Three quick anecdotes

dd7065d25a40c3ebc3df5c394d80aab9.jpgNone of these are really worth posts on their own– well, one, maybe– but I wanna record them, so here you go.

Driving home from dropping the boy off at school one day last week, a bird happens to catch my eye at a traffic light.  It’s probably a blackbird, but it’s a bit too far away for me to be sure– crow-shaped, and black, but too small to be a crow unless it’s a juvenile.  So, sure.  Blackbird.  As I’m watching it, it abruptly does a tight 270° turn and heads straight down to the ground, wings out.  I think at first that either the bird has been shot and what looked like a turn was actually a tumble or I’ve literally just seen this bird die in midair— which has to happen to birds sometime, right?  Surely once in a while a bird just has a stroke or a heart attack or something?

At any rate, it pulls up right before it hits the ground and lands and then I lose track of it. If it had dove down at an angle, I’d not have said anything about it and just assumed it was going after a mouse or something, but 1) it looked way too small to be a bird of prey and 2) I have never seen a bird fly straight down before.  It was weird as hell.

I’m at work, and I notice a spider perhaps two feet above my eye level and maybe three feet off to my right.  The building I work in has very high ceilings, and my first thought is where the hell is his web attached, because if he’s coming down a string of silk it’s gotta be thirty or forty feet long by now.  Then I notice that he’s coming straight toward me, which is not something I’d expect a spider coming down a strand of silk to do.  He’s a tiny spider, and I’m not frightened of them, so this provokes fascination rather than oh god kill it fear.  As he gets closer, I realize that he’s not attached to anything and he’s not acting like he’s climbing a web– he’s got his legs curled up underneath him, in fact.  The damn thing is floating.  I even wave my hand above him to check, and the breeze from my hand stirs him a bit but I clearly don’t break any strands of web.  I try to film him but he’s too small for the resolution on my phone to handle.  I watch him drift onto a sofa and crawl away.

Yesterday, first customer of the day.  He waves me off at first, saying he’s only looking, which is just fine.  I tell him everything in the store is on sale (which is true, and is useful information, I figure) and that the way our current deal works is “spend more, save more.”

He looks dead at me and says “You mean Jew more, save more?”

It takes me a second to process yeah that’s what the fuck he said.

“No,” I reply, shifting into my Teacher Voice.  “I said spend more, save more.”  And then I walk away and let my manager know that this fucker will be receiving no help from me whatsoever while he’s in the store and that if he speaks to me again we’re all lucky if the only thing I do is refer him to another salesperson.

The man and his wife circle the sales floor and leave without speaking to or being spoken to by anyone else.  I spend the rest of my day with half of my brain proud of me for not losing my job by lighting this fucker up and the other half of my brain ashamed of me for not lighting the fucker up anyway.

I am, much later, trending toward the second option, for the record.  How the fuck are you so fucking comfortable with being a bigot that you’ll just say shit like that to random fucking strangers in public?  I shoulda thrown his ass out.

I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world

walt_whitman_-_brady-handy_restored.pngThis post’s got nothing at all to do with Walt Whitman, mind you, other than that line is running through my head at the moment.  Well, actually, it’s running through my head in my preferred alternate version, which is “I sigh my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”  Why I think it’s okay for me to rewrite Whitman I don’t know, but that’s how that line always goes in my head until I remember it’s wrong, and for some reason I really prefer the sound of my version better.

I think he’ll forgive me.  He’s dead and famous and I think it’ll be okay if I mangle his immortal poetry a bit from time to time.

Today kinda sucked, speaking of barbaric yawps and the reasons for same.  Two members of the sales team/management staff are out of town, a critical warehouse guy is at National Guard training for two weeks, and… well, that’s actually more than enough given that the size of our staff isn’t that big to begin with.  Plus my printer stopped working for the entire day until an hour before close when it decided it was the right time to print every single document that I’d either deliberately or accidentally sent it for the entire day.  That meant that every invoice I wrote today meant I had to make at least one trip to the other side of the store.  Our store is big, and this is annoying.

