Folding Clothing

Cidu Bill on Feb 16th 2017

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Honestly, I’d be firing people right and left, even if Norm Feuti would have us think of their actions and comments as clever.

Filed in Bill Bickel, Norm Feuti, Retail, comic strips, comics, humor | 40 responses so far

40 Responses to “Folding Clothing”

  1. farmer Feb 16th 2017 at 09:59 am 1

    I think comics like this aren’t meant to be taken literally. Having worked in retail, I would dream of being as honest and snarky as these folks are. Just because a character in a comic strip says it, doesn’t mean it really gets said (or should be) in the real world. Lots of comics function as escapist fantasy. Lots of people have found Dilbert extremely relevant, but that doesn’t mean people actually behave just like a Dilbert strip without consequences.

  2. billytheskink Feb 16th 2017 at 10:15 am 2

    You could probably justify firing whoever was tasked with putting price tags on the cereal/15 year old software boxes.

  3. Powers Feb 16th 2017 at 11:01 am 3

    farmer has it. This isn’t meant to be a realistic depiction of ideal employee behavior.

  4. StannaJo Feb 16th 2017 at 11:09 am 4

    It’s what we WANT to say, not what we actually say.

  5. Olivier Feb 16th 2017 at 11:10 am 5

    Comics aren’t realistic ? Oh, my. What about tv ? http://english.bouletcorp.com/2011/05/18/tv-shows-and-reality/

  6. B.A. Feb 16th 2017 at 11:50 am 6

    Feuti wants us to identify with the clerks, though, even when (I assume) most readers see them as being assholes.

    Yes, I know I could have avoided Moderation Prison by writing “a$$holes,” but I will not surrender my journalistic integrity.

  7. Abbot of Unreason Feb 16th 2017 at 12:57 pm 7

    I swear I read the greeting as “Can I help you?” instead of “How are you today?” and I was initially angry at her. But I think the snark is warranted from the comic strip version because the man wasn’t listening any better than I was. If she had said Can I help you, then the exchange wouldn’t warrant it. IMHO.

  8. Winter Wallaby Feb 16th 2017 at 01:05 pm 8

    I had exactly the same initial misreading, reaction, re-reading, and re-evaluation as Abbot, step-by-step.

  9. Kevin A Feb 16th 2017 at 03:23 pm 9

    Re: Olivier [5] The link to tv_shows_and_reality
    The strip mentions police attaching a tracking beacon with a flashing red light to someone’s car.
    Just last night, I was watching “Batman v Superman” for the first time, and Batman shoots one of those at the truck he’s trying to catch. It’s still blinking and stuck on what’s left of the truck in the villain’s warehouse-like lair. All the tension that had been built up in the chase was now subsumed by my mind’s screams of Why the heck does your tracker have to blink, Batman (and why aren’t any of the rest of you baddies seeing it yet?)

  10. Cidu Bill Feb 16th 2017 at 03:29 pm 10

    I don’t know that “Can I help you” and “How are you today” are really very different in this context: I’m sure she doesn’t really care how he is, but is just make an empty comment to engage him. He might not even be conscious of what precisely she said.

  11. James Pollock Feb 16th 2017 at 03:33 pm 11

    “The strip mentions police attaching a tracking beacon with a flashing red light to someone’s car.”

    And also all TV bombs have lots of exposed wires and a digital countdown timer built into them.

    The one that actually bugged me, however, (even more than “zoom and enhance”, or “I’ll show I’m hacking something by typing about 25 characters on a keyboard really fast which will then be successful just in time”) was how often it turned out that the pollen they collected at the scene turned out to be some super-rare plant that only grows in one three-block area, instead of, say, ragweed (or, in my neck of the woods, Douglas fir).

  12. Jason Feb 16th 2017 at 04:28 pm 12

    When I walk into a store, if the clerk asks how I am, I will say “fine, thanks” or some variant, even though they probably don’t really care. If they then ask how they can help me, I may just say that I am looking.
    I wouldn’t answer a “how are you” with “I’m just looking” though. It seems kind of rude to me.

  13. Proginoskes Feb 17th 2017 at 03:14 am 13

    I read it as “If you’re not going to be nice to me, then I’m not going to be nice to you.”

  14. B.A. Feb 17th 2017 at 06:37 am 14

    The difference is, Proginoskes, it’s not part of the customer’s job description to be attentive to the sales staff.

