From bduxbellorum: When did the mob start writing fortune cookies?
Roots drummer Questlove lashed out on Twitter and Facebook against Nivea for this disgusting advertisement, which seems to depict a refined black guy holding the decapitated head of a scruffy looking black dude (who looks a lot like Questlove). Nivea has since issued a public apology for the ad. What was Nivea thinking?
At least once a week, I face a customer who just won’t accept that my Doorbell Cosmetics prices are only minimally negotiable. I’m usually willing to haggle for about 10% of the shelf price, but not more. My wholesale prices are a fairly high percentage of the retail price. My booth’s rent is more than many apartments in town, and I only have 12 market days per month to earn it.
Our marketplace, while described as a “farmer’s market”, is actually a high-end organic food and body care mini-mall. We’re located in the wealthiest ZIP code in the entire state, in a small town surrounded by “farmettes” and other expensive properties owned by the executive class working in Murder Town, which is about an hour’s drive away.
To placate the gentlemen farmers and McMansion owners, we try to create a faux-rural ambience, but this is definitely an upscale venue.
Because a factory in Murder Town sells damaged products from several cosmetic companies at a very low price, every farmer’s market and flea market in the area has someone selling second-rate Doorbell Cosmetics (and Estee Lauder, DKNY, Bath & Body Works, and many more). It makes me absolutely crazy when I am accused of selling damaged products. I keep my prices low (usually about 60% of the retail price for fresh, first-quality items) so that I am competitive with the prices of the fake stuff.
But customers get used to the deep discounts that they get at flea markets for the inferior products, and expect me to match them exactly. Which I simply can’t do. And then they call me a liar and a cheat because “it’s cheaper in Murder Town”. Sure, if you don’t mind getting something that the factory disposed of as not good enough, with no money-back guarantee, and sold by some dude from his car trunk.
My very first customer today tried this. I had some Soft Skin hand cream on sale for $2. Soft Skin is known for keeping the insects away, but only the bath oil and gelled oil are effective; lotions don’t work. So I told her this, and guided her to the gelled oil, which costs $5.
She said to me, “If you can charge $2 for the hand cream, then you can sell the gelled oil for $2 too; it’s the same thing.”
No, it is a completely different product, in a bottle which contains three times as much stuff. $5 is a fair price, and then some...the catalog price is $10.
Actually, as the owner of the store, it IS coming out of my pocket. And $2 is less than I paid for the gelled oil when I put it on the shelves.
She roared, “It’s the same thing! And I can get it in Murder Town for a dollar!”
I smiled sweetly. “Do you know how to get to Murder Town from here, or should I draw you a map?”
“I’m going to tell all my friends!”
Please do tell them, if they are wealthy discount rats like yourself.
The other two incidents happened at the barbecue restaurant in the booth next to my store. All our food stalls offer organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats and dairy products, and organic fruits and vegetables. Despite this, the food prices are comparable to other restaurants in town, and often less expensive.
We deal with a lot of “special needs” customers (please note the quotation marks; we cheerfully assist anyone who has a genuine problem, but we are guaranteed to have much less patience with fad diets and alternative-health B.S.)
Since the town’s first fitness center opened next door in January, the food madness has grown exponentially. For example, today there was a customer who wanted gluten-free breaded chicken.
Amos the Amish cashier, who has heard it all, explained that breading must be made with flour. That’s why they call is BREAD-ing! He offered rotisserie or barbecue chicken as alternatives, but the customer was insistent. “You can make breaded chicken with rice flour, and they sell rice flour at the health food booth. You should always use rice flour, because so many people are gluten-intolerant.”
I just happened to be standing in line, waiting to get a soda.
I interposed, “Yes, I’ve heard that it is almost 1% of the population.”
Amos chimed in, “Seems like a much higher percentage around here.”
The customer was not amused, and left in a huff.
The barbecue stall has a pig roast on the first Saturday of each month. There are signs all over the market with the date of the next pig roast. On pig roast days, the barbecue stall roasts a seasoned whole pig on a spit over a pile of hot charcoal, right in the vestibule of the store. In the summer, they do it outdoors in the parking lot, under a tent. Pretty much everyone in town has seen the pig roast set-up at one time or another.
But apparently not this customer. She asked for roast pork, and the cashier explained that it is only sold on the first Saturday of the month (this was the 3rd Friday of the month).
The customer said, “But you can make me some, right? I mean, it’s not hard to do.”
Amos replied, “Well, it requires cooking a whole pig for 24 hours. So if you’d like to pay $500 for the pig, and come back tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be glad to roast a pig for you.”
The customer had the sheer nerve to reply, “Well, couldn’t you roast it and sell me a few pounds, and put the rest on the buffet table at the diner or something?”
The Amish are very peaceful and tolerant people. But upon hearing this, Amos simply waved her away and retreated to the back of the kitchen.
I just got my license, and I was having to work to pay for a car with more holes in it than solid parts. The first job I found was at a sub shop, didn't seem to bad and it was a paycheck.
First day at the new job.
I was supposed to be in for training, they told me 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm. I got the job just before the end of the school year, so I hung out shooting hoops before heading over. They handed me a bleach stained shirt and an apron, then walked me through everything. I made subs, and figured out the register, swept, mopped, and learned about prep. Then is was time to go home, but oh wait...
Me: When do I come back to work again?
