Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Working retail can be really really awful
I have a post up at Chasing Ray highlighting some interesting fall books from Counterpoint & Soft Skull Press. One in particular struck me as very appealing The Customer is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles. Here's an excerpt from Colson Whitehead's contribution, "Eat, Memory: I Scream":
Mine is the story of a man who hates ice cream and of the world that made him.
I was once like you, always quick with a “Two scoops, please” and a “Whipped cream, damn it, whipped cream!” I loved a Breyers vanilla-chocolate-strawberry rectangle straight from the freezer. Never mind if it was a bit long in the tooth, nestled in there next to a half-empty bag of carrots-and-peas medley — scrape off the icy fur and it was good to go. Orange sherbet? Cool. In Baskin-Robbins, I used pure will power to persuade the red digital lights of the Now Serving machine to announce my number, which was a sweat-smudged blob on the pink paper strip in my quivering hand. You can keep your Kiwi Mocha Bombasta: the nuclear green sludge of mint chocolate chip was as exotic as it got, and that’s how I liked things.
Then I went to work in an ice cream store.