Work. I do a lot of it, and I write about it rarely. This stems from not wanting to relive it and keeping Wolfden V a happy place.
With that said, it's time I give four ground rules for the dates of October 31st-November 3rd. Maybe I'm feisty from consecutive 3am-2pm shifts (and going back tonight at 10pm for an undetermined amount of time) or maybe I feel an urge to speak the truth. Regardless, these are actual, frequently repeated examples that occur during this time of the year. Over four years, I think it's time to hammer home some points.
1.) Thou shall not return Halloween costumes after Halloween.
Last year, I had a woman attempt to return a used costume two weeks after the holiday. This year, it was only one day after, but c'mon. I am probably the easiest guy to take a return to in my entire company, but this is one where I will not budge.
2.) After Halloween concludes, Walgreens is under no obligation to continue to stock Halloween candy.
I sort this one under common sense too, but I have had customer after customer disgustedly march out of the seasonal aisle after seeing all red and green and no orange and black. Sure, there are clearance deals to be had after the holiday, and I'm glad that these people help clean out inventory. However, there seems to be a moral expectation that we have clearance candy for a set number of days after Halloween. From a business standpoint, customers must see that these 50 and 75% off sales are no longer profitable or beneficial to the company.
Actual conversation on November 1st:
Customer: "This is all you have left?"
Me: "Yep, it is."
Customer: "I can't believe it."
Me: "You should have seen it in here last night before trick-or-treating, it was crazy."
Customer: "WHAT!?! IT WENT ON SALE BEFORE TODAY?!!"
Me: "No, I meant that we had large sales the day of Halloween."
Customer (dejected): "Oh, I thought you'd have more. (With attitude) I guess not."
3.) Any derivation of "You are setting Christmas merchandise earlier than last year" is not true.
Unless you have one of those new, space-aged stores of which I'm told there are only four in the nation, Walgreens most likely only has one seasonal aisle. This aisle is used for Halloween merchandise each year and does not contain Christmas merchandise until after October 31st has concluded. With Halloween being a ridiculously profitable holiday, it makes no sense for us to fill it with Christmas merchandise prior to then. And we don't.
Perhaps a fun conversation starter with employees setting the aisle post-Halloween, customers enjoy blaming those of us setting the aisle for being "the retailers making it earlier and earlier every year." I would be happy to tip every one off that next year, on November 2nd, we will set the Christmas aisle again, and it will be the exact same time we did it this year and the year before.
4.) If thyself shops thy Christmas aisle, thou shall share in the blame.
Immediately after a customer disgustedly converses with this "earlier" setting of our Christmas items, customers absolutely have to see what it is that I am removing from a freshly opened box and placing on the shelf. This stuff sells here and now. If you are going to criticize retailers for setting the merchandise as you perceive to be too early of a date, it is hypocritical to rush off to the check out counter with a basket full of Christmas lights and red and green M+Ms.
I feel better and will set down from the podium. Thank you for your time.
Photo from Kansas State Collegian