That’s “Violation”, not “Malfunction”, for you pervs out there!
When someone comes in wearing a coat and tie, or even just a tie, I will occasionally tease them (with scissors in hand) that they are committing a “wardrobe violation” – there are no ties in a comic book shop! Most are almost apologetic about it and promise to be good in the future.
Back in the 60′s, when I first started teaching (damn, my “career” actually spanned 5 decades as I taught in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and oughts, eh, aughts/naughts/0′s – did they ever name that decade?), as a freshman teacher, I was approached by the principal and told that I needed to not only wear a tie (which I did), but a coat at all times! O-Kay, new and with no status, yet, I complied. Being a math teacher who did use the chalkboard (I did mention that this was the ’60s, didn’t I?), he relented after a week of seeing me with chalk-covered coat sleeves. He was a rookie principal, but had enough sense to realize when he made an unreasonable request. Also, we had no AC back then! As time went by, those expectations were loosened – not even ties were required – and even “casual Fridays” were introduced. As an aside, a recent poll that was released on MSN showed that the teaching profession had fallen so that it now ranked as the third worst with regard to job satisfaction – behind nursing (a surprise to me) and the chart topper – security guards. Over the years, I saw the change as teachers were expected to take on more and more of the chores of curing the ills of society. Common courtesy, respect, and civility are not as common as it used to be. Don’t believe me? How many “idiots” did you see on your drive to work today? Anyway, off the soapbox and back to the story…
As stated above, we’re a comic book shop and are “casual” most of the time. Last year, we were rated by a “secret shopper.” If memory serves me, it was right after they began to ship comics to us a day before the Wednesday street date. We received a report and out of the 19 criteria they rated (acknowledged the potential buyer when they came in, pleasant, clean store, knowledgeable about the product, product selection, yada, yada), we excelled on all but two items on their list – no uniforms – no name tags. Over 10% of our score was these two items! Uniforms? Uniforms? We’re not TSA agents here! Plus, they were immediately greeted by the sole staff member when they entered. That should have told them who would help them if they needed it. Who designed this survey? And, name tags? Maybe in a store with a huge staff, but with one the size of ours, it’s pretty easy to distinguish one of us from the other if needed. Any regular of the shop knows our names and we try our best to learn theirs. I wasn’t on that night, but I DO wear my “uniform” – one of my swell CBH t-shirts – almost exclusively; although with each having gone through the washer about 100 times, they are looking quite distressed (Joe we need more “XL’s”!)
Last week, I did have a wardrobe dilemma when I was to respond to a seller’s request that I stop by to look at a collection. Both of my CBH tees were in the wash, it was a Saturday, a hot one, so what was I going to wear? The caller ended her message with “Have a Blessed Day!” Thinking that perhaps the caller was somewhat conservative, I had to stop and actually think about what tee I was going to wear to this meeting. Perhaps one promoting a hard rock band or “Exploring the Keys on one’s hands and knees” wouldn’t send the right message. After some rummaging, I came up with one that shouldn’t have been offensive to anyone.
It took me a little over two hours, but I went through 35 long boxes of comics, mostly from the late 80′s to 90′s. They were in nice shape, but not completely organized: however, I did find most of the key issues from this era – the New Mutants 87 & 98, the first black costumed Spider-Man issues, issue #300, Byrne X-Men, plus #’s 244, 248, & 266, etc., which I pulled out for her to price individually. She was looking for advice on moving them, as she was not the collector. Kiddingly, I said she should open a shop, but suggested a yard sale or OUR 4TH OF JULY FLEA MARKET!. At another location, she has more comics for me to go through. Hopefully, these are older one’s that I have more interest in, and hopefully, she will decide that she will be bringing these “fresh to the market” comics to our shindig on the 4th!
Spaces are almost gone! You should have settled on your plans for the 4th by now, so grab your spot immediately. The store will be open on the 4th with the week’s new arrivals available, special sales, & more!