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A retail employee's nightmare - Curt Yeomans

Oh Lord, I am so glad I don't work in retail anymore.

Christmas is right around the corner, and we all know what that means -- shopping mania is on.

Those people who rush to the mall, despite the nation's current economic woes, are saying "Bring it!" to the retailers. "It's been brought," the retailers are saying in response.

"The Day after Thanksgiving," or "Black Friday," or "The Day of a Billion Weeping, Overused Credit Cards," or whatever you want to call it, always means one thing to the people who work at all those shops in the malls.

To those people, it is "The Day I Dread Because Of All The People Who Made A Mess In The Store While Some Bratty Kids Made The Bathroom Sink Overflow With Water That Seeped Into The Fitting Room Hallway!"

That's a true story from when I worked at a Banana Republic in Kennesaw, by the way. Darned little devils shoved paper towels into the sink, and then turned it on. Water went everywhere and our manager was heard openly cursing them because it was a few minutes before we closed for the night, and we had been expecting to get out of there early -- Until the Great Flood of Banana Republic happened. Stupid little brats.

After they left our store, their mother stopped at a small merchant's stand in front of our shop to see what they had. It sold glass products. The floor was marble. The kids were careless. Their mother got really embarrassed afterward. Enough said.

While the shoppers turn into greedy monsters who just want "SALE! SALE! SALE!," no one stops to think about the retail employee. They have to bring you a pair of shoes to try on. Then another pair in a larger size. Then a different pair in a completely different design, because you changed our mind.

They have to scour the sales floor for you while you're trying things on. They have to find the best size of that cute little top you like so much. They also have to deal with the wants and needs of five other customers at the same time.

They also have to be the one who shoos you back in your fitting room when you walk out of it half naked -- in front of small children -- to receive the shirt you asked them to retrieve. You know, you could have just waited until they got to the door with the shirt. They would have handed it to you over the door frame. You did not have to embarrass your girlfriend by letting everyone see you in your underwear.

And do not even get me started on the nightmare of having to clean up the entire store after the mall closes, just so everything will look nice for all the shoppers who are waiting at the door at 7 a.m., the next day. If something was folded nicely when you picked it up, you could at least refold it before you put it back on the table.

It is no wonder why some of the female employees at the store decide to let off some steam by trying to trick a male employee -- who works at the cash register -- into giving them permission to try out lip stick on his lips.

By the way, Bryan, those of us who were working in men's apparel could see your bright, ruby red lips from across the store after that stunt. You looked like you were trying out for the role of Ronald McDonald.

I'm not surprised that mother and her daughter were creeped out by you, and were all but running out the door, once you finished ringing up their stuff. Now you know why I said "No" to the sparkled lip gloss.

Now people, do you see what retail people have to go through to make you happy during the holiday shopping season? Just have a little love for the sales people, that's all I ask.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.