Listen up, business owners! Today’s topic is: Stupid signs in retail establishments that annoy the crap out of me.
These are signs that are not cute, are not funny and generally bespeak the fact that the owner and/or manager is a cretin with the IQ of a cockroach. The fact that the establishment believes that its customers will enjoy such signs is indicative of its belief that the patrons are as soft in the head as the management.
So without further ado, I present to you the top four items on my list of infamy:
In God we trust, all others pay cash.
These days, most stores do not accept checks for obvious reasons: Too often, they are worthless. Cash is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (although the bank will send a counterfeit bill directly back to the merchant, but that is another issue entirely) and credit card payments (with proper I.D.) are guaranteed. I cannot fault businesses for wanting to be paid. If this means not accepting personal checks, I am fine with that. I occasionally run across a business that does not take credit cards due to the fees involved, and I can accept that as well. But please do not insult my intelligence. Prominently display a sign describing what forms of payment you accept. Please do not bring God into it. Not only is this blasphemous, but it gives you away as a hick that is not worthy of my patronage.
Lovely to look at and lovely to hold, but if you break it consider it sold.
Aww, what a cute rhyme. This informative sign immediately tells me three things:
- Children not welcome here. I definitely would not bring my little grandniece into such an establishment. Everyone knows that children like to touch things; in the case of my grandniece, she has to put them in her mouth and taste them. Yes, parents are responsible for controlling their children in public. However, there is a limit to what a parent can do. Children will be children and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even if you are holding your little one tightly in your arms, there is no guarantee that he or she will not suddenly thrust out an arm and unintentionally knock over one of your precious pieces of inventory. And guess what? My grandniece doesn’t have any money. But I do. And you’re not getting any of it, sucker.
- Customers with disabilities not welcome here. I am probably lucky if I can get a wheelchair through the door of your shop. Having surmounted that hurdle, however, I now have to deal with maneuvering tight little corners and narrow aisles so that you can get the maximum amount of stock into the postage stamp that you consider a store. If, in the process, a wheel should happen to hit the edge of one of your displays and jar loose an item that a previous customer has replaced too close to the edge, I will have the pleasure of arguing with you (and probably the local constabulary) about why I am not paying for your overpriced schlock. The same goes for those of us who, while still able to stand on their own two feet, have balance issues and might end up breaking something when quickly grabbing onto a shelf to avoid falling. But really it’s not a problem, as it is obvious that you don’t need our money or our business.
- You are an ass who does not understand costs of doing business. Your sign is forcing me to assume that you are an uneducated peddler who failed to graduate from high school and does not have even the most rudimentary understanding of economics. So allow me to educate you. Breakage/spoilage is a cost of doing business. (Ask your accountant how to deduct this from your income taxes.) If you are unprepared to assume this risk, or your paper thin profit margin does not allow for this, get out of business. The fact that you wrongheadedly attempt to pass these costs onto your customers will not bother most patrons who walk through your door… until they break something. If your merchandise is really that valuable, make sure it is enclosed in a locked case the way jewelry stores do.
Note: Just because a retailer posts such a sign does not necessarily impose liability upon a customer who accidentally breaks an item. How much a hapless customer must pay (if anything) largely depends on the law of negligence in your state or country.
Our credit manager is Helen Waite. If you need credit, go to Helen Waite.
Ooh, now we’re getting back into religious territory again. No matter, I need to make an appointment with Ms. Waite, please. I need to meet with her to discuss my excellent credit rating, my superb purchasing power and why your sorry business will not be the beneficiary of any of my disposable income. In my magnanimity, however, I have added your establishment to my Christmas list. Your gift this year will be a recording of “I Gave Her the Ring, She Gave Me the Finger.”
Ye Old Announcement: FREE BEER! December 32nd
I actually saw this one today when the family was having lunch at Shakey’s Ye Old Public House (otherwise known as pizza parlor) in Oroville. This type of sign is the progeny of the old-fashioned candy store notice in which the proprietor announced “Free Candy Tomorrow” — and never took the sign down.
I so wanted to take a bit of white paint and a brush and very carefully change the “3” to a “2.” I wonder if anyone would notice, not to mention how the management would react to the lines outside the door a few days before Christmas. My guess is that the sign would mysteriously disappear without delay. Which is a step that the management should take immediately.