28th Dec2006

Christmas Crazies

by Will

“Honey, why you callin’ me so late?”

I love Christmas, but I hate Christmas retail. Here’s an exchange I had at “The ‘R Us” the other day.

Old Man: Excuse, me…um…I’m looking for…umm…what is it called?

Me: *eyeing him with annoyed look on my face*

Old Man: *fumbles with phone* Let me just call…I can’t remember what that thing is called…Can you wait just one second for me?

Me: Well, actually, I REALLY need to go to the bathroom.

Old Man: Good! Me, too!

Me: Yeah, let’s not continue this there…

The sad thing is, had I not said that, I’m pretty sure he would have carried the conversation into the bathroom. He DID follow me, but i went into a stall. We had a comedic moment at the sink as we both needed to wash our hands. Exited said bathroom, and the conversation continued as if the urinary interlude had never occurred. And it was just as awkward as it sounds…

20th Nov2006

Where The Bratz At?!

by Will

“Welcome to the layer cake, son.”

So, it’s been awhile. Not gonna talk about the main job yet, but I will say that I’ve gone back to Toys R Us for the holidays. Not sure if I’m going to stay on, but it’s certainly as surprising to me as it is to you. The other day, I was telling someone that I feel like an old, grizzled cop when I put on that uniform. The whole sense of, “You don’t know how many times I’ve looked in the mirror and said ‘Never Again!’.” But, as with any retail job, the crappiest part is the customers.

Back at my old TRU, it was pretty ghetto, and that sucked. But this TRU is in Columbia, known for is affluence. For those of you who read “Gatsby”, it’s very “new money”. But I’ll go a step further than that. It’s essentially White trash who have somehow come into money. You know, contractors who charge too much for work, or the final season of Roseanne where they won the lottery. Butterface trophy wives of Redskins and the lot. Yeah, by switching stores, I went from hair weaves to Nascar quicker than I thought humanly possible.

Well, every Christmas, regardless of store or location, I have the same archnemesis: the Black mother. And why is she my nemesis? Well, she’s upset because she can’t find the Black version of the hottest toy of the season. Be it Amazing Amanda, Cabbage Patch, or even Holiday Barbie, she wants the Black doll. Now, what Mrs. Black Mother doesn’t seem to understand is that she is chasing the niche of a niche. Not only does she want the hot toy, but she wants a variant of the hot toy. I’m sorry, sweetie, but they don’t allocate them equally.

Now, I can see her position, but I really just don’t care. Yes, I know that’s callous. And maybe my views will change if I have daughters. Sure, these women want their children to have toys that represent them. A toy to help solidify their sense of identity. Something to instill racial pride. And this is all admirable. This is also all bullshit.

Toys only have that effect if you reinforce it. If you point out to a child that this doll is different, and make that your sole focus, then they will manifest that and you have achieved your goal of racializing “play”. But if you just give them a toy, and let them sort it out, it ain’t that deep. IF the child asks, “Mommy, why doesn’t this doll have hair like me?” then you might even have the chance to establish a dialogue as to people’s differences. But just because you get Tashiba a white Barbie, it doesn’t mean that she’s gonna go out and join the Republican party and buy a Volvo.

I always hate these mothers because they take it out on ME. Like I was the one who ordered all of the White dolls. The other day, I told a chick to write a letter if she was so mad. What I’d love to see, though, is a White parent ask for a White doll of a predominantly Black line. I’d love for some soccer mom to come in and ask, “Do you have any…White Bratz?”(editor’s note: these DO exist, but people never really ask for them)

The funny thing to me, though, is the way that these encounters always play out. First of all, I will watch these mothers walk past several White employees just to get to me. And even after they’ve gone out of their way to find “a black guy”, a “brotha” a safe harbor of sorts, they still can’t be forthcoming with me. So, that’s when I have some fun.

They’ll approach me and ask, “Where are the Barbie’s?” And of course, this is while we’re IN the freakin’ Barbie aisle!

“Umm..they’re all around you, ma’am.”

And that’s when she’ll reply, “No, the other Barbies. You ain’t got no other dolls?”

Loving where this is going, I’ll ask, “Well, what kind of other dolls are you talking about?”

And this is the kicker, and they ALL do this, she’ll ask, “You ain’t got no ***** dolls?” Now, let me explain here. This is when she says “Black”, but she doesn’t actually say it. She mouths it. It’s kinda like those Cingular commercials about the dropped calls. As if to say that we can’t let The Man hear about our plaything plotting.

