Saturday, February 20, 2010




: inhabiting or growing among rocks

i have worked a total of eleven christmases in retail:

1999 - JoAnn Fabrics
2000 - Best Price Fashions
2001 - The Pastry Gourmet
2002-2005 - Guitar Center
2006-Present - Whole Foods

after being somewhat seasoned in this tradition, i started to notice similarities among the behaviors of patrons during the holiday season. in addition to the bitter and impatient, the greedy and rude, there is a good selection of folks who really seem like they haven't left the house in a year. these people arrive disheveled and confused, always with wads of cash like they haven't yet been educated on the wonders of credit. they don't want to shop—they just want to be led directly to the product they have in mind but are often inarticulate and cannot describe what they really need.

it was just a chocolate cake. i don't know. no, not that one. it was bigger. no, it didn't have that white stuff. or a flower. i'm sure i got it here last year. i don't understand why you guys don't just have it. it was just a chocolate cake.

they look frustrated and almost pained during this process, usually resting two hands on the top of the counter, one sweaty with the mound of loose bills. when i finally get them what they want, or something that can at least compensate, they walk off, shaking their heads, reminding themselves why they never leave the house.

and what do i say about the holidays? the time of year when everyone decides to crawl out from under their rock.

i think this phrase came from my mother. insinuating that this demographic remains SAXICOLOUS is admittedly judgmental, suggesting a lack of civilization. this leads to me believe that i would consider myself civilized in comparison. in this sense, civilization embodies social skills, something these people lack due to infrequency of use. i like to think that i am fairly versed in social interaction, especially transactions of this variety, since i have been on both sides.

i do not want to confuse the term civilized with well-bred, which i am not. if i were i probably would not be working christmases in retail.

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