Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Plea from a Tired Register Jockey

So, this week I managed to get into a rather ugly Facebook fight about stores that are starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving day, and what that means for their employees. An acquaintance of mine from college gave a list of reasons why she would be shopping on Thanksgiving and that retail workers forced to give up their holidays should be happy to do so. Needless to say this made me, the tired retail employee, pretty angry, and now I have one less Facebook friend. I wanted to use this space to respond to some of the arguments about Thanksgiving day shopping I've seen this week.

“I want to beat the crowds.”

You're not beating any crowds, you're just creating a crowd eight hours earlier than last year.

“I don't want to have to spend all day with my family. It gets boring, especially if they don't have cable.”*

If you dislike your extended family that much, maybe don't spend Thanksgiving with them. I know I got really lucky, having a giant extended family that enjoys each other company, and I cannot imagine being bored at Thanksgiving. We play football, watch football, play board games, watch movies, just hang out together. And if none of those things appealed to you my Grandma would tell you to take a walk, read a book, drink some wine and relax. Or go volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank. If you hate your family and their lack of TV channels, if you're that miserable around them, stay home next year, I'm sure they'll be happier without you.  Especially if they've seen your Facebook post about how awful it is to be stuck with them for the weekend.  

“Some retail workers don't have families and would probably rather work.”

Two points on this one:
  1. My boss took a poll to see who would be willing to work on Thanksgiving, out of the 17 people required to staff our store at opening, three volunteered. That means, if we did decide to open tomorrow, the bulk of the staff would be very unhappy to have drawn the short straw, forced to work on what used to be a holiday.
  2. Most retail employees (myself included) work two (or more) jobs.  In those cases Thanksgiving is often the only day you have off in November.  I, and most of my retail cohorts, would like to  spend that day at home, relaxing, watching the parade, rather than at work.  
“Wouldn't they rather work Thursday evening instead of crazy early Friday?”

It's adorable that people think it would be an either/or not a both scenario. If either of my jobs decided to open tomorrow evening my schedule would be as follows: 
 Thursday 5pm-1:30am JobA
 Friday 6:30a-3pm JobB,  4pm-10pm JobA. 
That's essentially a 29 hour shift with a two hour nap.  No one would choose that.

As I said, most retail employees, especially in large cities, have more than one job, and most seasonal positions exist solely to staff Black Friday. So essentially it's just creating an extra shift, one that employers are not required to give you any sort of extra holiday pay for, during an already stressful retail week.

“You don't hear hospital employees and military personnel complaining about working on holidays.”

This one is just insulting to medical and military people. Their jobs are literally life and death; selling you a giant TV, or a cheap toy, or the perfect Christmas dress is not. How dare you belittle what these people sacrifice as a means to justify your ridiculous shopping habits. Also – they don't like working on holidays either, but someone needs to be there to fix all the idiots who thought they could deep fry a turkey after a case of beer. As for our armed forces – they are risking their lives, far away from their loved ones, for your freedom. Comparing what they do, what they give up, to what I do – you should be ashamed.

“It's more convenient for me to shop then.”

I'm sorry that no one has taken the time to inform you that the world does not revolve around you. I realize that most people view retail employees as servants of some sort, or people not worthy of consideration, but we are, in fact, people just like everyone else. We have families, and friends and hobbies and interests outside of our jobs, and we would like Thanksgiving to be one of the two days a year we can be like everyone else and enjoy our lives away from work. Plus, in case you're unaware, the internet is open 24/7 and you can shop in your jammies while enjoying a cocktail.

So maybe, as you're counting your many blessings, you can add “I'm grateful that in this economy I have a job that allows me to support myself, and spend time with my family during the holidays.” And after that – try to have some empathy for those of us that don't have those things. Imagine what it would feel like to have to leave your family behind on a holiday to go to a place that underpays and undervalues you, only to be yelled at and abused by people who CHOSE to go shopping on what is supposed to be a day of rest and thankfulness. As the consumer, your voice is the only one that matters to my bosses. And the way you can make your voice heard is by staying home on Thanksgiving.

