A Lion in Retail

249318_430938126955141_53035078_nI’m pretty sure I don’t have the personality for retail.  How did I end up in customer service for twenty years?  Based off of past goals, it was either this or marine biologist and that required far too much lab work and paying attention in school.  My grades in science really started to suffer with the discovery of creekside smoking and boys named Ben.  So here I am.  Being in pet supply retail allows me to be social, buy fun products, travel the country, and pet dogs ALL DAY.  So what’s the problem?  I was born on July 24th, which makes me a Leo.  I’m an arrogant know-it-all. I’m also quite BS-intolerant and relatively short-fused. But I’m also extremely loyal and caring which means that just as you’re running for the hills, offended once and for all by my abrasive personality, I’ll be right be your side with an offering of bottled water and snacks for your trip.  When you work in retail, usually a 5-10 minute encounter, people don’t get to meet the trail mix girl. It’s just a brief interraction between customer and the loving girl’s omniscient doppelgänger.  It may come in handy that I know so darn much except you know what they say… the customer is always right.  Which can be extremely hard to humor, when you know it isn’t always true.

Customers of the internet era seem to have a natural tendency to know more about your job than you do.  It’s really quite incredible.  I’m not sure how they do it.  Just as the doctors and the nurses must have love/hate relationships with WebMD, I, too, have similar feelings about sites like dogfoodadvisor.com.  Yes, I’m very happy you spent eleven minutes reading an article about canine allergies but, no, your dog is not allergic to lavender or Chilean Sea Bass.  How do I know?  Because I just do, trust me.  Charlie is also most likely not gluten sensitive.  Because the odds are 3 in 100 and he’s not that lucky.  Charlie is more likely to start talking than to develop doggie Celiac’s.

And, oh, buyers remorse.  I see right through this one, too.  -I’d like to return this $60 bag of organic, free-range chicken-based dog food. -Why? -Because Charlie doesn’t like it… That’s odd Charlie seemed pretty enthusiastic about the half of the bag that’s gone.  I’m going to need more proof.  Perhaps a photo of Charlie sitting at the table with his arms crossed or Charlie’s even more convincing “Meat is Murder” t-shirt.  Otherwise I’m pretty sure you just want your money back.  In fact, I’m sure that’s what it is because Charlie just told me.  He also told me he loves sea bass.

I’d also like to thank people for their endless knowledge about my competition and their prices.  Like, did you know that you can get a package of tennis balls on Amazon for negative dollars?  They’ll actually pay you!  If you’re an Amazon Prime member they send a sweatshop worker out to your house to play fetch with your dog.  Not long ago, a customer told me they could buy dog treats at Costco cheaper than I sold them.  So helpful.  Later that day, I lowered all my prices and hired someone off Amazon to stand outside my store with a highlighter.  Sales soared.

Oh, the things I wish I could say.  What I would love to get away with.  If only it worked that way.  Until then, I’ll just have to smile and nod and hope they’re all convinced I’m a Virgo.

Signing off.




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Emma Leigh

Born and raised in San Jose in 1980. Writer, traveler, home cook, and business owner.

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