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Retail Hell - Special eBook Edition

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From Act I: "I think you left these behind," I said, handing them to her. This happens all the time when women try to return bags they've used. Tampons, lipstick, coins, Tic Tacs, and condoms are the top treasures found. "Greasy" let out a sigh as if I were the problem. "I really don't see what the problem is here. It's none of your business what I keep in my handbag. "It From Act I: "I think you left these behind," I said, handing them to her. This happens all the time when women try to return bags they've used. Tampons, lipstick, coins, Tic Tacs, and condoms are the top treasures found. "Greasy" let out a sigh as if I were the problem. "I really don't see what the problem is here. It's none of your business what I keep in my handbag. "It is when my commission is at stake! I'm not your Designer Handbag Rental Service! My name is not BagBorrowOrSteal.com! This is a place Freeman Hall, a twenty-year veteran "on the floor," knows well. While delivering side-splitting stories alongside brutally cynical commentary, Freeman recounts his most shocking experiences in Retail Hell--and in this paperback edition, readers get even more! From the time he was attacked by a customer's four-year-old, who grabbed onto his leg like a poodle and wouldn't let go, to the day he found the fitting room walls covered in s**t, Freeman has seen and heard (smelled and felt) it all! Horrifying and hilarious, this behind-the-scenes look at what really goes on at the Big Fancy Stores is rollicking, ready-to-wear wisdom for readers everywhere.


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From Act I: "I think you left these behind," I said, handing them to her. This happens all the time when women try to return bags they've used. Tampons, lipstick, coins, Tic Tacs, and condoms are the top treasures found. "Greasy" let out a sigh as if I were the problem. "I really don't see what the problem is here. It's none of your business what I keep in my handbag. "It From Act I: "I think you left these behind," I said, handing them to her. This happens all the time when women try to return bags they've used. Tampons, lipstick, coins, Tic Tacs, and condoms are the top treasures found. "Greasy" let out a sigh as if I were the problem. "I really don't see what the problem is here. It's none of your business what I keep in my handbag. "It is when my commission is at stake! I'm not your Designer Handbag Rental Service! My name is not BagBorrowOrSteal.com! This is a place Freeman Hall, a twenty-year veteran "on the floor," knows well. While delivering side-splitting stories alongside brutally cynical commentary, Freeman recounts his most shocking experiences in Retail Hell--and in this paperback edition, readers get even more! From the time he was attacked by a customer's four-year-old, who grabbed onto his leg like a poodle and wouldn't let go, to the day he found the fitting room walls covered in s**t, Freeman has seen and heard (smelled and felt) it all! Horrifying and hilarious, this behind-the-scenes look at what really goes on at the Big Fancy Stores is rollicking, ready-to-wear wisdom for readers everywhere.

30 review for Retail Hell - Special eBook Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Usually when I read a book like this, the best I can say for it is "Good for what it was." I mean, you know you're getting fluff (in this case, fashion-centric, "Curse the snobby rich, but oh, how I wish I could be them," bosses suck kind of fluff) so it's not like you're going into it expecting to have any great metaphysical revelations or anything. Well, the best I can say for this book was that it was kind of okay for what it was. Honestly I expected to get more entertainment and laughs for my Usually when I read a book like this, the best I can say for it is "Good for what it was." I mean, you know you're getting fluff (in this case, fashion-centric, "Curse the snobby rich, but oh, how I wish I could be them," bosses suck kind of fluff) so it's not like you're going into it expecting to have any great metaphysical revelations or anything. Well, the best I can say for this book was that it was kind of okay for what it was. Honestly I expected to get more entertainment and laughs for my reading investment in this one. It's really a topical gold mine: you're dealing with eccentric rich people all day long, whose biggest concern is finding the perfect thousand-dollar handbag to go with a certain outfit, and you're doing it while financially scraping by yourself. Plus, the inevitable amusement stemming from droll co-workers, over-enthusiastic bosses, etc. etc. Really, to write entertaining fluff with that kind of source material should be easier than creating a visually appealing display of the latest Kate Spades. And yet, "Mr. Freeman" falls flat. He belabors every amusing anecdote until it is utterly robbed of hilarity. While he draws entertaining characters, they just go on...and on...and on...in their shtick until the whole thing seems pathetic, rather than funny. The author also spends too much time talking about his screen writing aspirations, his credit card debt, and other personal topics that I assume were supposed to make the whole book more relatable (or perhaps it was just to feed his vanity?) but were even less diverting than his time spent selling purses. And finally, a minor qualm, but he goes on and on about the exclusivity and poshness of The Big Fancy Store (his pseudonym for the department store where he works), but which his author bio reveals to be Nordstrom. Is Nordstrom really that fancy? I mean, it can't be THAT nice if I've shopped there. Maybe it was a 90s thing? Anyway, by most any standard out there, this one is better left unread.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Megg Bartlett

