The Dog Gate Conundrum

Last week I bought a fold up free-standing gate.  The dog behaviorist has finally made me realize that I am not going to “fix” Guinevere so that she doesn’t wake up violently when the kitty jumps down from the windowsill in the middle of the night.  That means I have to solve how to keep the kitty safe.   It’s always a pretty short scenario; Nimue thumps down on the floor, Guinevere startles awake and lunges.  Then Guinevere wakes up and it’s over. 

We tried keeping Nimue in YA’s room but kitty does not like being imprisoned all night.  After all she does her best hunting in the wee hours.  Then we put Guinevere in YA’s room but then the dog whined all night and scratched at the door.

So now we have a pretty white, fairly heavy free-standing gate in my room that separates where the kitty jumps down from my bed, where the dog hangs out all night.  It’s only been a few days so Nimue hasn’t quite figured it all out, but I expect in the next few days, she’ll have it worked out.

That’s not really what I’m here to talk about.  What I’m here to talk about is that it’s been over a week since I ordered this thing and today I have seen at least SIX ads recommending various dog gates.  Oh and an ad for a pet door.  I’ve probably said this before, but if the computers are so smart and connected into my life to know I’m looking at dog gates, then why aren’t they smart enough to know I already bought the darn thing.  Do they think I need lots and lots of dog gates?  I hate to think what would happen if I returned it – what pop-up ads would I get then?

Have you ever worked retail?  Any good stories?

47 thoughts on “The Dog Gate Conundrum”

  1. Never have worked retail.
    Last night The Birds experienced night fright for the first time. At first it sounded like hail on the roof. They were crashing around in their aviary for some reason. Thankfully, no one was injured but now I’ll have to cover the aviary at bedtime.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I have worked in bookstores, starting in the 80s when we were looking at the massive Books in Print via microfiche sheets that were updated and mailed to us weekly.

    By the time I was at Birchbark Books, things were computerized – including the cash register, which was kind of a steep learning curve. I didn’t spend much time at the till, but needed to know how to be back-up cashier.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. No retail for me, just waitressing at the Moorhead. MN Mr. Steak. We installed a dog gate last weekend that has a special cat door within the people door so the pup has to stay put but the cat can come and go at will.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh lordy, I forgot about waitressing! The Safari lounge, senior year of college, Ames, Iowa. Remember one professor who came in every evening and ate dinner there. Best things on the juke box were Peggy Lee’s Fever, Is that All There Is?, and The Youngbloods’ Beautiful.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. When I worked the first shift at the Country Kitchen (the best tipping shift), I loved the regulars. As soon as you saw them getting out of their pick-up trucks (most of them, anyway), you could pour the coffee and get the cinnamon roll onto a plate by the time they sat down.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I worked as a waiter for a ‘tea’ at church once. I mixed up a woman’s hot chocolate with hot tea. They thought it was pretty funny.

          Sometimes I help out at mom’s place. The kitchen is low on help and a meal will be late, so I’ve helped hand out the meals. The aide gave me a tray and sent me down the hall to someone’s room. Haha- I didn’t know I was doing that, I was just helping feed the people in the lunchroom!
          Then one woman wanted her ice cream warmed up in the microwave. I hesitated and she said “It’s right over there! Just do it!” So I did.
          There are some really interesting people having lunch with mom. It’s usually kinda fun being there for meals.

          Liked by 5 people

        2. I love the image of a befuddled Ben being told by an old woman to heat up her ice cream in the microwave. That’s just great. I bet your mother is so proud of you.

          Liked by 4 people

    2. Mr. Snake is what many in Moorhead called it. I don’t recall exactly why. Thought the food was okay and actual snake as a menu item would have been not only creepy for Scandinavians but expensive. There is a blog of some sort for former employees.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I have not worked much retail—just several Christmas seasonal jobs for local stores in my home town. At the local jewelry store I wrapped gifts for several weeks. I didn’t like that because it was just toooooo putsy for my taste. I worked in a NAPA auto parts store as an inventory clerk where I messed up the inventory forever. I did not wait on customers, but the mechanics liked my mini-skirts (1971). My boss told me traffic was up because these guys liked my legs. I was so embarrassed and quit soon after that. Talk about a “Me Too” moment. But there was a lot of that in the bad old days.

