I just accidentally frightened everyone in the store when the phone rang.
Scammer: "I need to speak to whoever handles your electric account."
Me: "Fuck. You."
Entire store turns towards me.
Me: "It was one of those phoney electric company scam calls."
Relieved Customer #1: "Oh my god, I get those calls, like, three times a day. I hate them."
Relieved Customer #2: "Yea, I know not to answer a call from a number I don't know, but I'm just afraid I'll miss an important call."
Me: "Well, our phone is from ... 1991 ? So it *had* a caller ID screen but it doesn't work anymore."
RC 1: "So you have to answer the phone every time?"
Random Customer #3: "Do you get hazard pay for that?"
RC 2: "It sounded like he had the situation well in hand."
Random Customer, upon purchasing a couple of back issues: "The demise of Mad Magazine has to be the saddest news of the year."
Completely Correct Teenage Daughter: "Really, Dad? The saddest news of THIS year? I want you to think about that. Because if that's your opinion, I'm never talking to you again."
RC: "The saddest publishing news."
CCTD: "No. The saddest publishing news is that the media is filled with a bunch of Nazi-enabling cowards."
The rest of the transaction took place in Absolute Silence.
Ever since the idea popped up in my memories a week or so ago, I've been carrying my cats' favorite toy, the laser pointer, with me at all times.
Today, I successfully used it to lead a customer to The Umbrella Academy trades when they were having problems with directions.
"Just. Yea. See the red dot? Right there."
Every month, Diamond Comics sends in secret shoppers to try and buy unreleased comics. They're given a sort of script, and instructions on where to take pictures with their phones.
And every month the people who do it are slightly stupider than the previous month.
I usually spot them taking pictures of the window before they come in. As I did today.
Me, as the secret shopper entered: "Hi. How are you today? Can I help you find anything?"
This week's Guy Trying To Make A Buck At The Expense Of Retailers: "Wow. Your store is small."
GTTMABATEOR: "Do you sell new comics?"
Me: "Of course. Are you looking for anything in particular?"
GTTMABATEOR: "Um. Let me. Uh. Yes. But. Hold on."
He goes into the corner and scrolls through his phone.
GTTMABATEOR: "Do you have Detective Comics #1006?"
Me: "Unfortunately, that doesn't come out until tomorrow."
GTTMABATEOR: "It doesn't? Oh. Oh no. Um. What about Action Comics #1012?"
Me: "That also doesn't come out until tomorrow. Is there anything else you're looking for?"
GTTMABATEOR: "Yea. Um. Hold on. Let me."
Walks back into corner to scroll through his phone.
GTTMABATEOR: "Do you have a TV for customers to watch?"
GTTMABATEOR: "So, if I wanted to watch. Like. Ok. Marvel or DC movies. Where are they?"
Me: "Movie theaters. You can probably buy the DVDs at Wal-Mart, or just stream them on Netflix. We don't sell DVDs here, though."
GTTMABATEOR: "Ok, um."
Corner. Phone. Scroll.
GTTMABATEOR: "After DC and Marvel, what would you say is the biggest comic book company?"
That's a new question.
Me: "Image Comics actually sells better here than DC or Marvel."
GTTMABATEOR: "Like Spawn?"
Me: "No. We haven't sold an issue of Spawn in nearly a decade. But Saga by Brian K Vaughan, and Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman are just a couple of our huge sellers from Image Comics."
GTTMABATEOR: "Ok. What's your name?"
GTTMABATEOR: "And how tall would you say you are?"
Me: "I would say I am 5'4"." (I'd be fucken lying, but that's what I'd say if you asked me. I really hope he includes that in his report.)
GTTMABATEOR: "Ok. I'll be back."
Me: "Great! Have a wonderful day."
That secret shopper who came in last week just filed his report:
Were the store hours posted, or did you have to inquire about them? Posted (Truth!)
"GENERAL INFORMATION" COMMENTS ABOUT THE LOCATION:
The exterior of the building was clean. There was no debris anywhere on the floor. The exterior showed the building sign from the window. There was no debris anywhere on the ground at the store front. (Guess who happened to vacuum that day.)
1. Were you greeted when you entered the location? Yes
1a. If YES, please specify what was said. The employee said hello to me. (I said "Welcome." actually.)
1b. Please specify how long it took to be greeted (from the time you entered the location). 0-10 seconds (Damn right.)