And at this point, I have a myriad of responses, ranging from the polite: “No, ma’am. Those are always the first to go.” to the obnoxious: “No ma’am, it seems that the toy companies just don’t really like Black people.” Yes, I HAVE said that. And I lived to tell about it.

At this point, regardless of what I say or how I say it, she erupts with, “I don’t want no White doll! Why they think I want a white doll?” And if I’m lucky, this tirade ends with a “Where the Bratz at?”

Now, don’t get me started on Bratz. Sure, these women are upset that there aren’t enough Black Barbie’s, but I feel it is a FAR worse crime to fill that hole with a Bratz doll. Sure, that shit is popular, but it’s the minstrel show of toys. If you’re afraid of toys giving your child a poor self image, then you sure as Hell shouldn’t be bying them Bratz. I mean, the name alone. It’s like they’re trying to reclaim the term or something. A “brat” is a BAD thing. Not something endearing. And there’s a reason there are no Black people in anime. You know why? Because they’d look like fucking Bratz! God, those dolls are HIDEOUS! And ignorant.

The other night, I saw a talking Bratz doll on the shelf, and just to test a theory, I pressed the button. Do you know what that plastic bitch said to me?

“Like, have you ever had a bad hair day?”

Huh? I HATE those trifling things, but they’re just as popular as ever. But the only people who buy them are ghetto Black people and ashamed White people. It’s true. I actually enjoy watching the disparity. As I said before, A Black family will come in, all, “Where the Bratz at?” And Woo! You get them to that aisle, and they can’t spend that welfare check quickly enough. But the White families approach me just like the Black mom looking for Barbie. I’ll get a White women who kinda looks down, or can’t really make eye contact. She’ll sheepishly ask to be pointed in the direction of the Bratz stuff. Yesterday, I had a dad who just looked exhausted. He said that their daughter was crazy about the stuff and she made them redo her bedroom in Bratz decor. First off, only a White guy would say “Our daughter made us do so-and-so.” And he looked so forlon and ashamed. All I could muster was a “I’m so sorry for you. Hopefully, she’ll grow out of that phase soon.”

So, in closing, if you want a Black doll, do the talking with your wallet. Don’t buy White Barbie, but don’t buy Bratz either. Hold out until something comes along to your liking, but don’t just jump on the first ethnic thing to come along. Buying your kid a Bratz doll is far more degrading than having to watch her as she combs Barbie’s long, blonde hair. And if you’re THAT mad about it, write a letter. Hell, start your own toy company. Maybe Michael Richards will even donate some of his Seinfeld money to help you get started (Man, that reference is gonna be SO dated when I re-read this in a year!). But don’t shoot the messenger because I actually know where the Black doll bodies are buried.

I don’t even know what that means, but I felt the need to go out on a strong note. And I think this exposition just killed any attempt at that. Seacrest, out!

04th Dec2005

When You Go To A Toy Store, Dress Like There Might Be Kids Present!

by Will

“Don’t be fooled by my little green car and my White girl hair!”

Yay for stealing wifi from the neighbors! Nothing sounds sweeter than “free”!

So, here’s a story that happened to me on “Black Friday”. I was working Toys R Us, and I notice this 30 yr-old goth looking chick. Now, first off, if you’re 30 and STILL a goth, something’s wrong with you. You should’ve grown out of that shit by then. But I digress.

She’s looking like she just walked out of Hot Topic, with her parachute-strappy black pants and her black, screen printed tee. Well, I look closely to see what’s on that shirt, and in large, red letters, it says “MASTURBATION ROCKS”. And the back says, “BDSM”.

Now, keep in mind, this is Toys R Us, the day after Thanksgiving. I mean, come on! I can only imagine how many minivan conversations took place that night, beginning with, “Mommy, what’s mastur…masturba…what’s that word, Mommy?” I know there’s freedom of speech and all that, but it seemed like a cry for attention. I felt like we were supposed to say something, so she could go all “1st amendment” on us. I was gonna say something like, “Nice shirt”, but I didn’t want to play into it.

But she really wanted attention. Kept asking me questions about shit she knew we didn’t have. But I guess I didn’t give her what she was looking for, because I walked away, leaving her frowning and empty-handed.

We all had a good laugh at her expense when she left. And we thought that would be the end of it. Until she came in again the next morning. But no, she wasn’t wearing the shirt again. This time, she wanted to show off the rack that had been under the shirt, but that’s another story…

13th Nov2005

There Hasn’t Been A New Christmas Song In About 15 Years

by Will

“Nobody wants a ‘Charlie in the Box’.”