    I have read some reviews for this book and am actually surprised by some of the negatives expresses about it. I personally enjoyed all the 'F' bombs thrown about the dialogue, it made his personal experiences feel more sincere and, quite frankly, hilarious. His personal dialogue was very funny in a crass and crude sarcastic manner. I also found nothing offensive about the last chapter that seems to have had some reviewers cringing. That shit actually happens in retail (pardon the pun). Freeman Ha I have read some reviews for this book and am actually surprised by some of the negatives expresses about it. I personally enjoyed all the 'F' bombs thrown about the dialogue, it made his personal experiences feel more sincere and, quite frankly, hilarious. His personal dialogue was very funny in a crass and crude sarcastic manner. I also found nothing offensive about the last chapter that seems to have had some reviewers cringing. That shit actually happens in retail (pardon the pun). Freeman Hall's dream to become a famous writer/screenwriter is not an uncommon dream, as many who end up slaving years in the retail industry didn't actually plan on ending up there, but rather had bigger and better expectations for their lives. His struggle to do his own writing showed how all-consuming retail life can be, and the author accomplishes this while keeping the light, humorous tone of the novel in tact. I honestly didn't feel that there was a moral to this story until I had finished it, which I appreciate as I hate the feeling of a preachy book. Nothing more mood killing than that! Overall, I loved this book. It rang true to me, and hit all my humor-spots. I was honestly crying with laughter at some points. I do not read humor novels very often. I actually cannot remember the last time I have picked one up before Retail Hell, but I've been recommending this to everyone I know since I have finished it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    3.5 stars. This was a hilarious, fun read full of entertaining tales of retail life. Having spent several years in retail, I could definitely relate! I definitely would not be able to handle working off of commission though, and I wouldn't be able to stand having to do ANY return! I used to love turning down ridiculous returns! I plan on checking out his other books as well, he's so funny! I could totally see myself being friends with him!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

    The Big Fancy is based on Nordstrom and I worked there for three years. I feel the pain. I feel it deep in my soul.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Hall's wannabe upscale Clerks falls sadly short of its mark - if this is hell, it's only the first circle. In the first 24 hours of my retail career, I accumulated funnier stories than these. And I tell them better. In fact, one suspects that the author's 20 year stint in retail on the way to becoming a screenwriter might have less to do with being ground down by The Store and more to do with his being a lousy writer. Those outside the business might find a few shocked laughs here. Those inside Hall's wannabe upscale Clerks falls sadly short of its mark - if this is hell, it's only the first circle. In the first 24 hours of my retail career, I accumulated funnier stories than these. And I tell them better. In fact, one suspects that the author's 20 year stint in retail on the way to becoming a screenwriter might have less to do with being ground down by The Store and more to do with his being a lousy writer. Those outside the business might find a few shocked laughs here. Those inside will roll their eyes at his kvetching.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Retail Hell by Freeman Hall (pp. 272) Retail Hell is another popular blog turned into a book. Freeman Hall is a career retail sales associate drawing on his experience at multiple high-end department stores to create a fun composite of the good, the ugly, and uglier of the other side of the sales counter. Theft, poop, massive spenders, bored rich women, discount seeking denizens, prostitutes, fraudsters, corporate rah-rah queens, and retail lifers face off against Hall as we watch him evolve from Retail Hell by Freeman Hall (pp. 272) Retail Hell is another popular blog turned into a book. Freeman Hall is a career retail sales associate drawing on his experience at multiple high-end department stores to create a fun composite of the good, the ugly, and uglier of the other side of the sales counter. Theft, poop, massive spenders, bored rich women, discount seeking denizens, prostitutes, fraudsters, corporate rah-rah queens, and retail lifers face off against Hall as we watch him evolve from a man desperate for a job to an expert in customer service. As the only man - albeit a stereotypically self-described as clothes loving, brand name addicted, gay man – working the handbag counter at the Big Fancy, Hall provides a unique perspective on a parade of crazy female customers and coworkers. He organizes his stories around the archetypes of the people one generally encounters in retail sales. He makes his narrative enjoyable, educational, and similar to listening to a well-told story at the end of work day, over a beer with a good friend. Hall paints portraits of some very unlikeable characters, which are probably accurate and not hyperbolized. Where much of his writing talent lies is in finding the humanity in all of his customers. Given that many of these women need a good slap across the back of the head, a therapist, and/or bath, Hall takes what could be purely bitchy and just mean writing and finds the fun without being a jerk. Throughout the book, Hall vents his personal frustrations by digressing into some over the top fantasy sequences starring his characters and coworkers using a screenwriting treatment. This distracts some from the quality of his primary narrative. Regardless, his approach to unifying discrete stories into a cohesive presentation would be recommended for any aspiring blogger/writer looking to dish and share their views on their customer service industry. Also recommended for anyone who wants to enjoy a good bitch fest about a work world that isn’t theirs that might actually make them more appreciative that they don’t work retail.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sofia (bookaholicconfessions)

