Being of Service: A Three-Suit Sales Day, Brunch person, COVID doctor

While positive comments for shepherding people (painlessly) through suit process are appreciated, as part of my job, taking pride in the process is psychic income. Yes, I get comments for suit-wearing, and picking Glenn Bossnblue as pen name is tied to feeling good about that aspect of my retail micro-economy. It looks like three-suit sales days aren’t going to be unusual. LOTS of good-looking $700+ sports coats getting attention.

My POV remains positive, with suit selling as my bellweather on results, weddings are still #1 reason for suits. After a $3,800 Wednesday, with literally off the rack $500 suit at very end of night, $4,300 Friday ended with $1,200 sale (Jack Victor black-blue jacket, $785, Bucachi black long-sleeve, $179), multi-color mohair sweater ($239).

Like good defensive backs, I have a short memory of LOUSY – less than $400 sales in 8-hrs. Saturday is 99% forgotten about. A bourbon at The Palms, 25-minutes of shooting hoops in a parking lot with one light, then quality leftovers and brewskies watching the Florida-Florida St. tussle were very relax-able elements. Not New Normal, just unstressed finish watching a rivalry game (a lot like the ’80s versions).

Sunday Brunch was paid for by companion, the opportunity to tip well was earned-deserved every step along the way by Stephanie, whose attendance and intelligence as a professional waitress enhanced a brunch at https://www.opentable.com/green-valley-grill. She did great, smoothing out a less successful Saturday with a Sunday afternoon free lunch, with frequent refills on coffee to info about Spanish Eggs, apppropraite action on the delay of espresso shot on vanilla ice cream with choclate biscotti dessert. $$$ on the table for good-good-good service is the appropriate accolade.

Its not just ego, or a magic blue suit – SERVICE is a legitimate dividing line when deciding to shop at Nordstrom or elsewhere, with me or anyone else. Good sales service isn’t taking your four items of clothing ‘to open a room for you.’

Like Stephanie at brunch, finding that cool 3X Bugachi for bulky guy, or suggesting options beyond a white shirt, that’s the good service guy I tend to be, so I appreciate a similar cooperative communicator.

Being OF SERVICE

The front-line COVID doctor I’m looking forward to meeting this week, yeah, the collective WE can never do justice to what medical personnel, at all levels of service, went through during pandemic. The Novant supervisor who immediately said, “Let’s get you stuck,” while still a Category 5 NC resident – and taking a mere 26 minutes from parking to leaving experience – is a service I won’t forget.

The old axiom of semi-gratitude is that, whatever burdens you’re bearing in life, “someone else has it worse.” In this seasonal expressing of thankfulness, it would take more than my writers imagination to understand looking the beast COVID in the eye daily, and I admire those who put themselves on the line for US.

Yes, I get comments for suit-wearing, and and picking Glenn Bossnblue as new pen name is tied to feeling good about that micro-economy. A bunch of three-suit days, I’ve got a feeling thats not going to be unusual. LOTS of $700+ sports coats recently.

Myself, post-Thanksgiving, 2022. Life at this end of #gshorkonsharonroadseam feels quite stable.

Alterations are always a Service Biggie

Early Monday its a green with black Ted Baker ($845) for wedding suit for next week, and fiancee nurse is staying up after overnight shift to get this important aspect done with him. He’s a marathon runner (100 milers) guy, with bigger calves and wanting to show ankle changes – alterations guy handled tapering like expect from pros. People have no qualms about paying for results, especially expediting.

In my micro-economy, SUITS area being up 57% over last year is no surprise . While we still sell out of common sizes quickly, we have plenty of product overall.

Turned right around, 2nd guy in gray suit

Finishing a great start to finish/rung up client and turning to a highly motivated next prospect is a salesman’s sweet spot. Jonathan was willing to learn and importantly, try on, both shirts (better with 32-33 sleeve) and suits. I affirm try-er on-ers regularly. As a salesperson and journalist-writer, doing fairly quick overviews of designers (Baker, Boss, Millar, Canali, and more recently, Jack Victor) sets the stage for ‘sizing’ customers, getting a jacket on them soon, basing estimates on myself as a 42 regular.

I’ve had lot of success with Boss, always point out how lowering the arm holes-shoulders are perfect for certain builds, with a great profile as a slim cut. Jonathan came in looking for exactly the slim fit, nice charcoal gray (Baker, $845) he’d expected, plus two much better than just white, trim fit Donahue shirts ($155). Bringing two sizes and options is a great closing situation.

