Tag Archives: retail problems

NFred: Totally Bananas.

Holy crap on a cracker, how the heck are you?

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve written ANYTHING and I appologize. To say that my life has been totally bananas since the end of January would be an understatement.

Here’s a run down of what’s been going down with NFred;


  1. The Toy Shop where I worked for over twelve years closed its doors at the end of January. It’s sad and I miss my work family dearly. I knew my location was closing since September, so it wasn’t a shock, but it was a long drawn out process of repeatedly telling customers the sad news. It was also exhausting trying to keep my rage in check when asshats asked strangely personal questions about my future and demanded to know what was on sale. One asshat in particular singled me out to explain to his five year old grandson why I was closing his favourite store. I explained to the little guy as best I could through clenched teeth while wanting nothing more than to yell at Asshat Grandpa that it wasn’t MY decision. The high point of having the store close occurred when I got to fulfil my life long dream of cracking a beer IN THE SHOP once we closed the door for the last time. Dreams do come true, kids!


  2. I took a few days off after the store closed and then returned to start work at a different Toy Shop location downtown. A thriving store in a distinguished neighbourhood with full shelves and zero asshats asking about the closing of my former location. The staff was lovely and I fell in love with a hipster tea shop on the same street that converted me into an obnoxious tea snob. I was happy to work there. Sure the commute sucked and I was nervous about being far from my diabetic son, but I was cautiously optimistic. Until…


  3. On February sixth, my son made the switch from injections to an insulin pump to help better manage his diabetes. The first couple of days were a total gong show. Soaring high blood sugars followed by random lows. I had taken the week off work to help my son adjust to his new life and I’m so glad that I did. I wasn’t prepared for how much work the switch would entail. Waking up every two hours at night to test his blood sugar, weighing every single piece of food that he was going to put in his mouth, doing more math than I’ve ever done in my entire life to figure out carb counts , writing countless emails to his school to make sure they knew how to keep him alive. Exhausting. Things are slowly starting to fall into place, but I quickly realized that I needed to be closer to my son. My old Toy Shop was a five minute drive from my son’s school. In an emergency, I could get there quickly. The downtown Toy Shop was far, too far for me. Call me a Helicopter Mom or a Worry Wart or a Nervous Nelly if you please, but when it comes to my son’s health, I put him first. Always. So I made the agonising decision to resign from the Toy Shop so that I could be closer to my boy. It sucks. I’m sad. The Toy Shop was a huge part of my life, but in the end, I know I made the right decision.


  4. In my sleep deprived delirium, I accepted an offer to work at a ridiculously adorable preschool in my neighbourhood. I am officially a Teacher’s Aid and have found myself the ever elusive Monday to Friday, nine to five job that is the unicorn of the retail world as those hours just don’t exist! I work with kids aged fifteen months to three years old and feel that a more fitting job title would be Professional Snot Wiper, Bum Changer and Toddler Herder. I had my first day last week and survived. A child even told me that I was beautiful. Will this be my forever career? I have no idea, but for now it works and I’m happy.

Holy Hell! I sure can ramble on about myself. If any of you are still reading and haven’t lapsed into a coma, this is the part where I talk about the future of What NFred Said.

nfred you need to write

I love this blog with all my heart. It’s like my fourth child. Fingers crossed, now that life is settling down a smidge and I have snagged myself regular working hours, I can FINALLY devote more time to writing. My problem has always been that I have more ideas than time. I hope to get on a permanent writing schedule soon. I’d also like to clean my disgusting home, get into shape, win a million dollars and find a cure for diabetes, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Thanks everyone for reading. I hope all of you are having a splendid 2017. I promise I won’t be a stranger. Let’s chat soon, okay?

Until next time,




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NFred’s Delicious Little Secret -UPDATE!

I must be very in tune with the universe because  you’ll never guess who showed up at The Toy Shop on the same day that I wrote  this:


So there I was, minding my own business, innocently going about my evening. My coworker was on her dinner break and I was finishing up some paperwork behind the cash. I heard some chatter at the front of the store and as I looked over to say hello, I realized that…


Holy crap! It was like my writing had conjured Her over to the The Toy Shop!

I momentarily contemplated running into the back room and forcing my coworker to deal with Her, but then decided to pull up my boot straps and handle it like the capable retail professional that I am.

In a booming voice, I called over “HELLO”. She nodded and then walked towards me with her child.

“Do you have those special tattoo pens?”, she asked while looking directly at my face.

“Yes, we do. Follow me”, I replied while looking directly at Her face.

I walked Her over to the section of the store where she could find what she was looking for and then I booked it back to the cash area.

