The director of The Fischer Troupe shows and his partner opened a store in Frankenmuth and offered me a job – as a sales person and helping to manage the place.
I thought it would be fun.
Shows how young and stupid I was.
The store was beautiful, as only a gay couple with impeccable taste can make a candle shop beautiful. The candles they carried were gorgeous; and the place always smelled sooooooo good.
The store consisted of 4 rooms – and it was a constant battle to keep the customers from destroying the candles.
You’d hear one of them say, “That can’t be wax,” and you knew you better get in there ASAP because some numb nut was about to dig a fingernail into the highly glossed wax or the carved to look like wood candle and ruin a very expensive candle.
They did this despite all of the signs everywhere assuring them that it was, indeed, wax and to keep their fingernails to themselves, thank you very much.
You also spent an inordinate amount of time teaching people that the way to smell a scented candle was to sniff the bottom – where the smell was the strongest.
And we also spent a lot of time selling these incredibly tacky things called “Lolly Lights”. They were a round with glass mushrooms or flowers stuck into them and a place for a candle in the middle. Lord (TIDBI) I hated Lolly Lights. And off course, both my Mom and my Grandma wanted them. And yes, obedient child that I was, I got them each a set.
(And I want you to know that I just spent an hour and a half trying to find an image of Lolly Lights on the interwebs and found nothing!!!! I guess I should just be grateful that apparently the planet has been wiped clean of all evidence of their existence.)
The owners, not unreasonably, wanted everything kept spotless. But there is only so much dusting that needs to be done in one day. So, as manager, I had no problem when one of my “girls” sat behind the register. When the owners complained, I pointed out that it was easy for the customer to find them and there was always somebody there ready to ring up a sale.
I hate employers who would rather see their employees doing useless busy work than taking it easy. You want your employees to work? Make sure there is work for them to do. As far as I was concerned, as long as the work got done and the customers kept happy (and stopped from gouging innocent candles) – I didn’t care what they did during the quiet times (barring dancing naked on the counter – because you have to draw the line somewhere, and that’s where I personally choose to draw it).
We also had to listen to Reader’s Digest record collections of Gay 90s music. All. The. Time.
Except for Christmas – when we had to listen to Time-Life record collections of Christmas music. All. The. Time.
(Though I assure you, the Christmas music did not start until the day after Thanksgiving!)
So it wasn’t all sunshine and Lolly Lights.