The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Holiday Shopping Tips from a Retail Perpective:Part 2

1. Coordinate babysitting swaps.
People add the cherry to their shit sundae that is holiday shopping by bringing the kids while they shop for their gifts. Admittedly, it adds A LOT of stress to me when a mom wants me to hide the biggest thing in the store when I have had no formal training as a magician. If you have friends with kids, offer to babysit their kids while they shop if they return the favor.

2. Make another list.
Almost everyone had a gift list of who to buy for, but there are other things they need. One of the things people always forget are things like cards, gift bags, batteries and gift wrap until they're in line and people aren't always willing to be understanding if you're holding up the line. If you put all those other accouterments on your shopping list, it'll save at least one headache.

3.Don't get in line until you are done shopping.
Busy cashiers make shitty salespeople. They will give you the shortest and broad answer possible to keep the line moving. If you have an exchange, a return or are picking up something, it's usually best to ask a salesperson about it. Speaking of which....

4. If you send somebody in for something, tell them what it is they're getting.
It'll make the person doing you a favor's life simpler. Names are written on tiny slips of paper the items themselves are much easier to spot.

5.Don't buy video games or computer software.
Unless you know exactly what the person you're buying for owns. I can't count how many times grandparents have been sent in to buy video games (which I think is tantamount to elder abuse) and say they need games for "the Nintendo" which now can mean the DS, the Wii, the Game Cube or the Game Boy Advance.
This is especially true of computer software. There's little writing on every piece of software that has the system requirements for it. People go, "They have Windows XP," and expect it to work; that is merely one of as many of a half dozen things that have to be met or exceeded for it to work. Also, if it's marked "expansion pack" it needs another piece to work. And because of copyright laws opened software is not returnable, as disappointing as it is to not get what you want, it's worse when you do and can't use it.
6. Line navigation can be done.
Social conditioning makes us instinctively line up directly behind the person we think is in front of us in line. The line could evolve based on how that person choses to stand. This is very rarely how the line is moving. I recently asked the line of people I was ringing up to from along the counter so that any coming into the line would know how to queue up. Someone said, "I think people are smart enough to figure it out." I countered, "Trust me, they don't."
If you take a second to figure out the layout, you can even do it when you first enter the store, it'll save a lot of trouble. The only kind of store line I have seen in the past few years is when I buy groceries. Every other place has one line, so that the next person that is ready gets the next available register. This system works best when you wait until you're called to the register. People try to be efficient and make their way to the register before their called, but trust me waiting until your called will save you more time than those couple steps.

7. If someone's letting you go in front of them, thank them and go ahead of them.
This will save a back and forth of "No, you go", "No, you go","I've got a lot of stuff" on and on. They're not ready and you are. Please don't forget to thank them. Also, regardless of what it might seem, if I cashier looks at you and tells you to go to them, go. You're next, trust me. If for some reason somebody else is actually in front of you(mistakes happen) you can always say, "I'm sorry, (he or she) said I was next."

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