22 December 2007
Have you ever had the experience of working retail? A decade after appearing as the Anyone Can Host contest runner up, I was into it big time. It takes on a different aspect when it's your investment hanging on the walls, being manhandled by whoever happens to honor you with their presence. The pressure of having to move the merchandise can help put you around the bend. A retail owner once said that every night, he slept like a baby, woke up every hour crying.
After weathering the storm from the demolition by the first store only to have the lease unexpectedly cut short, a new location was found just around the corner up the other end of the block. It was below street level. After entering, halfway down the stairs, the bottom of the storefront window was about shoulder height. When I put in the platform for the window display, I cut a couple oval shaped holes, just the right size to stick your head up through from beneath. This became the living window display.
At the first location, after hearing that the head honcho at the management firm had reservations about some of the items on display, I put a fake fly on a note reading: "Our fake doggy doo looks so real, the landlord doesn't want to see it in the window." The new landlord was sailing around the world, as long as the rent was paid, there were no such limitations. Although rarely able to hire, if someone wanted an application, they were invited to spend a few minutes in the window display, which had a microphone to an outside speaker. Not everyone jumped at the opportunity, but most did, some even coming back for more. Anyone who could use their head was welcome to amuse themselves and others.
With a ten dollar minimum purchase, customers could choose a prize from the Bucket o Fun, but they couldn't look whilst doing so. For an even larger sum, they could do the same with our trash can. We also considered using the Bucket o Mayonnaise, which it originally was before being recuperated from the alley, having been discarded by the neighboring restaurant. There were some even bigger ideas, which unfortunately I cannot share now because they are still ideas, not actual accomplishments.
Sometimes reality is already warped enough without having to add to it.
Try to keep your head above things,