Thursday, August 18, 2005

work stuff... Posted by Picasa

General observations about people
We are consumers, this I've always known, but I've truly witnessed a new level of consumerism now that it is "Back to School" season.

As you know, I work in a dept. store, in the children's section. It is crazy. I hear parents complain all the time about how TV/friends/movies/etc. influence their kids to "NEED" all this stuff (toys, video games, CD's, cell phones) But the biggest influence that I've witnessed is the parent(s) themselves.

Exhibit A: We have a wall lined with "Crocs" For the uninformed, these are ugly plastic shoes that come in a variety of taffy-like colors. They are covered in holes, like somebody has cut open a whiffle ball and glued it to a shoe frame. They are "THE SHOE" to wear this year. We have sold so many of these. I had a Dad in my store at 8:30 at night, just off of work, from a town 1 hour away, trying to find his kid's size in pink or yellow. She is on the other end of the cell phone yelling at him, because the pink only comes in a 6 and she NEEDS a 7 and why can't he find PINK????? He buys the yellow, and a pink in an 8, for next year. He doesn't realize now that next year, she will detest those old smelly holey shoes and will need the coolest shoes that are covered in genuine cow manure or something cool like that.

A customer today was trying to talk her 4 year old into a pair.
"Come on sweetie, don't you want some of these cool shoes?"
"No. I don't like those. I like these ones." (pointing to a pair of red Keds with a cool rainbow stripe down the side...a COOL shoe)
"Let's just try these on for Mommy. "
"(Mom sighing loudly) You kids are driving me crazy! Why don't you want these shoes? All the kids are wearing these shoes. They're cool!"
"NO NO NO NO (insert tantrum here)"

Why did this poor woman NEED her 4 year old to be cool like all the other kids? He was obviously a genius, he picked out a cool pair of shoes, even if they were for girls...

*sorry to offend if you like Crocs. But you know they are ugly. Even if they are comfy.

Exhibit B: Hole-y jeans.
I am not going to bash them. I wear them. I like them. My holes arrived naturally, from the continual cycle of wear/wash/wear/wash/wear....
A mom came in with her two sons, one around 15 or so, looking for jeans.
She says, "Do you have any pairs that look like these?" (she points to her own jeans, with worn places and randomly placed holes)
I point out the only pair I have and they, unfortunately, don't come in his size. I show him a pair of Levi's that are seriously cool. A different kind of wash. Old looking, a little worn, but no holes. He says no.
She says no.
"They need more holes in them", she says matter-of-factly. A bit snobbishly.

In my head, I tell her, "Lady, for $17.99, buy the Levi's and get the holes the old-fashioned way. Wear them. Wash them. Wear them some more. The holes will come."

Out loud I say, "Sorry, we may be getting more stock in next week, blah blah blah"

The boy is obviously pouting and says "Let's just go."
The Mom pacifies him with "We'll go somewhere cool, like Abercrombie."

In my head? "Uh, you could always wear YOUR MOM'S JEANS dude. Why don't you pick up a pair of Crocs on the way out. They're really COOL this year..."

Exhibit C: Name Brands
We sell Pepe jeans. NOT PEE PEE jeans. Pepe. Like the skunk. Pepe LePew.

A lady comes in and the only things I truly remember about her are..
1. She bought NAME BRANDS ONLY
2. She had purple lipstick on her front 3 teeth
3. She called them PEEPEE jeans

We have a "free gift with purchase". Basically a pencil case, filled with 2 pencils, an eraser, a 6 in. ruler and a pencil sharpener, all covered with the brand name Pepe.

"Where are your pee pee jeans?" she asks, when she notices the pencil cases.
"Our PEPE jeans are located along this back wall."
"What do peepee jeans look like? Kinda like Abercrombie?"
"Um, not sure. I can show you a pair."

Show them to her, she isn't sure about them. No holes. Light wash. Yet she is seriously considering ANOTHER pair of jeans (she's bought like 8 pair) just for the free Pepe pencil case.
She decides no. Leaves. Returns a minute later.

"Are they popular with the kids this year?"
"Um, I guess. They are a nicer brand, akin to Calvin Klein or Nautica...
"Okay. I'll take one pair of those PEEPEE jeans in a 7"

Since she called them peepee's 3 times, I assume that she believes that pencils and jeans that say pee pee on them, must be "cool with the kids" this year.

This will be all for now. Trust me, I have many many more examples of parental silliness. I'm sure I've been a victim of parental silliness myself a time or two. I am just more aware of it now.


At 8/19/2005 6:27 AM, Blogger amazing grace said...

that is HIlarious!!!! I love the PEEPEE jeans story! i even read that one out loud to my husband. thanks for making us laugh!

At 8/19/2005 6:54 AM, Anonymous Kris said...

Your work stories are cracking me up. And Bella's Little People play time is the cutest thing ever! I love how she made them all into your family. So smart. :)

At 8/19/2005 9:44 AM, Blogger Heather said...

hehehe ... i think it sounds more fun to be a kangaroom in an apartment jumping on the bed! :) love your updates - your stories helped me find my smile this morning. i must have put it in my pocket with my vitamins.


At 8/19/2005 5:36 PM, Blogger LeaLea said...

Wow. That is scary. These people are obsessed with their "things" being "in" and they are passing it on to their kids..that poor four year old!!

At 8/20/2005 8:27 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

This is hysterical! Ahh! The joys of working retail during the back to school season! I can totally relate! Just a few more weeks and hopefully the insanity will stop!

At 8/26/2005 1:11 AM, Blogger ret said...

Guilty. Own the crocs. Mustard yellow. I have an only daughter and I could feed the entire third world with what I've spent on her clothes, fads....Beanie Babies. Yikes. I'm a marketing addiction waiting to happen. You're totally right and convicting in completely entertaining sort of way. Write on.Just leave flip flops alone. :)


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