    And the sales staff at Grumbles is terribly thin-skinned

  15. Librarian Feb 17th 2017 at 08:26 am 15

    My son in retail says the greeting is usually a method to reduce shoplifting - so now it bugs me even more to be greeted in every store

  16. Heather Feb 17th 2017 at 09:22 am 16

    It’s not that he ‘wasn’t listening’ or that it’s the customer’s “job” to be attentive to the staff. The point here is that she attempted to engage the customer and he rejected her. Whatever words were used are mostly irrelevant. The subtext is “hello and welcome to the store, I’m here to help you” “shove off and leave me alone, I don’t want your help.”

    Then ten seconds later, “oh, I do want your help after all.” “Too little too late, dude, you had your chance.”

    I agree it’s ‘escapist fantasy’. Customers treating staff like servants rather than people… and staff is expected to smile and take it. Sometimes it’s nice to at least imagine rude and selfish customers getting what they really deserve.

  17. Abbot of Unreason Feb 17th 2017 at 02:33 pm 17

    If I walk into a store and respond to “Can I help you?” with “I’m just looking,” I don’t believe I’m being rude. Usually, I don’t know if I’ll want something that the store has on display. And I if happen to change my mind about whether I need help, I don’t see how that warrants a rude response. I don’t see how that’s treating someone like a servant.

    If I walk into a store and someone asks how I am, I get that answering the wrong question is rude on my part. I wouldn’t say rudeness to rudeness is right, but at least the escapist thing makes sense to me in that situation.

  18. James Pollock Feb 17th 2017 at 03:28 pm 18

    “If I walk into a store and respond to “Can I help you?” with “I’m just looking,” I don’t believe I’m being rude.”

    It’s all in the intent:
    If you’re thinking “don’t bother me because you are not important to my immediate goals and purposes”, rude.

    If you’re thinking “don’t bother WITH me, you have better/more useful things to do than follow me around (because I’m probably not going to buy anything, anyway)”, not rude.

    Of course, since other people don’t have access to your thought processes, they may confuse one for the other.

  19. Winter Wallaby Feb 17th 2017 at 05:13 pm 19

    Kevin A #9:

    Just last night, I was watching “Batman v Superman” for the first time, and Batman shoots one of those at the truck he’s trying to catch. It’s still blinking. . .

    That’s what bothered you most about that movie?

    Martha?

    Martha?!*??*?

  20. Winter Wallaby Feb 17th 2017 at 05:13 pm 20

    Bill #10:

    He might not even be conscious of what precisely she said.

    That’s part of why it seems rude to me.

    Also, the eyebrows in panel one indicate that he’s annoyed, and perhaps respondig in an annoyed tone of voice.

  21. Cidu Bill Feb 17th 2017 at 06:54 pm 21

    Winter Wallaby, “Martha” should have meant the automatic forfeiture of the screenwriter’s paycheck.

  22. James Pollock Feb 17th 2017 at 07:26 pm 22

    “Winter Wallaby, “Martha” should have meant the automatic forfeiture of the screenwriter’s paycheck.”

    Having not seen the movie, I don’t know what you’re referring to. However, anyone who knows either Superman’s or Batman’s secret identities would be able to find out that their mother’s name is “Martha”. It must have seemed like a nice, motherly name to comics writers back in the 1930’s.

    There’s the interesting similarity in “real” names for both Supergirl and Ms. Marvel (Kara Danvers/ Carol Danvers) and Stan Lee’s habit of giving characters first and last names that start with the same letter. (The list is long: Peter Parker, Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Bruce Banner, Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, The Mighty Thor… the list goes on and on.

  23. Cidu Bill Feb 17th 2017 at 08:16 pm 23

    James, that was a spoiler-free exchange.

    Trust me, “Martha” represented what was arguably the nadir of 21st century screenwriting.

  24. Mark in Boston Feb 17th 2017 at 10:37 pm 24

    “Did you find everything you’re looking for?”

    Frequently I will say no, because I was looking for lard or a particular brand of iced tea or a brisket and didn’t find it even after searching in all possible places and asking the butcher. But the cashier always says “Oh, I’ll find it for you” and I stand there like a dummy while the clerk goes to the shelves I have carefully combed over, and after five minutes comes back and says “I’m sorry, we seem to be out of it. Would you like us to call you when it’s back in stock?”

  25. Mark in Boston Feb 17th 2017 at 10:40 pm 25

    JP @ 22: “The Mighty Thor” … so Mighty is Thor’s middle name? And Thor’s first name is the same as the middle name Smokey Bear used to have until the Park Service made him get rid of it?

