Part 131: Quagmire

RECORD STORE TALES PART 131:  Quagmire

We used to have piles and piles of CDs, stacked on a unit behind the counter.  Due to lack of space, this is where we put stock that was:

1. on hold for staff
2. on hold for customers
3. being sent elsewhere for customer orders

Unfortunately these stacks were visible to customers, although not available for sale to the general public.  Sometimes you’d have a situation like this:

“Cool!  I can see OK Computer by Radiohead!  Is that for sale?”

And it wasn’t, which you’d explain.  If the CD was on hold for someone, they’d often ask how long it was on hold for so they could be next in line, provided the other person didn’t pick it up.

When stuff was on hold for staff (who usualy snagged the best stuff and held it for longer periods of time) I didn’t like the customers seeing it.  But we didn’t really have anywhere better to put it.  I proposed putting it in the back room but that didn’t last long.  So what we’d do is disguise it in some way.  Instead of having a pile labeled “Mike”, we’d change the name.  It sometimes threw the customers off the scent.

At one point, I had all the staff hold piles named after Canadian cities.  That way looked like stuff that was ordered by other stores.  So for example, we’d have a pile labeled “London” which would be a pile of stuff destined for that store.  Next to it was a pile labeled “Saskatoon”.  We didn’t have a store in Saskatoon, Saskatoon was a staff member’s pile.  We didn’t have stores in Yellowknife or Winnipeg either, but those labels threw customers off the scent.  They’d assume the stock was there for another store.

I liked this system, but the staff often preferred nicknames on the labels.  Some people liked their nicknames, some people didn’t.  There was a girl named Meredith — she really hated being caled Megadeth, for example (I assume that’s true of most Merediths out there).  I hated being called Cheeser — so named because I liked what other people refer to as “cheese metal” (although I think Zakk Wylde would be happy to punch somebody in the face for calling his music cheese metal).

Later on, someone had all the piles named after Family Guy characters.  At the time, I’d never seen an episode in my life, and I didn’t know it was a bad thing that my nickname was Quagmire!  Joke was on me I guess!

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4 comments

  1. I always wished there had been a Saskatoon store. And I remember those shelves. But I thought staff didn’t get dibs on the good stuff? Hmmm? EXPLAIN YOURSELF!

    Also, if it’s any consolation, I’ve still never seen a single Family Guy episode. So I don’t know who that is either.

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  2. Quagmire’s the local town horn-dog. He’ll giggidy giggidy with anything.

    Explain myself…well…

    Let’s say you had dibs on Rollins – Get In The Van. That’s fine. But if you didn’t? No way that baby is hitting the shelves. A staff member would snag it first. Guaranteed. So basically, if you hoped to find something rare, you better have reserved it!

    I caught one guy selling them on eBay, his staff pile. I confronted him about it, he denied it to my face, and then I said, “Dude, you used your real name on eBay.”

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  3. ah, yes…staff piles! here is the official “sultans of ping FC” story! we stumbled across this album, as mike has said, completely by happenstance, put it on, laughed our heads off…history was made! so, none of us wanted to put it “on the floor” for sale, fearing it would be gone forever, so I put it in my “pile” and there it sat for probably 3-4 months. other staff members would listen to it (even when I was off) and just put it back in my pile at the end of the night. they didn’t want me to buy it either, as that would mean it would leave the store and enter my collection…which meant we couldn’t listen to it at the store (obviously) and I enjoyed the laugh occasionally. So it kind of became a sort of ‘store copy”

    one day, the boss came in and it was playing. he hated the album from the get-go (as he got a taste of it shortly after we discovered it) and he made a comment about it still being here in my “pile” and said “if you are bot going to buy it, then put it out for sale!” so I did, reluctantly (thinking it would never sell anyway, and i’d be able to snag it later “unnoticed”). that same day, just before shift change, Matty came in and perused the new arrivals (as he often did prior to starting his shift) – found the “sultans” in said area and looks at me and says “you’re not buying this? fuck, I will!!” …and the boss sold it to him right in front of me.

    that’s the last time i have ever seen an actual copy of that album (although I have a downloaded copy of it now) – not the same

    should’ve put it in the “Saskatoon pile”

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