Thursday, 15 March 2012

How Childhood Training Ruined Perfectly Good Adults

by Olivia Starke

I’m not someone who can deal with stupid. I don’t condone it nor do I reward it. Yet, for some ever lovin’ reason I’ve chosen to work in retail. And not just retail, mind you, but in retail management which in itself is just plain stupid. Each and every day I interact with people who push my last button, making the term postal seem like a viable option to get through the rest of the day.
(This is how I look after every shift.)

The more I’ve observed people, the more I’ve fallen back on my college major of Psychology to try to explain certain actions. And what I’ve gathered from this is that we often fall back on lessons taught in early childhood classrooms.
1)Always put your toys away with the rest of the children’s to avoid a mess. I work in a pretty small store that’s part of a pretty big national retail chain. In my store there are only two registers and one set of doors. I have observed many times when one person leaves their cart in the middle of the walkway to the exit, EVERYONE, will start leaving their carts with it—even though the cart corral is steps away.
Eventually, one last cart will completely block the exit route and you’ll have a completely befuddled school teacher, accountant, administrative assistant, etc. who can’t figure out why they are trapped. They stand and stare, trying to figure out how to get around the obstacle as if some black magic has created it, not once thinking they should simply put the carts away.
I decided long ago to allow this natural selection process play itself out. You know, for the betterment of mankind.
(When you’re not looking shopping carts multiply…exponentially.)

2) Line up behind the other children. Most days we have one cashier and one manager on duty. The cashier can only run one register at a time (DUH,) so we’ll have several signs up on the closed register saying—you guessed it—this register is CLOSED. Inevitably you’ll get the person who can’t read and will stand at the closed register, piling their stuff up around the signs despite the line of other people, and cashier, at the open register. And what happens? People will start lining up behind that stupid person. And continue to line up.
(Standing in line is the new ‘planking’)

3) Stay to the right, children, when walking down the hallway. One of our doors fell off one day, or more precisely the right side door when entering. Literally fell off the hinges, and in the usual retail rush to make sure everything is in working order for the employees to make life simple, it took over six months to get it fixed.
In the mean time we barricaded the doorwith Uboats full of soda on the outside. Signs plastered on the door it was broken please use other door. And carts, etc. on the inside (seriously we tried everything.) Yet people continued to climb over the obstacles like some Marine bootcamp training, and would come to us and ask if we knew the doorway was blocked. Not once or twice, but continually over the course of month until the dim little light bulb finally clicked on. It’s a small town and we see the same people nearly every day.

Here you have it, a day in my life. Stay tuned, in future posts I’ll let you know what life is like in the mental hospital I’m surely headed for.

Midnight Madness
Maddie takes to camping to forget her two timing ex-boyfriend. Instead of peace and quiet, she stumbles upon two hunks who put the wild in wilderness. And they have plans of their own—to heat up her sexless life. An evening of rowdy lovin’ is just what she needs to get over her broken heart.
When she joins them in a trio that leaves her satisfied and exhausted, they have one more surprise in store called Midnight Madness...


Debbie Gould said...

Everyone is staring at me wondering why tears are rolling down my face. I can sooooooo relate. I'm in the medical field and and pull my hair out on a daily basis. Great post, and Midnight Madness is on my list to get this weekend.

Faith said...

I've worked in retail too from being a floor clerk to a manager. Hated all of it. I have li'l patience with stupidity and blatant rudeness. I'll take waiting tables over retail any day. At least when someone pisses you off while waiting tables you can dump a Coke or a plate of food of h/her head and then walk out of the restaurant to never look back.

Olivia Starke said...

Thanks Debbie! Check your author email btw ;;) You won some goodies for my Edge post Tuesday.

Olivia Starke said...

LOL Faith, and don't forget all the unsightly things that can happen to one's food when out of eyeshot!

Faith said...

ROFL! So true!!!

Fierce Dolan said...

Marine bootcamp training =) =) I know what you mean. I wrote something along the same lines a bit back: The Stupid Litmus Test and Speaking Truth. There's ignorance--genuine not knowing, and there's stupidity--knowing and refusing wisdom. It's a cultural epidemic, I tell you.
Cheers! (and spa massages)

Olivia Starke said...

The folks in my area aren't really know for their intellectual prowess. It's a sad statement of fact if you were to ask others in the surrounding counties.

We had a fire scare at the store, and the firetruck and first responder truck took up the majority of our tiny parking lot. Yet, here people came to shop, and couldn't understand why we wouldn't let them in to "just grab one thing." They had to weave around the emergency vehicles to park.

Jessica Subject said...

OMG! Yes, before my second child was born, I was a manager at a retail pet supply store. Though it sounds like the store was smaller, I can totally relate to every point you've made. Oh, the memories. Not. We did have some great customers though, so I can't complain about them all, but there were some...

Olivia Starke said...

Yes, Jessica, there are some super nice and sweet people whom I adore. Unfortunately, they don't make the majority.

I work with a great team and believe me, that's the only thing getting me out the door everyday!

Christine Rains said...

*LOL* Great post!

Tamara Gill said...

Oh dear...I feel stressed out just reading about your work place. ;o

Midnight Madness sounds like a great read. Congrats!


Anthology Authors said...

HAHAHAHAHA Yes, people are stupid. I was the other day when I found a package opened and didn't look hard enough to see the missing part had moved. Instead, I handed it to the cashier saying it had a missing part. I suppose if I had just looked... That being said, I think tape would work wonders for that box.

I also can't stand how people just leave their shopping carts all over the parking lot. Sometimes, they are right next to the shopping cart area. Really? Two more steps to put it away is too much? O.o

And have you ever been to Costco? The people who will leave their carts in the middle of the aisle because pushing it to the side and out of the way is too logical. O.o