I think I might keep a running tally in 2018 of the number of time I want to slap a Grumbles clerk silly

Cidu Bill on Nov 30th 2017


Fun Fact: Department stores do carry swimwear this time of year, because people do go away.

And since the customer hasn’t done or said anything to earn the clerk’s disdain, what’s the joke supposed to be here?

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Retail, comic strips, comics, humor | 24 responses so far

24 Responses to “I think I might keep a running tally in 2018 of the number of time I want to slap a Grumbles clerk silly”

  1. Ron Nov 30th 2017 at 08:49 am 1

    Hawaii envy.

  2. James Pollock Nov 30th 2017 at 09:06 am 2

    Of all the big problems you might have, having to wait until you arrive in Hawaii to buy swimwear is not one that will generate sympathy.

    I’m with the clerk on this one, and anyone who’d want to slap the clerk over this is dangerously antisocial.

  3. Mitch4 Nov 30th 2017 at 09:38 am 3

    As with previous instances of this, a key point is that her reaction is internal, and doesn’t act outwardly rude to the customer.

  4. billytheskink Nov 30th 2017 at 10:08 am 4

    Better than having a store employee laugh in your face when you ask if they have any corduroy pants. And it wasn’t like I was asking in the summer…

  5. Powers Nov 30th 2017 at 10:41 am 5

    Retail clerks can’t afford to go to Hawaii. The customer is basically humblebragging: “Oh, darn, now I can’t prepare for my Hawaii trip that I’m taking to Hawaii, where I need a swimsuit because the weather is nice there, unlike here.”

  6. Powers Nov 30th 2017 at 10:42 am 6

    Bill, I wonder if your annoyance at the Grumbles clerks is because you identify more with the customers in the strip than the employees. Perhaps you’re just not part of the target audience?

  7. Winter Wallaby Nov 30th 2017 at 11:52 am 7

    Some department stores may carry swimwear this time of year, but others may not. I’ve certainly had difficulty buying clothing out of season, even in larger department stores.

    And +1 to Powers’s observation. Bill, my main TIDU (thing I don’t understand) is why you keep reading a strip where you’re so clearly not part of the target audience, that it regularly annoys you. This is a little like putting up a Dilbert every few weeks with a comment “tech workers have pretty nice jobs, why do they complain so much?”

  8. Caractacus Potts Nov 30th 2017 at 12:28 pm 8

    when I read this comic, I read that internal dialogue with a happy smirk, not a mean voice
    more of a “I can relate”

  9. Irene Nov 30th 2017 at 01:12 pm 9

    Having just been surprised by hubby telling me we are going to Hawaii in January, I’ll chime in.
    I’m really not telling anybody. Except strangers on an Internet blog I enjoy.
    When you live in the midwest, nobody wants to hear you are going to Hawaii in the worst of winter. That explains the clerk’s attitude.
    I’m not sure why anyone would even expect to find a bathing suit this time of year unless they live in an area where they are a year- round thing.
    Having said that, swim shops are open year round, but tend to cater to Michael Phelps/ Katie Ledecky wannabes.

  10. PeterW Nov 30th 2017 at 01:47 pm 10

    I agree with Powers. Retail is all about catharsis for people who are currently working in or have recently worked in retail.

    The actual annoyance is that stores tend to stock seasonal wear for a season and a half ahead. January/February is when they want you to buy their new swimsuits. They go on clearance in April. Heavy winter coats arrive in September and are gone by November.

  11. Mark M Nov 30th 2017 at 01:48 pm 11

    Powers @ 5 explained it well. So I won’t add anything except that the headline got me wondering how much does someone have to get slapped until they become silly?

  12. larK Nov 30th 2017 at 02:18 pm 12

    CIDU Bill: it looks like you’re unwelcome here — I’d suggest banning you, except it seems you are already dangerously antisocial, so in the greater interest of humanity, I guess we’ll let you stay…


  13. Wendy Nov 30th 2017 at 02:35 pm 13

    Actually, I think it very much depends on where you live as to whether or not they carry swimwear or shorts this time of year. Much to my amazement and annoyance, it was often hard to get shorts in Florida in the fall or winter. And that’s pathetic, as it’s not really unusual to have temps hit 80, even in the winter. Like PeterW said, the stores want you to buy stuff a season and a half ahead, and too bad if you want something you can wear right now. I think some places have gotten better about this because, as Bill said, people do go away to warm climates in the winter, but I certainly didn’t have any luck when I looked for swimwear last month.

    As for this strip in particular, I found it amusing. The clerk totally wishes she could go to Hawaii, too, and so doesn’t really feel sorry for the customer, but as Mitch pointed out, since she keeps it to herself, there’s no issue. That is different from some of the other strips you’ve had here, where the clerk was rude for minimal reason.