AssistantManagerRufus: We always start at the same time for the evening shift.
Me: Ok, see you then.
With a wave I am gone, go home talk to my parents about it and then go to bed.
I hang out shooting hoops and flirting with girls after school again, then head over to the sub shop. I walk in at 6:20 pm, 10 minutes earlier by what I was told yesterday. As I'm tying my apron on the AssistantManagerRufus comes out of the back in a fury, he jabs a finger into my chest and declares loudly.
AMR: I should fire your sorry butt right now, you're almost 2 hours late.
I sputter and step back, he stays with me step for step, finger jabbing me painfully.
I hop to the side out of reach, and try to get a word in but he's not giving me a chance.
AMR: I couldn't leave until you got here, so I've wasted 2 hours of my life waiting for you to show up punk! Now get your apron on and get to work.
He spit a little that time, I wipe my face off as I go into the back to clock in to start work. I go out front and start checking the bins, most of the stuff needs to be restocked so I get to busy work, trying to keep my head down. I hear the back door slam, and Tom my coworker came out front grinning like an idiot.
Tom: I told him what he did, he almost had a heart attack, I hope you got another job lined up, that guy hates you now.
Me: So I should be here at 4:30?
Tom: Just clock in by 5 pm, night crew is 5 pm to 11 pm, how many days are you working this week?
Me: All of them I guess, is there a schedule?
He shows me the schedule, curses someone savagely, and yanks the phone off the hook then starts dialing a number. The door chimes so I head up front, it's an elderly couple and I make them the best sandwiches they ever got, they told me so.
I stay busy and notice I haven't seen Tom in a bit, I look in the back and he is gone, not in the bathroom. So I shrug and go do the list they left, not thinking it was a big deal.
About 10pm, Rufus returns, he's with some woman that looks like his mother, but turned out to be his girlfriend. He apologizes and heads into the back for something, he comes back shortly and asks about Tom.
Me: I've not seen him since before 7, I figured he didn't have to work tonight.
Rufus: Are you an idiot, I told you there has to be two employees here....
He turns and stomps off cursing about stupid kids. He hangs around the last hour and helps me finish up by pointing out my mistakes. I try not to pay too much attention to it, and do the work. I clock out just before midnight, lot of stuff to do when you're closing by yourself, even more to do when you're being managed while closing yourself.
I'm dragging in school the next day, I fall asleep in Trig, and I don't even try to stay awake in gym, I just ignore the toe prods from coach. I make it through the day, and I head to the job to try to find out if I have to work. I do, because Tom quit because he had requested a day off that he didn't get. But I get to work with the Manager, not Rufus, but the full manager.
FullManager: Hey, you're the new kid, I'm FM, how do you like the job so far?
Me: Lot more yelling and fingers than I expected to be honest.
She looked at me weird then told me to clean the bins, I got to keep busy to keep from falling asleep. I finally make the mistake of standing still too long and I nod off, she finds me of course.
FM: Hey, wake up, you OK?
Me: Yeah, sorry, I'm just tired, I didn't expect to have to work this hard at making sandwiches.
FM: What do you mean?
Me: The first night was great, then last night was not so great, and tonight I'm so tired from working by myself last night that I can barely stand still without nodding off.
FM: You didn't work by yourself, Rufus was here.
Me: He was here about 10 pm until midnight. I was alone from 7 to 10 last night, and the most Rufus did was make me mop the floor three times so I got the spot I missed. Not sure why he didn't just tell me which spot I missed.
FM: That doesn't sound like Rufus, let me go call him.
She comes back up later and everything seems fine, I do OK while I'm busy, but I have to keep moving to stay awake. We get done, close the shop down and she asks me to come back to the desk and clock out.
I clock out and she has me sign my time card, and then tells me I don't need to come back tomorrow.
Me: A day off to sleep!!
FM: Oh no, I meant don't come back at all, I don't want you working here anymore.
Me: Huh? What?
FM: Come back on Tuesday and get your check for 12 hours, you have to return the shirts and aprons you got when you started training.
Me: Shirt and apron you mean?
FM: Don't feed me that garbage, you got 5 shirts and 3 aprons.
Me: No, I got one shirt, this one and 1 apron, this one.
FM: Fine you don't get paid until you return all of the shirts. Goodbye.
I stood there a minute, until she turned and looked me in the eye, there was no warmth there at all.
FM: If you aren't around that corner by the time I get the phone picked up, I'm calling the police.
Zoom! I was out of there.
I was devastated when I got home, my mom was up because I had gotten into some trouble for being out until almost 1am the night before, so she noticed I was distraught about something.
Mom: What's wrong this time?
Me: I got fired...
Mom: Why? What did you do?
Me: I guess it was showing up late yesterday, I don't know for sure. I didn't get a chance to ask.
Mom: Go to bed, I'll call them and find out tomorrow.
When Tuesday came around, I tried to go turn in my shirt and get my check. But they were demanding the shirts I never received be returned. They tried to forcibly take the shirt and apron, but Rufus was too slow.
I was told to go talk to my uncle a few days later, he asked me a bunch of questions, and told me to give him the shirt. He made sure he had an accurate timeline plus what was said and done to the best of my recollection. A few days later I had my check, and Mom told me I should thank my Uncle when I saw him next.
He told me he just had a nice talk with the owner, and said if it came down to it he would spend the money on court fees to collect my 15 hour paycheck....