It was obvious that she still didn’t recognize me.


As I was contemplating my forgettable status behind the safety of the cash area, she approached me, ready to pay. Because I’m super smooth in awkward situations, I asked her child if he was going to tattoo the word “mom” on his arm with his new pens. Well did that ever make Her laugh. Like a real, snort inducing chuckle.


“Hey, I know you! From hockey!” she said with a smile.


“NO, YOU KNOW ME FROM BEING AN ASSHAT ABOUT FREE GIFT WRAPPING” is what I wanted to say, but all that came out was “yes”.

“I thought you looked familiar. Have you worked here long?’, she asked innocently.

“LONG ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE AN ASSHAT”, I thought but again replied with “yes”.

“Well I guess we’ll see you next weekend then. Nice seeing you again”, she said with a smile as she exited The Toy Shop.

NICE SEEING ME AGAIN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

If only she knew how NOT nice it was for ME seeing HER again.

I couldn’t help but think about Her for the rest of my shift. What kind of a person explodes on someone and then acts like it never happened? Maybe she regularly loses her shit on underpaid customer service employees making it next to impossible to keep us all straight in her asshat mind?

I have far too many questions that I fear will never get answered.

Who the crap is this woman?

What is Her deal?!?!?!?


Life really is full of surprises…and unpredictable plot twists…

Stay tuned!







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NFred’s Delicious Little Secret.

I couldn’t quite place her, but I knew that she looked familiar.

It was at my son’s hockey evaluations a few weeks ago. She was registering the kids as they arrived at the arena.

“What’s your name, Honey”, she asked my son. He answered and she sweetly told him which dressing room to use and wished him good luck.

As I sat shivering  in the stands, watching my son play, it suddenly came to me.


A few years ago while working at The Toy Shop, I had a customer who was very upset with the quality of our free gift wrapping service. I remember that she bought an item and asked to have it wrapped. As I was removing the price tags, she went off on an unprovoked rant about how poorly wrapped her previous purchase had been and that she had to redo the whole thing HERSELF in her car because she was too embarrassed to give such a horrible looking gift. I apologised and took extra care to fluff the tissue and curl the ribbon to perfection. When I asked her if it looked okay, she rolled her eyes, snatched the bag from my hands and said, “I’ll do it myself” before storming out of the store.

It was one of the most perplexing customer interactions I’ve ever had in my entire retail career. How could someone be so upset about a totally optional and completey FREE service?

I sat there in the stands, my butt frozen and fingers numb and I smiled. As if this was the same woman who just called my son “Honey”! What I delicious little secret I had.

And the best part?

I’ve seen her on a weekly basis at the rink ever since.


Needless to say, I’ve been a little guarded in my interactions with her. I’m cautiously waiting for her inner asshat to escape.

In all fairness, I don’t know this woman. She could lead a very difficult life. But there’s just something about people who aren’t cordial to those in customer service jobs. Your server, cashier, the person that pumps your gas are all paid to help you in one way or another. However, being outlets for your misplaced anger is NOT part of their job description.

Anyhoo, it’s going to be an interesting hockey season to say the least! Last week I made sure to wear my staff shirt to see if she’d say anything, but no dice.

Who knows, maybe we’ll become friends and one day we’ll laugh about her inner asshat?!?!!? It’s not likely, but you never know….life is full of surprises…

Thanks for reading,






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Paragraph # 28: Tired.





I have no reason to be this bone crushingly exhausted, but here I am, sitting on my couch in my jam jams, struggling to keep my eyes open.

My day at work was pretty uneventful, so I really don’t have any excuse for wanting to go to bed at eight thirty on a Saturday night.

The only exciting part of work today occurred when an older gentleman told me that I should inform all my customers to buy the squirrel socks we sell because his daughter wore them for her government French exam and she passed. I smiled and said “awesome” and then he went on a giant tangent about how hard it is to get a job in the government. I did my best to look busy in an attempt to get away from the conversation, but he wouldn’t stop talking at me. After rambling on for a solid five minutes he told me AGAIN how I should tell all my customers about the magical squirrel socks and then he said “thanks, Buddy” and left.

Buddy? People are so weird.

Tomorrow I have a ridiculous day “off”. A bowling tournament, two hockey games, skating lessons and our crazy annual toy store staff party extravaganza.

I’m going to need a clone, a caffeine drip and a solid eighteen hours of sleep tonight if I plan on surviving tomorrow’s madness.

What’s that I hear? It’s my sweet, sweet couch calling!

Good night and thanks for reading.