    I try to remember to use the “Private Browsing Window”, also known as the “porn window” when I shop online because it does not trigger all the shopping algorhythms that VS is commenting on. Online retail needs to work on that particular phenomenon—how many items of what I just bought do I really need?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’ve never heard of the porn window either. I downloaded the DuckDuckGo browser though and it’s fun to flame 🔥 the website I just visited when I’m done. I’ve heard that it’s a more private web browser.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. haha– I never thought about using private browsing when shopping! That’s really a good idea. Maybe I won’t tell Kelly I’m using the porn window. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “The porn window” is not the official name of course, but that is why it was developed. Wink, Wink. I get this geek gossip from my son. But it works equally well to shield yourself from the evils of marketing algorhythms. For those that need to know how to find it, when you are in your chosen browser go to the “File” tab, then navigate down to Private Browsing.

        Liked by 4 people

  5. VS, your musing about instantly seeing ads on your computer for items you’ve researched recently is what I’ve been noticing for a long time. Maybe all the tracking and monitoring by the Googleverse isn’t as sophisticated as we are led to believe. 😉 Or they’re just messing with us.

    I was a stock boy at the old Donaldson’s department store at Southdale for a year or so–first in the Toys and Sporting Goods dept., then in Men’s Clothing. Ahhh, yes, the leisure suit era. Made of vinyl-ish polyester that was supposed to look and feel like leather. Yeah, right.

    No great stories there except I’ll never forget my first Black Friday (back when it wasn’t the “national holiday” it is today. Hundreds of people were lined up at the courtyard entrance waiting to get in at the 8:00 opening. When the doors opened, they stampeded through like a herd of cattle heading toward whatever bargain was top of their list. I shook my head in amused wonderment. And yes, we sold dozens of leisure suits that day.

    I also worked in retail liquor sales, first at a small store in Hopkins for a few years. Then I hit the big time at Surdyk’s for a few years (as a wine consultant). Sale weeks stood out as being non-stop customers wall-to-wall, their shopping carts crammed together, barely enough room to navigate the aisles, and wine flying out the door by the multiple cases.

    Had some interesting/weird customers (some drunks–but not too many in the wine dept–mostly liquor and beer sections). My fellow wine consultants were an interesting lot–quirky is a good general description of most of them. No interesting or funny stories to tell since it was so long ago–early ’90s.

    In retrospect, being a Surdyk’s wine consultant would have been a good gig for a closet alcoholic. We tasted 5-10 or more wines per day so we’d know what we were talking about when consulting our customers, and often got to take the leftovers home at the end of the day. The custom is to swirl, sniff, sip, and then spit each wine into a waste container. But a clever alcoholic could take a bigger sip than normal (more of a gulp), swallow most, and spit an amount that looked like a normal spit. Ten or twelve samples would give you a good two glasses worth of wine or more, which would probably get most folks through the workday, assuming a couple of drinks before work, and a couple right after work. Kind of morbid as far as stories go, but hey, it’s a cold, cloudy day out my window. I managed to survive without succumbing to the temptation of alcohol. “All things in moderation.” 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

  6. I worked briefly at the Ragstock in Northfield. I worked evenings and closed up the store for awhile. I enjoyed that job. On Thursday evenings the shipment of “new” used clothes would come in and I’d get first dibs. It was my job to open the boxes, put the price tags on according to the sheet of paper (this was in the early 90s), and hang up the clothes. Thursday nights were busy and fun. It didn’t pay very well and it was a second job as I was working full time as a nurse.

