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Out-Of-Work Borders Employees Deliver an Honest Farewell

| 29 Sep 2011 19:49
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Employees at a Borders bookstore took the company's looming demise as an opportunity to bid farewell to their customers with an outburst of brutal honesty.

The number-one reason why retail jobs suck isn't the lousy hours, the crappy pay or the clueless management. It's the customers. Some of them are warm rays of sunshine, but a great many others are rude, snarky irritants who are completely obvious to anything but their own selfish, superficial needs. Yeah, I spent a lot of years in retail too, so I know what it's like, and I know that sometimes the only thing that holds it all together is the dream of the day - The Last Day - when we can finally let it all hang out.

For most of us, it remains a dream forever, but the employees at one of the many Borders stores that recently shut down decided not to let the opportunity slip away. Politely, but with firm resolve, the staff waved goodbye with a big list of "Things We Never Told You," a blast of cathartic honesty that won't change a thing but probably made a few people feel just a wee bit better about losing their jobs.

Some personal favorites:

  • "We greatly dislike the phrase 'quick question.' It's never true. And everyone seems to have one."
  • "Most of the time when you returned books, you read them already - and we were on to you."
  • "It never bothered us when you threatened to shop at Barnes & Noble. We'd rather you do if you're putting up a stink."
  • "We were never a daycare. Letting your children run free and destroy our kids section destroyed a piece of our souls."
  • "When you walked in and immediately said, 'I'm looking for a book,' what you really meant to say is, 'I would like you to find me a book.' You never looked. It's fine, that's our job, but let's be correct about what's really happening here."

Here's the whole thing:

If it comes across as a little bitter, odds are you've never worked in retail before, because those of you who have are probably admiring the polite restraint it shows. And that's what makes the reactions to this message so interesting: customers see employees exposing their true colors, while employees see it as an opportunity to finally speak the truth about their customers.

The real truth is that the vast majority of retail encounters are smooth, painless and instantly forgotten, but it's the ugly ones that tend to stick with us. So while our perspectives may be skewed, odds are that yours are too; thus, on behalf of low-paid, downtrodden, disrespected retail employees around the world, I'd like to take a moment to say, well played, good sirs and ladies. Well played indeed.

Source: The Consumerist

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