See you tomorrow,











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NFred’s Top Tips For Working Retail On Black Friday.

black friday zombies

Tomorrow marks my third consecutive year of working at the toy shop on Black Friday. Having survived Black Friday in retail twice, I consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject. If you’re a Black Friday virgin, new to retail or if the idea of people swarming your store’s entrance before sunrise makes you break out in a cold sweat, then this post is for you!

NFred’s Top Tips For Working Retail On Black Friday

1. The most important thing you can do to prepare for working on Black Friday happens on Black Friday Eve. Before you go to bed, ask yourself, “is there any alcohol in my home?” If the answer is no, you best run to the Liquor Store! Trust me, you’ll need something boozy in your system the instant you enter your domicile after your shift is done. Beer, wine, vodka, tequila, it doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as there’s LOTS.

2. The moment you wake up on Black Friday, begin your caffeine consumption. I can not stress enough how important it is to keep your caffeine level dangerously high throughout the day. If you’re vibrating, you’re good. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself fall victim to a caffeine crash. There’s no time to be tired on Black Friday, dammit! Make sure to have an ample supply of caffeine laden drinks in your staff room. You will need them more than oxygen.

3. What you chose to wear for your Black Friday shift is crucial. It may be November and chilly outside, but dress like it’s August in the desert. Your store is going to be full of people and hotter than hell. You’ll be sweating more than Richard Simmons leading an aerobics class in the eighties. If possible, wear a short sleeve shirt and light pants. Tomorrow is not the day to don your new wool sweater or extra cozy flannel shirt. You will melt.

4. Make sure you pack a lunch for Black Friday. Unless you’re The Flash, there’s no way you could zip over to the food court, grab a bite to eat and be back to your store before your half hour break is over. I estimate that there will be at least a quadrillion shoppers out in the malls tomorrow and most will congregate wherever food is sold. The line ups will be insane and I personally don’t want to spend my entire break among the cranky and the hungry. So pack a lunch and a plethora of snacks. My Black Friday Diet Plan will include selections from the chocolate, candy, cake and chip food groups. I feel like a solid amount of junk food will help balance out all of the caffeine in my system. And my dining location? A cozy little nook in the back of my store’s stockroom where I can hide from all of the chaos.

5. Black Friday customers are not your average shoppers. They’re like zombies who feed on bargains instead of brains. They want deals and they want them NOW. They get so drunk on discounts that they often forget how basic human conversation works. Expect to be interrupted, waved over, barked at and my personal favourite, summoned over by aggressive finger snapping. Customers will demand to know what’s on sale and complain about items that are regular priced. This will be ninety-five percent of your customer interactions. So how does one deal with all of the rudeness and lack of manners? Channel your inner Taylor Swift and SHAKE. IT. OFF. When a customer is being particularly horrible to me, I like to remind myself that they must be a very sad and lonely person. If treating me like shit and ruining my day is the only thing that makes them feel good about their crappy little life, well kudos to them for being an asshat. Don’t let negativity ruin your day! Don’t sink to their level! And if all else fails, retreat into your store’s backroom, close the door, go into the corner and SWEAR to your heart’s content. Take a few deep breaths, pound some chocolate and head back out into the trenches with your head held high.

6. My most important tip for working retail on Black Friday is to support your coworkers. Lean on them! Encourage them! Love them! They know EXACTLY what you’re going through. If they’re dealing with a difficult customer, help them out! If you see them yawning, share your caffeine stash! If they need to vent, lend them your ear! Your coworkers will keep you sane during all of the madness.

I hope my top tips will prove useful for all of my brave retail brothers and sisters who are working tomorrow.

I wish you all a happy Black Friday and may the odds be ever in your favour!I

Until we meet again,


P.S. If you don’t work in retail and plan on doing some shopping tomorrow, I strongly suggest that you read this first. It’s by one of my favourite bloggers…


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Bare Bum Betty

bare bum bettty


I’ve worked in retail for the majority of my adult life.

I’ve seen things.

Questionable things.

I thought I had pretty much seen it all, until last week.

Gather around and let me tell you the tale of my first, and hopefully last, pantless customer.


I work at a toy store in a relatively quiet suburban mall. Our clientele is comprised mostly of young families and grannies. On Fridays, I work the day shift with my boss.

Last Friday started off quite pleasantly. Boss Lady and I went to get coffee, chatted each other’s ears off about our week and our kids and the general goings on of the store.

