The Exposure/Experience Hurdle – things I learned in retail


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It is the one word that sets adults off on ranting tangents more than any other.

Probably because of the manner in which it is drilled into them as children; The Customer is rarely “right” but they are always righteous.


They are always that mysterious person “who pays your salary”, yet does not understand the cost of service and value depends on how expensive the square footage that they are standing on.


They know your business better than you or your boss and cannot comprehend why the same rules that apply to everyone else somehow doesn’t also apply to them.

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I worked in video rental stores – The Video Station (a Mom n Pop Franchise under a Chain Banner, that had an adult section) and Tiffany’s (an all adult toy and video shop, owned by a business man who operated three stores, plus a Gas Station/Garage franchise under a national chain) – both on the Delta side of Scott Road, or rather 120th street as it is properly known, after streets became numbers and not named for the family who’s farm it once boundaried or connected into the township.

Working in a video rental store, as the clerk you often had to say no to people.

“No, you may not rent here unless you have a Visa or MC credit card.”

I got tired of saying it, so I made a sign and I would point to it and just say “Sorry, I would, but boss’ rules.”


Adults tend to obey signs. the better the lettering the more authority.

Computer Printed, not hand lettered, unless you do really nice designer arty script.

Scribes: The Origins of Bureaucracy

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So, later, when I worked in a print shop near the Courthouse in downtown Vancouver – rather than explain to clients about costs – I printed up a very nice sign that ran down the prices – and also demonstrated some of the font elements that people could order on business or letterheads…


There was a The Man customer demanding to only pay $2.00 for a colour laser copy rather than the $3.50 per page that was posted and challenging me with don’t give me any of that machine quality jazz because it was the same machine out at UBC.

I smiled and said “You’re right, it’s not the machine quality, but the cost of the floor tiles the machine is sitting on. Cost recovery for a Government Subsidized and Tuition funded Student Union office and a small private business in the downtown core is a different model.”

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I invited him if he only wanted to pay the $2.00, that he could either drive the 45 mins in peak mid day traffic and good luck finding parking, avoiding a parking ticket to get his copy; or her could take this or that bus avoid the parking hassle in favour of a 90 mins of travel stopping every other block to let people off and on.

Or, to avoid all that, for the price of that same bus ticket plus $2.00, he could have the same copy here and now.

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Choices, you are free to shop where and whenever you please, eh.

Don’t go away mad, just go away.


Unlike many countries, we do not do haggling at the counter in Canada. We tend to not bust each other’s chops over matters in the workplace not in the span of control of the person who is doing the front line work.

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Vancouver BC Canada is Trying to Europe Up – I expect the downtown core will soon be pedal power – bikes, boards or rollerblades, pedestrians, wheelchairs morphed into scooters and everything except privately owned cars, but drivers and property owners are gonna be funding it.

Even though bicycles could be better managed by license and insurance, less theft and better tracking, plus being accountable for all the accidents they cause driving as they do, and then away from scenes that they are responsible for, but the cars get all the blame.

I think that Adults over the age of 50 – and I am not yet 50, so I do not benefit from this – but adults over 50 should be able to drink and smoke what they want as long as they do so in a way that doesn’t impact others. moderation.


America and Canada has certainly extended childhood beyond all previous limitations, given the givens of actuarial tables, the demands of respective societies and the stages of life that are given ceremony.

16 you drive a car

18 you vote and

18-21 varies, you get to drink booze and smoke

legal age of consent laws vary, and the separation of degree of family relation, gender and age variation is just bizarre what has been regulated where none need be, other than to protect vulnerable from exploitation in power imbalance scenarios.

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so perhaps a mid life reward, you get to sit at a public pretty place and have a wine o clock or a fave drag n puff. When you are 50.

Because, childhood is for having the purest fun. Teens are your mischief risky age when your grasp still exceeds your abilities, 20s are when you start to grow up and then the 30s and 40 are whatever your opportunities made of and then there’s supposed to be some work and life balance where there is a thing called leisure time, time away from duties and chores.

I am pretty sure that that is a myth from the Before Time.. the Dawn of Television, where the creation of “inside” really began developing…

television-history-timeline television-120604

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1 Response to The Exposure/Experience Hurdle – things I learned in retail

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