Friday, April 3, 2009

A PSA for Museum Goers Everywhere.

Hello, it's me -- your local museum gift shop employee. How are you doing today? If you need any help, just let me know! Until then, I'll be sitting at the register watching your lovable little brat manhandle everything in the store.

Yes, pumpkin, that keychain does make noise. Oh, you want to try it out? Awesome! Yeah it's a "crazy horse". Fun right? Oh check it -- we also have a "mad cow" and a "crazy pig" too! Oh wow, you've got such musical talent, you've got all 20 going at once now. Isn't Mommy proud? Of course she's going to giggle, let you do your thing, look at me and say "I bet that never gets old!" like it's some kind of inside joke. Nope. Never! Last weekend the boy scouts were here -- 12 crazy horses, 9 mad cows, and and 14 crazy pigs in a fifteen minute time frame. But who's counting? And Mommy doesn't buy a single keychain after your little symphony....of course not.

Oh, and dear frazzled Scout Troop Mom (or...whatever) your leadership skills are divine. About as awesome as my mind reading abilities when you scream from the back of the store "HOW MUCH IS THIS?!?!" while I am ringing up another customer. There's these nifty price tags on every item! Sweet, huh? Maybe some detective work on your part could be of use? Oh, and letting your entire troop run wild, eating candy they haven't paid for while you loudly proclaim that our prices are like thievery...well, lady, until your troop pays for those candy sticks, you've got a little band of thieves running around my store. When I ask you (quite politely considering your overworked mom act is grinding my nerves like a supersize piece of sand paper) to please refrain from allowing the children to eat before paying in the future, I would greatly appreciate it as would other store workers across the country, please don't get huffy with me that you paid for 12 fourteen cent candy sticks and you know you didn't get that many -- you did not pay for two $1.00 lollipops that made their way out of the store in the hands of your troop.

Oh, Miss This-Is-Price-Gouging, I haven't forgotten you! Firstly, let me point out that this is a museum gift shop -- notorious for overpriced knick-knacks as all MGSs are. You saw that cookbook for $7.95 and now it's $20.95? Three choices A) you are a liar, B) There was a sale, or C) The nifty fluctuating economy. See, the economy does this thing where it goes up and down like the tide, or the temperature, or Oprah's weight. Sometimes things get more expensive over time. It happens. I would like to point out that we don't price our cookbooks based on thickness, pictures, or quality of recipe. Considering that we order that volume directly from the author, I can guarantee that she is that proud of her work. No, I do not have the authority to sell it to you at $7.50. Cost is $17.95. No, I'm not selling it to you for that either. Sure, hang around mumbling until five minutes before close, scare off other customers, bitch me out, and but the book anyway. Me: 1, You: 0.

Now it's time for Mr. I'm-Better-Than-You. Yes, you and your wife have awesome clothes, matching Louis Vuitton wallets and pay for a $1 bottle of water with a $100 bill. Just because you are obviously successful does not mean you get to ask what I make "doing this shindig" or offer to tip me to "help make ends meet". You sir are a pompous a-hole. Let me clue you in -- most people who work in MGSs fall into two chief demos: older ladies who don't actually need to work and college students. So, sir, while I might currently be living a penniless existence that my boss liked to say means I am "poorer than a churchmouse but still can't get foodstamps". In a few short months, I'll be off in a career with a kickass reference from my boss. I suggest that instead of just writing a check as community service (if you even do that), you go out and do something for the people you obviously delight in demeaning. Maybe you'll gain a little perspective and compassion, which is worth way more than your bank account.

And of course you, person who cruises in at 4:45, handles everything until 5:05 (we close at five!) and then cruises out again without buying anything. You spin me into a dimension of pissed off I can't even begin to describe. Not only do you keep me late, you also keep our security guards who can't leave until I have finished closing. Thanks from them!

Other things I have no control over:
  • the hours of the museum
  • the hours of the store
  • the museum exhibits
  • the weather
  • not sounding like a hick despite that book saying all Texans do.
  • your credit card being declined.
  • the register crashing.
Of course, I've met some awesome people too.
  • All the folks from the Pitchfork and the Sixes -- especially Linda who has always been a total sweetheart to me.
  • The deaf couple and their adorable son who LOVES trains!
  • The alumni who come in on game days and talk smack with the visiting team's fans.
  • The alumni who genuinely are interested in my degree and what I am doing.
  • And, of course, the two dudes from Switzerland who randomly decided to take a two week vacay and roadie from LA to Dallas to watch the Cowboys-Eagles game. Sorry, Romo still sucks!
It's people like you who make me love my job!

Lowly Museum Gift Shop Employee

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