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I recently worked at Nordstrom ( the one in glendale ) and I couldn't agree with you more !!!! I would say the same thing about the managers and their fake smiles. Ugh I still irk thinking about it. However, I wouldn't last in the clothing departments. I worked at the cafe .... ever have to return a fully eaten dish because the person says they didn't like it ? Lol. Your book was on point and had me laughing reallyyyy hard at mostbof the time. Totally amazing !!

Freeman, I just finished the book and cannot tell you how much I LOVED it. I started my retail hell in 1972 at The Hecht Co. in China and Glassware. As if that wasn't bad enough, we had to watch LAMPS too! UGH! But our retail experiences prepare us for everything that might come our way and I wouldn't trade a minute of that experience. My daughter, who recommended the book, is currently a personal assistant to a Million Dollar Seller at "The Big Fancy"(think Anne Hathaway's charater in "The Devil Wears Prada"). She certainly has had her trials and tribulations too. Congratulations on following the dream and never giving up on it. I can't wait for the movie. It will give "Bridesmaids" and "The Hangover" competition. I could see Bradley Cooper playing you......Thanks again for a wonderful read...belly laughs galore, and a great time with a great book. All the best to you, Cee

Oh my god, I live in Australia and worked at my own Big Fancy aka David Jones for 2 years and everything you describe in the book Freeman is true. I could not put this book down, working in retail for over 10 years I could relate to all of it, and yes how the managers treat you like dirt and only care about sales is so so true. But the thing I love in retail is how the customers give you shit, cause I repay the favour back triple to them, priceless. Freeman you have taken what I wanted to do and have written my retail life, thankyou your book is tops, 10 out of 10, awesome :)

I to have worked retail now, only for 3 yrs. but your book is so true.

It was absolutely laugh out loud. I have never read such a funny and also true book.

Just loved it.

One thing you could talk more about in your next book, (if you do one) is when the corporate wizards come to visit your store. What a joke they are. Most of them have never even worked in the store setting. The managers jump because they are worried about their jobs. District mgrs. come in a try and change things the way you do things and then when they leave we go back to doing it our way

Laugh, laugh, laugh, just loved it

Retail - Ruthie

Having worked in women's RTW for 10 years, I can so totally related to the customer types found in your book. I laughed until I cried, because it's ALL. SO. TRUE!!!!!!!

This book is genius! Laugh out loud funny. It even made me cry. I too work in retail, but in a uniform store for about 8 years now and have dealt with so many crazy people. Unfortunately, I was able to relate to almost all your stories. This is by far the best book I have ever read. Thank you Freeman Hall for sharing with the world the unbelievable truth of working in retail. Now everytime I have a crazy customer, I think about your book and just laugh.

I stumbled across this book at Half Price Books last night, and I'm about 15 pages away from being finished. (What am I doing? I should be reading now!) Oh my God. It. Is. Amazing. I laughed, cringed, gasped, and was astonished by how much I could relate to your stories. I work customer service at a grocery store, and have my fair share of horror stories as well - including one in which an elderly woman put a piece of dirty sponge in her mouth. Sigh. Anyway, I am recommending your book to all of my friends, most of whom also work in retail. THANK YOU for putting into the most colorful, descriptive, and hilarious words, EXACTLY what I've been wanting to express about working in retail. Well done.

It has been a long time since I read a book that caused me to laugh out loud and continued to do so everytime I re-read a section. I particularly liked the part about your first encounter with the 8 floor staircase and Lorraine Goldberg. I am from Calgary and have now gone out and bought 3 more copies of your book for friends. Many thanks.

