Friday 23 December 2016

Christmas in retail: Things that could only happen in the Out Of Favour shop (and a few that happened somewhere else)

The Annual Dying of Boredom Ritual (aka. Lantern Parade Day, Part One)
It’s the day of the kids’ lantern parade; a charming tradition where we all pretend the kids have made the lanterns whilst knowing that the parents have made every inch of their exactly-to-scale tissue paper version of The Millennium Falcon, or Elsa and Olaf, or whatever, in a tooth and nail, fight-to-the death game of one-upmanship with all the other parents in the town. Consequently the shop is like a morgue because they’re all touching up their (sorry, their kid’s) masterpieces at home. It’s empty. Except for MAMAA (aka Middle Aged Man Always Around) Mr SS, who spends two hours drinking green tea and recounting the weekly sales from his market stall: how many, how much, who to. Inside my head I alternate between vegetation and apoplectic rage. The Christmas love begins..…

Photo: MarinaRossi, Pixabay

Friday 16 December 2016

The annual Christmas works do, or, How to Survive a Night With The Boss

By the time I arrived in the pub, TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) had already cornered the New Favourite Shop’s Landlord and was busy schmoozing him into submission. Occasionally he’d throw pleading glances to others around the room, but to no avail. No one was coming to rescue him.

Then TBE sent him to the bar, and whilst he was away she seized her chance to drag a row of seats into a straight line directly opposite the Landlord’s vacant chair, and bizarrely instructed us employees to sit in them shoulder to shoulder. I felt like I was back at school. When the Landlord returned to his chair, there we all were: a row of staring faces, like a hostile jury with personal space issues. He looked terrified.

Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Friday 9 December 2016

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. It might spit in your face.

Our bright, bubbly Saturday girl handed in her notice, which was sad for TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) and for me. I was sad because I liked her and she worked hard. TBE was sad because she was under age and TBE could pay her peanuts. Of course, that still didn’t mean she was going to be replaced by another tweeny exploitee:

“You can cope on your own on a Saturday from now on, can’t you?”

As a thank you for all her hard work, TBE generously announced she would give Saturday Girl whatever she wanted from the shop as her leaving present. Saturday Girl wanted a bag in a colour that had just sold out. I told TBE.

“No problem” she breezed, with all the warmth and generosity of a Retail Mother Earth bestowing Great Favours. “Whatever she wants, she shall have. Leave it with me. I’ll sort it out.”

Friday 2 December 2016

Embarrassing pumpkin soup for Christmas, anyone?

So the local town did Halloween. How long ago was that now? Over a month. This town does Halloween in a big way: lots of dressing up and partying. And the shops join in. All the shop windows are bedecked with pumpkins and cobwebs and witches broomsticks weeks before the big night. 

All except one.

The window of the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop was still rocking floaty, summery numbers right up until the 31st October, when three sad looking pumpkins quietly appeared in the display.

Three sad looking pumpkins.But still less sad than the actual ones. Picture: htconesandroid: Pixabay

Woo hoo! At last! The OOF shop is all set to do the Retail Run-up to Halloween, which is, er, today......

The day after Halloween, the shops moved on; pumpkins, cobwebs and the like disappeared from every shop window in the high street.

Except one.