Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stupid Electronic Things

So pardon the dust while I piece my life back together. I was scheduled out at least 8 weeks. And completely booked for two of those weeks. Help?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

An American to see

On March 20, I had the opportunity to go to a lecture from David McCullough. He has written many historical books including 1776, John Adams, and Truman. We read 1776 in book club last year and while it is a hard book to get through, it is a wonderful account of the war of Independence and the people needed to win that war. I've heard that John Adams is even better because it includes the love story of John and his wife.
The lecture was extraordinary! He debated the saying "life was a simpler time back then" stating that how could it have been? A mom back then would have to boil the drinking water, make meals from scratch or have a servant help. Then wash the clothes in a basin and hang them out to dry. Her husband was away fighting in a war and her children could be dying from small pox (or the vaccine to small pox) etc. etc. etc. Very interesting.
He also talked about how our own politicians don't know their history according to a recent survey. And only 30% of college students know who defeated the British at Yorktown. (40% believe it was Grant) Our own schools aren't teaching history to our students in 6 states. Wow.
He also touched on subjects such as getting your children interested in your favorite things before "it's cool to be dumb". Another subject was our teachers and how most parents believe they are just glorified babysitters for 8 hours of the day.
But my favorite part was when he said he was being interviewed by a journalist and he was asked, "Besides George Washington, John Adams and Truman, which other presidents have you personally interviewed?" He's not that old!!
It was an evening well spent and I think it should be mandatory for all of America to hear him in person! Now go read his books.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Aliens at the Gateway

Working down at J.Jill in the Gateway is definitely eye opening. I've always loved people watching. I've worked at 3 different malls. Whenever I get a chance to observe human behavior, I take advantage. I have to tell you about some of my experiences at J.Jill.
One lady came in and was looking around. She was about 60 years old and seemed calm and interested in the clothing. I was at the register helping another customer and when I was done, I looked around to see if anyone needed any help and this lady was in front of one of the mirrors in plain sight and she had stripped down to her slip. She was trying on an outfit in the middle of the store! I went over and asked her if she would like a dressing room (which was right around the corner) and she declined saying her friend was out in the car waiting for her and she needed to hurry. However, she stayed and tried on several different things for about a half hour before she left. All in the middle of the store. She has been back several times and sometimes she uses a dressing room and sometimes not. She rarely buys anything.
Another lady came in one Saturday before Christmas. This lady was in her late 40's and was going around the whole store grabbing items and leaving them on the counter. When I asked her if these things were buy or put back she said she wanted them all. So I started taking them off hangers and folding them. She kept going and finding more. About 30 or 40 things later, she said she was done and so I started ringing up all the items and it came to $1500.00 dollars. She plopped down her Amex card like it was no big deal and she was out of there. In my mind I could not relate to this woman. She showed no remorse or hesitation about spending that kind of money in one store!
Another lady came in and she had a giant box with her. Anytime a customer has a box it means they have come to bring something back that they've ordered through the catalog. But this was a giant box. Bigger than a microwave. She plopped it down and said she was going to look around the store. So I started going through the box to find receipts. The hardest part about a return is matching the return items to the right receipt. She had 9 receipts and about 30 things to return. It took me 45 minutes to do this return and when I was done the total came to over $1,000. She had ordered it all over the Internet when she was PREGNANT and was disappointed when she had the baby and none of it fit her. ANYONE COULD HAVE TOLD HER THAT YOU DON'T FIT INTO YOUR NORMAL SIZE AFTER YOU'VE HAD A BABY! She also said that her husband doesn't want her buying anything online anymore. I don't blame him.
Welcome to the wonderful world of retail sales. People are not normal when they are in a store. And I just observe and report. I have many more stories to tell...for another time. Enjoy!