    New and improved review up on my blog weee!! https://thebookasaurus.wordpress.com/... For fans of Confessions of a Shopaholic and Devil Wears Prada: I don't have much experience with non-fiction. In fact, I've only encountered it through required readings in school. This is my very first time picking up non-fiction on my own free will and it was such a great experience. Freeman Hall vividly describes how toxic and taxing it can be to work in a cut throat business like retail. He started out in Cal New and improved review up on my blog weee!! https://thebookasaurus.wordpress.com/... For fans of Confessions of a Shopaholic and Devil Wears Prada: I don't have much experience with non-fiction. In fact, I've only encountered it through required readings in school. This is my very first time picking up non-fiction on my own free will and it was such a great experience. Freeman Hall vividly describes how toxic and taxing it can be to work in a cut throat business like retail. He started out in Calvin Klein where the salary was minimum wage and you were paid by the hour. However, he decided to move on to "The Big Fancy" (Nordstrom) where he was placed in the handbag department and his paycheck depended on how many bags he sold and the commission he earned from it. Freeman was an aspiring script writer but he quickly realized that dreams don't get food on the table and the rent paid so he decided to sell his soul to Retail Hell and get himself out of unemployment. I really enjoyed the krass and unapologetic way that Freeman described each and every customer he encountered from the Picky bitch, the nasty thieves, the shopaholics and the window shoppers, slowly nitpicking all characteristics that made each shopper unique. He also painfully painted how overworked and underpaid most retail slaves are and sometimes, they don't even get enough benefits. The thing I appreciated the most about Freeman is he never forgot his dream of making it big in the script writing world even if his feet were killing him from standing for hours at work and he got his ear screamed off by customer after customer. If you're looking for a light and funny pick me up, this is definitely the book for you. After reading "We All Looked Up" by Tommy Wallach, I desperately needed a book that would get me out of a slump and I'm so glad I found this one!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Juhl

    Yes, two stars and here's why...the first 50 pages are funny, the author's bitchy, gay salesclerk is outrageous, but the act wears thin as you muddle through the rest of the chapters. Hall overdoes the pop cultural references which will quickly date this book and make it even less funny in a couple years. References to flash-in-the-pan starlets and current television shows (and I mean current...which will provides the book with another issue later in this review), are slightly humorous when you Yes, two stars and here's why...the first 50 pages are funny, the author's bitchy, gay salesclerk is outrageous, but the act wears thin as you muddle through the rest of the chapters. Hall overdoes the pop cultural references which will quickly date this book and make it even less funny in a couple years. References to flash-in-the-pan starlets and current television shows (and I mean current...which will provides the book with another issue later in this review), are slightly humorous when you read them now, but it will feel like you're watching an episode of 'All In The Family' later on when those references have faded from the public conscience. And for christ's sake, I don't want to read 'text' lingo in a book unless you're describing a text message! This book is so current with it's pop culture that it feels as if it were written and published in one week. There are numerous typos and many incidents of switching verb tenses and then there's the overall cheap, rushed look of the font, the paper it's printed on, etc. And don't get me started on the wasted pages of Hall's dream-sequence/screenplay moments of imagined movies involving customers and co-workers. These fell as limp as the author's wrist. If you work in retail hell, like the 7th circle I work in, then you'll find empathetic moments throughout the book and it's unfortunate, that some readers who are customers won't be able to identify themselves in the section about the bloodsuckers, nasties and crazies those of us in retail are forced to contend with. My years in retail have made me loathe the bulk of humankind. Don't give up your day job just yet, Mr. Hall, but I empathize completely with wanting to keep your dream alive rather than suffocate in Retail.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Courtney (Fuzzy.Coffee.Books)