I picked up this book this Christmas as a gift to myself. I absolutely LOVE it! I should also thank you for turning my retail rage into humour and not making me go postal at work.
I have been in retail for over 10 years... I'm only 27! :-( I worked at Pier 1 Imports - started as the "stockroom girl" and worked up to Manager and now am a Manager at Staples.
I never realized how many stupid people are really out there, until I started to post my daily run-ins with them on Facebook.... apparently my friends think they're funny... what's funny? I'm not trying to be funny!!! There really are people out there that are just that stupid and rude!
Well, I just can't wait for your next retail endeavor.... if you ever do up a book with your readers' stories, email me.... I have enough stories to make you laugh, and me cry!
Forever your reader,
J

I worked at Anthropologie for 7 years as a manager and week after week did closing till 11pm shifts and turned around to do a 6am opening shift. Since I was a manager I was salaried so was often asked to come in early and stay late when we would be short on payroll for the hourly staff. Our store was 2 stories and often would have 1 closing manager and 3 associates to close the entire store. 3 1/2-4 hours later the store would finally be closed but would never but up to the visual teams standards. They constantly complained about how crappy the closing standards were. When I got to my breaking point I was closing and had to be back there at 6am the next day. While I was driving home I started crying and was freaking out about physically and mentally tired I was. I was up all night have a full blown panic attack. When I called the store in the morning to talk to my store manager and tell her I was calling in sick, she wouldn't let me. WHAT? Since when is someone not allowed to call in sick? I quit over the phone and have never looked back. Working in retail was supposed to be something to keep money coming in while I pursued costume design but 7 years later it had consumed my life. After I quit I had the fire under my ass to get my act together to be a working costume designer. And now...I am!! Leaving retail was the best career decision I have ever made! Thank you for sharing your story with me as well. It has helped me laugh at all the shit I went through and not still be bitter about somethings. :)

I read the section in "The Shitting Room" about the customer in the light blue dress out loud to my husband. I was laughing so hysterically that I couldn't breathe. I actually doubled over, with tears pouring out of my eyes, while I gasped out each sentence. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Looking forward to the movie.

Reading the book now, so far I can relate. Although, I have not had to suffer massive flights of stairs but somehow after high school I got stuck into the life of selling shit.
I have worked for food service, mall kiosk, museum, pool attendant & have worked/applied to every damn retail store you can imagine.
Not all of it was bad just most of it.
My main goal was to write SCI-FI & I do have a smaller pooch I adore as well :)

The reason for quitting my food service job was when a customer pushed my buttons. Screaming that I was, "stupid, incompetent and flat out retarded" for not making his $3 large drink to exactly how he wanted. Even though I made the dick-less prick watch me do all the steps so that I'd make it to his standards.

I love it how people can trample on you & scream but you have to put on a fake-ass smile, take their crap & apologize.

Loved the way I can relate to the characters/ situations. I now work mainly in returns.. had a man once return muddy boots & some shorts that smelt like child's piss. This other lady returned a nearly empty tub of butter & said "it's not that slippery anymore." what a crock of shit.

Anyway good-luck & looking forward to reading more of your books!!

So when are you coming out with your next book? This book was excellent. Unfortunately I have felt your pain, since I am a full-time manager in retail. It was so refreshing to read about things that we deal with on a daily basis. I had to laugh knowing that is just wasnt me that came across freaks like in your book. You are very creative and your writing style is fabulous. I am waiting patiently for your next book and I will tell all my retail buddies (and I have thousands) that they need to read it!! Great Job Freeman..or is it Frayman lol :)

So I read this book..&& by the first chapter I was in love with it!! It never gets boringg!!

I am reading this book now. A good lol on pracically every page! This brings back many tortured memories of times spent working at the BF (part-time jobs only, thank god). I remember looking at my paychecks, and thinking I worked for free, after all the returns, and not making enough in commissions to cover my base salary. Other sa's would steal your sales, hated that! Cleaning out stockrooms with piles of clothes customers had dumped there. Never ending crap!!
Years working at a May company store where I was the assistant buyer in hosiery.
Women would bring back dirty, worn slippers wanting new ones. I remember one woman who wanted to return a pair of dirty pantyhose full of runs. We told her nothing could be returned unless it had been washed. She grabbed the pantyhose, and was back in 5 minutes with a wet wad in her hands. She had taken the pantyhose and "washed" them in the restroom. They were now "clean" so we had to take them back. I could go on and on...

