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!