    I also had a couple gigs as a waitress my junior and senior years in high school. I was a really awful waitress. I broke plates and was forced to peel 10-20 pounds of potatoes. I messed up orders and had to apologize. I got lousy tips and as a result of my naïveté and general incompetence, I got treated badly by more than one customer. Not a good experience for someone like me. I’m glad I took nurses training. It has been a much better career choice.

    Pippin is highly neurotic and hates it when I leave, even for short times such as a trip to the store. I have a galley kitchen, very small, and I used to gate both ends and tuck his dog bed in a corner with his water dish nearby, and he would be quiet and happy for the 8-hour shifts I worked when full time. Since I’ve been home more and he’s grown older and more neurotic, he doesn’t tolerate me leaving at all. He barks and the neighbors hear him. In the last few months, he learned to pull the gates down by jumping on them repeatedly. Once he’s out, he runs around the house shredding and eating things. Unfortunately he’s caused some damage and eaten things that worried me. I have to patch and paint one wall where he scratched it deeply in his hysteria to get out and shred things. So it became a problem and I have tried all kinds of things including CBD oil, medication, baby-proofing and then leaving him to just be free in the house, none of it has worked. So I’ve had to crate him when I go. Neither of us like it but I need to know that he’s safe. My neighbor said she can hear him barking in there and I feel bad about it. She said it doesn’t bother her, which is nice. I’ve heard her dog barking when she leaves too. I wish he wasn’t so distressed. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m wondering, Krista, whether giving him an old t-shirt or some other piece of clothing that you have worn, and a special toy that he gets only when you leave, might help? I’m sure you tried just about everything, and I can understand why this is upsetting to you. I’m thinking one of those toys that you can hide treats in might work. Sorry that’s all I have.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes I’ve given him one of those toys and it does help a little but not completely. I’m afraid he will shred up a t-shirt and possibly eat some of it. He’s done things like that in the past and I’m grateful that he’s never become obstructed from eating foreign objects. I’m just cautious about everything with this dog! Thanks!

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I used a thunder shirt on 2 of my dogs who were quite anxious, both during a thunderstorm and other situations that created anxiety. That shirt fits tightly on the dog. The firm pressure calms them. This works with anxious people as well. Thus the proliferation of weighted blankets.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I have a thunder shirt for him and he wears it quite a bit. It only helps so much and I don’t like to put it on him in his crate because he gets so hot in there. It’s me he wants.


  7. I believe sales in all forms from mad men to clerks is the most common job in the US.
    I looked at a Bluetooth booster on Best Buy home page, after a clerk in local store said they do not exist. It said I could order one for pick up in an hour. I did not do so. Now I get an email every day about it.
    So tired of pain

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I had one four-month stint in retail back in 1968, and I’ve written about it here before. It was at the W.T. Grant store in Riverhead, Long Island. It was the interim between wasband being discharged from the Air Force and starting school at SIU.

    I worked mainly in housewares, but was in charge of the pet department one day a week when the woman normally in charge had the day off.

    On the two nights a week the store was open until 8 PM, I doubled at gift wrapper and selling artificial flowers. I have NO natural ability or inclination toward either gift wrapping or cheap plastic flowers, so that presented a bit of a challenge.

    I’m no Martha Stewart, but I’m proud to report that during my four months there, I managed to sell items that had been collecting dust on the housewares department’s shelves for years, literally. One in particular stands out, because we had a small celebration when it sold.

    It was a foot tall, heavy, bluish glass fish, standing upright on it’s tail and dorsal fins, mouth agape at the top. I emptied a bag or two of colorful aquarium gravel into the bottom of the fish and artfully arranged a few plastic flowers protruding from its mouth. I cleaned a prominent endcap to display my masterpiece, and within hours someone walked out of W.T. Grant with this prize.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Never worked retail, but I have worked with farmers when I was at the ASCS office (Ag Department) and even the clients who come through the theater can be interesting. When I’m training new kids for the Community Education job in the high school theaters, I tell them a lot of it is just customer service.
    We might work Diwalli, the Hindu festival of light, or we might work the Chinese New Year event. Seven guys in the booth speaking Chinese. Just let them do their thing and don’t let them blow up the equipment.