  14. Mary Ellen Nov 30th 2017 at 02:43 pm 14

    I usually find that stores start to carry swimwear in late winter/ VERY early spring, long before I actually need it. Just like they start carrying winter clothes in late August/ early September.

  15. CaroZ Nov 30th 2017 at 02:47 pm 15

    Yeah, my pet peeve is the fact that you can’t actually buy seasonal clothes in the second half of that season. I lost my gloves while visiting Chicago in February once. It turns out that you cannot buy gloves in February. This is… not a good thing.

  16. Arthur Nov 30th 2017 at 02:50 pm 16

    The standard Internet caption for this one would be,
    “First world problems.”

  17. Ted from Ft. Laud Nov 30th 2017 at 04:37 pm 17

    Going along with what Wendy said - while I’m not sure what the current situation is (I don’t really shop for clothing), it used to be that the local outlets of major national chains (Macy’s, Lord & Taylor’s, Bloomingdale’s, etc. - plus JC Penny’s and stores at that level) took out all their “warm weather clothing” (including bathing suits) by July - even though it is pretty much “warm weather clothing” season all year here, because they used national “seasons” for their purchasing, regardless of whether that fit individual stores. That also meant that they had winter coats and such down here (though probably less than in a store up north, since few of them sold). We used to have some local department stores (Burdine’s being the biggest) that understood the local market, but when they were bought out by Macy’s, they became like the rest, even before they changed the name on the stores.

  18. Carl Nov 30th 2017 at 09:35 pm 18

    Here in New York, I haven’t seen any swimwear in dept. stores for months and it’s just now the end of November. Normally I’d say the customer should buy online, but I personally don’t like buying clothing I can’t try on.

  19. Usual John Dec 1st 2017 at 01:13 am 19

    Do department stores in northern cities really carry swimwear at this time of year? It’s too early for cruisewear; in fact, November is the least popular month for cruise and beach vacations. I would guess that the swimwear wouldn’t really be set out until after Christmas.

  20. James Pollock Dec 1st 2017 at 06:12 am 20

    “I would guess that the swimwear wouldn’t really be set out until after Christmas.”

    I would guess that whoever decides what products to stock and display does it based on when people are actually coming into the store looking for it, and not based on when they think people SHOULD be coming into the store looking for it.
    Then, if you happen to need/want/be shopping for something at a time when most people aren’t (for whatever reason), you go in, find that the store isn’t set up to sell you what you happened to want or need, and you complain about how stupid the store is, because there you were, ready to buy and they turned you away unsatisfied. But they aren’t stupid… mall rent is high enough that they can’t stock things “just in case” someone comes in wanting to shop for that item… they need every square inch of their sales floor to be productive, that is, showing items that people are actively looking for, and lots of them. Ever notice that whereas grocery stores put impulse items on racks near the checkout lanes, most mall stores do not (or if they do, they are stocked substantially differently)? If you want a Snickers bar, the grocery store has it for you, right there in the checkout lane. But that impulse buy of a $1 candy bar literally doesn’t cover the rent on the space it takes up, up at Upscale Square Mall.

    I guess my point is that it’s no use trying to figure out the store’s logic about what they stock when. There isn’t any, except that they’re chasing the crowds, and using past experience to guess at what those crowds want next week, next month, next season.

  21. chakolate Dec 1st 2017 at 08:02 pm 21

    Disdain? I don’t see that. All I see is serious envy.

  22. Cidu Bill Dec 2nd 2017 at 12:32 am 22

    You know what, I think chakolate is absolutely right: I’m so accustomed to the joke being that the clerks hold the customers in contempt, I reflexively read that into the thought bubble here.

  23. Caractacus Potts Dec 3rd 2017 at 11:17 am 23

    i also agree with chakolate, it’s what I meant above

  24. Meryl A Dec 6th 2017 at 01:18 am 24

    I presumed that the clerk was upset at the customer sort of rubbing the clerk’s nose in “I am going away to a warm exotic place and you are not.” Or in the alternative the customer was so out of the life of a clerk (as my SIL would be) that she thinks even the clerk could easily go on a trip like hers if the clerk wanted to.

    When I was a kid I remember being in stores in winter and seeing bathing suits and thinking it was crazy and my dad (not sure why him and not mom - maybe it was on a trip to Santa in Manhattan) told me that stores carry bathing suits in winter for people who go on vacation to someplace warm and need them.

    These days clothes are so far off season as to when they are sold, I would think it easier to buy a bathing suit in winter than in summer.

    I have not really looked in clothing departments this year (something I only do when forced to because I am running out of presentable jeans and/or tee shirts or undergarments) and the closest I have been to one is in Walmart, but it seems to me that in the past few years I have seen bathing suits in some store or another in winter and Robert and I looked at each other and asked “for vacation, or have the seasons gone that far off?”

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