When you do go shopping on Black Friday, try to throw a little extra kindness at the very tired, very stressed retail employees, who have spent the morning breaking up fights and getting yelled at for things far beyond their control. You'll earn some good shopping karma, and perhaps prevent a retail worker's total emotional breakdown.

*Actual Facebook quote

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Non-Fictional Feelings for Fictional Characters

In honor of Valentine's Day I thought I'd give in to the societally-enforced atmosphere of romance and present a softer side of BookWench. In that spirit I've compiled another Top 11 List* of my literary crushes, in chronological order of when I fell for them. I will warn you – there is a vampire on this list, but not one of the sparkly kind, because every girl needs a guilty pleasure book boyfriend. So tonight, since I am without a real-life Valentine, I'll spend the night with one of these gentlemen, or maybe meet someone new, for a literary one-night stand.

BookWench's Top 11 Literary Crushes

  1. Dickon – A Secret Garden – Oh Dickon, my first literary love. I read A Secret Garden so many times my copy finally lost the will to live and fell apart. This is also the beginning of my life-long obsession with British men and their lovely accents. Dickon was the friend who would help you with your secret plan, while speaking with a Welsh accent and having adorable freckles. Nine-year-old me was smitten.
  2. Gilbert Blythe – Anne Of Green Gables series – Sweet Canadian Gilbert stole my heart when he saved Anne Shirley from drowning in a creek. I waited for so many books for Anne to come to her senses and fall in love with him too, and suffered right along with her as he lay on his deathbed. Seriously people, that chapter waiting to hear if he lives or dies destroyed my eleven-year-old heart. I still read through this entire series every few years, and my fondness for Gilbert is still holding strong.
  1. John Reid – Time Enough for Drums by Anne Rinaldi – I feel like this is one of those books that only I have strong memories of, and no one else has ever heard of it. In fact, in creating this list I attempted to hunt down a copy to re-read it and none of the bookstores or libraries near me had a copy in stock. The book follows a young girl, Jemima, during the early days of the Revolutionary war, and John Reid is her very strict tutor who later turns out to be an American spy. Handsome, brave and really smart – twelve-year-old me was sold. (He is also one of only three Americans on this list. Seriously – I love the Brits.)
  2. Arthur Dent/ Ford Prefect- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Which character has the larger claim to my heart changes almost every time I read the books. I love Ford's easy-going, towel-loving, universe traveling spirit, but I also want to drink tea with Arthur until he feels better about the crazy life events that led to him living on a spaceship. Either way, I still love them both. I even wrote Arthur into my show because I have so much affection for him.
This is where the list shifts from nice guys to smart-asses and bad boys. Thanks puberty!
  1. Benedick – Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare – Number five on this list, but number one in my heart, and of course it's Shakespeare. I directed this show in high school and fell hard for the main character. He's smart and witty and loyal and, his most attractive trait, he falls for a strong, smart woman. He can't always express his emotions well, but when you need him to avenge your cousin he will totally challenge his best friend to a duel for you. That's love.
  2. Fred & George Weasley – the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – In college my friend Paul and I had conversations about marrying the Weasley twins, he would take the gay one and I would take the straight one (which one was which was never decided) and we would live in the wizarding world with our sons, both named Aiden. It's important to work these things out in case you run into fictional characters. How can you not love a pair of troublemaking Brits with access to magic and a crazy extended family? My love was immediate and deep. When Deathly Hallows came out and I hit the Battle of Hogwarts, my brother could hear me crying from another room. It was not pretty, and I didn't stop crying for the next few hours. Here's hoping that George is the straight one. (Paul has a wonderful real-life Valentine now, so I'm the only one still waiting for a Weasley.)
  3. Count Almasy – The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje – Brooding, mysterious, British, played by Ralph Fiennes in the movie – be still my heart. Ondaatje's poetic style makes it almost impossible not to fall madly in love....“Her life with others no longer interests him. He wants only her stalking beauty, her theatre of expressions. He wants the minute secret reflection between them, the depth of field minimal, their foreignness intimate like two pages of a closed book.” My heart swells and breaks a million times over every time I read this book.
  4. Jean-Claude – the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton – Here's the vampire I promised, from my guilty pleasure book series. Jean-Claude is not a brooding, guilty, sparkly sad excuse for a vampire, he's a predator in every aspect of his life – and he enjoys being at the top of the food chain. Beautiful, immortal bad boy with a French accent – who also happens to be a bit of an incubus – I totally understand why bad-ass vampire hunter Anita Blake fell for him.
  5. Nick – Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn – This book takes place in one night in New York City, and it feels like one of those nights that could only take place there. Nick is the guy I wish I could've met in college, and even though I read it after graduating and moving away, whenever I read this book I'm immediately eighteen again and back in Manhattan. He's also the nicest guy to make this half of the list.
  6. Harry Dresden – The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher – Probably the most sarcastic and mouthy of the smart-asses on this list, and that's why I love him. That and he's a wizard with an amazing magical arsenal, a talking skull, a supernatural dog, an actual fairy godmother, and a willingness to defend those he loves to the death. He talks a good game, comes off as gruff and tough, but with a mushy center and a sense of loyalty and justice that makes him an amazing literary crush.
  7. Will – The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – I read the first two books in the series as an adult, and my inner sixteen-year-old fell in love. Another bad-boy whose hard exterior hides a dark secret and an immense capacity for love. My heart broke over and over again as more of Will's backstory was revealed. And the end of A Clockwork Prince...I won't spoil it, but rarely has a book left me so emotionally devastated. My inner teenager is now waiting not at all patiently for the next book in the series to come out, because I need to make sure Will is okay.