Loved the book. You need to make a movie out of it!!!

I Just bought your book the other day and knew instantly i would love and be able to relate to it... i have my fair share of stories as well... I have only have read a few pages but laughed like crazy... I am still a retail slave and probably will be for a long time... I am telling everyone at work to buy this book to get a good laugh.. because thats the only thing that gets us through some days...

Hi, I just finished your book yesterday. It's totally hilarious! I think some of those crazy-ass customers have clones running around the rest of the country. I can see a sit-com here, seriously...!

P.S.
Once had a sales person on my floor,who wanted to prove they did not even listen to us, ask a customer (because we MUST greet within 2 min of them hitting the carpet)
"Can I Fuck you today?"
she replied "No, thanks,just looking"

point taken.......

thought Id wet myself on the spot.

Love the Book!
Worked at Nordies for 7 year in Ladies Shoes and can def feel your pain! Cannot tell you how many pairs of raggity worn smelly shoes I had to take back.....People are crazy, but put on you best "Nordstrom Smile" and just keep going, cuz your on commision and the customer is alway right!

Let me just say that this is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I've been reading it on my train commute to my non-retail job, and have disrupted my fellow passengers because I can't hold my laughter inside. You see, for 6 months of my life, I too was a retail slave at the MAC counter of our local Big Fancy. I'm a CPA by trade, but I was between jobs and the Big Fancy was just opening and was looking for retail slaves - so I figured, "What the hell?" What the HELL indeed! The MAC counter at the Big Fancy was the first MAC counter in the whole state at the time, so it was slammed 24/7. And the attitudes of the people - amazing! People would return empty product and expect a refund (they got it), they'd steal the testers and then complain that there were no testers, they'd make you do their whole face then buy nothing.. I could go on and on. Not to mention having to stock shelves with a gazillion tiny containers of shit that had to be stacked just so and constantly having to call other stores for product since we were always out. And yes, our store also had a three story Mt. Fancy that we had to climb every day (and thanks for divulging the reason behind that, I never knew!)

The final straw for me came when a customer screamed at me in a rage because we were out of her color of lipstick then THREW THE TESTER AT MY HEAD. I ran screaming back to accounting after that, but I will never forget my time at the Big Fancy! Now I just shop there, and I am unfailingly polite to all the sales associates because I know what they put up with!

When I saw this book, I thought this will probably be a good book---Boy was I wrong--It was excellent. My husband is legally blind,so all his books are on tape, and I kept interrupting him--Let me just read you this-- . It was all from your book. When I ready about the lady in the blue dress with brown stains- I had to keep stopping to wipe the tears away -Because I was laughing so hard- KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

Love the book!!! I work for the big Fancy and climb mount fancy everyday...Although I don't work in the "Purse" dept. I have the very same experiences!!! You nailed it!!!

I'm from Manila, the Philippines and I was on vacation in LA last November. As I got in a Barnes & Noble store, I saw upfront your book and let me tell you, I grabbed the book without even reading the synopsis. I didn't know who you were. All I cared about was that it was funny, it was a memoir and it talked about two of my most favorite things in the world - bags and shopping! I enjoyed your book so much!!! It did not disappoint me. The stories were so funny, nobody could have just made those up. :-) And no, I don't fall in any of your customer categories. I am usually the recepient of weird retail experiences. The most recent of which was, during that particular trip to LA when I went to The Big Fancy (I think...) looking for Anya Hindmarch bags. A pretty sales associate who approached me did not have a clue in the world what or who I was talking about. She looked at me as if I was crazy or something. Oh well, you know what they say....the lights may be on but no one's home. :-))) Anyway, I had a lot of fun reading your book, Freeman. Thanks for the great stories!

