same), or, if you were really ambitious, your Ph.D. (Piled Higher and Deeper). . .

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Eternal Sunshine said...

That first person: Complete tool (are the kids still saying 'tool' these days? I'm so not 'with it'.

The second one - I will admit that one of my favorite noises in the world is right before the ATM machine spits out my money. That whirring gives me such happiness... But I would never announce it to the world.

Oh wait...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

I can has dugree?

Speaking as someone who was a librarian (er, excuse me, a "library employee") for a number of years, trust me, more degrees do NOT indicate any degree of smarts or helpfulness. I knew some 18 year-olds that had more brains than many of the people I worked with who had with master's degrees.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Aha! So FTN, like John Wayne, is really Marion. . .

And I keep thinking of a Denis Leary music video that would apply to this post. . .

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Wonderful World of Weiners said...

You can run from the pus, but you CAN NOT HIDE!!

(hee hee hee)

Hallie :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

It would be nice if they could find someone who could help them become better human beings.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

How did you NOT poke the guy in the eye?

Because if you had done that, I would have thrown my hands up and yelled, "APPROVED!"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Lipstick Jungle said...

Liking the job is great, but seriously, wouldnt it have been worth the potential pink slip to say "asshole" just once to one of the countless idiots you encounter? Did they let you out of the kiddy section for a night?

And doesnt it make you want to call the bank the second those idiots (ok, me sometimes) leave to ask how many checks out of sequence are missing to see if it was only a fluke?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Pretty Unfamous said...

Are you serious? A customer actually said that to you?

I would have been up in arms. What a d-bag.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

I need to find your bookstore just so I can say to you "can you help me? I'm pretty sure you have a college degree and you know way more about what I need than I do. Oh, and here's some flowers and whiskey."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 1:11:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

Customers suck. Need me to rub your uh, back or something, sweetie, to make you feel better?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger Chasity said...

It's amazing to me how you can get yourself a degree and still be an idiot. Some people will be idiots no matter how much money they waste on education.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 1:59:00 PM  
Blogger That girl from Shallotte said...

Girl, the unwashed masses don't deserve to be in your presence. For what it's worth, as I was reading this I thought of two people in my department at the place that pays me: A condescending, arrogant asshole and a "zany" (read irritating) dingbat. Bet if you think back to your days in the newsroom/office you can apply those descriptors to former co-workers, too. So in a way, you're much better off, since you don't have to see those douchebags from last night every single day, or maybe even ever again!

*Poof.* They're gone.

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 4:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw the whiskey and flowers.

I'd bring you booze and batteries, as well as a big ole sign that says "Back off Stupid People...I bite."

Then I'd bow down and worship at your feet.

Cuz you be my beyotch.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 5:01:00 PM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

I think I would have risked my job to respond to that first asshole. no...I KNOW I would have, I'm hell bent on putting people in their place these last few weeks, I'm so fed up. UGH!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 6:58:00 PM  
Blogger Trooper Thorn said...

Why is money management so hard? It's just addition and subtraction but the sums never seem to make any sense.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today and commenting on how movie idols make me feel old. Molly Ringward will always be only Sixteen Candles onld in my mind.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:05:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

Bunch of assholes! my lil' brother used to work for Border's but now he works at the BnN downtown. He has no control and point out that he's been watching them walk by the book their looking for 20 times. He's a smart-ass.
::shakes head (a little proudly)::

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Ahhhh. Retail.

I worked it for many a year. Just loved every minute of it. ;)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:41:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

I would love to go into one of those ass plug's offices and say, "You probably can't help me because you have a college degree," and then drop a bunch of oily/greasy engine parts one their desk....

When I become president I am going to make it a mission that retail employees have to smack (with your preferred bludgeoning object)at least three stupid customers per day....

There is much that I lust about you.... So very much....

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:52:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

I am impressed with your restraint! People like that, that are sooo impressed with their own piece of paper, usually don't have a lot of anything to point to as an accomplishment, beyond that piece of paper, I think.

Too many of them wandering around feeling all "luk-at-me-I-are-smurt". Asshole.

I'll vote for Savage, for president though, based on his campaign promise above; as long as he gives special dispensation to those of us that voted for him, in case I inadvertently do a stupid-retail-customer-move, and forget that the worker is still a human being, and so deserves respect.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 8:04:00 PM  
Blogger MereCat said...

Gyawd people are stupid. They just parade their stupid around like a prized pig. Not to insult the pig, however, of course.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 8:22:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

I admire your restraint sweetie! I would not have been able to hold my tongue, or fists for that matter....grrrrr.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 6:02:00 AM  
Blogger Bunny said...