Of course, the Boss felt a little better in the shoulders, but I realllly like how the gray looks on me.”

.”Shoulders on BOSS terrific, but I really like how the gray looks.” Bang zoom, thats decision I like to hear at end. Put a hem on it, pick it up in an hour. That a THIRD guy blew through and took a Millar check sports coat ($745) and a pair of white shirts, *that* is how triples should roll.

Although there’s a consistent fear of inflation or recession, my current POV-expectation is, with plenty of product vs. last year, setting goals for better paychecks is Reality. In 2021, I was often selling from an empty cart, burning time online having suits and shirts being shipped from other stores vs. just ringing up Peter Millar shirts/sweaters I *should* have had.

Reminding people how last year was, we still don’t do Black Friday pricing, which could have contributed to my poor showing last Saturday – our regulars know they won’t miss sales, but deal hunters were often disappointed. Now, end of the pay period, you’d better believe I’m wearing my Boss Blue – aka The $$$ Suit – instead of black management felt ‘would help identify us with customers.’ Pssshhh!

Reward those who have or will serve you well. Since first sales job out of college, and Boomer with Attittude, if you wanted more money, the word has been “Its right out there, do more.” Zig Ziglar stated it undeniably: If you get other people what they want, (as a saleperson) you automatically get what you want.

Department is up 57% vs. 2021, butNordstrom’s doesn’t really do Black Friday pricing,. I’m within two of our nice Jack Victor sports jackets of my goal.

Triple shots of Bugachi, Double suits on Dad made Micro-economy shine, Hoops in Charlotte sun makes Monday better than Panthers was

Selling *eleven* of those very good-feeling shirts ($170) Sunday was product knowledge and good service. Finding 3-size 3Xs – I didn’t know they existed until checking the computer -was a $500 difference maker. Was on sales floor 20 minutes Monday when Mr. Froelich and his son literally walked into a pair of 44L Peter Millar suits ($895). Way to start a day, and appreciate banker Dad who knew suits, shared enthusiasm about A-1 service while getting two really good ones for son’s job in CA .

Totally unexpected: $20 tip from a 40-yr. old gentleman after I ‘sized’ him, and provided 10 minutes of good intell on suit factors. ie. Fill or indent of shoulders, sleeve length (S-R-L), 6″ standard difference between jacket size and pants, ‘close’ and ‘tight’ on slim cuts. He’d never had a clue what to look for in the process.

Wore Boss Blue jacket, Nautica shirt and Nantucket Red pants, new Steve Madden shoes ($120, cognac) Sat., went full ‘Blue’ Sunday.

Alpha Dog? OK for Baker, feelin’ it a little myself with Micro-economy

— Glenn S., ‘Mr. Hugo Boss Blue,’ 9/11/22

Nobody doubted Baker Mayfield’s worth during the 4th quarter of Panthers first game of the season, especially his seven yard scamper for TD. Despite losing the first game of season at home to Browns 26-24, there are a reliable number of fans still on Panther bandwagon, most looking for more McCaffrey carries.

STATS – Mayfield https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/baker-mayfield/46518 produced a TD run, the difference (6 pts.) in 17.9 ppg for Panthers in 2021. Just sayin’.

Robby Anderson is happy with 75 yard TD catch, check. DJ Moore 3/43 receiving, tough day for new kid Ekwonu to block DE Myles Garrett (2 sacks) – check. One TD (1 yd. run) no injuries for McCaffrey, with 10 rushes/33 yards and 4 catches/24 receiving yards. Check. Panthers had 4 fumbles off snap miscues – fixing that is mandatory.

The defense wasn’t stellar most of day – Nick Chubb had 141 yards on 22 carries – but held late, so Cleveland’s York needed a 58-yard bomb for the winning FG. Browns weren’t supposed to give up 17 in the 4th, so Mayfield gets ‘almost’ credit. Sunday still goes down as a loss, BUT…I expect to buy a ticket or two, a game for $40 could be real this year.