Honorable Mentions -
Frank Hardy – Only in the Nancy Drew/ Hardy Boys Super Mystery The Last Resort, when he and Nancy get trapped in an avalanche.
Westley - A Princess Bride by William Goldman– Only half counts because the crush was born from the movie, not the book. Definitely my first movie crush, and, along with Dickon, made me a life-long Anglophile.

So these are the men who have stuck with me through my lonely Valentine's Days past. My love for them will never fade, and as I search the world for a real life boyfriend these men make excellent company, and a completely unrealistic bar to measure prospective dates by. (I'm well aware that these men/ storybook love are not readily available in the real world, yet another reason why the real world needs some work.) It's a fun list to compile and an excellent walk through my literary memory lane, and also a fun conversation starter in a large group. Seriously – try it, it's so much fun.

Book crushes of your own? Leave them in the comments!

*Top 11 Lists still inspired by the 11 Points blogs by Sam Greenspan, my blog crush.  See - imaginary romance everywhere!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Review: The Curiosities

I finally managed to write a review in the format I laid out in October.  We'll see how it goes.

The Curiosities
by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff
Released: 2012    ISBN: 978-0-7613-7527-2

This collection of short stories was compiled from the website, which the authors started to challenge themselves to write weekly short fiction to consistently stretch their writing muscles. I picked it up because I love Stiefvater's novels, and was intrigued by the idea of quickly written, mostly unedited stories that also broke down their inspiration and process in writing them.
The thirty-three stories in the collection run the gamut of subjects from King Arthur to zombies to fairy tales to a world where fires never die out to a moment of pure mean girl jealousy. They're not all perfect- but that's the point. They all have a moment the author wanted to explore further, and it could potentially turn into a larger story, or a part of the world of one of their novels, the entire purpose was to get it onto paper and follow where these half-formed ideas want to lead them.
Scattered throughout the book are notes from the authors, in their own handwriting, both explaining their own works or commenting on their cohorts' stories. (There are also doodles, which I appreciate, since most of my writing notebooks are also covered in horrible doodles.) That, and the introductions to each story, were actually the most interesting thing for me. They really laid out their processes and thought patterns that led to each story, as well as the things they still feel they need to work on. As a writer I was amazed at how well they could articulate their inspirations and their writing process, as well being allowed to see their weaknesses.
My favorite of the stories was Berserk by Tessa Gratton, which managed to put a modern spin on Norse Mythology while still working in the patterns and cadence of the ancient eddas. I also enjoy the fact that there are tons of stories on the website that were not in the collection, so it's like the book doesn't have to end.