I love the book, I actually have a BA degree and yet work retail hell for the last 6 years. But the best story comes from an old man and lady. I used to work at a movie rental store and this elderly cute couple come in and ask why they got phone call for a late fee. Its 10 at night (we are open till midnight) and i thought this cant be hard. I expalin because they have a mvie out (i know it was rocket science to figure it out). Well sweet grandma decides to freak out and starts screaming at me that im wrong and ignorant and all this. Then she takes out a piece of paper and write up this letter. Then wanted me to sign it and she was going to send it to the better business place.. yea i didnt. She flipped even called me a bitch.

OHMIGOD FREEMAN! I LOVED YOUR BOOK. I AM AN EXEMPLOYEE OF BF WHO WAS LET GO LAST SPRING. I WAS A CASUALTY OF THE POOR ECONOMY. I SO WANTED TO WRITE THIS BOOK, BUT YOU DID A STELLAR JOB OF IT...CERTAINLY MUCH BETTER THAN I WOULD HAVE DONE. WHEN I WAS HIRED BY BF, I WAS TOLD THAT IT WAS AN AWESOME PLACE TO WORK. I HAD ALWAYS BEEN IN WHOLESALE, BUT NEEDED TO CHANGE MY PACE AND THOUGHT A NICE RETAIL JOB WOULD BE THE THING. I LOVE DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC AND I LOVE SELLING, SO WHAT COULD BE BETTER? HAH!!!
LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT I WOULD BE SUBMITTING MYSELF TO SLAVE LABOR (CLEANING HOUSES WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE LUCRATIVE), AND THEN THERE WAS THE ABUSE..BOTH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL. I HAVE NEVER WORKED SO HARD (EVEN AS A HORSE TRAINER)! EVERYTHING IN BF WAS INCONVENIENT AND REQUIRED MUCH MORE WALKING,LIFTING,STOCKING,CLEANING,AND MUCH MORE THAN WAS NECESSARY. AND WHEN THERE WAS A HOLIDAY, OF WHICH THERE A MANY THAT REQUIRE GIFT GIVING, BOXES HAD TO BE MADE AND WRAPPING HAD TO BE DONE BY THE SALES ASSOCIATES. ALL OF WHICH TOOK AWAY FROM SELLING. I COULD GO ON AND ON...SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT I FOUND NOTHING IN YOUR BOOK THAT WAS AN EXAGGERATION. I EXPERIENCED ALL AND THENSOME. IF SALES WERE NOT GOOD, IT REFLECTED ON THE SALESFORCE..NOT ON THE FACT THAT THERE WERE NO CUSTOMERS DARKENING OUR DOORS. THEN WE WERE MADE TO FEEL INFERIOR. TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY, THE RETURNS WERE SO BAD AT TIMES THAT ONE WAS WORKING FOR LITERALLY NOTHING. I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT I SUBMITTED MYSELF TO THAT.
I AM HAPPILY RETIRED FROM BF. I HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT NOW THAT BUSINESS IS TOUGH, THEIR LIBERAL RETURN POLICY WILL END UP BITING THEM IN THE BUTT! ONE CAN ONLY HOPE....
LOVE YOU FREEMAN. WOULD LIKE TO GIVE YOU A BIG HUG SOMEDAY!!

I used to sell shoes wholesale to the Big Fancy....imagine climbing Mount Fancy eight times with 80 pound sample cases...?

I found your book today I grabbed it and cant wait to read it. Seems fitting to find this on my Anniversary in this retail hell. I so cant wait to read it because so far it looks to be perfect for those of us in this retail hell.

