One of the most frequent questions that we get (besides "how much is the candy?" and "why is everything so expensive? I think I'll need to do a post about the latter question some other time) is "Do you have more of [insert whatever ridiculous thing they want] in the back?" The question comes in a variety of forms:
"Do you have other sizes of this shirt in the back?"
"This $5 statue is the only one left on the shelf, you know, that empty shelf over there. Do you have more in the back?"
"You don't have a personalized necklace with my daughter's name out on this rack. Could you check in the back? Her name is Ermengarde. While you're back there could you check for my nephew Atticus too."
I realize that you have a desire to get the perfect souvenir for yourself or your children. I do not understand this desire, but I realize that it is out there. Can I tell you where most of the souvenirs that I got as child are? No, I can not. I really have no idea. I do know where my wax mold and pressed penny collections are. Those are significantly cheaper. Just saying. Anyway, I realize you want to buy something as close to perfect as possible, but do you really think that I have a secret stash of merchandise in the stock room for just this kind of souvenir emergency? That would require work. Like extra work. I don't do that. Also, that is extremely silly. Merch 101 teaches us that if it's not on the sales floor, it can not be sold and if it is not sold that makes managers cry.
But because I want to make the customer happy, I cheerfully reply that I will check in the back. Sometimes I even volunteer to check in the back for something. I do this because I want a break from the sales floor. In the back, I am away from screaming children and rude adults on cell phones and people who spill food and drinks in my store and it is wonderful. I welcome this escape from the level of hell that Dante was too afraid to write about. Here's exactly what I do when I tell you that I'll check in the back:
- I go into the stock room.
- If someone else is back there on lunch or something, I talk to them.
- I may ask them if they have seen what I'm looking for or I might tell them that I am looking for something that I know we don't have.
- I eat a snack.
- I go to the bathroom if need be.
- I give it the old college try (and yes, I do attend college even though you think I am an idiot) and look on a shelf.
- I return empty handed sporting my best "hey at least I tried" look.
Have I mentioned lately that I hate you and your children? Cause I do.