Recommend- Absolutely. I would recommend it to anyone that likes Young Adult fiction, as well as any writers. It's like a very intimate interview about writing as well as a simple motivator to write more.

Genre – Young Adult Anthology. It's hard to narrow it down any further since they cover so many types of stories, but it definitely has a magical bent to it.

Post-It Flags- 15. I will probably purchase it at some point.

A Favorite Quote- “Luis had two years of a liberal arts education – the two years that instilled principles but not the two years that instilled when to shut up about them.” from Another Sun by Maggie Stiefvater

Let me know if you like this format, like me doing reviews, have suggestions, or even if you hate me with a fiery passion.  I like comments.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means...

To start off, and to prove I'm not crazy (or at least not alone in my particular brand of crazy) my roommate found this fantastic new bag for me on

So clearly Shakespearian Cliffs Notes cause other lit nerds to break out in rage-fueled creativity. (In case you need a refresher, here's my take.)

While any form of Shakespeare Made Stupid does fill me with white-hot rage, they haven't managed to unseat my #1 Bard-Rage slot. This honor is given to the mistake that has caused me to lecture random strangers (and a few co-workers), forcibly throw books across a bookstore, and once almost led to me walking out of a college class. So, without further ado-

BookWench's #1 Shakespearian Pet Peeve
Wherefore art thou Romeo?” does not mean “Where are you, Romeo?”

Yes – this is one of the most pedantic, nit-picky things I can get rage-y about, but just because the vast majority of people misuse this line does not mean I have to accept it. Honestly- if you're attempting to impress me with your intelligence by misusing a line from my favorite writer, I am not going to be impressed, nor am I going to let you continue butchering the Bard. I am also not going to believe that you've read the play, or have any real idea of what happened in it.

If you have read the play, or even just the famous balcony scene in question, then context clues should lead you to the proper conclusion: “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” means “WHY are you Romeo?” Juliet clearly does not know Romeo is there, nor does she expect him to be. Any intelligent Montague would have gone home, quickly, after his identity was revealed to his mortal enemies, whose party he just crashed (luckily teenage hormones trump logic most of the time, or this would be a much shorter play.) Therefore- she's clearly not talking to him or looking for him, she's talking to the imaginary listener of all soliloquies. This line might as well have started “Dear Diary.” All the lines in the rest of this speech are Juliet asking the universe why the boy she met has to be Romeo Montague, son of her sworn enemy, and not John Smyth – random handsome stranger she could totally fall in love with without everyone dying at the end. (Oops...spoilers. It's a Shakespearian tragedy, everyone dies.) In fact it takes another twenty-six lines before Juliet figures out Romeo has been listening. So why would she be asking where he is? She clearly thinks he's gone, not stalking her balcony hoping Tybalt doesn't find him. It's all right there in the text!

I'm seriously getting angry just typing this. Time for a vodka break.