At nine thirty, we promptly opened the store, served customers and drank our coffee. It was a pretty quiet morning. A little over an hour passed when  Boss Lady had to make some phone calls. She went into our back room while I served a couple of customers. As I was ringing through a sale, a tall blond woman and an older gentleman sauntered into the store. I flashed them a quick smile and noticed that the woman was wearing a really short “dress”. I didn’t think much of  it as I finished up with my customer. As soon as I was done, the older gentleman approached me and asked if I could help him find a certain board game. I wasn’t sure if we had it in stock, so I walked over to the game section of the store to investigate. When I arrived at my destination, I was greeted by both the man’s female companion and her bare bum.

Let me explain.

The woman was bent over, looking at something on a lower shelf. Her bending movement must have forced her very short “dress” to ride up her body, hence exposing a large portion of her naked behind.

To give you an idea of  how much naked behind was exposed, I would like you to imagine that you are dunking a delicious Oreo cooking in a tall glass of milk.

Give it a good dunk.

Now look at that cookie before you eat it.

I bet there’s milk covering at least  half of your cookie. If you’re like me, you like to double dunk. thus there is a high probability that there’s more than half of your cookie that remains milkless.

Now back to the naked bum. Imagine her “dress” as the milk and her behind as the cookie. She was definitely a double dunker because I certainly saw more than half of her bare bum.

When my eyes landed on her exposed rear end, I felt like I was driving beside the scene of a car accident because I didn’t want to look, but I couldn’t look away. I fumbled over my words as I searched for Bare Bum Betty’s board game. I couldn’t find it and was relieved when I could leave the scene of  awkward nudity to go and search my inventory on the store computer.

As I was taking my time on the computer, Boss Lady emerged from the back room still on the phone. I jotted down a quick note that said, “looks like one of our customer’s forgot to put on their pants this morning”, and passed it discreetly to her as I finished up on the computer. She read it and then gave me a weird look. I gently nodded my head in the direction of Bare Bum Betty and her gentleman companion. Boss Lady, still on the phone, walked over to the game section and then quickly walked back towards me with an expression of sheer horror on her face. As I passed her, I held in a nervous giggle and went to tell Bare Bum Betty’s gentleman companion that sadly we did not have the board game he was looking for. Lucky for me, Bare Bum Betty was no longer bent over, but an uncomfortable amount of her bare bum was still on display. I felt myself sweating as I recommended a couple of other games. After what felt like ten hours, the older gentleman thanked me for my help and said they would look around for a few minutes.

I was overjoyed to be relieved of my duties. I walked back to the cash area where Boss Lady was no longer on the phone. We both sort of stared at each other, not sure how to proceed about the nudity in our store. The only pantless customers either of us had ever encountered before were babies in onesies.

Moments later, Bare Bum Betty’s gentleman companion called out, “thanks” from the board game section. Hand in hand with his half naked gal, they exited the store. Boss Lady and I watched in disbelief as Betty’s bare bum dangled “cheekily” from her “dress”. I swear it looked as if her bum was waving us goodbye.

Boss Lady and I spent the remainder of the day working and  debating weather or not our “rear” view exposed more than just Betty’s bare bum. I swear I saw a third naked “cheek” peeking out from under her “dress” as she exited the store. What I’m trying so eloquently to say is that I may have seen a small portion of  Betty’s bare vagina popping out to join the bare bum party as she walked away.

Since this incident occurred last Friday, I’ve been searching for a reasonable explanation as to why Bare Bum Betty wasn’t wearing any pants. Here’s what I’ve come up with;


1. She was on her way to a Sharon Stone look-a-like contest where she was going to reenact the famous leg uncrossing scene from Basic Instinct.

2. She once spilled an extra large coffee all over her pants and was so traumatized that she vowed to NEVER wear pants again.

3. She just had a Brazilian wax and her lady bits swelled up severely due to an allergic reaction to the hot wax, hence no pants.

4. She was swindled by a crooked pant merchant who charged her a hundred dollars for the hottest new fashion accessory;  invisible pants.

5. Her gentleman companion is that crooked pant merchant.

6. We were on a hidden camera TV show.

7. She thought a peplum top was actually a tiny dress.

8. She has excessive bum sweat.


Almost a week has passed and I’m still plagued by unanswered questions concerning Bare Bum Betty. I wonder if maybe she was aware that her bum was showing and simply did not care? Maybe she was making a statement about society’s obsession with female nudity? Maybe she’s an activist and wants to get pantlessness legalized? Whatever her reasons, Bare Bum Betty has rightfully earned a coveted spot on my list of  infamous toy store customers along side such legends as Creepy Dad, Crazy Grumpy Grandma, Lava Lamp Man, It Took Me Two Planes To Get Here Woman, Tim Horton’s Cup Urinator, Constant Baby Talk Mom, Graphic Birth Story Oversharer and Woman Who Called Her Husband A Pussy.


Until we meet again,

A pants wearing NFred.






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