Oh, also we hired a new fourth delivery guy last week for like the eighth time, and then today…hahashow.php.jpeg

No, we’re not allowed a second delivery crew no matter what we do.  Even when they get hired they disappear.  Woohoo!

I had two interactions with customers that burned my ass today, too, and I’m going to gripe about them even though I’m certain I’ve griped about other versions of them before.

  1. The customer who actually had the gall to get pissed when I told her we’d be able to deliver her stuff to her in three days.  This never ever happens, and was only possible because we had a couple of cancellations last night.  I tell every single customer I have to expect a 7-10 day wait for delivery until we get that second crew in place, and I put it on the invoice.  And you’re bitching about three?  She actually asked me if I was kidding.  I should have told her to go to hell.
  2. One guy (this one wasn’t mine) who got all kinds of pissed at me because his bed wasn’t in.  It was day 8.  I tell my customers to expect their stuff to be in the store within two weeks; I’ve heard people say 7-10 days, which is usually true but is not true frequently enough that I tend to just round up.  He went on a long rant about how if it wasn’t here by Thursday he was going to cancel.  Oddly, the fact that I told him several times that it was highly unlikely that his stuff would arrive by Thursday (if it ain’t on a truck on Monday, it’s probably not going to be here by Thursday) did not actually lead him to cancel– just to continue to threaten to cancel.  Like, are you literally just bitching at me to hear the sound of your voice?  I don’t care if you cancel.  I really don’t.  You’re not my customer and I’m only putting up with your shit because you’re bitching at whoever answered the phone instead of asking for your salesman, and I don’t have the energy for that when I’m the only person on my entire half of the floor and my printer doesn’t work.  Fuck off.  Other days I may have some patience for you; today is not that day.
  3. Same guy, in an entirely separate sin, made a big deal about how he’d already paid for his furniture and we’d “cashed his check.”  First of all: fuck you for writing a check.  It’s 2017, goddammit.  Second of all, find me the retail place that gives you shit before you pay for shit?  There are literally none of those.  Granted, some places give you your shit quickly after you pay for it, but every single retail establishment on the planet makes you pay for your stuff before you get it.  Third, the staff doesn’t get paid until stuff is delivered.  So nobody has gotten the– wait for it– $15 commission on the bed you bought, which is literally the cheapest bed we offer in the store.  Piss on fifteen dollars.  Okay, there’s $300 in a company account somewhere that used to be yours, assuming the check’s actually cleared by now.  So the hell what?  We’ll give it back if you cancel.  So please cancel?  Thanks.

Just not in the mood for dicks today.  I was running from the second I got to the store until maybe half an hour ago.  I picked the boy up from my parents at 8:30, already half an hour past his bedtime, and came home and fed the pets and changed the bed and made him put his pajamas on and got him into bed and wrote a blog post and now maybe I can read and relax for a bit before go to sleep.  Will I be any more tolerant toward entitled assholes tomorrow?  No, I will not.

(Note, because I feel like I should: the vast majority of my customers are really nice people.  I interacted with way more than two people today, but damn if I wasn’t surprised that I got through those two interactions without blowing my stack.  It was a really long day.)

On things left unsaid

Drifting off to sleep last night, at an hour most reasonable humans wouldn’t even be thinking about being in bed yet, I made a terrible mistake and checked my work email for some reason.  The email I received pissed me off enough that it took a full two hours to actually fall asleep.

This is not the email response I sent this morning.

b8ab1889e9a600a5675fc0a5062aca0e.jpgDear assholes:

It took me four days of work, six emails, several phone calls back and forth both to you and to my store, and at least one visit to work on what was supposed to be my day off to get you to come in and spend some fucking money on some fucking furniture.  During this entire process you repeatedly emphasized that you had sold your previous furniture and had an empty room with nothing to sit on.  I should have realized that this poor decision on your part was an indicator that you are dumb people who make stupid fucking decisions and handed you off to someone else.  But no!  I persevered, because 5% of $4000 is $200, and that’s a couple of credit card bills paid for the month.