    I find that most books I buy are impulse buys. I rarely go into a bookstore looking for something specific. On this occasion, however, I was in the biography section in search of a birthday gift for my Grandmother. That's where I spotted this little gem. When I read the back of the book, I thought it would be an interesting read. One of my best friends has a retail job and I loathe it, because we work very conflicting schedules and rarely get to hang out. So I thought reading a no-holds barred co I find that most books I buy are impulse buys. I rarely go into a bookstore looking for something specific. On this occasion, however, I was in the biography section in search of a birthday gift for my Grandmother. That's where I spotted this little gem. When I read the back of the book, I thought it would be an interesting read. One of my best friends has a retail job and I loathe it, because we work very conflicting schedules and rarely get to hang out. So I thought reading a no-holds barred confessional by experienced sales associate Freeman Hall would give me some insight into her job. I don't mean to say that I think a retail job is easy. I worked retail in high school, and I know it isn't easy. But Mr. Hall's account takes it to a whole new level. I positively devoured this book. The reactions I had while reading ranged from mildly amused to utter disbelief. The antics he describes sometimes sound a little exaggerated, but it makes it even more fun to imagine that they happened exactly as delineated. If I hadn't picked the book up in the biographies, I would swear it was fiction. I laughed my way through this book, and can't imagine anyone not having a similar reaction. Mr. Hall displays obvious talent as a writer - it's fresh and fun, and his characters (real people?!) are larger than life. He describes them, and then, if they deserve it, he properly eviscerates them. Yet all the while, you can't help but want to be his best friend! Anyway, if you're looking for some fun non-fiction, I'd suggest hitting up your local bookstore for this one. I can't remember non-fiction ever making me laugh this much.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    The back cover of the book displays the quote that "Freeman Hall is a retail-centric Perez Hilton." I guess it's true, in the way that Hall is sassy, witty, and doesn't hold back. Retail Hell is a quick, light read that will appeal to anyone who has worked in retail, especially specialty goods or high-end stores. Hall gives us a poignant look inside "The Big Fancy" (his alias for the upper-crust department store employing him) from training through sales, and holds nothing back. Each chapter giv The back cover of the book displays the quote that "Freeman Hall is a retail-centric Perez Hilton." I guess it's true, in the way that Hall is sassy, witty, and doesn't hold back. Retail Hell is a quick, light read that will appeal to anyone who has worked in retail, especially specialty goods or high-end stores. Hall gives us a poignant look inside "The Big Fancy" (his alias for the upper-crust department store employing him) from training through sales, and holds nothing back. Each chapter gives the reader a look inside the typically eccentric and sometimes crazy clientele of the handbag department of The Big Fancy, where women buy, return, and ask for "dees-counts" to the tune of several thousand dollars. The book also offers an interesting perspective of a man working in a department traditionally staffed by women, and the intricacies that must be learned when hawking designer goods. Recommended for people with a sense of humor, those who love shopping, and anyone, of course, who has ever worked in retail.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    I read a magazine article in a waiting room and this book was mentioned. I thought "I work in retail" I felt I would probably find the book amusing. But, I really didn't. I think some people are naturally funny and can write funny books. In this case, I felt the writer didn't have a natural wit but intentionally tried to write a funny book. He just couldn't pull it off in my opinion. He writes about specific customers and their peculiarities. Parts felt true but then he seems to go for the exagg I read a magazine article in a waiting room and this book was mentioned. I thought "I work in retail" I felt I would probably find the book amusing. But, I really didn't. I think some people are naturally funny and can write funny books. In this case, I felt the writer didn't have a natural wit but intentionally tried to write a funny book. He just couldn't pull it off in my opinion. He writes about specific customers and their peculiarities. Parts felt true but then he seems to go for the exaggeration, again trying to be clever. I did think he did a better job in the descriptions of the co-workers and management. Again, they were overdone in a "aren't I funny" way. Yet, they retained more of the credibility of being real people. All and all, a disappointment.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is the reason I will never ever work retail again: If the customers don't get you, the management will. I thought this was just hilarious and you couldn't make this stuff up in a million years. Much like Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black and Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag by Michael Tonello, you will find it hard not to laugh at what happens in a fancy department store. At least I guessed it right and got the department store corre This is the reason I will never ever work retail again: If the customers don't get you, the management will. I thought this was just hilarious and you couldn't make this stuff up in a million years. Much like Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black and Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag by Michael Tonello, you will find it hard not to laugh at what happens in a fancy department store. At least I guessed it right and got the department store correct when I said it had to be Nordstroms. I knew several people who worked there and these tales are right in line with what I have heard them say. I hope that the return policy changes as these shoppers get away with murder. (borrowed)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yolanda