    No doubt he says “I’m The Mighty Thor” because whenever he said “I’m Mighty Thor” he’d get the response “Tho am I. It hurtth to pith.”

  26. James Pollock Feb 18th 2017 at 03:02 am 26

    “Mighty is Thor’s middle name?”

    Technically, THOR is Thor’s middle name. Or maybe job title. Before the retcon, Thor’s “real” name was (Dr.) Donald Blake, one of the few names Stan The Man invented that didn’t have that same-initial-letter naming quirk. (Of course, only two of the Fantastic Four have it, and only two of the original six X-Men. But Daredevil, Spider-Man, the Hulk, and a bunch of the early Spider-Man adversaries… The Lizard is Curt Connors, Dr. Octopus is Otto Octavius, and of course J. Jonah Jameson pays Spencer Smythe and later Marla Madison to build Spider-Slayers.

  27. Kilby Feb 18th 2017 at 03:32 am 27

    Stan Lee does an amusing vocal cameo in Disney’s “Big Hero 6″(*), at the end of the credits. I think the character shown was designed to look a little like him too, but I’m not sure.

    P.S. (*) The German version is more sensibly named (”Baymax”), after the principle (robotic) character.

  28. Boise Ed Feb 18th 2017 at 08:15 pm 28

    Kevin [9]: For years, I have wondered why the bad guy, making a bomb, wires in a flashing light or clock to alert everyone. Oh. Now that I’ve typed this, I see that James [11] has already covered it.

    Mark [24]: Just a couple of days ago, something like that happened with me, but the clerk kindly told me that the next shipment was expected Friday morning, and I was happy to plan on a return trip Friday. And there have been other times when it turned out that I had just overlooked the item, and it had been right there, practically in front of my nose. So yes. I’ve no qualms about telling them what I couldn’t find.

  29. James Pollock Feb 18th 2017 at 08:31 pm 29

    “For years, I have wondered why the bad guy, making a bomb, wires in a flashing light or clock to alert everyone. Oh. Now that I’ve typed this, I see that James [11] has already covered it.”

    He does this because TV is a visual medium, and the producers of the program need to tell you, the viewer, “THIS IS A BOMB” in a visual way.

  30. Todd Feb 20th 2017 at 04:14 pm 30

    And the bombs in TV and movies are all the same. “Cut the green (or red) wire.” But what if the guy who built the bomb knew that and switched the colors around? Or what if he didn’t have any green or red wire?

  31. James Pollock Feb 20th 2017 at 05:46 pm 31

    “And the bombs in TV and movies are all the same. “Cut the green (or red) wire.” But what if the guy who built the bomb knew that and switched the colors around?”

    The bombs in TV and movies are NOT all the same, and several Hollywood bombs have addressed this exact conundrum (it’s still fair to ask why the wires in the bomb aren’t all the same color). But the trope for AT LEAST a couple of decades has been “you can’t just cut the wires… that will make the bomb go off!” If the hero DOES cut one of the wires, the bomb doesn’t just go off right then. No, the timer starts running faster, giving the hero JUST ENOUGH time to do something else to save the day.

    Of course, real bombs made by real bombers don’t use timers at all… they use remote triggering, usually a cell phone.

    When I get green-lit, I’m going to have the bad guys make their bomb using realistic tech, like the guys who made IEDs in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars made. But… the bomb blows up in their lair, before they get a change to place it, because some spammer drone in an Indian call center calls it to tell them that the Microsoft Virus Monitoring Center has detected a virus on their computer, and he’ll help get rid of it for a one-time credit-card charge of just $89.95.

  32. Boise Ed Feb 20th 2017 at 07:56 pm 32

    James, I’ll go to see your movie! :-) :-) :-)

  33. Meryl A Feb 22nd 2017 at 03:34 am 33

    When we walk into the Home Depot near us we are greeted with “how are you today?” which is their introduction to attempting to sell roof, air conditioning, heating, or whatever is the featured item that will be attempted to be sold to us several times (or more) while we walk around the store. My standard answer is (treating as an actual question and not a sales come on) “I am in Home Depot. If I am here I have a problem I need to resolve - so not very well.