I love it when people treat me like I'm uneducated just because I'm not making full income-producing use of my BA and JD.

Besides, who says we educated folks have the corner on smarts? My father was educated in the military and doesn't have a fancy sheepskin on his wall, yet he is one of the smartest people I have ever met. The graduated-degreed people who worked for him were always shocked to learn he never went to college, yet could run circles around them in accounting.

People like your customer just show their ignorance when they make stupid statements like that.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 8:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Customer service at it's finest. Sometimes dumb people make me want to throw in the towel, give up on humanity and move to the wilds of Montana where I can live in a cave and grow a beard.

But, maybe that's just me...

Thursday, August 07, 2008 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alternate responses to charmer #1 would have been to immediately let all intelligence disappear from your face, drop your jaw open to a degree of true slackness, and respond with something along the lines of:
* Can you talk slower? I'm not very bright.
* Big words make me angry.
* Phew! Thanks for understanding. I hate when people mistake my dull-witted friendliness for actual capability.
* Actually, I've got degrees in ass-kicking and balloon animals. Which one do you want me to show you first?

Thursday, August 07, 2008 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

kelly - No kidding. Especially those who apparently have advanced degrees in it!

Undomestic Diva - I think you and I are going to get along well!

Trueself - Exactly! On both points. I am very proud of my degree. I worked very hard for it, and I love the fact that the work I did after earning it made me a far more confident person, and while the work I do now - at least the work I do that I earn a paycheck for - is by no means taxing, I do it because I enjoy it, so it was shocking to me to be treated like that. Never in my life have I thought anything similar about a person!

iMommy - I can give some credence to the fact that the person may have been having a bad day, but even in my worst days, I'd not imagine doing anything like that. Had I descended my balls, I probably would have gotten a pass on it from management. I'm lucky to have some pretty easy going managers who would have backed me up. I just figured I'd execute the good taste I have!

Des - I can go for someone with a sense of humor, and I know when people do the whole "Yeah! Approved!" thing are doing it to lighten a mood or to be funny. I can grant that, but after my insult, I then got that open mic night gig, and wanted to go off!

Chag - I know, right!? Even in a bad mood, I treat others with respect. I should have steered them to one of the many other employees with college degrees who work there. That would be almost all of us.

Cat - Ha! Maybe I should actually pad my pockets with confetti and toss it in the air when people do the 'approved!' thing! Then other employees could come out and sing a song, like they do at restaurants when it's your birthday!

San Diego Momma - Anyone who reads me and does these things that sometimes irk me automatically gets a free pass!

Cocotte - My nametag actually has my named flanked by a pair of skull and crossbones. Maybe that makes me look immature. I just like to think it is now a sign to watch out for me!

Des - In light of that, I quite think I must have a couple Ph.Ds!

Sunshine - If no one else is, you and I can still say tool. I'm OK with that, and I'd be OK with you pulling the approved!

ftn - Some of the smartest people I've met are those who have foresaken school for life lessons. Even the one guy at my town's library who might actually benefit from a few more credit hours.

Des - I bet ftn is super cute in those long dresses and petticoats, too. I had thought about popping that particular Denis Leary clip that I think you're thinking of in, actually!

WWoW - At least not until you put some other stomach turning images, I imagine!

Brian - Amen. Seriously.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Alice - Ha! Great idea! Instead, I walked ahead of the person in question, clenching my jaw AND my fists!

Lori - Alas, I was only briefly out of the children's department that night. I fear I'm perpetually stuck there now. I'd hope the summer was going to psych me up for my return there during the days, but I'm so not ready!

Angela - Sadly, yes. Unbelievable, I know, but very, very true. Thanks for coming by and tossing in your very spot on opinion!

BP Dad - It's probably an expensive trip, but I'll forward you the address, for I'm a sucker for nice words and flowers. Even moreso for whiskey!

Always home - How about my feet? I'm on them all the time, wading through the crap of random people!

Chas - This was surely someone who slept through life experiences on human kindness!

That Girl From .... - How I've missed you! It made me all bright and shiny happy to open my email and see you there! And you are SO right. I worked with a bizarre rotating cast of characters in the newsroom, and I miss not a single one. How unfortunate, though, that our combined newspaper prowess isn't in tandom, working to take over the world!!

Redneck Mommy - I want you. Plain and simple. Heh!

Stacie - I need a Pocket Version Stacie to grant me the strength and courage!

Trooper - I know, right? Even though most of my money management involves the taking away part, I can just quit buying things until the bank catches up!

