And now for Part 2 of Memoirs...
The twice-weekly newspaper sales ads were the ubiquitous, labor-intensive, tedious responsibility of the lowly Osco Clerk. Osco ran two ads per week. Our job was to stock the sale items, sign them with the sale price, and tag every son-of-a-bitching piece of on-sale merchandise with a price gun. Remember, we didn't have laser price scanners at Osco until the early 1990s. We keyed prices by hand. Therefore, accurate pricing was crucial.
So, the task detailed above comprised "setting the ad." You stocked the merchandise, signed it and priced it. Once the sale ended, you had to "pull the ad." That is, you had to undo everything you did 3 days ago. Working from a copy of the sales ad, you'd track products down like a bloodhound in a necktie. You'd pull the sign. Then you'd rummage through the merchandise and pull off every damn sale price tag. This probably doesn't sound too bad. But remember that our ads featured 40 or 50 items. And sometimes our ads would feature feminine hygiene products. Try sifting through boxes of Summers Eve douches and not smelling like a fruity cooter for the rest of the week.
Depending on what days you worked, you may not have set the ad you were currently charged with pulling. Therefore, you were unaware of new places somebody else stocked the ad items. When you missed an on-sale price tag or the sale sign in front of the merchandise, the boss would remind you in a "aren't-you-the-biggest-idiot-on-the-planet" tone of voice. I never understood where a 35 year-old assistant manager got his balls condescending to a 16 year-old high school kid with -- more than likely -- a much brighter future. I remember thinking to myself "If I'm supervising a drugstore when I'm a billion years old like you, I'll go to the hardware aisle, locate a nail gun and take aim at my head. Clean-up, aisle 14!" Who knows? Maybe the boss intuited the pending irony and figured he'd take his potshots while he still could.
"Hey, LBB. You missed the Planter's Peanuts on the end-cap of aisle 17. We had to sell 3 cans at the sales price. Your mistakes are costing us money."
Really? Maybe if you didn't stock them in 5 different fucking places, that wouldn't happen. Well, that's what I said in my internal voice. Externally, I bowed my head in shame. God forbid Mrs. Smith made a run on our stock of Planters Peanuts at the unbelievably low price of 2 for $5! Gee, boss. Do you think we'll have to file for Chapter 11?
Such were the trials and tribulations of setting the ad/pulling the ad.
Speaking of sales ads, I never understood the concept of "on-sale." When a retailer puts something on sale, they're admitting that yesterday's price was a rip-off. It's as if they've been caught cheating, and now promise to play fair: We tried to butt-fuck you out of your money, but you were too slippery. Don't be afraid to come back now that our prices are reasonable. But don't wait. The sale ends on Saturday and by Sunday morning, the corporate butt-fucking recommences.