34 thoughts on “December 4, 2016

  1. I know this might sound terrible but I think Marla might make a good accountant if she can shift that thinking to balancing budgets or as my parents put it, “when corporate America wants you to cook the books”.

      • @quineloe

        Oh yes I know that there is a lot more to it than that. But it is that finding the best route to get the most money and least payments that I see the connection to being an accountant.

        • Min-Max problems are at least as much an engineering practice as an accounting one. (I’d say more of one, but I’m not familiar enough with accounting to know for sure.)

    • The old story about the corporation that was looking for a new accountant. They asked each candidate, “How much is 2+2? All of them left in disgust at the inane question, until one said, “How much would you like it to be?” She got the job.

      • We fail our Quarterly Inspection every time simply because we don’t have a public restroom at our station. It’s something we have no control over until they decide to remodel us but they still fail us for it every time.

        • That is beyond unfair. Corporate either needs to remodel your store or grant you an exception. Yes, I know, it makes sense so it’s not allowed, but it’s still blatantly wrong to fail you over something you cannot control.

  2. Alright, Marla, we get it. You don’t like your job. You don’t like this nonsense. It’s been ten years since the strip began and I don’t remember how old your daughter is, but stop using her as an excuse to make yourself miserable.

    Either deal with the misery like Cooper is, or find a way to get out!

    I’m sorry, folks. I’m getting just a little sick of the same thing over and over. Everyone except Marla has changed to some degree. What’s Marla done?

    Fiona was just a convenient plot device to not have to change her in any way. I’ll keep reading, but it’s just feeling less and less satisfying as time goes by.

    • Except it isn’t 10 years in strip time. Fiona is at most a toddler. And last I recall still a baby. As a manager and a parent, she has a lot less flexibility in life than the others. Much of the humor is about being stuck between the rock and the hard place. It’s the basis Of the storyline.

      I still find the strip entertaining and I’ve read it from the beginning. If you don’t, it might be best to move on. I’m not telling you to do that, just suggesting it’s sounds like it;s time.

        • Agreed. The way I see it, the underlying theme of the strip is not about the lives of Marla, or, Cooper, or any of the characters so much, but rather about the grinding futility and oppression of working in a retail environment where mindless adherence to corporate directives override common sense….

          • Exactly.Sure, in real life they could escape, but in real life, for whatever reason, many don’t. Marla and company are the faces of retail workers everywhere. If Marla left, someone else would take her place and still face the same things. The characters themselves are plot devices, but ultimately, it’s all about the story. And in truth, ALL jobs have their sucky parts.

          • If I had to describe this strip to someone in a single sentence it would be “Dilbert, but in retail” and that is in no way an insult to either one, they both show the day to day frustrations of working in 2 different industries very well.

      • Ok, it is not she hates her job it is the fact that she cannot seem to get people to understand somethings are out her control she is not at fault. Marla reminds me of my boss who just wants one day were everything goes smoothly just for once

        • Being a former retail monkey I find these hilarious and even after ten years still love the strip. Maybe its time to move on OP? I can recommend a few comics to you if you’d like?

      • “Except it isn’t 10 years in strip time. ”

        Then how do explain the fact that they’ve had 10 Christmases &10 Halloweens& 10 Black Fridays?

  3. At my old store, we were told to be never “false face” if we were out of an item. But then sometimes my manager would do it, so it wouldn’t look like we had so many outs. It was ridiculous, because depending on what they decided was most important, you could still get yelled at.

    • Same here. We’re told to leave it empty so it gets re-ordered but another manager will come in and fill it with a similar item simply so we don’t have so many holes and then the product doesn’t always get ordered because the manager thinks we have product.

    • I called it the ‘better to be wrong than empty’ policy, which makes so little sense for a variety of reasons. I also think if you ever see a store with no outs, it’s likely a store with little sales.

  4. Actually, at one store I worked at, if we were out of an item for a display, we were told to stock anything there that was in the same department. Headquarters figured that it was best to sell something, even if it wasn’t the item the display was for. Of course, remove the substitute item when the shipment came in. I don’t know how they came up with this commonsense but it worked.

    • Haha. I was thinking about the you can’t sell peg board mantra when I read this strip!

      Stuart should have a scanner on him to check in stocks. If they don’t have the required item in stock then they shouldn’t lose points.

  5. This points system sounds like something that started out good but got misapplied. No, it makes sense if posts are lost if something is out of stock. It means that there’s a problem in need of correction. The issue is when it becomes the manager’s fault that points are lost. In this case, the points should be subtracted from those in charge of ordering. The real problem is the points aren’t aligned with the responsibility or authority to fix it. This could have been an unintended consequence of some change. Perhaps at one time managers were responsible for stock, but then it was decided to move that to corporate, but the review system never changed.

    • These days it might not even be corporate that is ordering, it is a computer. The computer is corporate’s baby, so any errors are obviously the fault of local management, not the software. If the computer says you have 50 boxes of this item, than you must have 50 boxes you’ve managed to lose, even if it is a physical impossibility to have that many fit in your store.

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