Thursday, April 05, 2007

no make-up on clothes

I do understand that there is a severe labour shortage in Calgary, and we are seeing evidence as to how this is affecting small businesses in particular. I heard of a Kentucky Fried Rat outlet closing permanently because of lack of staff. What? They couldn't find anyone who wants to smell like old grease 24/7 for minimum wage?

Our local film development place has been open only sporatically over the past week. They have posted a long and complex list of when they will not be operational, and as far as I can figure it out, they are closed Monday - Friday from 10am to 5 pm (which would make them open from 5 to 6pm daily, I guess) and also closed Saturday from10am to 3pm, but when I showed up Saturday at 4pm, they were closed. Hmm, I'll bet my disc with the files I want developed is still sitting in their drop-off box. The grandmas are shit out of luck with getting pictures for Easter this year.

However, it would seem that despite the general lack of retail and service industry staff, some people working in these places still appear to have way too much time on their hands. I base this on the gratuitous use of hand-lettered signs that I have been seeing in some establishments.

The local evil Blockbuster is a hotbed of large elaborately executed bubble-lettered signs, wishing me a "HAPPY NEW YEAR" (still), telling me to "stand on this side" of the cash register when paying for videos, and my personal favourite, the "DO NOT MOVE THIS" sign attached to all the ropes that separate the line-up area from the video shelves. Somebody at Blockbuster takes their sign-making, and all the authority that comes with the territory, very seriously indeed.

But I was particularly taken with the hastily-scrawled (although they were in all three dressing rooms) notices that we came across in a Kensington consignment store yesterday. In a schizophrenic mixture of colours, letter sizes and underscores, these eye-catchers implore us:


PLEASE - NO
BIG BAGS
IN CHANGE ROOM
& NO MAKE-UP
ON CLOTHES THANKS

It's good to see that the labour shortage hasn't had a negative impact on effective sign-making in this city. At least not yet.
.
Support your local free-hand sign-maker.

12 comments:

Allison said...

They made all those coloured crayons for a reason. Properly executed bubble letters are most dangerous.

Who are these people rubbing themselves over clothes in the change room (re make-up on clothes) or perhaps they're conducting experiments to develop a new colour of crayon and feel the dressing room is the best place to conduct it.

BTW, there were an absorbent amount of good quotes from The Office tonight eh? Dwight and is ninja stars. He's my hero :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Bubble letters have authoritah, Al (and there's nothing worse than a letter with authoritah).

They must have had some rampant make-up abuser rubbing her grubby face all over their clothes or something similar that made them feel obliged to take preventative measures like that.

Oooo, I haven't watched the Office yet, but am planning to tomorrow as a most holy Good Friday activity. CANNOT WAIT for Dwight and ninjas! He rulz completely and utterly.

John Mutford said...

If the Five Man Electrical Band didn't mention it, I'm smearing all the clothes with lipstick dammit.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Five Man Electrical Band is enjoying some sort of rennaisance on the blogs lately, John. And you are right - they say absolutely nothing about not smearing clothes with makeup, so go for it!

Deb said...

Was there a "no dog crap on the bottom of donated shoes" sign anywhere? How about a "please remove all lint and used tissue from pockets before bringing in your crap"? Those would be useful.

Karen said...

We're having the same problem up here Barb. A bunch of restaurants (mostly smaller, non-chain, family owned places) have been closing early or for a full day every once in a while for months. McDonalds and Wendy's have even started "importing" workers from Europe and Mexico in order to fill in the gaps. I'm sure I heard on the news the other day that two chefs from Lebanon are now cooking at Smittys.

As for the signs, I don't mind that they're homemade. I'm bothered by the fact that people have to be TOLD not to get makeup (or deoderant) on clothes when they're trying them on. Ick.

Bubs said...

I'm a big fan of crazy hand lettered signs. I especially like weird quotation marks, as in

Try our "fresh" homemade pie, or

Just "good" food!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Deb, these stores need someone like you to make some really useful signs, such as those you mentioned. Far and away more meaningful than telling people not to move the ropes or not to put makeup on the clothes (you have to spell those things out?)
You may just have missed your calling.

I didn't realize that Edmonton was having the same problems with labour shortages, Karen. But you know Calgary: if it's not about Calgary, you don't hear about it.
I rather applaud the fact that the signs are homemade; I'm just a little puzzled at their intent and yes the fact that they feel a need to tell people about the makeup smearing and not to move the ropes.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

YES, Bubs! The rampant quotation mark is one of my favourite things in life! One always wonders who they are quoting.
Apostrophe abuse is another thing that really gets my attention in a sign, albeit always in a negative way. My current favourite is:

Koharski Plumbing: The Polish Prince of Plugged Pipe's

The combination of alliteration and apostrophe abuse sent me over the edge. And it wasn't a hand-lettered sign on a piece of paper either, it was painted on the back of a van.

JustRun said...

My gosh, it's both tragic and amusing.

~Jen~ said...

u mean businesses in Calgary arent paying 20.00/hr to work in McDonalds like they are in Northern AB?????

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It is quite Shakespearian in that way, isn't it, Justrun?

Not quite yet, they aren't, Jen. When they do,I might consider it. Actually, no.