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The Customer Is Always Wrong (2008)
ed. by Jeff Martin
Nonfiction, essays
Read 01.03.2015 – 01.04.2015


Since this is a collection of essays, I'm not giving away any big details or secrets. However, please keep in mind that I may mention the content of an essay or two.

My first read of 2015! I was debating between giving this two or three stars. In the end, I didn’t think it was so good that it warranted three, though.

The good news is there is an audience for this book. Anyone who has ever worked retail would likely find this book oddly comforting. On the other hand, there isn’t anything here that really sets these essays apart from any other stories about working in retail. Yes, you’re going to have odd managers, and you will run into customers who need you to hold their hand. Sometimes that validation that you aren’t the only one is nice, but if you’re looking for something beyond the day to day, you’re not going to find much here.

Unfortunately with essay collections like this, you’re bound to have some essays you like and some you don’t. Since the book is a collection of essays by various authors, then you also have the issue of not liking an author for one reason or another. Both of these issues came up with this book. I did like some of the essays, but I also disliked a number of them. This could be for a number of reasons. Sometimes it was because of writing style. It also occasionally had to do with the author’s personality, which I probably shouldn’t hold against them, but it makes for a less pleasant reading experience for me.

A couple of the essays also veered away from the life of retail. Some also strayed from the idea of the customer. I wouldn’t complain if the title hadn’t been The Customer Is Always Wrong. In this case, though, the title doesn’t fit some of the essays since some of them were about the ridiculous ways shops were run or an overview of the retail job with only a few mentions of customers. I suppose the idea was to have a catchy title, though.
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Amanda

December 2015

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