Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Well, it seems that there are actually a few of you still out there. Fabulous.

Apologies for my crappy lack of keeping up. I have only just published comments for the first time in months because for some reason they don't appear on my phone. Huh. I learn something new that makes me feel like an idiot every day.

Anyway, Christmas was fine. Christmas eve was ridiculous, with the store staying open until 7pm and us having to chase out customers at 7:20, but the b.h. and I managed still to get out to my aunt and uncle's house to spend some quality family time. I have no idea who these people are that wait until not only the last minute, but frankly way past the last acceptable minute to get their shit together for the holidays. The nice thing is that most people in a panic are fairly willing to trust my recommendation and just feel relieved that I am there to help. I did have one customer who asked me first if we had

"A wine called Chocolate, from California?" I replied that we did not, and she repeated the name, this time adding "Chocolate Rouge. It's from California. It is so Amazing. You won't believe it." I was sure that I wouldn't, I told her, but I had no such wine, nor anything with the word chocolate in the name (because honestly, who would?!). I asked her if she knew what kind of wine it was, or where in California it was from, thinking that perhaps I could perhaps help her find a suitable alternative. She had no idea, and she wanted that particular wine, so she was going to go top a competitor's store to find it. Okay, then, let me know if there's anything else blah blah blah, I was saying, as I walked away.

"Oh WAIT," she said, nearly shouting across the department. "Do you have one called Sexual Chocolate?!"

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Every two months we have a new Big Dumb Wine promotion, and at this time I am shipped a metric fuck ton of mostly shitty to mediocre wines which I am responsible for placing around the store on large displays. Often these wines are not popular with my clientele and so do not sell very quickly.
As an example, there was a promotion in June with a has-been band from the late nineties and early part of this century. This mediocre band named after a mode of transportation had a couple of catchy pop tunes that went high on the charts, prolonging what should have been a quick flash in the pan and adding to the general suffering of people with discerning musical taste who nonetheless fall victim to the constant repetition of shit and get it stuck in their heads - me, for example. Anyway, this band, having more money than sense, decided to get it the wine business. They therefore invested what was likely an assload of money into the production of crap wine and marketing to push it. My company, in all of it's hip, knowing what's "now" wisdom, signed a deal with the band to be the exclusive purveyor of said shit juice, and set about foisting large loads of it on every single store.
And so I found myself one morning in my first month of work last June staring down the barrel of fifty eight cases of it. Mine is a very small store with almost no area for backstock- I know people with walk-in clothing closets as large or larger- so I was really, really not happy. It was a day that I wished I could quit my job. But I didn't, and we put the wine out and there it sat. Even now, six months later, it haunts me still, mocking me from the discount bin, all flabby, buttery oak and sinister fruitiness.

Where was I? Oh yes, the Promotion. The current Promotion is called T0p Ten. We do this twice a year, apparently, the last time being just prior to my arrival at the store. There are, inexplicably, twelve wines in the TT Promo, and a couple of them are actually pretty good. So good, in fact, that sales have gone way beyond our original projections and supplies have run out. When this happens, I am left to figure out how to fill the holes at a moment's notice (sometimes less). The understanding is that whatever I use to fill said holes will immediately be pulled from the shelves when the TT wine is available again, regardless of how much I have, and it will be up to me find storage for it and eventually sell through it all. This week, in addition to being incredibly busy, I was forced to find a replacement for one if the TT wines. It would be at least January, I was told, before we would have access to more. So I found a great wine at a fabulous price to put in it's place. I jumped through hoops and plowed through red tape to get it in, put it on sale, and request proper signage. It would take until Friday for this to go through, because hey- we're a huge corporation! We can't get anything done in less than a week. Anyway, I have to explain to The Mustache, my Manager, that the display in question will be a bit thin until I can get all of the pieces in place. He is not happy but he understands.

The wine is delayed until Wednesday. I get in on Thursday and it is waiting. I have an order to put together so I plan to put it out in the afternoon. In the afternoon, I get an e-mail from a higher up saying that twelve cases of the TT wine will be sent to me automatically on Friday morning. I inform The Mustache, telling him that I don't want to waste time putting out the good wine only to take it back down on Friday when the TT wine comes in. The display looks terrible, but he agrees. Comb it over, he says, until the TT arrives.
When I get to work on Friday, the TT wine is nowhere to be found. It never arrives, in fact, and I end up building the display with the emergency wine that I ordered, which I am happy about, because the quality is better and the price double.
What I'd like to know is how could a distributor not know that a French wine was coming until the last possible moment? Shouldn't they at least have been aware of when the truck was leaving New York? Why do we reward this kind of fuckwittery by paying them for such shitty service?
And what do you want to bet the TT wine is waiting when I get to work today?

In other news, I sent out a résumé last night to a company I would really like to work for. Fingers crossed.

*UPDATE The TT wine was, in fact, waiting when I arrived at work on Monday. Of course, the special weekend sale pricing was over, as was the contest (with monetary rewards involved) to see who could sell the most, so I will probably still have some if any of you would like to holiday here this summer.