So, I recently returned to my former part-time work at Toys “R” Us. Why? Because I need the money. But I felt like a sell-out going back, seeing as how I swore I never would. Anyways, life’s a ‘yatch sometimes. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about the fact that TRU’s radio has switched over to non-stop Christmas music and it makes me wanna blow my brains out.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas music. I was almost a Christmas baby. But I can’t deal with the music continuously. Why? Because they’re all the same song. In all honesty, there hasn’t been a Christmas song to make a dent in recent pop culture since Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. Prior to that, it was all that jazz about Grandma and the reindeer. My point is that the Christmas music industry is a big pissing contest. A sense of “Who can alter ‘O Holy Night’ the most?” And most Christmas songs are like the National Anthem: Yeah, it’s your time to shine, but the more you mess with it, the worse it’s going to sound.

It all goes back to “The Christmas Song”. I want to bring up a little reverse affirmitive action here. Everyone talks about Elvis stealing music from Blacks, but we did it, too. “The Christmas Song” is a Mel Torme song, but most people don’t realize it since you can’t scratch your balls in December without it sounding like Nat King Cole singing that blasted ditty.

It just comes down to the realization that “Christmas song” and “originality” can never be used in the same sentence. They are all the same. So, unless you’ve got an original song, I don’t wanna hear it. Something about Santa and Jesus saving the world from Nazi aliens on Christmas Eve. Now, THAT’s original.

25th Dec2004

It’s From “White Christmas”…

by Will

“God bless the mister

who comes ‘tween me

and my sister.

And God bless the sister

who comes ‘tween me and my man!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!! 🙂

19th Dec2004

Mommy Looks Like Grimace

by Will

“I am Colin: god of sex!”

First off, I’d like to thank Karlos, for he’s the only person playing my little Christmas quote game. He’s good. I’ve gotten two e-mails from him already. Any of y’all can join in. It ain’t like it’s rocket science! Anydangways…

So, my mom’s in this nouveau cult called the Red Hats. Apparently, a bunch of old broads over 50 get together for social functions etc. There are a couple of guidelines, such as they must wear purple dresses along with their red hats. The whole organization’s like an old-head sorority. There are different chapters, and some are a lot more distinguished than others. At the moment, she’s kinda disappointed because her chapter isn’t exactly “up to par”. She feels as if she’s slumming, but a good friend from work invited her. Regardless, she’s currently scouting better, more well-to-do chapters to join. My point? Well, there’s a funny story here.

Today, getting ready for church, I noticed she had on the purple dress, and I HATE that dress. It’s SO unflattering. So, I told her she looked like Grimace. Yup, “what-in-the-world-is-he-’cause-Mcdonald’s-doesn’t-serve-anything-purple” Grimace. Dismayed, she asked, “Couldn’t you have at least said ‘Barney’?”

“Nope,” I replied. “See, you’ve got a teardrop shape going on, kinda like an eggplant. And that’s PURE Grimace.”

But it gets better: I made a song out of it. The following is sung to the tune of Nat King Cole’s Christmas song, “Caroling”.

Caroling, caroling through the town

Mommy looks like Grimace

Caroling, caroling up and down

Mommy looks like Grimace

With her red shoes, hat, and coat

She will run just like a goat

Ding, Dong

Ding, Dong

Mommy looks like Grimace

Hey, I thought it was funny…

13th Dec2004

A Whole Bunch Of H&M Shit You Don’t Care About & The Return of Natalie

by Will

“Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free.”

Seeing as how it’s the holiday season, from now until Christmas, I’m going to start each day’s post with a quote from one of my favorite Christmas movies. Try to guess this movie; I dare ya!

For you newcomers, my friend & archnemesis, Tarek Sultani AKA “The Singing Bush”, has decided to wage a cybernetic war against me. At first, I laughed at his feeble attempts. But, I’ve got to admit: the bastard’s funny! Plus, I read on his site that my own girlfriend has joined his ranks in pursuit of my downfall!! Pretty soon, this blog is going to turn into my daily account of how they “almost got me”!

By the way, Jenn’s not dead. OR James has found a way to post to Jenn’s site AS Jenn. Either way, I’m still suspicious…

Now, down to the nitty-gritty.

I hate my job. Yes, i’ve said this before, and I know some of you are thinking, “Wow, it’s been awhile since a good ‘I hate my job’ post was on this site!” Well, here it is. Yeah, training was a hoot, and I LOVED the Doubletree, but as many of you know, I HATE CHANGE. When I came back to my store, it was like someone had recast my entire show! People were missing, people were leaving. Didn’t really like the new people. It was one big fashion-retail clusterfuck!