    I remember one lady saying she liked my aftershave. I thought ‘Aftershave? I don’t use aftershave….’ Then I remembered I had used Absorbine Jr. that morning; a liniment for sore muscles. It has an aroma. Evidently a pleasing one to her.
    And there were some farmers that were quite the characters. Everybody in the office knew them and it was a race to see who could get busy quickest to avoid working with them. Even on the townboard, we get some characters. Most of the time we can laugh about it later.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. The “Norwegian Bachelor Farmer” characters of GK were actually a real thing. My father’s life long friend, Willie, was one of these guys. HIs family, and my dad’s family, and his uncle’s family farmed together on a section of their township, sharing horses, equipment, and labor. He and dad played together as children, then went to High School together. Willie was incredibly shy,chronically looking at his boots. He showed up for everything important in the life of our family, but he lived with his parents until they died. After dad died, he showed up on my mother’s doorstep with a batch of Vidalia onions saying, “I order these for my friends.” He then proposed to mom that she move in with him, stating “I would be glad to move in to the basement out of your way.” My sister wrote a hilarious essay entitled “Courtin’ Onions” about the incident.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I’ll follow Jacque’s lead and tell another story from my retail days.

          W.T. Grant was a great place to work. Nothing demanding or difficult to do, and it got me out of my in-laws house. It was a fairly large store, all on one level, in a stripmall that also housed an excellent take out pizza-by-the-slice place, and the usual assortment of storefronts. It was 22 miles from Greenport where my in-laws lived, and where wasband and I were temporarily housed. 

          I’m not sure how many people were employed by the store, but we all knew each other, and everybody knew who I was. Not because there was anything special about me (except possibly my accent), but because of my last name. They were all very solicitous of my well being, knowing where I was living. This was the first time I had lived anywhere near wasband’s childhood home or family, and I learned in a hurry that everybody for miles around knew, or knew of them. Though I had witnessed some of the craziness first hand when I stayed there during my first four days in this country in 1965, I had attributed it all to nerves, jet lag and jitters on my part. As I discovered, it wasn’t.

          His parents were first cousins who married and emigrated quite young from southern Italy. Neither of them had much education, as a matter of fact, Enrico, wasband’s dad, was illiterate. Somehow, by hard word and grit they had carved out a life for themselves and their five kids in a ramshackle old house on Front Street in Greenport. When not working at a US government research facility on Plum Island, or tending a small plot of land in neighboring Southold, Enrico could be found in the kitchen sipping homemade wine. He rarely left the house. Asunta and her three daughters ruled the roost. Wasband’s sisters, Sue, Violet, and Grace were all given wide berth whenever they entered the store, and word was quickly passed to me to go hide in the storeroom when that happened. They were bossy and demanding, and nobody wanted to deal with them if they could help it. Wasband had a reputation of being a ladies man, a Romeo they called him, quite the contrast to the shy and studious young man he presented to me. His older brother, Henry, lived quietly with his wife and two sons in Southold. Henry, too, worked on Plum Island.

          The woman in charge of the housewares department had a reputation of being difficult to get along with, but we got along fine. In fact, a month into my stay at wasband’s parents’ house, I had a run-in with Gracie and she invited me to move in with her, which I did despite the fact that she didn’t have a spare room, and I had to share her bed. She was in her mid-forties (is my guess), unmarried but was carrying on an affair with the husband of the woman in charge of the pet department. This had apparently been going on for years. Less than three years into my US journey, I was living in Peyton Place.