OMG Freeman, I'm on disability from the Big Fancy even as we speak - no feet left, only bloody stumps - you just helped me decide that eight years is LONG ENOUGH and it's time to move on. Does EVERY Big Fancy have a Douche and shitting customers? Does every store manager make the ceilings vibrate during rally? All of mine have - and I've worked at three! You are hilarious and congrats on getting out - LOVED the book!
Exhausted BF Sales Associate

The Big Fancy in a nutshell: Purveyor of Fine Used Merchandise

Hi again; For those of you that have not read this book, don't wait too long. The Holidays are on their way and this would be a good read to see a funnier side of Christmas and a good book for anyone, no mater what side of the counter your on. I recomend it. I just finished it and as a reTired retail clerk, I found it familuar and funny. As a retail junky you will find it a hoot. Some of you may even change your ways about the people who are waiting on you. This book gives you an insite of what some of the retail slaves have to contend with in retail, the time they spend waiting on you, the customer. We love you and want you to find and buy what you want. Just be a little more considerate and put yourself in their tired Prada's.
They are not your servent, they are there to serve.
Thanks Freeman for the Great Book and Keep Writing!!
xoxo
reTIRED retail clerk
kc

BEST BOOK EVER!!! CUSTOMERS NEED TO READ THIS! I've been promoting it at my work for anyone who likes David Sedaris (although Freeman, you're a much better story teller) and I plan to buy this book and give it as a Christmas gift. I work in Customer Service and I have been through some of the exact same situations!

This book is totally my life in retail. From the top ten to the morning rah rah meetings. Laughed my ass of and am going to give this book to my retail co-workers tomorrow.

so i was at the book store getting another book from Terry Brooks when i saw your book so i started to read it and i was hook i had to get it so i did and i just finish rading it cause i couln't put it down and wantedt to stop by and tell you that it is one of the best books i have ever read thank you .. althoug i am not in retail i do have to deal with customers as a SERVER so i kind of know what you are talking about thanks ...... : )

I found your book while looking for a new read. I LOVE it!! I work at a BF full time and and office job part time. All the customers you described I have seen, met, and have been tortured by (TONS are the ones that immediately respond to my "cheerful greeting" with either "Don't you see I don't want to talk to you?" or "Discount?"). I work in a kids department (poop, literally) so not only do I get the crazy adults (nasty thieves and "God's messengers") but I also get the crazy children (you should see the mental stuff some of them draw when I give them paper and crayons to get them to be quiet). Every now and then another department needs me so I see the entire spectrum of what can go wrong in a BF. Maybe it's time for a new job. But every time I see one of the personalities from the book I can't help but smile inside.

Hi Freeman. My husband saw your book on the biography shelf at Barnes & Noble and thought I would love it. I am a customer and shop at "The Big Fancy." I have to tell you that I look after my SA, who works in Salon Shoes and make sure he never gets screwed over by unscrupulous SAs. Yes, that happens sometimes. I am very protective of my favorite SAs at any store where I shop, be it your store, a fine boutique that the BF doesn't sell. Even when I shop for brands that my BF doesn't carry, I make sure that he is able to get the commission from the store that sells the designer I want. Essentially I do the legwork and my SA gets the sale.
So, some customers are good people and try to be loyal to their valued SAs.

You have touched on so many things that I have come across in my twenty five plus years in retail. I only hope a lot of customers will read thi book and understand all the shit they put us through on a day to day basis. You rock, and thank you for giving us retail slaves a platform!!!!!!!!

let me just say that I just saw it in stores (one of your former co-workers who works with me know told me about it) and after the first paragraph i was hooked... you hit the nail on the head!! 'the big fancy'........ DUDE TOTALLY!!!! for the first page my favorite part was the girl with the marc jacobs bag in a plastic bag who wants to return with no P.O.P and for cash (of course... probably bought with shady mc shade gift cards) haha anyway thank you so much.... your book makes me feel like i will come out of retail hell semi alive

Fraymannnnnnn!!! What's not to love about this hilarious book about behind the scenes at the Big Fancy. I read several of the Big Fancy's customer service books and then..the truth..RETAIL HELL! The customer is always right? I DON'T THINK SO and Freeman tells it all. I'm a public librarian and met Freeman at BEA and of all of the books that I lugged home, I have to say that this one is the very best. Oh, and Freeman....as good as the Birkin book is....it just doesn't hold a candle to RETAIL HELL. Good luck!