My micro-economy – We have product, I have expertise

  • Brookes Brothers small corduroy shirts ($118), big rugby stripes and big wale pants (golden brown, green) will kill. Yes, more preppy stuff than we’ve seen, and this is a great market for it. Sales-wise, it doesn’t seem we’re losing anything to Peter Millar reopening in nearby Phillips Place.
  • Plenty of Canali suits, a wall full of Ted Baker, sports coats, and even tuxedos available now. Hugo Boss gets prime spot across front of department, with plenty of ‘Blues,’ which I (perhaps immodestly) have repped well. Talks with customers affirms they trust me as very competent, able to impart inform/opinions. Leading people to good choices 1-1 with great SERVICE counts in micro-economy.
  • All three suits Monday were Millars, a natural choice if a guy is ‘thicker.’ Gentleman with fiancée carrying a dramatically wrong size Boss (they liked the color coming in, naturally) listened-followed up well about successful change to Millar cut. Having six people in Alterations Dept. allows us to commit to tight needs, like a three day turnaround. Free hemming and a reasonable $15 expedite fee is a relief for customers, their professional opinions always a great hole card for us salespeople.
  • Finding 3X Bugachis were actually in the store, because I checked the inventory on computer, became a $500+ sale instead of sending a guy with bowling ball-type shoulders away with zero. “It feels great!” is the most common response of Bugachi ‘tryer oners,’ and its a low maintenance garment – hang dry, no wrinkles or ironing – with 8-way stretch that stays close but not tight.
  • Settling on a solid cream/striped tie (Donahue, $115) that shadowed Mom’s dress, with a classy off-white oooo! feeling Bugachi, the step-Dad in charcoal suit was a great ‘tryer oner.’ Both were happy with decision – after three calls about groom changing suit colors, they could say, “No sweat, we’ve got ours.”
  • Greatest challenge is still, “This young man needs a suit,” because they’re usually thin guys. I find a short presentation of What Abouts with designers usually moves the needle positively. Kudos to the Mom who happily got her son all in black (“Like Neo in ‘The Matrix'”) all smiling for the effort, finding a $299 Topman jacket and $129 pant separates. An $850 Baker (Size 36) looked great, but 29 waist pants wouldn’t have lasted long on growing 16 year old.

About hoop shooting, Lifestyle, New Normal

Heading for October, #gshorkonsharonroadseam has been a stable, productive, very nice, safe to be location, a 1000% step up, being across the street from the Myers Park CC pickleball courts for 11 months, not tip-toeing with homelessness. Its a world of difference about New Normal. https://cdtalententerprises.com/2021/12/11/vaxxed-check-with-a-comma-threat-of-homeless-handled-well-a-good-suit-feel-to-end-of-2021/

Working afternoon-evening shift at Nordstrom, I’ve put $$$ in the bank, re-established my writing discipline at creative and professional content creation levels. I take pride in how affirming physical elements are with cycling, read with my Mom weekly, good days are cherished.

Two things I’ve always believed in absolutely – my jump shot, and a God-given, frequently sharpened writing ability. With two bricks, you’ve got something to build with.

Getting out for even 25 minutes of hoops regularly in gorgeous Charlotte sunshine has been a bedrock to my physical state forever. At 65, five months into my 29th year in Charlotte, I’m a Boomer with Attitude, and tagging a hoops session on after work is still a terrific habit.

What constitutes New Normal is the Social Security and Medicare that kicked in this year. Pretty sure I’m going to finally need glasses.

Growing up, even before first FICA deduction, we Boomers heard regularly about shaky finances with Social Security UNLESS things were changed, These benefits are long-term commitments, NOT ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS subject to political rhetoric or negotiated loss. It was insurance, a safety net, and we Boomers paid up every step through FICA.

Reading with Mom started with bike riding earlier to beat summer heat, a very affirming new habit.

I was glad when my first check arrived last August. Apparently there’s a COLA (cost of living adjustment) I’ll benefit from soon as well.

Millions of people getting a chunk of student debt forgiven? Not a problem by me. Graduating in Spring of 1975, when South Vietnam was overrun in track-speed time – the worst finish to a US war in history, including the documented final ‘copter out rooftop desperation – I’ve always felt WAY lucky to not have been involved in that meat grinder. My year older brother Mike, driving around the country in a 37’ RV with two beagles, actually had a valid number.

Taking ten grand or so off a couple million poor bastards debt, my Normal as Any Life since then is worth cutting somebody else extra slack. Not my $$$, really. And hey! we don’t need to hear “It’s not enough!” either.

FYI

One very New Normal was ordering a case of wine through National Geographic ($59.99++). Never let it be said I didn’t do the least I could for a good cause. Also, a personal ‘double down’ on a Democratic ‘7 seats for $7’ campaign, see what evil they can stop with my $15. (Sort of) New Normal – I’m squeezing in a four game Sunday of Little League umpiring for 13 year olds, only 2nd time out this year. American Family Baseball rocks.