2. Was it easy to figure out where the new releases for the week are located? No (it's only the entire back wall of the store.)
3. Please specify the titles of the comic books you were to find. Detective Comics #1006, Action Comics # 1012
5. Were these specific title(s) and issue(s) available on the shelves? No (NOPE!)
5a. If NO, was an employee able to find a copy for you? No (because they weren't yet available for sale)
5B. PLEASE SPECIFY WHAT THE EMPLOYEE SAID.
The employee told me that they were not in but would be in the next day. (Yep.)
6. If applicable, please specify where it was located. N/A: It was unavailable (Yeup.)
7. Was the employee who assisted you friendly? Yes (Poisonously so.)
8. Was the employee who assisted you helpful and focused on you? Yes
...Name: Adam (Yep)
...Sex: Male (Yep.)
...Height range: 5'8" (Hahahahaha, Halfway between the truth and the lie that I told him.)
...Age range: 40's (Yep.)
...Other distinguishing characteristics: N/A
9. Did the employee wear a uniform or a name tag? Neither (Correct.)
12. Were you thanked and/or given a sincere parting comment? Yes. As I left out of the store, I was given a parting remark from the employee. I was not thanked. (Thanked for what? He didn't buy anything. I told him to have A Wonderful Week.)
DESCRIPTION OF THE STORE LAYOUT:
This store was compact. It was closed and the displays were spaced in but you could still walk around the store. There were no TVs, gaming tables, but had the POS system near the entrance or exit area. I had to really find the new comic area. (IT'S AN ENTIRE WALL OF THE STORE.)
I did not identify as a secret shopper by the employee and I did not feel like he knew what I was up to. I would still recommend to people I know because it was loaded with comic books. The employee was helping when I needed help (Sorry, dude. I smelled your secret shopperness a mile off. You took over two minutes taking pictures of the front of the store.)
There is an unstable old lady who comes in every couple of months to ask me what time the copy shop is open, and to "steal" the free comic previews we keep by the door.
I think she gets a thrill from stealing, and, thusfar, she has only gotten far enough into the store to get her hands on the pile of giveaway comics we have by the door.
If you tell her a thing is free, she shakes her head, and sighs.
For the last couple of weeks, we've had a ton of promotional mugs for The Dead Don't Die. She noticed them immediately, and asked how much they cost. They're free, but I lied, and told her they were $10.
Unstable Old Lady: "Ten dolars that's very reasonable, I have a grandon who's ten. He likes ninjas but not ninja turtles. Is there anything I could buy for him? It has to be something good. He gets so mad when I give him the wrong things."
"I don't have any ninja books right now." I make a big presentation of looking at the all age stuff, as I hear her stuff one of the mugs in her tote bag.
UOL: "I wish Staples made copies."
Me: "They do. They have a copy center. As you walk in, it's on the left.
UOL: "They don't do copies, though."
Me: "They do. There are four or five machines where you can make copies yourself, or you can give them the originals and they'll make copies for you. Unfortunately, they closed at six tonight."
UOL: "They don't do copies, though."
Me: "Oh. Ok. They make copies for me. They must like me."
UOL: "Why aren't they open across the hall?"
Me: "They are closed on weekends in the summer. Their hours are posted on the door, if you want to check."
UOL: "What time do they open?"
Me: "You'll have to check the hours posted on the door. I don't know what time they open."
UOL: "How come?"
Me: "I'm new."
UOL: "Ok. Well, I will go and try and find another place to make copies. But I'll be back to buy more ninja books for my nephew."
UOL: "Hi Brandson. I'm Olivia. Nice to meet you."
Me: "Certainly a pleasure."
She eyes the mugs again, then looks at me. "Goodnight Brandson."
Me: "Goodnight, Olivia."
Uncle Creepy: Tony?
Me: Nope. This is Adam. Call back on Friday to talk to Tony.
UC: Ok. Ok. Hi. Adam. You've helped me before. Do you know Nosferatu?
Me: Not personally.
UC: Nosferatu The Bald Vampire. You know him?
Me: Is there something I can help you order?
UC: Do you know Nosferatu. He's the bald vampire. Like the first one. He's really old.
Me: Is there something I can help you find?
UC: Do you got statues of Nosferatu the bald vampire?
Me: No. And I'm looking it up now. There aren't any available. There will be one in November, but it's $650.
