22 thoughts on “August 19, 2017

  1. It’s the wrong guy, the real Keith he’s looking for moved to another state over a year ago. Oh wait, that’s me…

  2. Well, as everyone’s speculating on what’s gone on, I’ll chime in with my thoughts.

    Sanzen wouldn’t have such a great place and a great car if all he was doing was inventory work, nor would he have joined Grumbels back then if he was well-off enough to have a place and car like that.

    However, it has been three years since Phase 2 was announced. In those 3 years, it’s possible someone in Sanzen’s family kicked the bucket and left him everything. At this point, I’d wager that Sanzen’s forgotten about Stage 2, more because his new lifestyle means he’s no longer doing inventory work.

    However, that’s not saying that Stage 2 isn’t partially in play. I’d guess that the New Hampshire store incident is part of it, that it was some form of test. Which means some time between the initial test, the investigation and firing of the original NH staff, and now, Sanzen’s gotten his windfall.

    Cooper shows up and antagonizes Sanzen, thereby reminding him of exactly what he dislikes about Cooper, and decides to execute Stage 2 anyway, just to ruin Cooper.

    It’s too late for Stage 2 to fully take effect on this Inventory cycle, so Grumbels, again, gets a very good inventory out of it. This causes the higher-ups in Corporate to start paying attention to Marla’s Grumbels.

    Stage 2 diverts some portion of Grumbels inventory shipments to some black-market fence, whereby illegally obtained goods are traded for cold-hard-cash. This cash is then turned around and fed, little-bit-by-little-bit into Cooper’s bank account. This coincides with Stuart being talked into giving Cooper a raise, Stuart agrees with it and gives Cooper a penny more per hour, thereby satisfying the terms, but doesn’t tell anyone. Cooper, upon hearing he’s gotten a raise, is skeptical (as always), until he gets his first paycheck after the raise and sees a lot more money than usual in his account.

    At first, Cooper doesn’t think anything of it, as Stuart promised a raise. He thanks Stuart for the raise, Stuart makes a casual mention to Marla about Cooper acting stranger than usual, Marla looks into it and finds out something’s going wrong, and Brice steps in with evidence of the same thing happening in his store about two months before the investigations started.

    With both stores working together and trying to prove Cooper’s innocence, Stuart tries to step in and get Cooper fired until it’s revealed that if Cooper’s found guilty, this means multiple stores under Stuart’s management have been ‘working together’ on this embezzlement scam, and thereby Stuart is at risk of being fired, thereby forcing him to decide between saving his own hide or getting Cooper fired.

    Both stores, with Stuart’s help, uncover Sanzen’s plot, correct the mistake, Stuart takes all the credit as usual, and the strip returns to normal in about two or three weeks time.

    • Well, here’s my theory – Phase 2 has been in play for awhile, but unknown to Sanzen, it didn’t go as planed. I think he did something like swapping the shipping address between Cooper’s store and the NH store. So, when the computer sent 89 boxes to Cooper’s store, it ended up in NH and Cooper got NH’s 86 boxes (August 10, 2015). But then the size of the stores shifted. It ended up making Cooper look good and NH horrible instead of doing as Sanzen intended.

      When Copper meets Sanzen, Keith will relaize his plan didn’t work. Cooper will then expose what’s happening – and take a hit when the real loss rate is found. But in the process will end up saving Brice who would have been unable to turn around the NH store.

  3. ……..meanwhile in the sinister lair under stately Sanzen Manor, Keith Sanzen hatches his sinister Phase II revenge against his arch nemesis Cooper, who is actually the great nephew of Dick Grayson’s aunt Harriot Cooper.

  4. If they live in RI then it is pretty easy to get the address if KS. if they live in MA then it is a major violation of the Mass Privacy Laws and everyone in this story is in big trouble.

    It’s getting very unretailish and increasingly whacky.

  5. Yeah, I have no idea who “Sanzen” is or what all this is about, as I’ve only been reading the strip a couple of years. None of this seems to have a lot to do with “Retail” as I’ve come to know and enjoy it, and I’ll be glad when Norm finishes this silliness and gets back to doing the strip I like.

    • Then perhaps it’s a great time to peruse the backlog, make use of the tags, or read the comments! There’s been plenty of explanation and even links to who Sanzen is and what all this is about. This is a long-running plot that many people have been waiting for a resolution to for ages and I for one am glad it might finally be resolved if only so we can move on.

      Really though read the backlog. Not just for Sanzen, but because the older stuff is good too, and because sometimes comics have big overarching plots like this and it’s fun as a fan to trace all the little ins and outs of it. Least I find it fun. Plus you’ll get to see the art style evolve, the characters grow and develop, and get a good feel for other plots that might come up like this in the future, such as Marla’s kiosk or Val’s writing career.

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