    Oh. My. God. This book was all kinds of awesome! This is a must read for anyone who has ever worked in retail. Doesn't matter what type of items you sold or in what store, but these stories about his customers you can definitely relate to. I love the names that Freeman Hall gives his customers. I can relate to that. My co-workers and I would name ours, and the ones that we usually named were not the nice ones. The nice ones we would remember their name. Or at least not call them Vomit Girl. Or D Oh. My. God. This book was all kinds of awesome! This is a must read for anyone who has ever worked in retail. Doesn't matter what type of items you sold or in what store, but these stories about his customers you can definitely relate to. I love the names that Freeman Hall gives his customers. I can relate to that. My co-workers and I would name ours, and the ones that we usually named were not the nice ones. The nice ones we would remember their name. Or at least not call them Vomit Girl. Or Dirty Girl.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Sometimes this book was really hilarious because it's the truth; customers just don't get it! And other times, I just thought the mark was missed on humor. However, I enjoyed the read and have recommended it to all of my fellow retail slaves. Now when someone asks me "Do you work here?" as I'm immersed in a task that clearly I would only be doing if I worked there, I think of Freeman and what he would say; "No."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Having worked in retail for much of my life, this title caught my eye at once. My first thought was "Someone wrote my book!" I have experienced every one of these comical situations at one time or another! Nice to know I was not alone. This is a vacation read, not at all serious and if you are offended by bad language, stay away. However, if you have ever worked in any kind of store, serving the public, you will love this book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Mostly silly and unfunny, and the breaks into screenplay mode were irritating and poorly done. The one bright spot is that the book jacket tells you that The Big Fancy is actually Nordstrom's, and I was very curious about that.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Noël

    Perhaps you need to have worked retail to get it, but I haven't laughed this hard in years. 10 pages in, I had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face and I couldn't see the pages!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cyn Cooley

    This was a blog turned into a book a la "Waiter Rant" but does not quite measure up to WR in terms of writing. That said, it was totally enjoyable for me and I was into it enough that I missed my subway stop and that's never happened before.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I started it, could be funny, but I just could not get past all the swearing. I do NOT recomment this book

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dave Moore

    I worked a lot in retail, part-time, and everything Hall mentions is so, so true. Very rarely can I say a book made me laugh until I literally had tears, but this is one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lori Anderson

    Nope. This guy is disgusting. Body-shaming is not cute, and using physical traits as punch lines isn't cute. Racism and xenophobia isn't cute, either. Made it halfway through. That's it. Done.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tianna

