Barnyard Surprises

My blog was never intended to be a blog about my second job at the Bucket Barn. However, I have found great joy in sharing all the wonderful stories from the retail world on the world wide web. I enjoy finding creative names to protect the innocent Barnyard animals that mill around the pasture that is the mall. People I work with have referred to me as the chick that has the Bucket Barn blog. My blog is about everything and nothing all dyslexically mixed together. So tonight when Faux Snow proclaimed “I feel a blog in the making” to describe the night we had just finished, I knew my next blog would be focused on all the livestock that visited! It was a crazy night!

In the middle of several crazy phone callers, Baja Glassware came in the Barn. Baja is one of those men you would think would never walk into a Barn. He emulates the personality and manners of Dirty Harry. Judging by his military tour jacket he is more like Gunny Highway. His favorite Barnyard friend is Manhattan but he still gives her crap on a regular basis. Please don’t get me wrong, Baja is a loyal lover of the Barn who brings us lots of business, but when he swaggers into the Barn his motto is “Go ahead, make my day, I need to buy slipcovers for my sofa!”

Tonight when he came in asking for inserts to his couch this was something none of us knew how to do off the top of our heads, and Manhattan was no where around. Hudson saved the day by helping Baja. Baja always wants some deal, or great find. He has practically worn out his Barn credit card, which was also carved out of stone sometime after the Ten Commandments.

It was a smashing night at the Barn. During all the craziness Hudson broke a glass shelf in the back room. He proclaimed, “If I could just package up all these ten million pieces I could sell them as glitter, gems, or vase fillers!” It was a mess. I was wrapping wedding gifts, four to be exact, for a lady who didn’t want us to pull the numbers off the online Barn bridal registry. “I want it to be a surprise,” she said. If she wanted it to be a surprise then don’t get something off the bridal registry. The bride and groom pick out all that stuff. Faux Snow was holding down the fort outside in the Barnyard, lots of guests and lots of phone calls.

At Christmas time you get lots of phone calls on top of the hundreds of guest each week. I had several strange and odd ones tonight. One lady called asking about the cost of shipping for products we had in the Barn. Come to find out she really wanted to know for her mother-in-law because it was her gift. Really, you are going to call about shipping on your own gift? True, it was from her mother-in-law and I am sure she was avoiding fuzzy slippers, socks, bad jewelry, or a heart shaped bookmark. The call was very complicated in nature with measurements and colors involved. I wanted to call mother-in-law to teach her the joy of “Gift Cards!”

I had another caller who thought the Barn was Old Time Bucket! I am getting to the point where I know the tone in someone’s voice when they are looking for the Old Time Bucket. I had a needy Barn patron who wanted to return a rug she bought yesterday over the phone so she could use a coupon. The same needy guest wanted a tracking number on the same rug. Finally, she tried to haggle over the rug price once more thinking I would change my answer. I hated saying no, but obstinate shoppers make it easy.

However, the best phone call of the night had to be from the lady who wanted to know how long Santa would be at the mall. I chuckled at first and told her that he would be leaving before Christmas Eve for his journey around the world delivering presents. She really wanted to know Santa’s hours for the night, in other words, when he would be closing up shop for the evening. We answer the phone, “Happy Holidays thank you for calling the Barn…” not “Thank you for calling Santa’s Photorama.” When I told the guest I didn’t know Santa’s hours she explained that the mall office didn’t know either. The only interaction the Barn has with Santa is all the thousands of kids needing to go to the potty while waiting in line. The caller asked if I would venture outside the Barn to ask for her.

The greatest thing of the night was the BFFs shopping at the end of the evening. Hudson, Faux Snow and I were trying to put the store back together. If only we had the help of “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” we might have been able to avoid the tsunami. Hudson was painstakingly tucking the sheets, comforters, and bedding. I was folding towels. As soon as Hudson was done straightening the Barn bedding, in walks three ladies, the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first thing they destroyed was the bed Hudson completed seconds earlier. Then they moved on to lounging in the second bed. It was as if they were in their own homes enjoying a day off. All the work Hudson had completed was trashed.

The apocalyptic destruction carried on for what seemed like an eternity. I would try helping the ladies, by asking questions about their homes’ decor. They ignored me only to shout more question at me but didn’t have time for my answers. “What is the difference between 300 and 400 thread count in sheets?” “What is a duvet?” “Can I get this in another color?” Finally all the questions stopped and it was time for check out. The leader of the pack pulled out her deck of 52 credit cards, spread them out as if she was showing me a card trick, and proceeded to pay. We had survived the night and remained calm.

Some shoppers find joy at sucking the joy out of retail, which made for one heck of a crazy night. I seem to think those people are challenges to make me better at my job. If I can remain cool and help the guest out, I have succeeded. These guests shop for only one goal, they want to find happiness for themselves. Happiness isn’t found in a box wrapped under a Christmas tree or on a bed in the middle of a Barn in Huntsville, Alabama. Happiness is found in family and friends celebrating the birth of Christ. I know I have a cynical view on Christmas to some, but if we could all focus on Christ and a little less on us Christmas it would be better for everyone.

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