I have worked with Freeman in "Retail Hell". I have just finished reading his book and I honestly couldn't put it down. My sister kept asking me why I was laughing so much. Kudos to you Freeman! Everyone who has ever sold retail needs to read this.
Your old friend, The Pianist

I just finished reading your book ,as a sale associate, aka Retail Slave , one word TOUCHE, you nail it ! I worked for a various small companies and still can relate so much to your retail experience . your book is hillarious & truthfull , you tell it like it is . BRAVO

I have decided that this is the best book i have read. I have told many of my team members at work about your book and many of them are excited to read it. although i will not let borrow my book to read it because i want to read it again and again. they can buy there own. Freeman you seem to know how the retail slaves feel and what we go through.I wish people would understand what we go through on a daily basis. I think you capture the essence of a fucking hellish shopper. I applaude you on your work and i am so happy you wrote this book

I work in a very large bookstore chain. I daydream about being able to someday tell some of these customers what I really think of them. Over the years all of my human compassion has been sucked out of me until my heart feels like a shrunken, shriveled hunk of charred meat. I read your book and wanted to give you a hug and maybe cry a little on your shoulder... oh wait I have no more tears...

Dear Freeman Hall,
I'm sooooo excited about you finally letting the general public know that they have scarred a lot of people who started out by just wanting to serve them with the utmost quality service, only to be kicked in the groin with insults, bad language and returns. It's always good to know that THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT!!!
Tell it like it is, Thank-You!
xoxo
kc

I work at a Borders store, and I was laughing my ass off! I can tell you this Freeman, I am going to make your book my personal mission; I'm going to get every friend who ever worked in retail a copy, and this is my #1 "gotta get it for someone you love" at Christmas title.

I just finished reading your book and I had to let you know how much I LOVE IT!
I laughed till I cried.
The Shitting Room and Shoposaurus Carnivoarus are crazy fun!

It brought back to mind all my evil days working in retail.

Thanks for the great laughter…please tell me there is a sequel?
J. White
L.A., CA

On the advance reading compy there is an error on page 242, paragraph 2:

" When the she saw the"

First the needs to go.

I agree whole-heartedly and then some! EVERYONE needs to read this book, retail slave or not! For fellow retail workers, it will give you a chance to relate to someone who has gone through the worst of it. For non-retail slaves and even customers on the other end, it will show you what we retail workers really go through. Hell, maybe it will make you think twice before taking out your bad day on an undeserving innocent employee! Either way, if you want a good laugh, great writing, and the best page-turner of the century, BUY THIS BOOK!

Finally!!!!!!!! A amusing Tell-all book that is going to blow the lid off of the REAL..."BEHIND THE SCENES".... HARD FOUGHT BATTLES that retail employees go through!

This is a book that EXPOSES what most Large Retail Companies like to keep secretive and hidden from outside media and other sources.

As a retail sales associate ...I can't wait to purchase this book! I am telling every retail sales associate to pick up a copy.

FREEMAN HALL...You are the MUCH NEEDED REFRESHING VOICE that we UNAPPRECIATED RETAILERS... NEED!

YOU ARE THE... ROBIN HOOD of RETAIL!


I am so frick'n excited for this book to come out!
Tell it all Freeman!
Expose the bowels of retail for what it is, and make me laugh as you rip them out, chew 'em up, and spit 'em out.
God, I wish that I could do it at the store that I work for! I can't wait for you to make me laugh from the craziness of your Retail Hell experience and cry (or maybe wince) from the reality that I'm still in Retail Hell. Quite being such a c-tease. When is this book coming out???

This the best theyhave looked!! Maybe you should be thier personal shopper!!! When can we get the book?

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