The old faithful sales assts are hitting the road, while all of these new colorful characters are coming out of the woodwork. PLUS, we’ve got new managers. Now, sales assts are one thing, but managers are in charge. These are people I HAVE to listen to.

As for the new department managers, the great, underrated Elvis hit, “In the Ghetto” comes to mind. I mean, when the Hell did H&M become Job Corps? Every time I come to work, I expect metal detectors and a surprise visit from my parole officer! By the day, I’m losing more and more respect for H&M’s current hiring practices.

OK, I’m being a snob….but it’s deserved! My main problem is that these chicks are coming here, not even trying to learn how we do things. Instead, they wanna shake shit up, without having a strong foundation. “Frankie says ‘relax’.” They really need to be “watchers” before they become “doers”

Now, remember how i got a promotion? Well, apparently, so did some other guy. New to the company. Seems like they double-booked the position. So, we both have it, which seriously affected my raise because it limited our budget. Either way, I have a partner, and this ain’t “Lethal Weapon”! There’s no buddy-cop vibe here. In fact, they schedule us at different times so there’ll be no real confrontation. Which sucks because we do the same tasks in completely different ways. We’re gonna spend most of our shifts cleaning up after each other . I knew about this guy when he finished training. I was told, “Oh, he’s just gonna fill in until you finish your training.,” I knew it was too good to be true. Smelled fishier than a Taiwanese whore (wow…). So, I get back to my store, and they’re like , “Yeah…Kevin’s coming back next week.” This puzzled me until I just kinda forgot about it. Then, this morning happened.

Yolanda came in and said, “We have 2 ‘new’ people coming back today.”

“Who are they?”

“Oh, Kevin…the other admin. And Natalie.”

Yup, you read that correctly. That star of MANY a summer’s blog returned to work today. Does that bother me? No. I’m am doing OK, and I couldn’t explain that whole saga if you asked me to. You’ve gotta admit: it WAS good readin’. Other than that, that’s all I got. So, no, it’s no big deal. But it WAS the most awkward day that I’ve had in some time. Having to deal with Natalie and Kevin on the same day…I was having a SERIOUS “case of the Mondays”.

So, I also learned that on top of the new admin responsibilities, I’m STILL the Sr. Sales Asst in the Men’s Dept! How the fuck am I supposed to do all of this? I’ll BET Kevin’s making the same thing I am, and he’s not got all this shit to worry about. I LOVE the Mens Dept. i do. Honestly, I miss the days of simply running racks and dealing with JAP-bitch customers. Plus, did I mention that one of the hoodrats is my new Men’s manager? I haven’t had a Dept. Manager in 6 months!!!! That dept was MINE. No interference. it was a fucking Free Zone. Now, I have to answer to someone I don’t even respect?!! I’m sorry, as long as this chick says “Aks” instead of “Ask”, I can’t look at her with a straight face. “Let me aks you sump’n.” HAhaha…see what i mean? She even makes me e-laugh! This is gonna be a LONG winter. I don’t know how much longer I can take this. I’m worth more than this. Not even in a “spiritual” sense. Economically, I’m WORTH more than this!!! I’m not money hungry, but eventually you have to call a spade a spade. Very confused and lost… I leave you with the great Sam Cooke:

“It’s been a long
long time comin’
But I know
A change’s gone come
Oh, yes it will.”

17th Sep2003

I Also Miss Juvenile Sales…

by Will

“Lionel Kiddie City turns a frown… upside down!”

Boy, do I miss that! Christmas is right around the corner, folks.

23rd Jul2003

Maybe A Dingo Ate Your Fiance

by Will

As if I didn’t already hate the Beach Boys, the annoying girl in the office just professed her love for them. Rather, it was phrased, “Oh my God, do you have more Beach Boys? You know their song, ‘Little St. Nick’ that they only play on oldies radio stations around Christmas? That song is SO CUTE. My boyfriend’s family love that song and they used to play it all the time.” I swear this girl is out to prove she’s a hetero girl. Everytime I turn around, it’s “My boyfriend, my boyfriend”. She’s so overkill about it. She’s always talking about how her exes won’t answer her when she IMs them. Ok, we get it! You’ve had boyfriends. From an HD perspective, she hasn’t had very many or else she wouldn’t talk about them all the damn time! Instead, she’d realize that we don’t give two shits about them or her history with them. She’s starting to sound like the Seinfeld episode where the woman keeps going on about her fiance. “Where’s my fiance? Where could he have gone?” Finally, Elaine answers, “Maybe a dingo ate your fiance.” Well, I wish a dingo would eat this chick’s boyfriend, as well as her annoying ass.

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