How the Grinch Can Steal Christmas Creep

Christmas Shopping 1919

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?

It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.

And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” 


~ Dr. SeussHow The Grinch Stole Christmas!


According to the idealized vision many of us have of the Christmas holidays, 'tis the season of joy, peace and goodwill. In reality, for many years the season has trended toward a time of frantic shopping for the latest "in" toy or other specialized items and bargains. Retailers even began encroaching on the sacred family day of Thanksgiving, jumping the gun on so-called "Black Friday. Thus, I was relieved to see that this year more stores opted to close on Thanksgiving Day, allowing customers as well as store employees some traditional time with their families and friends. Not that this was an entirely altruistic move on the part of the stores; apparently the effort of opening on Thanksgiving Day simply wasn't worth the trouble. According to Gallup, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are two of the happiest days for Americans, so why mess with that? Isn't there enough stress in people's lives without disrupting the enjoyment of these two revered days?

Waiting Tables

  “A restaurant is a fantasy--a kind of living fantasy in which diners
  are the most important members of the cast.” ~  Warner LeRoy 

Mr. LeRoy, the late and flamboyant restaurateur who owned the famed Tavern on the Green and Maxwell’s Plum in Manhattan among other other famous restaurants, and who was the son of Mervyn LeRoy, producer of the beloved 1939 fantasy film, The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, believed rightly so that diners (customers) are the most important cast members (stars) of the restaurant show. He felt strongly that dining out in a restaurant should be a show. And, we know that the show cannot go on without its stars.

The Department Store Job

Would Macy’s Tell Gimbels?

The time-honored adage above refers to the legendary rivalry between two great New York-based department stores. In the end, Gimbels-- which owned Saks Fifth Avenue, was where Lucy Ricardo shopped, and which started a Thanksgiving Day Parade four years before Macy’s did -- closed its doors. Macy’s, of course, is still around. And, while stores can go out of business because of mergers, acquisitions and poor management, the deciding factor in a department store’s success or failure is its ability to attract, retain and increase the numbers of customers who shop there. 

It’s in the Bag




 “Anybody who’s ever worked in a grocery store or shopped in a grocery store knows that bagging is the heart and soul, the very lifeblood, of the American food industry.” ~ David Letterman

Knowing how to bag properly is one of the most important skills that anyone who works in a supermarket can possess. And, although the above quote by the illustrious talk show star might be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the supermarket bagger might well be the unsung hero of the industry.

Supermarket Job Savvy

“A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith, U.S. Economist

The observation that an ordinary task can be an emotional experience is a concept that anyone who works in a supermarket should understand about its customers. Developing empathy for and respecting customers is key to the success of all retail enterprises. But why is this especially so for a supermarket?