Last night you sent me an email berating me because I had “guaranteed” that your furniture would be in your house in two weeks and when you called and scheduled your delivery today it was on the 19th, two weeks and three days after you purchased.

Lemme be clear here:  Youse a buncha lyin sonsabitches, and I’mma cancel your fucking furniture order and let you stare at some fucking bare walls where a sectional ought to be and a bare floor where you wanted a rug, because I’ll set $200 on fire before I let you fucking pricks get away with calling me a liar.

I tell every single motherfucker who buys from me the same exact fucking thing.  I say it so many times every day that it’s a programmed phrase: your shit will get here within two fucking weeks, and if you want it delivered it’ll probably take another week or so after that.  Every.  Single.  Motherfucker. Wanna know why?  Because it’s fucking true, and because I don’t make my fucking measly 5% on your shit until it is in your house.

Yeah.  Not on sale.  I don’t make shit from a sale.  I make money on delivery, which means I don’t get paid for your furniture sale until you have your furniture.  So there’s no fucking point in lying to any fucker about when their shit will arrive, because guess what?  Motherfuckers notice when they have no shit if they are expecting shit, and I have neither the time nor the energy nor the inclination to spend every fucking moment at work dodging phone calls from angry motherfuckers wanting to know where their shit is.  I know for a fucking fact that I didn’t guarantee you your shit would be in your house in two weeks because 1) it wouldn’t and 2) I never ever ever ever ever use the word guarantee to anyone, ever.

We had a bunch of fucking furniture stolen by pirates last year.  Motherfucking pirates.  That’s not a joke.  It’s fucking true, and some poor fucker had to call his fucking customers and tell them that they weren’t getting their leather sectional for two fucking months because a bunch of half-starved illiterate fucking Somalis with AK-47s and a couple of RPGs stole it.

So fuck you.  I didn’t guarantee you shit, and I sure as hell didn’t tell you your shit would be in your house in two weeks, because it would have led to this exact fucking conversation we’re having right now, only instead of you being a liar trying to extort another discount from me you would be right.  And I’m not having that.

I repeat: fuck you.  Take your shit in two weeks and three days, come pick it up your damn selves, or cancel your order and I will turn around and sell your shit to someone else.  I give no fucks which option you choose.

Oh, and this party you have scheduled for the 16th, which is exactly two weeks from the date where you made the purchase?  First of all, that’s fucking Monday, and it’s Martin Luther King Day, and no fucking pair of white-ass white people are having a fucking party on a Monday on MLK day.  I call bullshit.  Second, this would be another example of you making bad fucking decisions.  I don’t feel bad about it at all.  If you weren’t lying about the party– and you are— you would be idiots, because shit happens, and even if I’d guaranteed some shit would be in your house, it’s possible that other shit would prevent that shit from being true and your party would still suck.  Go rent some fucking folding chairs; you can’t fit more than five people on the fucking sectional you ordered anyway, goddammit.

Have I said fuck you yet?  Because fuck you.



How to confuse and annoy me, non-supermoon edition

wtf-o.gifFielded a call from a customer this evening who was annoyed because she had taken delivery of a recliner this afternoon and, for the second time, said recliner had come in wrong.  I apologized and, after getting her last name and looking up her invoice, asked her what had gone wrong.

“We ordered a power recliner.  This one’s not power,” she said.


The following problems were immediately apparent:

  • That she had not, in fact, ordered a power recliner, nor therefore could her initial recliner (which was returned because it arrived with broken feet) have been a power recliner.
  • That the recliner she had ordered was not even available in a power option, and that therefore she could not have ordered nor received a power recliner.  I have sold so many of these that I have the code memorized; that is not true of that many pieces on the floor.  It’s a push-back recliner.  There’s no power option.

Upon further investigation, it became clear that the customer’s sole problem with her new recliner was that it wasn’t a power recliner.  Upon gently pushing back on this contention, she stuck to her guns: she’d ordered a power recliner, and she’d gotten a power recliner, and she’d sent it back because one of the feet were broken.