    What a book. I've been looking for years now to write something of a memoir regarding my experiences in retail. I'd had this book saved in my Amazon wishlist forever, and recently the retail hell got so bad I had to click order on this. First, I'll point out the not so great: there are a LOT of easy and dumb mistakes with typos. Sometimes there'll be a period missing, which happens, but there were handfuls of odd mixups in Retail Hell. For example, "a guy laughing at something" was "a guying laug What a book. I've been looking for years now to write something of a memoir regarding my experiences in retail. I'd had this book saved in my Amazon wishlist forever, and recently the retail hell got so bad I had to click order on this. First, I'll point out the not so great: there are a LOT of easy and dumb mistakes with typos. Sometimes there'll be a period missing, which happens, but there were handfuls of odd mixups in Retail Hell. For example, "a guy laughing at something" was "a guying laughing at something." It was just weird, and it bugged me. Another thing I would have liked to see in this book is to have more of an overarching story throughout the chapters. There is a story regarding Freeman's desire to become a screenwriter, and the screenwriting excerpts relating to The Big Fancy are hilarious, but I found myself wanting more. I enjoyed the detailed chapters of each type of customer and experience, but I guess I wanted to learn more about Freeman to offset that or bulk up the story more. That said, there was so much I loved about this book. First, when I ordered it I didn't know it was written by a queer man. I really liked his embracing the word queer and how he could laugh at himself and his experiences even in the face of rude and heteronormative customers. So that really increased my enjoyment of the story, being a queer woman in retail myself. There are certain things in retail that become amplified when you're queer, and it was comforting to see that I wasn't alone in those experiences. That also gave way to a lot of interesting gender commentary. I also spent the majority of this book laughing. Freeman's phrasing and the way he describes things had me and my partner cracking up. I couldn't resist reading large parts of it out loud because they were just too good. If you haven't worked in retail, perhaps you wouldn't enjoy or relate to the book as much, but I had a darn good time reading this one. Favorite chapter: Hot Stuff On Mount Fancy. I felt it also could've ended with a little more reflection or focus on what he does now and how he feels overall about what he experienced.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Anyone who has worked retail has at least one great story (each) about customers, co-workers, and management. Retail Hell could have been the day-to-day cousin to David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries. While I found some anecdotes humourous, the book did not deliver. Danielle's review says it best: 'He belabors every amusing anecdote until it is utterly robbed of hilarity. While he draws entertaining characters, they just go on...and on...and on...in their shtick until the whole thing seems pathetic, Anyone who has worked retail has at least one great story (each) about customers, co-workers, and management. Retail Hell could have been the day-to-day cousin to David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries. While I found some anecdotes humourous, the book did not deliver. Danielle's review says it best: 'He belabors every amusing anecdote until it is utterly robbed of hilarity. While he draws entertaining characters, they just go on...and on...and on...in their shtick until the whole thing seems pathetic, rather than funny. The author also spends too much time talking about his screen writing aspirations, his credit card debt, and other personal topics that I assume were supposed to make the whole book more relatable (or perhaps it was just to feed his vanity?) but were even less diverting than his time spent selling purses.'

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    While I have never worked in a handbag department, I have worked for years in a retail setting. It is soul-sucking, dehumanizing, and absolutely ridiculous. You tend to lose all faith in humanity pretty quickly when you are endlessly treated like dirt. That being said, having gained some distance from the retail world, I was able to read this book with enough emotional rehab to laugh at situations that would have made me scream before. Hall has a flair for the dramatic worthy of his lifetime in t While I have never worked in a handbag department, I have worked for years in a retail setting. It is soul-sucking, dehumanizing, and absolutely ridiculous. You tend to lose all faith in humanity pretty quickly when you are endlessly treated like dirt. That being said, having gained some distance from the retail world, I was able to read this book with enough emotional rehab to laugh at situations that would have made me scream before. Hall has a flair for the dramatic worthy of his lifetime in the business. I feel for him, I applaud him, and I am willing to send a rescue boat whenever he calls. Not for anyone still working in retail. It will hurt too much.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book is awesome!!!! Freeman Hall spent 15 years working in a high end department store selling handbags. This book chronicles his experiences with crazy customers, out of control managers and just about everything else someone can encounter while working retail. It was one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. If you like to read memoirs giving an insider's view to a particular industry (think Waiter Rant) this book is for you!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Read this in between heavy books about war or slavery. It is silly fluff written by a self-proclaimed gay retail slave who sold handbags (not purses!) at a high-end store for many years. Some of the events he describes are humorous but likely exaggerated. I suggest skimming the big nightmares at the end of each section of the book. They are ridiculous.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rick Thomas

    I work at the "Big Fancy" and while I have encounter 75% of what this particular individual went through, some of it appears to be very exaggerated. Even though his dream sequences were incredibly boring, the same shtick and characters were really annoying half way through the book I did laugh out loud at some of his experiences.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I heard this guy on the radio! Having worked PLENTY of retail...I can't wait to get my hands on this book! FINALLY nabbed a copy of this book. If you ever worked retail, you will devour it. He is hilarious and raunchy. You'll recognize yourself and all your customers in the cast of real life characters.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Spook Harrison

    Eh. While some of the vignettes were very well communicated, overall the book lacked the cohesiveness and structure that would allow Hall's stories to really shine. There are ways the frustrations he experienced could have been communicated to a larger audience, and while I expect Hall would write a very good script, the book itself was a bit lackluster.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    Not to my taste. I found the author's writing style a bit off-putting - overly exaggerated and dramatic. I particularly didn't like the various scenes where his dreams/daydreams/imagined screenplays were written out - I found that they did not add anything to the book and couldn't understand why they were there at all.

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