Before everyone starts yelling about how snobby and mean I am, believe me, I am aware that this is weird. At this point, though, it's such an ingrained annoyance I physically react when I hear or see this mistake being made, to the point where you can actually see my shoulders and back tense. I think I would need intense physical therapy to get rid of it at this point.
Once, while working at Borders, I was forced to display a book put out by one of the hundreds of chick lit publishers that cropped up after Bridget Jones became a household name. It was one of the myriad modernizations of Romeo and Juliet, where everyone is ten years older and no one dies (I have yet to see one of these that didn't make me sad for the state of modern publishing.) What made this one stand out was the fact that between the front cover log-line and the back cover blurb they managed to not only mis-use “Wherefore art thou?” but also missed the real meaning of “star-crossed lovers.”* I was so angry that someone high up enough in the editorial department let this get past them I actually composed an angry letter pointing out their extreme stupidity. I didn't send it because I didn't want to lose my job, but I did forcibly throw the book across our warehouse and refuse to put it on a major display. I couldn't find a link to this literary atrocity because most of those publishers went out of business ten years ago, and hopefully the book is now rotting at the bottom of a remainder bin in a Crown Books. Also, I have apparently consumed enough booze to forget the actual title, but it's bad enough that I know it existed and that someone made money for it.
The other major rage incident occurred in college during a mandatory freshman writing class. It was one of the few classes in college where I was the only theatre major in a group of mostly business majors, and there was a built-in animosity between us, because that's how Violets* roll. During a group presentation modernizing classic stories, a fellow student playing Juliet looked at her watch while delivering the “Wherefore” line. I came so close to gathering my things and walking out to ask for a transfer to a different class, one with more lit and drama nerds. I chose to stay because these were poor Stern students who didn't know from Shakespeare,* and at some point I would need them to do my taxes or manage my 401k, or do other math-related things. (That last sentence is hilarious if you're a Tischie.) I silently seethed until the professor opened the floor up for comments, and I was able to vocalize my disappoinment. None of the other students would speak to me for the rest of the semester, but the Bardian Rage Demon that lives in my soul was totally satisfied.

So that wraps up my Shakespearian Pet Peeves. I'm sure most of you are now questioning why you read this blog, or why you're even friends with me, or how you can go about disowning me, but I feel much better having shared my neurosis with others.

*Star-crossed means fated to fail. So if the main character in this chick lit atrocity is wishing for her star-crossed lover, she's basically wishing to fall in love with someone terminally ill.
*Yes, my University's mascot is a violet. As in the flower. We're really hardcore.
* Sorry, apparently I turned into someone's old Jewish grandmother for a moment.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

That's a Deal Breaker!

Recently I've read a  few articles about  certain pop-cultural items that would make someone un-dateable. I don't believe any of them are universal, though if they are then we've hit upon one of the reasons I'm still single (normally I blame my looks and personality). I did find while working in a used bookstore, slogging through piles of people's books, that I had created my own list of books that would, at the very least, raise some dating red flags.
And before people start jumping down my throat, telling me that I should be glad people are reading at all, I agree – it's great that people are reading actual books. However – knowing myself and my personality there are some books that would put a halt to me, BookWench, persuing a serious relationship with someone. And, if we're all being honest with ourselves, we all have literary or film or music deal-breakers, or warning signs. I'm just wench-y enough to form a list and put it online. I'm also fully aware that there are chunks of my library that would put some people off of dating me. (According to most of the articles I've read my signed Palahniuks and vintage Hunter S. Thompson books make me untouchable.)

So here's MY list, with reasons-
  • Anything by Tucker Max – I'm past the phase of my life where I date this type of guy.
  • Anything by a Fox News Personality/ Extreme Conservative (i.e. Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter)- Because as much fun as intense political debates are, that's what I do with my family when we've all had too much to drink and need a good cry. It is not a great foundation for a romantic relationship, unless you're James Carville and Mary Matalin.
  • I Am Legend – This one is not an immediate deal-breaker, but it will cause some concern, and a need for me to dig a little deeper. I learned through experience that if a guy is a little too on-board with Matheson's idea that women are the root of all evil and will cause the downfall of civilization, we're going to have some problems. If they just like post-apocolyptic vampire stories, then we'll be fine.
  • A Library Composed Entirely of One Genre – I understand that most people have a genre that they enjoy the most, but if all you ever read or ever plan to read are mysteries/ sci-fi/ philosophy/ obscure novels about the War of the Roses, I worry that the topics of conversation are going to be similarly limited. It's like only wanting to eat one kind of ice cream for the rest of your life, where's the fun in that?
  • An Overwhelming Number of Religiously Conservative Books- This mostly applies to things like The Surrendered Wife, or extremely evangelical books, not all things religious or spiritual. Again – wildly dispirate views on religion rarely lead to a strong relationship.
  • No Books at All –