Note also that no power recliner on the floor has feet.  So there’s no way that she got a power recliner that had broken feet.  They don’t have feet.  It was close to the end of the evening so I eventually got her off the phone by telling her that her salesperson had gone home for the day (true) and that I’d have her call her back tomorrow (also true.)  So this lady is claiming to have received a recliner that doesn’t exist that had a broken part that the recliner that doesn’t exist doesn’t have, and is angry because we sent her the recliner she ordered instead of a nonexistent one.

Anyway, I got her off the phone.

And then my manager, who’d been listening behind me, started laughing and filled me in on what was really going on.  You see, the manufacturer offers that recliner as a power recliner.  But my store doesn’t sell it that way.  And they’d shipped us a power recliner by accident.  There is no way for us to order one, and the customer originally ordered a regular recliner like I’d thought, and has either forgotten about that or was lying about it.

(She certainly didn’t pay for one.  She paid $X, and a power recliner would therefore be at least $X + 100.)

So, yeah.  Good luck to my co-worker tomorrow in sorting that one out.

On Not Being Right and customers

Unknown.jpegOne of the obnoxious parts of mental illness, even the relatively benign and easily controllable mild anxiety that I’m afflicted with(*), is that it is occasionally difficult to tell whether you’re authentically experiencing your own emotions or not.  To wit, I had a deeply shitty day today.  I didn’t have a deeply shitty sales day– that was merely average– but a day where basically everybody seemed to be fucking with me.  And right now I’m seriously sitting here fucking gaslighting myself trying to figure out if I’m really allowed to be as pissed off about my day as I am or whether the fact that I’ve been going off the reservation and tinkering with my meds is altering how I react to things.  And the real bullshit?  There’s no way to know at all.  Maybe I really had a shitty day.  Maybe my head’s fucking with me.  Who knows?  I’m blogging.


My favorite customer today was yet another entry in the I Never Want to Talk About Delivery Again series.  Let’s be clear, and I know I’ve said this shit before: there is no such thing as free delivery in a furniture store.  You are either paying for your own delivery via a surcharge, in case people who don’t get their stuff delivered don’t pay for delivery and you know exactly how much you’re paying, or your delivery is rolled into the price of the furniture, meaning that everyone who buys anything pays for delivery and you don’t know how much you’re paying.  There is no free delivery.  There is only a delivery charge that they don’t tell you about.  And those places typically aren’t about to give you a discount if you don’t get your stuff delivered.  So everyone pays.

We charge for delivery.  There is both a floor and a ceiling to our delivery charge; it won’t go less than a certain amount and it won’t go over a certain amount, and within that range it’s pegged to a certain percentage of the value of the furniture.  Also, if you’re over a certain distance away there’s an extra surcharge based on how far away you are.  Because if you’re fifty fucking miles away you’d best be damn sure that you’re going to pay more than you will if you’re down the damn street.

Anyway.  That now feels like way too much lead-in for the story payoff, but fuck it; I wrote it and it’s on the screen and I’m not deleting it.  I had a woman get frothingly angry with me today– like, actual spittle flying out of her mouth– not because we charge for delivery, and not because we charge extra to deliver out to fucking Michigan City, which is nearly fifty goddamn miles away– but because we charge more if we have to deliver more.

She actually said the words “Who charges more if they’re delivering more?  I’ve never even heard of that!”  And, just in case I wasn’t sure I’d heard her correctly, she said it more than once, implying that she’s never mailed or ordered a package, even once, at any point in her entire life.

I dunno.  It doesn’t sound like much.  But she was seriously irrationally angry about the whole thing, and it was at a point in the day where I was well beyond giving a fuck, and I don’t like it when people say shit that makes no fucking sense at all.  So, there: a blog post.

(*) I always want to make it clear whenever I talk about my issues with anxiety: I’m talking about me, here, not you.  Mental illnesses are as YMMV as anything can get.  I will never argue with anyone, ever, who struggles with anxiety and would not use the phrase “relatively benign and easily controllable” to describe their problems.  That’s me.  I’m not talking about you.