Bee - Your brother sounds like my kind of bookstore employee! We'll be hiring for the holidays soon, if he wants to move!

Mandy - It definitely brings some highs and lows. That day was a low one!

Savage - At least three a day? I'll start making my list now!

Sailor - Savage seems like he'd be a fair and balanced leader, so I'll put in a good word on this proposed amendment!

Merecat - Based on some of the awfulness people have left around the store, I think some pigs would be far better to deal with! Honestly, people can be physically (and verbally!) nasty!

Nan - You'd be a good person to have my back. Not ON my back, mind you. That's nasty dungeon stuff, which is blech. But you can have my back anytime!

Bunny - Exactly. Plus, I have found that I've learned so much from people who don't have degrees in anything. Many of them are also blissfully happy in their endeavors, too, and would never pull a stunt like this customer did to me. The world is filled with all types, I guess.

Meg - Except for the whole beard thing, I'd probably go for that. Well, and the bugs and bears and the cold, too!

twobusy - Can I just take this opportunity to state publicly how fantastic I think you are!? I want to come drink beer samplers with you. These are hilarious, and I WISH I'd been as quick on my wit!

Thursday, August 07, 2008 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

what? who the hell says things like that?

good thing i wasn't there...that's grounds for an eye stabbing.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 2:26:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

you shoulda just threw a string of big words out there and then stopped and stared at him. when he obviously couldn't respond with your stellar scholastic ways you should have just flipped your hair, rolled your eyes and walked away. oh and like exhale really loud so he hears you next time.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

People are truly unbelievable.
When I was a nanny, the family I worked for had a friend who would come over and refuse to look at or speak to me simply because I was the hired help. Didn't exactly leave me with more respect for him or the sense that he was a great person.
I would have loved it if #1 and #2 had been the same person. That would have been revealing.

Friday, August 08, 2008 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I like Twobusy's suggestions!

It's hard to believe some people are that thoughtless/idiotic. And with all the educatin' the person presumably had, how come they couldn't find their own way to Science/Tech?

Friday, August 08, 2008 6:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHA! You beat me to it...I was thinking I should blog about "how to be an asshole in a bookstore" #1 would be to treat me like a mildly retarded teenager. I'm 30 years old and have a JD, ya jerk. Bite me. (also, hi Bunny! I'm not using mine either!)

And? I'm making less than 8 bucks an hour, so the whole "oh gee, I sure hope I have enough money to cover $200 worth of frivolous crap?" routine? Kinda insulting.

Keep your chin up - remember, this job would be great if it weren't for the customers!

Friday, August 08, 2008 7:02:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Even though I always know the money is in there when I use my card, I am always secretly afraid it won't be approved. This is a holdover from when I was married to my first husband and I actually did have to worry that he might have taken all the money out of the account and I would be in line with groceries and the card would be denied. I don't celebrate in line though. =P

Friday, August 08, 2008 8:59:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Ali - I know, right!? Why don't you come hang out with me and be my backup!

kimmy - Ha! The eye rolling (aka - the patented 'wonk eye'!) and hair flipping I've got down to a science. Alas, his remark rendered me speechless, so I was left digging around for my big words after he'd left me to my own devices. Grrr...

Zip n Tizzy - Oh my gosh! Really?! How lame of that person. I suppose we all don't start out the same way, but we all have the same opportunities, and working hard for them shouldn't merit such treatment. From anyone. Oh! I also wish the same person had been responsible for both my store gripes, but I steered clear of the first after our helpful time together!

Melissa - He did a great job, didn't he? He's one I also need to keep on retainer for any future calamities like this! I need a hotline, like direct to Batman and the Commissioner. Oh, and, the Science and Tech section is kind of tucked away in our store, so there's that excuse, I suppose!

Stella - I think we could share many a story in our combined bookstore time! If you write yours, I'll definitely be there chiming in!

Heather - I'm always pretty aware, too, and I've silently stood there while register transactions whirred around me, my fingers crossed, until I knew I was good for another day. These days, I just know I can't randomly be out there shopping for whatever strikes my desire, so that cuts down on some of my register prayers!

Friday, August 08, 2008 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh crikey! I hope you told that guy you DID have a degree. What a tool.

He probably went to Stanford. (That's where most of our degree'd idiots come from around these parts.)

Friday, August 08, 2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Weirdgirl - I did casually mention I'd earned my dues. I just kept my '...and I feel much smarter than you apparently think you are' follow-up to myself!

Monday, August 11, 2008 12:01:00 AM  

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