  34. Meryl A Feb 22nd 2017 at 03:37 am 34

    When we first started selling our work at craft shows I found out that what I had read to do in books on doing same - “greet all visitors to your booth and tell them about your work” drove customers away (maybe it’s me?). I noticed that the other craftspeople sat in their booth and worked on inventory or read a book or knitted or whatever and the customers did not run away from them. If my sister had not stopped by our first show we would not have any sales at all. We learned to ignore the customers unless they showed interest in talking. It may just be a Long Island/NY thing.

  35. Meryl A Feb 22nd 2017 at 03:37 am 35

    Correction -not ignore, just let them be until they were ready to talk or buy.

  36. Meryl A Mar 1st 2017 at 01:05 am 36

    Today we saw one of the craziest things we have seen done in a store.

    Husband has now glued his shoes back together for the second time and decided that since he has only one pair of shoes (as opposed to sneakers) left we have to find another pair. This is a quest as it is hard to find size 7.5 (US) shoes for men. In addition we can only buy them in a store (as opposed to online or by mail), have leather uppers, and be affordable. So this can be a quest of months or years - hence why we have started while he still has a spare pair.

    We went to a chain shoe store yesterday and they had a pair he liked, but did not have his size. He looked online and two other local stores of the chain were each suppose to have a pair. We went to one. Here’s the odd part - the entire men’s shoe department had cartons stacked in front of the shoes - I don’t mean here and there - there was a 6 foot (at least) wall of cartons in front of the shoes- along the 2 walls of the store with men’s shoes. We walked in saw this and stood there staring - not believing what we were seeing. An employee asked what we were looking for - Robert, not taking his eyes off the wall as it was too unbelievable, told him we were there to look for a pair of men’s shoes. The several employees who were involved in this project were confused and suggested he go home go online and order shoes. Apparently they had been told to pack up all the shoes which had just been delivered and have them ready for pickup to be returned to wherever they came from. When my brain finally finished registering all this, I told them we had the name of the shoes and the size we needed it in. The staff then started moving cartons around trying to find the shoes. We thanked them, but left. There had to be better spots to put the stacks of cartons than in front of all of the men’s shoes.

    So I guess some employees are that stupid.

    And the other store which was suppose to have them, did not have them either.

  37. James Pollock Mar 1st 2017 at 02:42 am 37

    ” There had to be better spots to put the stacks of cartons than in front of all of the men’s shoes.”

    I wouldn’t bet on it.
    Once upon a time, every store had a warehouse to put stuff that was not ready for sale, for whatever purpose. This has not been true for several decades… the cost of warehousing using space that could be use for retail display is high, so chain stores use central warehouses and have only a tiny stockroom for extra stock or stock that needs to be prepared for sale. Other excess stock gets stored on the retail floor. Pop into a big-box retailer, such as, say, a Best Buy. Their stock of boxed 58″ TV’s? It’s on the sales floor. I know this because a couple of years ago, I did a project that required me to visit all the local Best Buy stores to replace all of their point-of-sale terminals. The replacement gear was shipped to the store in advance, and had to be kept in the actual warehouse, which is tiny and the warehouse managers LOVED that we were finally going to clear that pallet out. The warehouse wasn’t big enough for us to do the unboxing in the warehouse; we did it right on the retail floor (which, of course, is where the POS terminals are, anyway.)

  38. Meryl A Mar 9th 2017 at 03:43 am 38

    But they don’t stack the TVs in front of, the TVs for sale or the DVD display so that one cannot see what is for sale so that one can choose a TV or pick out a DVD.

    In this store, the aisles have spaces between the shoe displays in the aisles - some cartons could be stacked in these spaces - it would just mean that the customers would have to walk to one end or the other of the aisle to switch aisles but it would mean that the men’s shoe department doesn’t have to be just about completely closed down and more of the merchandise would be available to sell.

  39. James Pollock Mar 9th 2017 at 04:55 am 39

    “But they don’t stack the TVs in front of, the TVs for sale or the DVD display so that one cannot see what is for sale so that one can choose a TV or pick out a DVD.”

    Sometimes they do. I was doing a point-of-sale terminal upgrade while a store was getting floor redesign. They were re-arranging the store layout, about 15% at a time, two or three days per section. Take all the products off the fixtures, stack it in the aisles, tear out the fixtures, build new fixtures, install a completely different section of the store. So, the videogame section became the computer/network section, the cell-phone section got bigger, the audio section got smaller… all while the store was open. It took just under a month.

  40. Meryl A Mar 15th 2017 at 02:29 am 40

    Well, I do read the oddities of management and stores in the strip this about “Retail”

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