Thursday, March 29, 2007

Free stuff drives people nuts.......

So, with the other day being the first of Spring, Rita's gives out a free waterice. Why am I mentioning this? Because there's a Ritas two shops down from us in the same shopping center. This creates stress for several reasons.

First I can't find a place to park. Our center is small enough already, trying to get out when another car is coming in involves compicated hand signals and extensive communication. Now increase traffic by 40%. Ugh.

That traffic translates to a line around the center, which blocks our door. So you need to brush people out of the way just to get in or out of the store. "But wait, doesn't that mean more customers coming in to browse, and an increase of sales?" No, becuase it's mostly 9 year old kids with no money in the first place, and people with the "FREE" mindset aren't in the mood to spend.

Second, these people in line tend to stare at you through the store windows. I will never look at animals at a zoo in the same light, becuase I felt like I was in a human zoo. All the Fwicers (that's short for free water icers) are watching me watch TV in the store, bored during their 10 minute wait for flavored ice. I almost felt like dancing around and trying to entertain them, just to see what kind of reactions I'd get.

It still wound up being a slow night, so I rushed to close as fast as I could. With this much of a mass of humanity around, the chances were too great that someone would wander in three minutes before closing and want to dig through the discount movie pile. Needless to say, I didn't get a free waterice.

Oh, and lest the blog stray too far away from pure video gaming, God of War 2 rocks! I just beat Titan mode, which is quite the challenge. If you have a ps2 system, you must play through GOW 1+2. Good stuff.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Facing the slow times........

I've been getting some hours during weekdays recently, and Al Bundy just about sums it up here as he's waxing retrospective about his job. Although I, unlike Al, try to find something to do - sometime constructive, sometimes not - to pass the time. Here's what I've been finding myself doing lately:

- Sorting through the discount DVD bin (around 150 or so movies) only to take off the annoying SECURITY DEVICE ENCLOSED plastic strips on the top and bottom of the cases. These should be fully removed when you first buy the movie - people as so lazy these days.

- Making sure all the paper money in the registers are facing the same way. They say this makes it easier to spot counterfeit bills, or psychotic employees.

- Picking out used movies for the "cheesiest DVD in the universe EVER". Right now I've got it narrowed down to the Stallone classic "Deathrace 2000" and "Snakes on a Train". Yes, TRAIN.

- Performing amateur handwriting sample analysis on credit card receipts. "Sure Mr. Valez just spend 128.54 on his credit card, but his shaky lines and unclosed "A" indicate he couldn't afford it."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I don't have any material that will be enough for a full blown post, so I'm just going to throw together some small things that happened throughout the week:

- One customer entered the store and asked me if I knew music pretty well. Just the older stuff I told him, not the current bands (I'm over 30, and like the classic rock era....I just don't get the new bands at all). "George Thorogood....." he starts to say, so I chime in "yeah, Delaware Destroyers, I'm with you so far....."

"You know that song they do - keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel......."
Oh, no you didn't. The Doors are my favorite band, please tell me this guy didn't mix up Geroge Thorogood with the DOORS! I went on to explain to him that James Douglas Morrison along with the rest of the Doors did that song, called Roadhouse Blues, and it's on the Morrison Hotel CD. Just because Thorogood sings about beer doesn't put him on the same level as the Doors. Needless to say that put me in a bad mood....

- Speaking of bad mood, a young boy and his mother come in to sell a Gamecube. I ring it up and ask for ID. The mother doesn't have any so they leave (we require ID for all sales, just for protection.) They come back in the next day, same situation, only now with ID. So when I ask for it again, the woman starts playing 20 questions. They start out simple, then get absurd.
"Why do you need ID?" "Why do I need to sign the paper?" "Where do you store the ID?" "What happens to it in the end?" Here's my favorite: "What kind of security system do you have?"
I told her about the motion sensors and the alarm. "That's fine if you're closed, but what about during the day? " I pointed to my eyes and said "state of the art monitoring equipment." "How many employees are in the store? Will someone always be watching?" Nobody is going to jump me and wrestle past just to get your ID lady, relax. Eventually she broke down and sold the Cube.

- I sold a Sims Gamecube to a woman one day, without instructions. Bad move. She calls an hour later wanting to know how to play. I don't play the Sims, so I sent her over to Gamefaqs. Gamefaqs is your solution to just about 95% of customer questions - it has walkthroughs, instructions, cheat codes, it makes my life easier. Only this time, it only lists PS2 version controls. She calls back in another hour and says she can't find help on the site. She then asks me to fax the instructions to her. Ummmm.......I don't have them to begin with. And only the government should be able to fax things......the general public shouldn't be trusted with such technology. I googled around a bit and read her the controls over the phone. I remember a time when games were A=shoot and B=jump. Those were happier times.

- And finally, on a funnier note, I had a cute couple come in and head for the retro section. They finish up with a handful of NES games, and ask for some obscure game show port, I think it was "Remote Control". Remember Remote Control with Colin Quinn? Of course I don't have it, and they start to cute couple play fight. "Luck he doesn't have it, I'd have to kick your ass like in the other games." The girl replys, "I destroyed you in Blades of Steel, so don't go there......" Then the guy drops this bomb:
"Oh yeah, you can't even find the whistle in Super Mario Brothers 3".


Burned. She laughed and walked away, so I warned the guy that this pile of games might eventually lead to a break up. He laughed, and she came right back over and said "what are you laughing about?" Cute couple.