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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

We Could Always Motivate Our Employees By Treating Them With Respect And Paying Them Well. Nah

Every once in a great while I get disconsolate about these here Intertunnels. A contest to see who can be the stupidest gets old fast. Nothing much seems genuine. I have every expectation that this video is genuine, don’t get me wrong; but the Intertunnel’s interest in it will not be because it’s good. It’s because it’s very, very, bad.

When you worship the gods of bad and stupid, this sort of thing is what emerges from the tail end of pop culture’s alimentary canal.  Either you’re savvy, and understand that your employees won’t respond to anything serious if it’s presented in a serious way, or you’re a dullard, and think you’re hip because you’re immune to just how lame-o you appear. Either way, you’re not Dale Carnegie.

Or maybe you are. Fish don’t get to swim in the water they desire. They must swim in the water they’re in, or perish. I imagine that it’s deuced difficult to make a living these days selling trinkets to the natives anywhere in the US. There is, literally, not one item in that store that I’d keep if it was given to me. Purchasing anything is out of the question. The owner of the store has to figure out how to get his employees on board with his scheme to sell this dreck or they’ll all starve. His scheme is being pleasant to the customers. That’s it. Nothing fancy. The video will be hooted at much farther and wider than when it was conceptualized, that’s for sure, but the point was made, moronically, perhaps, but no one that watches it would be struck by the idea that there were unpleasant people anywhere near it. Many nice people don’t summer in Cannes, and dress in couture. I said nice people, not Nice people.

If you had produced the best customer service video ever made, flashy and full of sober and sage advice to the retail worker, you’d get maybe five thousand hits on YouTube. I guarantee this one will get five million. Therein lies a lesson. My only problem is I have no idea what that lesson might be.

8 Responses

  1. My reaction is one of deep shame. I join with the immortal Zappa when he said: "Hey, you know something people?
    I'm not black,
    But there's a whole lots a times
    I wish I could say I'm not white."

  2. Oh Man!
    That video is indescribable, but short-term memorable. I'm not sure if my brain gained or lost from the experience.

  3. Man. That cuts deep.

    I worked retail for a score of years, plus, and this is the exact reason I never went into management whenever I was asked (and that was plenty). Because retail sucks.

    You said it best, as always.

  4. Off topic but…
    Yesterday, I was easing the corners on parts for two night stands I am making.
    As I worked with a wood rasp and sandpaper to round the corners of the cherry legs, it must have been about 100 degrees in my garage. I no longer have a shop so I do most everything in the garage regardless of conditions.
    I, for some reason, thought of your stories of working in the basement, making furniture in the Maine winter to support your family.
    I build furniture, partly for fun and partly because I need it and need not to spend money on it but if I don't get it done, it won't mean anything but there is a bare spot in the house somewhere.
    When I am at work, feeling like I have been dipped in hot Crisco and rolled in flour from a combination of sweat and dust, I think of you doing what needs doing to take care of yours. I just hope my tables come out looking half as good as the ones you make.
    Think of this a salute to a working man from one who works a little. Best wishes.

  5. If you walk into a store that has those glass display cases with chrome accents (1:30 in the video), then you can be assured that there's nothing in the store that you really need. Still, people make a living in such places.

    But, as one who has spent quite a bit of time in retail, I'm always amazed how many people don't really understand that the paycheck they get depends on things being sold. They seem to think that they're just there to watch the stuff, or something.

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