          Liked by 5 people

    1. One guy, whose farm I’d visit fairly often, looked like the typical Norwegian Bachelor Farmer, but he was looking for a wife. I remember being there one spring day, I’m wearing a sleeveless shirt, and he had about 4 layers on.
      And he would always tell me how much money he had in the bank and that he was looking for a wife. He scanned all the women head to toe. And there was nothing subtle about it.
      He would give me the checks to fill out. One day he was showing me things from the curio cabinet. Things his parents had bought. And he was fishing them out from way in the back, behind all this other stuff. It made me nervous!
      Family of about 14 of course. He may have been the nicest of the bunch.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Mr. Snake is what many in Moorhead called it. I don’t recall exactly why. Thought the food was okay and actual snake as a menu item would have been not only creepy for Scandinavians but expensive. There is a blog of some sort for former employees.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There are a lot of different ways of working retail. For a very brief time I pumped gas at an all-night Clark station on seven corners near the university. It was probably the worst of all my jobs. This was before the days of self-service gasoline, so I pumped gas for all my customers. Often I worked the all night shift, since I was a student during the day. It was midwinter and I remember one subzero night when the customers kept coming, I lost five pounds from shivering. On top of that, the manager was cheating his employees, insisting that each of his mostly student employees had come up short on the night’s takes and deducting the difference from their meager salaries.

    For a couple of years, 1968-1969, I worked as a clerk at Art Materials in Dinkytown on the Minneapolis campus. That’s where I met Robin. She was new to the city, having transferred from Carleton in Northfield, and didn’t know many people. The first time she came into the store—it was downstairs of Perrine’s bookstore, fall of 1969—I didn’t wait on her. But after she left I opened the till to read her name off her check. The next time she came to the store, I greeted her by name. We chatted, I invited her to coffee at Bridgeman’s across the street, where Robin also, as it happens, worked. We started dating and never stopped.

    When I was in high school, I started working at J. C. Penney’s, Brookdale, in the display department. Display work in Penney’s was pretty cut and dried—printing signs and dressing mannequins. Later, after Robin and I were married, I worked in the display departments of both Dayton’s and Donaldson’s in downtown Minneapolis. This would have been in the early 1970s. The display department staffs were about half men and half women, but I was about the only male on either staff that was not gay. I’m sure that the store clerks assumed I was also gay and I was aware of that at the time but didn’t care and my coworkers were my friends. That was an experience.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I have a vague memory of seeing a photo of you in some costume (Easter Bunny?) while working in one of those display jobs. Or did I make that up?


  12. I worked at a bookstore for a number of years. I still remember some of the requests we got from customers. There were titles people mangled, sometimes conflating more than one. One I remember was a woman who asked forColor Me Purple, which was a cross between a popular nonfiction book called Color Me Beautiful. and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. One woman wanted For Whom the Bell Tolls, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of my coworkers led her to the book, which was, of course, by Hemingway. She still insisted that that wasn’t the book she wanted. It had to be by F Scott Fitzgerald.

    The classic bookstore customer was the one who said “I don’t remember the title, but the cover was red”, or blue, or green, or whatever. This was such a common thing that bookstore employees dealt with that there is actually a book called I Can’t Remember The Title But The Cover Is Blue, by Elias Grieg. I haven’t read it, but it might be a good selection for a future Blevins meeting.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. The topic recently was good customer service, and nothing in particular came to mind that day, but then I remembered a nice experience in a Target store recently. I had placed an order for pickup at the Panera across the way, and got there a little early, so I went into Target to pick up a couple of things. Got in line, and the cashier started having problems with the register. It was busy and I started to wish I had gotten into the self checkout line, but every time I thought about moving over there, three or four more people would get in line and it didn’t seem like it would be any faster. So I stuck it out in the original line. The cashier called over a manager, and the manager started ringing people up with one of those little handheld scanners. They can scan your stuff and swipe the credit card without ever having to use a cash register. After I had paid for my purchase, she quickly scanned a gift card and handed it to me, and said “Thanks for your patience!” So I had a $10 gift card as compensation for a few extra minutes and minor frustration.

    Liked by 4 people

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