These are the big ones, but there are plenty of others that would at least start a serious line of questioning, like 50 Shades of Gray, or Twilight (Especially since I date men. Men reading these books and dating women are either trying to hard or unaware that they don't really like women. Or they just have deplorable taste in books, still a cause for concern.) I'll give passes on popular, mindless fiction if everyone acknowledges that it's not a great work of literature, but if you try to convince me that Dan Brown and James Patterson are two of America's greatest authors, we're done. Making this list may make me seem mean or judgemental, which I am, but I feel like it will also help me avoid future dating disasters. Maybe to balance it out I'll start a list of things that make someone super-date-able, or at the very least, fling-able. Maybe it will start a new series – the softer side of BookWench.

"It's no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record 
collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn't even speak to each other if they met at a party."
 - Nick Hornby

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Literary Resolutions

Happy 2013 everyone! Amongst my many other personal resolutions, my professional resolutions involve writing far more posts for the blog this year. I've got a lot of ideas for recurring series of posts and thought I'd start the new year with one of those.

Inspired by my blog crush* Sam Greenspan of 11 Points, I've decided to do some Top 11 lists of my own, and my literary resolutions seemed like an excellent starting point.
The following 11 books are literary classics that somehow I've not read. Most people covered these in various English classes, but due to some weird departmental shuffling in high school and some oddly niche college Literature classes, I missed out on some widely read works. I narrowed the list down to books I felt I actually wanted to read and set them as part of my reading goal for 2013. (The to-read spreadsheet on my computer is up to 982 titles, so I have to narrow my focus into something manageable.) So here they are, in no particular order:

Top 11 Missed Classics I Resolve to Read in 2013

  1. Pride and Prejudice/ Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen – The fact that I have not read these books is one of the major reasons I question how well I'm doing at the whole “being a girl” thing. I've read Emma, I've watched most of the BBC adaptations of her work, but somehow I've never sat down and read these two major works by one of the most important classic female authors. I vow to get through at least one of these.
  2. Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens – Somehow in my Dickens phase in college I missed out on what is considered to be his greatest work. In my defense, I have read The Old Curiosity Shop, so I feel like my lit-nerd cred is still pretty solid.
  3. Any of Mark Twain's novels – Mark Twain is one of my favorite thinkers of the 19th Century, but I've never finished one of his novels. I love his letters, short non-fiction, and random thoughts, but my entire knowledge of Huck Finn comes from a Classics for Kids version I read when I was eight.
  4. Ulysses – James Joyce – This is the one I'm worried about actually finishing since I hated reading Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. However, Ulysses is referenced in several other books that I love, so I feel obligated to give it a try. It might actually take me all of 2013 to get thorough it.
  5. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck – One of those works of literature I can reference, and fake it enough to sound like I've read it, so I feel like I should end the charade and read the book. 
  6. War & Peace/ Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – I've read a few of the other big names in Russian literature, but I've missed out on Tolstoy. I'll be happy if I make it through one, both may be pushing it.
  7. Dracula – Bram Stoker – Another one I'm worried about finishing, mostly because I tend not to enjoy epistolary- style novels. Case in point – I love the play and the movie version of Dangerous Liaisons, I do not enjoy the source novel nearly as much. Plus, I read so many other books that involve vampires, I feel I have to read the one that started it all.
  8. Vanity Fair – William Thackeray – This one I'm genuinely looking forward to reading. Becky Sharp has always sounded like a heroine I can get behind and enjoy, this list just gives me the push to make the time to read her story.
  9. Don Quixote – Cervantes – Another one I feel really bad about having missed. I would like to work some aspects of Cervantes and this book into the show I write, so this one is a priority.
  10. King John – Shakespeare – One of the Bard's I haven't read. My main motivation for reading it would be to really throw off a future cast of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), because I will see that play again, and I want to test their improv skills.
  11. The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baron Orczy – Makes the list entirely because it serves as the framework for one of my favorite episodes of Black Adder the Third
That seems like a decent start to my 2013 reading list. I'm hoping to read at least one new book a week, so I just need to pick 41 more to round out the year. I'm also hoping to post here at least once a week, so be sure to check back regularly! 