UC: I'm looking for the $100-$200 range. Like a bust of Nos--
Me: --feratu The Bald Vampire, yes. I get it. But there aren't any available.
UC: What about raven? You know raven?
Me: The wrestler? The Teen Titan? The bird? The bookstore?
UC: Yea. Yea. You know. The bookstore. The Raven bookstore.
Me: It's a couple blocks away. Want me to give you their phone number?
UC: No. No. Not the one nearby. The bookstore.
Me: I don't know what you're talking about.
UC: Sometimes you get me stuff from Raven?
Me: Nope. They're a different store. They sell books, but they don't sell statues. I can give you the number to call them, but I'm not going to call them for you.
UC: Maybe it's not Raven. But it's a store. Sometimes you call other stores.
UC: Ok. Maybe not another store. That's ok. That's ok. You know how you guys have comics with Vampirella the---
Me: the almost topless vampire hunter?
UC: Yea. Yea. Vampirella the Vampire Hunter.
Me: Uh huh.
UC: Can you get me statues of her?
Me: You're going to have to call back on Friday and talk to My Boss. He is the one who does the statue ordering.
UC: Ok. Ok. I should call tomorrow?
UC: Friday? Sometimes I call on ---
Me: The next time he'll be here to talk to you about statues is Friday. Until then, he won't be here. And none of the rest of us can help you with statues.
UC: What about Wedn--
Me: Friday. Not Tuesday. Not Wednesday. Not Thursday. Friday. Only Friday. Friday is the only day you can call him this week. Not Saturday. Not Sunday. Only Friday. You need to call him on Friday. I have to go now. Remember, call him on Friday. Thanks.
I hung up the phone.
here was a Random Loiterer shuffling around the store quietly muttering to himself "Don't look at that. We can't get that. Put that down. That's not for you. None of this is for you. We have to leave this place."
I was very concerned for him, until he left the store. As he turned the corner, it was revealed that he was with a toddler who was so small and quiet that I couldn't see them over the counter.
Random Bullshitter to a person of another gender: "This is their noir section. They organize things by genre."
Me: "Nope. That's our European section. Books written and/or drawn by Europeans. There are also some South American creators on the third shelf."
RB: "I'm pretty sure it's all your noir stuff."
RB's Victim: "Are you seriously arguing with the person who works here about how their store is organized? Do you ever stop?"
RB: "That's it. I'm done. I have reached my limit. Goodbye."
And then I and the person who remained had a lovely conversation about which European comics she might enjoy.
Random Mom: "Hi."
RM: "So, my brother came in here this weekend to buy some books for my ten year old and for my sixteen year old nephew. And I think he mixed up books."
RM: "He left us some Greek God comics, which were fantastic, but also this."
She puts down a copy of "The Adventure Zone", a comic based on a podcast based on gaming culture that is not geared for ten year olds.
RM: "I work for a publisher so I didn't want to to throw it away, but also I can't have it in my house. I was not ready for my ten year old to ask me what 'masturbating' means."
Me: "Sure. If you want to just grab a book that's a better match, we can switch it out for you."
RM: "You don't need to do that. I just wanted the book to go to a more appropriate home."
Me: "I appreciate that. But it sounds like you have a responsible ten year old who deserves another book."
RM: "Thank you."
Me: "It's no problem. We'll definitely sell 'The Adventure Zone before Christmas."
RM: "Last summer I bought a book about a girl who goes to camp. Is there a sequel to that?"
Me: "'Be Prepared'? Not currently."
RM: "I think it's called 'Hidden Witch'."
Me: "Oh, that's a sequel to "Witch Boy'. We do have that."
RM: "I'll get that."
Me: "Here's your change."
RM: "You don't need to give me change."
Me: "Your book didn't cost as much. And we'll definitely sell the one you returned."
RM: "This went way more pleasantly than I imagined."
Me: "The rumors about my temperament have been greatly exaggerated."
After spending half an hour looking for fishing wire so I could hang up some t-shirts.
Coworker: "Could you go over to the hardware store and buy fishing wire?"
Me: "I feel like I just did this three months ago. There has to be a spool of it around somewhere."
CW: "Do you know where?"
Me: "No clue."
CW: "Let's just get a new spool then."
Me: "Ok. Any particular weight I should be looking for?"
CW: "I don't know. How much does a t-shirt weigh? Fifty? Sixty sharks?"