9:51 a.m.- Arrive at Dullard’s. Scheduled start time is 9:45, but have up to six minutes after scheduled start time to time in before being considered late. Am allowed 9 lates within a six month rolling period. Think am currently at . . . eight lates. Eight lates, heh.
9:53 a.m. – Realize I have grabbed the wrong register bag because even though the list says the underpants department is register is 72, it is actually 43. Register list is a lying hosebag.
9:55 a.m. – Return to register, count change and money.
9:57 a.m. – Apply antibacterial lotion to remove money scum from hands.
9:59 a.m. – Listen to overhead announcements from store manager. Theme of the day is: “Get out from behind your registers you lazy bastards”. Inspiring! Also, dusting is vitally important to the selling future of the store. Grab your dusters kids.
10:00 a.m. – Lights brighten, the day is about to begin.
10:01 a.m. – First song of the day is “Heartbreak Hotel”. Dullard’s plays a selection of music that includes Elvis Presley, Reba McIntire, The Killers, Rick James, Some Spanish Guy, Some Techno Guy, and the theme from “Welcome Back Kotter”. If that doesn’t make you want to buy overpriced pants, I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you.
10:04 – 10:14 – Pretend to dust fixtures. Try to comprehend the importance of dusting.
10:17 – Assistant Manager appears on important department business. Am told that I must now wear a ribbon that proclaims “If I didn’t offer you a Dullard’s charge account, you receive a FREE Godiva chocolate bar!”
10:18 – Think of how many chocolate bars I will probably give away. Guess 37.
10:19 – 10:49 – Pretend to straighten ties, but actually read a book. No customers have yet appeared in the land of giant underpants.
10:50 – Use restroom. Restroom still clean and not all filthed up yet by filthy customers and their filth.
11:00 – Chris arrives. There are now two of us in a department with no customers.
11:00 – 11:45 – Continue tie straightening/reading charade.
11:48 – Forced to help a customer find a belt. For a Christmas present. For a 14 year old. This kid is going to be so thrilled on Christmas day when he opens his $32 brown reversible Murano belt. So. Thrilled.
12:00 – Cigarette break. Temperature outside is around 342 degrees cellulite.
12:00 – 12:55 – Unwrap new ties. Each tie comes in its own individual plastic sleeve. Dullard’s: Supporting the environment one tie at a time. I unwrap around 897 ties. Chris unwraps three.
12:55 – Chris remains perplexed as to wear the ties should go. I suggest an empty tie table. Chris declares me a genius.
12:56 – Tie table is 10 feet away. Chris transports ties to the table TWO at a time. Each trip takes about eight minutes.
1:16 – Tire of watching Chris and his tie trips. Scoop up all ties and place on table. Chris is grateful.
1:17 – Chris takes a peanut butter cracker break.
1:20 - 2:00 – I don’t know what happens here. I think I slip into a catatonic state.
2:00 – 3:00 – Lunch break! I read a book in the food court and smoke too many cigarettes.
3:06 – Time back in. Still operating on that 6 minute rule.
3:08 – Find Chris in distress. He is in the middle of ringing up a customer, and another customer has asked where the French cuff shirts are. This is vitally important: Chris cannot multitask. Also? Never try to rush Chris. Ever. It will just end badly.
3:09 – Direct customer to shirts. Calm Chris down.
3:10 – Chris restarts transaction. All is calm.
3:15 – Customer finally leaves with purchase (one pair of gold toe socks and a renewed appreciation for life).
3:17 – Chris discovers a new box of shirts.
3:18 – Chris cannot find anywhere to put the shirts.
3:19 – Chris looks at me and asks what we should do. We have shirts, but we have no where to put them. It’s a puzzle.
3:20 – I push some shirts together and make space for new shirts. Once again, the day is saved by an ingenious Dullard’s employee. Also? Pushing the shirts aside has the added benefit of dusting the shelf. Yes, I rock.
3:27 – Customer comes in panicked. Has forgotten suit for a wedding that starts in 2 hours. Needs to find a shirt and tie in a hurry. Asks Chris to help him quickly.
3:28-3:29 – Muffle silent laughter. Chris mutters his standard “Ooooooh . . . . . ok”. And stands in one place.
3:37 – Have successfully placed customer in a pink shirt and tie assuring him that it is not too gay and will match with the wedding party.
3:42 – Chris takes another peanut butter cracker break to recover from the excitement.
4:00 – Rachel arrives. We are now up to three employees in a department with an average customer count of two per hour.
4:05 – Chris goes to lunch.
4:06 – Rachel decides to rearrange all of the sale shirts. She’s young and full of energy and hope. I’m old and not, so I stand next to the silver shirt pole, hold onto it, and wonder what my life would be like had I taken up stripping.
4:18 – Twirl an umbrella around and relive my baton twirling days.
4:19 – Poke self in head with umbrella. Remember was not very good at baton twirling.
5:00 – Chris returns from lunch, revitalized and ready to tackle the tie and underpants department. That means he is breathing.
5:02 – 5:04 – Wander around the entire department.
5:07 – Bathroom break. Bathroom is now disgusting. Am willing to bet the men’s bathroom is cleaner. Women are pigs.
5:08-5:11 – Wander around entire department again.
5:12 – 5:30 – Cigarette break. Still humid, but bench is now in the shade so I don’t feel the usual burst into flames feeling from the morning.
5:54 – Ready to time out. Usual six minute rule applies.
5:55 – Realize Chris has decided to take a bathroom break. This could take upwards of 30 minutes.
5:56 – Realize Rachel is gone too.
5:57-6:04 – Hate Rachel and Chris. Hate, hate, hate.
6:08 – They both return. I don’t ask questions.
6:10 – Freedom!
6:15 – Realize have left book at Dullard’s, which not so much of a problem except I used my paycheck as a bookmark in it.
6:22 – Return to Dullard’s.
6:25-6:55 – Wait in car for 30 minutes because of torrential rains and wind. My car doesn’t handle the weather well. Wait and see if locusts and toads are going to rain down next. Decide it is safe and head home.
And so ends a day in the life of a Dullard’s employee.
2005-08-08 at 11:18 a.m.