Grace for Your Calling
April 1, 2013
Vacationer or Dweller?
April 2, 2013

An Observer’s Observations

mannequin 700x400The nervous clerk unlocked the front doors and ran for her life as the crowd stampeded into the store. They came in like frenzied football fans pouring onto the field after the huge upset. All the employees who survived the initial onslaught took cover behind their cash registers as the patrons madly grabbed anything that had a sale tag attached to it. So would go the Spring Sale at Pringle’s Department Store.

They just moved him to the Sporting Goods department. With everything 50% to 70% off, sale days always tried every clerk’s patience until nerve endings were raw. As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” People did the funniest things and some fought over the dumbest stuff. One clerk was ready to call security when two men began fighting over baseball bats. A couple of calming words ensured them that there were more in back if needed.

It was amazing how normal people would turn into rude, screaming maniacs over the possibility of saving some money. They didn’t even care if the prices were a little higher before being marked down. At least they thought they were saving 50%.

Oh no, here comes a kid eating a caramel apple. They should know that there is no food allowed in here. Oh good, intercepted by Linda the Department Manager. The parent is yelling something at her. Linda now has a caramel apple stuck in her hand and is heading for the trash can.

The noise level in here must be up near the sound of jet engines taking off. It sounds like a large chicken coop with all the chickens clucking at once. It’s not even organized chaos; it’s just chaos in the first degree.

That big stack of baseball gloves over there is half-gone or is it more positive to say there is only half a stack left. There are a few on the floor and nobody is bothering to pick them up. People are just kicking them around. Oh good, Bobbie is going to pick them up but she’s taking a quite a jostling in trying to do so. Oops, hope she didn’t get hurt. No, it doesn’t look like it. She’s dusting off her backside and her face is red from embarrassment. No, that was from anger because she said something to the woman who bumped her. Oh, that wasn’t nice.

This is undoubtedly the longest day of the year and every employee will be glad when it’s over. Of course, the owner doesn’t have to deal with swarms of humanity crawling all over his store. He’s probably at the beach and doesn’t even have his cell phone with him. No, there he is, up in the office, looking out the window that oversees the main floor. He looks happy. He should look happy; the cash registers are getting a workout.

Now is not the time to think of what all could go wrong. If the server goes down, pandemonium would break out in the midst of this chaos. That might be fun to see but not for all these clerks. That would be especially true for old Miss Trudy who has been here since this store opened some 40 years ago. Retirement could start at any moment. She just keeps her same steady pace no matter what is going on around her. A few impatient people are saying something about hurrying up, but they should know nothing is going to hurry Trudy. She has one speed—slow. However, that speed has made her employee of the month so many times. She never makes a mistake, never comes up short, or for that matter never has an overage. She’s meticulously counting out the change for the sale she just rang up.

They finally announced the store is closing and have rounded up the last person, quickly ushering her out the doors and then locking them. The employees all shouted and headed for the back exit. The custodians are coming in now with their brooms. Overall, it’s been quite a day.

A Supervisor taps a custodian on the shoulder. “Hey, this mannequin goes back to Storage. Take his clothes off and haul him down to the basement.”

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