Social Security benefits are long-term commitments, NOT ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS subject to political rhetoric or negotiated loss. It was insurance, a safety net, and we Boomers paid up every step through FICA.

— Me, because documented naysayers that GOP are, their reaching for the legendary ‘3rd Rail’ by talking about Social Security as a budget drag is truly, breathtakingly stupid. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Ron Johnson.)

How I feel about life since our North Carolina COVID shutdown https://cdtalententerprises.com/2020/03/30/hoops-heat-for-lockdown-prep-weekend-worries-about-ny/ and the relative freedom of going unmasked to a stadium full of Panther fans in September, 2022? New Normal has been working out pretty good, even thumped some tennis balls against a wall in semi-celebration of ‘official’ end of pandemic. Thanks Brandon!

Caught a Knights afternoon game, a Homer Dog with beef dog, bacon bits, coleslaw.

8 Examples of Great for Mother’s Day – When She’s Happy, Everyone’s Happy (@the mall)

After a sometimes frustrating day directly related to on-going supply problems – like no tuxedos to sell! – from time spent on tie selection to finding a pair of size Small black shorts, Mom’s deserve their reputations for successful shopping. They also appreciate those who help them.

Moms #1 and #2

Day after Mother’s Day, not lilies. #gshorkonsharonroadseam

Abe Madkour, Publisher/Exec. Editor of Sports Business Journal/Daily, and wife Christina are what personal relationship building with clients is all about. Sunday they brought three suits to put together shirts and tie outfits with – two blues and a darker one, with plaid elements of copper/burgundy.

A frequent question of mine is, “Is he a good try-er on-er?” and while she said not particularly, “Abe knows where he wants to get to on situations, and he does what’s necessary.” That involved trying on five and buying three shirts, including ordering a lavender-speck shirt that set offs an A-1 hot raspberry and dark paisley tie choice. IMHO, guys are mostly past the not trying on attitudes of yore.

Collectively we nailed his “I want some things that always look good, and one combination that’s definitely major pop!”

Coming from our alterations area and having the lady and teen son already at checkout with a decent pile of clothes, was a revelation. Best practices first question is to ask whether they’d been working with anyone – maybe they’re getting another item in back – her response a gratifying, “I’m working with YOU.”

Just sayin’, glad the current manager was close enough to hear that, we’ve had some hoo-ha! about customer grabbing recently.

What became an $800 sale began with my questioning whether black shorts she wanted to order in Small matched options on my screen. Going back to find another size to help with search, she returned with the desired black shorts, a large ‘S’ on front tag kid hadn’t seen. If that isn’t the archetypical Mom move…

Going back to find another size that might help with search, she returned with the desired black shorts, a large ‘S ‘on front tag.

If that isn’t the archetypical Mom move…

Half-way through the ringing up, Ray passed behind me and said, “I forgot all about them,” later explaining he’d gone upstairs after putting them in the dressing area to have a quick sandwich on a busy day. He relaxed, forgot, and yet no bad feelings because he knew the sandwich, not me, was the point.

#3 – Mom got lilies

Brother Steve took some great looking lilies to Mom at Carmel Hills, and said she was awake and coherent while he served her lunch. She was a strong eater the last time I was there, and nobody minimizes what Good-er Days means to all of us.

With plentiful traffic throughout Mother’s Day, lacking certain basics in current suit-tuxedo market affects my micro-economy directly. Having kept a selling streak going over a decently long stretch, over a month, when ‘Not available in black’ is the search answer for a size 40 or 42 (but plenty of 38 Shorts) for anything, you have a clear supply problem.

Putting guys into any Peter Millar suits or jackets has been iffy, the only positive is knowing how brisk my selling COULD BE if product was available.

Guys know why they are buying suits, weddings or old stuff doesn’t fit. If I can’t get a prom guy hooked up, I can ‘size him’ as information for all to go forward with in search. As a small point of personal pride, a Mom or Dad’s thank you so much! for the time and information, call it small ‘L’ legend building.

Me, often, because it counts plenty to provide that extra service.

Maybe that’s when you earn those times a Mom finds her son’s shorts and says, “YOU are helping me.”

