Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Siegfried and Roy

This year for Halloween, my boss decided it would be a good idea to dress up with two of his buddies (Siegfried and Roy) and himself as the white tiger. Funny, right? Yeah, well he told his friends that they could come into the shop and I'd set them up with free rental pants for their costumes. They came, they picked up their pants, we laughed, we joked, and off they went.

Halloween weekend came and went. Good times were had by all (including everyone who came to my killer Quentin Tarantino Party-that's right, it was wicked).

Now, typically we require rentals to be returned the Monday following the event. One of the guys, I think it was Siegfried, returned on time and all was well. I expected Roy to show up late on Tuesday, but in fact he failed to come in for the next 4 days! My boss called me that Friday and asked if he had returned yet. When I told him he hadn't, he got frustrated saying, "I told him to return everything now about 5 times!" So we came up with a plan...

My boss told me that he was going to tell Roy that I was really upset about him not returning, and that I was going to charge him a pretty hefty late fee for the inconvenience. In reality, I could care less since he was my boss' good friend and he rented for free. So when he inevitably comes in, I would have to cop an attitude with him instead and act real angry. I was all for it. For some reason I always get myself caught up in practicle jokes.... I'm not complaining.

Saturday was the fateful day I expected him to come in. He finally showed his face around 3:00pm and immediately said, " do I owe you?"

Trying to keep my composure, I said, "So you finally decided to return...It's about time."

"Yeah, sorry I didn't think it would be a big deal, ya know..."

"Well it is actually. The company is charging us an astronomical late fee because you 'didn't think it was a big deal'. I've decided to give you a little break but I can't do much. The total cost will be $80.00 even."

He looks at me with the best, most terrified look and said, "Really? I had no idea..." As he reached for his wallet, I couldn't hold it in any longer. Watching me crack up laughing, he suddenly looked relieved and pissed at the same time. "So you're joking? Ok, where's John (my boss)? I want to pound him for giving me such a hard time!"

"I'm sorry! (Hahahaha) He told me to do it! (Heehehehe) He's in his office now, if you want to see him.."

"Ha! Yeah, maybe I will.....So I don't have to pay a late fee?"

"No! It was all a joke," I said, trying to make him feel better.

Moral of the story, return your tuxedo on time, and no harm (including practical jokes) will befall you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Kohler

Instead of telling tales of the customers that come into the shop, let us wander to the lives of the employees, specifically to one. Let's call her Maggie Kohler. Maggie is a die hard. She has been working at the shop for a little over 15 years and just recently put in her two weeks notice. She said to me one day, "It's my time, honey. I'm getting to old for this..."

Maggie is a very interesting old soul who sells dresses (specifically for mother of the brides). If I could describe her in a matter of words, I would say she's about a 60 year old, eccentric, fashion loving, biker chic who has also adopted the name The Kohler. She has the tendency of calling everyone "Honey" and whenever The Kohler does something funny or talks to customers at all, we all grin and say, "Well, that's the Kohler for you..."

For instance, one busy Saturday morning, The Kohler was leading a group up to the bridal department, which passes tuxedos so I could hear her commentary. The bride, thinking she would be friendly, started conversation by saying, "It's a beautiful day, isn't it?"

"Well honey, I've been inside all day, I guess I wouldn't know..."

"Oh..Umm...So...How long have you been working here?" She asked hesitantly.

"Oh Honey, I've been working here so long, I'm like one of the fixtures."

That wonderful piece of conversation was all I had the pleasure of hearing. Oh The Kohler just brings a sense of realism to customer service which seems to have disappeared over the years....sometimes I wish I could be more like her.

In short, this post is dedicated to The Kohler. I'm really going to miss her blunt comments, and tell-it-how-it-is mentality. She always liked the tuxedo department because we appreciated her funny quirks and sarcastic humor. She liked us so much that she even brought huge bags of her old shoes, purses and jewelry when we learned that she was leaving. She said that we could have what we wanted cause "it's too much stuff for an ol' lady to have." Although I'm pretty sure half the stuff was somehow stolen or on the black market at some point, I appreciated the sentiment. She even gave Lucy a pair of her most prized black, leather, Harley boots. She was touched. We were all touched. We will miss The Kohler and wish her well. Here's to you Honey.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Poor Lucy

One of my co workers, Lucy (the main character in one of my previous blogs and most likely will be again), unfortunately is a magnet for awkward or strange conversations. She is seriously the sweetest person and has wonderful customer service so I'm not quite sure of the reasoning behind her being targeted. Perhaps these specific customers feel more vulnerable around her or feel the need to say exactly what their thinking at all times...which is not always a good thing.

On this particular day, a bride came into the shop to pick out tuxedos and Lucy (being the wonderful person that she is) immediately asked her if she needed help or had any questions. Lucy continued to work with this bride answering her questions and giving advice, when the conversation naturally went to the direction of the bride's wedding dress. She was describing the dress to Lucy to get her opinion on what tuxes would look best, so Lucy asked, "Do you have a picture of it?"

"Yes! In my purse it is." Opening the folded picture of her gown so Lucy could see it.

"Oh! It's beautiful! I love your dress! If I had to buy a dress, I would totally get something like that!" Said Lucy, sincerely.

"Hmm. Someday........Someday......" Said the bride, patting Lucy on the back.

Lucy took that as, "Yeah.......if you're lucky.......chump."

Poor Lucy. She was just trying to be nice and helpful. Until next time, when Lucy get herself into another awkward situation....