 *What? That's a thing. Oh, and go read his blog, it's awesome.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Festivus!

After spending eight hours performing feats of strength involving carrying heavy kitchen things,  I've decided it's time for the traditional Airing of Grievances. (What? It's part of Festivus.) Keep in mind that these are just my grievances from today. Some of them will become longer posts later, but here they are, in short form, and in no particular order:
  • It is December 23. You will have to wait in a line for a little bit. We are going to be sold out of a lot of stuff. Learn to deal with it or next year, shop early.
  • Seven separate transactions on the same credit card, going to the same place...can you really not do the math and figure out how much 6- $1 cookie cutters would be?
  • Hey lazy co-worker- perhaps if I'm dealing with the line of 20 angry shoppers, you could walk your happy ass around the counter and get whatever it is you needed on your own.  Maybe while you're back there you could help out with the giant line.
  • Oh, and smelly co-worker- Shower. Wash your clothes. And if you “accidentally” touch the side of my breast one more time I will “accidentally” kick you in the balls.
  • Finally, both previously mentioned co-workers- maybe don't use that misogynistic, patronizing tone of voice with me while I'm holding a 10-inch chef's knife.
  • We do not owe you gift wrap.
  • I'm tired of teaching grown-ups how to line up properly.
  • If you refuse to pay full price for anything, you cannot demand that we give you extra stuff for free.
  • You are not special, and the rules apply to you. (I don't like rule-breakers, especially when it applies to lines and parking. It's one of the reasons my friend calls me Liz Lemon*)
  • Your time constraints are not my fault, nor are they my responsibility. They are also not an excuse to bully other customers.
  • We do not OWE you gift wrap.
  • If your purse costs more than my car you cannot complain about how “expensive” the items you wish to purchase are.
  • If it doesn't have a sale sticker on it, is not located in the sale section or under a sale sign, chances are it's not on sale. Quit asking me about EVERY SINGLE ITEM.
  • Nothing in the cooking store is designed to be used as a massager. Stop rubbing the pastry tools on yourself.
  • That coffee machine costs $3000. You are an adult. Stop pushing all the buttons just to see what it will do unless you have $3000 to buy the coffee machine you just broke.
  • We DO NOT OWE YOU gift wrap.
  • Please and thank you are still very important words. Use them often.
  • Get off your phone if you want my help.
  • Retail clerks are human people with feelings and thoughts. We are also dealing with Christmas stress. And yelling at me won't change anything about the situation except that you made someone else's day that much worse. I hope it made you feel better about things. (That's a lie. I hope you step on a Lego.)
  • Snapping or whistling is how you get an animal's attention, not a human's.
  • Don't throw your cash/credit card at me. I might be tempted to throw it back.
  • It shouldn't surprise you that you have to pay, have your form of payment ready when you get to the front of the line.
  • If we give you an extra discount or something for free, the correct response is “Thank You” not “What else can you give me?”
That's all for today.  One more day and then the traditional post-work holiday drinking can commence. SERENITY NOW!

*I couldn't find a decent clip of the opening :45 seconds of the 30 Rock pilot.  If you aren't already watching this show a) What is wrong with you? and b) Go watch the pilot right now.  I am Liz Lemon.  I will buy all the hot dogs.