#5 A fantastic leftover stir fry

Knowing all it’d take to satisfy me at 8:00pm would be a pack of noodles and the rest of squash, broccoli, orange pepper, onion, mushrooms and last of hickory smoked sauce, with two country ribs of chunked pork from Saturday night mmm-mmm! ahhh . Microwaved and again proof that leftover Chinese is always worth eating, just boil fast noodles, add crispy chow mein noodles, feet up, watching playoff hockey.

Three hours, two pair of socks!

Until walking into jackpot situation at register with Ms. Combs and son, the only sale on my scoreboard was two pair of socks. Two bing! bing! situations later, its a much brighter day. The challenge of juggling opinions – including a daughter and teen friend’s votes – with the Madkour’s was smile-worthy. Dad told us four guys, “If Momma’s happy, everyone’s happy,” a truth I helped many attain yesterday.

There’s no question about telling people there’s an online place at bottom of receipt if they want to tell management how helpful I was. Also, how #cdtalententerprises.com on card I often give them has blogs specifically about my POV on economy from behind the register.

— Me, lately.

A regular flow of prospects was available most of seven hours, and I’m a pro, never a need to panic, especially since we’ve gotten Peter Millar product. EVERYBODY likes Millar stuff. Salesperson-wise, its simple to enlighten customers about the fact more is now available size-wise. People smile when I add, “At least some of its finally off a ship, onto a truck, and gotten to here.”

Pointing out new possibilities is an easy intro to whether there’s something they want. “Do you have…?” is music to my ears.

SERVICE is still the keyword. Finding that single 17.5″ neck, 36-37″ sleeve the computer says is available ALWAYS counts. People might have gotten used to ordering on line, but getting good help face-to-face is a factor many, many people mention regarding me.

Talking to multiple shoppers will mean some are already with another salesperson, integrity is appreciated, often found lacking in retail. Talking with Abe and Christina Madkour was a terrific luck of the draw while walking through suits, other times its just a comment or two and keep walking. I considered it a social interaction, actually fun, the back-forth of likes and how abouts, time agreeably invested.

I later recognized I’d played hoops with Abe over twenty years ago, Sunday or Monday night at St. Gabriel. Might have even approached him about sports-business writing, a talent I still work with.

#7 People buy from people they like

Yes, I absolutely was stylish Sunday, thanks to another appearance of my light green Palm Springs jacket, with mallards on classic green Vineyard Vines tie, slim cut blue with white slashes (Nordstrom brand) pants and sneakers. Classic white with green stripe Polo shirt was sharp, useful showing what ‘Trim’ means vs. Regular. Its not just a coincidence a Woman like Christina asked me for help making Abe look sharp.

#8 A half-hour shooting session after work, a hockey story

#gshorkonsharonroadseam

As both long time de-stressor and thinking resource, shooting hoops has always helped keep my scene stable. During worst of pandemic, the three rims in back of Rama Road School were only ones in Charlotte without rims rendered useless by 2×4 section across them. There’s a colored map of US in parking lot, sometimes I shoot from Anchorage, Alaska.

This picture of a now raggedy red-white-blue net, our backyard court in Schenectady, NY often had such a net. Easy to remember how Mom, in her sewing room upstairs, would hear a Shit! slip out of her teenage sons during 3-3 games, everyone knew it was a five minute penalty.

Another Mom memory while watching the hockey. Back in college, brother Steve brought Mom, Dad, Aunt Jo, Uncle Howard, and cousin Mike, to my Brockport Girls Hockey Club game at Cornell’s Lynah Arena, before his JV hoops game.

Keeping the story short, our rag-tag ten girls – some without cages on borrowed intramural helmets – opened an 8-2 can of whupass on a 20 girl Ithaca College team with identical equipment, helmets, and jerseys. Four girls with two goals apiece, Judy Dufresne was a star in goal. My feet didn’t touch the ice afterwards, walking over to offer their coach a “Good game.”

After borrowing green jerseys from the Brockport Men’s team Friday after practice, I’d tossed them in an equipment bag, never thinking about them until passing cold, wet, stankin’ jerseys out to the girls Saturday afternoon.

When they objected to the conditions, all I said was, “Put them on, we need to tape numbers on the back.” It seemed like Ithaca didn’t want to go near our girls… Many are probably grannies now. (Forty-three years ago. smh, the thought of those jerseys when I opened that bag. I’m crying laughing…)

Between periods, when I went into the stands to talk to my family, Mom mentioned “All the girls seem to have enormous rear ends.”

She had no idea the pants were padded.

Thanks for the memories Mom, and all the rest of the Mom-ness along the way.