The mundane tasks and indignant exchanges with impossible customers are hilariously captured in this collection of personal essays by a cross-section of writers and humorists. Some, like a spa attendant's dishy tale, are spun with a catty flair and flirt with a mild contempt for frivolous consumers; others, like Wendy Spero's turn as a door-to-door knife seller, are outrageously funny and incorporate life lessons in the litany of humiliations. Breezy and occasionally creepy musings on everything from guilt over serving fattening Swedish pancakes to seniors to the horrors of working at Sears may provide some nostalgic chuckles and perhaps even some unpleasant flashbacks as this collection elevates retail selling to a rite of passage. Two stories in particular that have less to do with the frustrations of the job and more about the impact of the experience on future endeavors: Hollie Gillespie recounts her days as an industrious child entrepreneur and maintains her steadfast optimism in humanity, and the memories of writer and one-time drummer Jim DeRogatis, who passed the time-but never worked-in a local music store reveals the enduring influence of a mentoring shop owner and achieves true poignancy. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chroniclesby Jeff Martin (Editor)
From mom-and-pop general stores to big-box, strip-mall chains, it is impossible to consider the American experience without thinking about the buying-and-selling retail culture: the sales and the stockrooms, the shift managers, and the clock punchers. The Customer Is Always Wrong is a tragicomic and all-too revealing collection of essays by writers who/i>
From mom-and-pop general stores to big-box, strip-mall chains, it is impossible to consider the American experience without thinking about the buying-and-selling retail culture: the sales and the stockrooms, the shift managers, and the clock punchers. The Customer Is Always Wrong is a tragicomic and all-too revealing collection of essays by writers who have done their time behind the counter and lived to tell their tales. Jim DeRogatis, author of Let It Blurt, for example, describes hanging out with Al himself at Al Rocky’s Music Store, while Colson Whitehead explains how three summers at a Long Island ice cream store gave him a lifelong aversion to all things dessert-like. This book not only shines a light on the absurdities of retail culture but finds the delight in it as well.
- Soft Skull Press, Inc.
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