Don’t Fuck with Phyllis

Is it just me, or is there a sniff of bitchiness and resentfulness in the air at the moment? Look, I know that the world can be a big, scary place and that the news seems to be always bad, but christ on a cracker can we all take a Xanax and have a good lie down already?

They say smile and the whole world smiles with you. They also say fart, and you will remain alone.

Ok, so yesterday I was at K-Mart with pretty much the rest of the world. Looking around, everyone looked like they were waiting for the firing squad until I ran into my neighbour Anita who LOVES K-Mart and was buying things for an upcoming toga party. K-Mart? Is there anything you don’t sell? So we had a little yarn and I apologised to her if she heard my apocalyptic scream-a-thon from a new nights ago, and she admitted that she heard nothing. (She must have been out at the time).

We bid adieu and I wandered around as lonely as a cloud looking for upcoming birthday gifts for a few parties that Jack has coming up. I swear that boy is more social than Roxy Jacenko. I also threw this into my trolly because I am going to Thailand next week and I picture myself galavanting coquettishly across the sands in it, whereas in reality, when I got it home, I realised that it will be, in essence, nothing but trouble. #chafe

Now, for those in the know, K-Mart has recently undergone a transformation at its Chatswood store. I, being a gal that does not like change, have taken some time to get used to it. All of the checkouts are in the middle which goes against my natural sense of calm and order. I lined up in the queue and when I got to the top of the line, an assistant motioned me that a self serve checkout was available. Self serve checkouts and me do not mix AT ALL because I confuse easily and always have to ask for help, making the whole transaction as long as an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful. I let the person behind me go ahead, as I waited for a breathing human to assist me.

“Next please!”

I walked across to the counter and we made some delightful small talk as Phyllis began scanning my items.

“So, how do you like the new store layout?” I asked

Phyllis admitted that it had taken some time to get used to it. She had been working there for ten years.

“Do you get anyone complaining about it?” I enquired

Phyllis’s’ eyes flashed as she went into a lengthy explanation which occurred recently, when some middle aged man yelled at her about the new store layout and announced that “He would never set foot in K-Mart again!” But Phyllis was not having a bar of it.

She told me that she told the cranky man that she, personally, had nothing to do with the change of layout and if he stopped shopping there, she might be out of a job. She explained that for the past ten years, for four days a week, she got the 6.15am train from Turramurra to arrive at the store by 7am. Then, she set up the cash-registers and cheerily worked her shift until 3pm. She also told the bloke that she was 70 years old, and if he stopped shopping there and she lost her job due to staff layoffs, then she would be forced onto the pension, therefore HE would have to work even harder to pay more taxes so that she would spend her days watching her stories and doing endless crossword puzzles.

I liked Phyllis immediatly.

Phyllis then went on to tell me that I was totally being ripped off by having to pay $5.50 “transactional charges” on the gift cards I had selected.


In closing, may I say that your words and actions have deep and dire consequences on others. So think before you speak mmmmmkay?

Do you think Phyllis needs a promotion for sensible logic and reasoning?

How are you going? Cranky, or smiling with the world?



  • Heidi D

    The Hornsby Kmart store has changed too. I am not a fan of checkouts in the middle. I am a creature of habit & still start to wander towards the front of the store before I realise my mistake & have to go back. Phyllis is a wise woman. Having spent many years in retail I have listened to far too many customers rant & rave over something that is out of my control. I spent years being the manager that irate people were directed to when they wanted someone to shout at. I may have been the manager of the bookshop but they failed to understand I was not in charge of the publishers or couriers. If a book hadn’t arrived I could virtually guarantee it wasn’t my fault. At times like this I would call the owner out of the back room, he would come up to the counter, listen to the rant then give them the evil eye & tell them to get out. Day to day now I try to stay calm & not grumpy with people for two reasons ….. 1) you never know what is going on in a persons life that is making them have a bad day 2) you are much more likely to find other people are pleasant & helpful, particularly in retail, if you approach them nicely, use manners & don’t get shouty about things they have no control over

  • Happy because I’m about to be in receipt of a BABY – 7 months – and she’s all mine for nearly a week. I get to be Aunty Em and I can’t wait! (I hope I still know what to do?)

  • The Chadstone KMart has changed too – I spent I don’t know HOW long trying to track down the cash registers the first time I was in there after it happened…GAH!
    Phyllis ought to be promoted – that is GOLD. After far too many jobs in retail and on reception in various places, she’s absolutely right!

  • I love Phyllis! Right now I am weirdly equal parts cranky and happy. I have a bad pregnancy rash (PUPPP) which is stressful and frustrating and at times embarrassing, but I am pregnant. And I have wanted this for so long. And my baby girl kicks me so much – proof of life which makes me so happy. I alternate my days between collapsing in a heap and feeling super productive. I will take all the good moments that I can. I am proud of myself for handling my mental health better than I did last time I was pregnant. So maybe I’m not as cranky as I thought – gotta look on the bright side of life. No need to be an arsehole! x

    • pixie

      Oooh, I had that PUPPP thing in my last pregnancy- that rash was the worst itch I’ve ever encountered, and it was so relentless. I really feel for you because it’s just such a nasty thing to endure in your last trimester. You sound really positive though, good on you. Hang in there xx

      • It is quite torturous! I get this rash at 19 weeks onwards…lucky me! Thanks for your well wishes – always nice to find another person who understands is out there xx

  • PHYLLIS. What a deadset legend

  • Tracey

    Big fan of Phyllis.

  • Dianne Childs

    I am loving Phyllis. And like you, I avoid the self-service area like the plague, for much the same reasons. I always stuff it up and have to call the attendant, so it’s much more efficient (and less scary) to just let the staff serve me the way original K-Mart intended. lol.

    Di from Max The Unicorn

  • Donna

    I hate the Kmart store layout and the self serve registers that always jam.
    Love Phyllis. Hate that men think they have the right to abuse register staff when they fully know that the staff have no say in the arrangement of things.
    I’m trying to smile at the world but need a little cry today. Not sure why.

  • Mandy Mason

    I love Phyllis but unlike you, love a self check out. It means I don’t have to talk to anyone, unless I stuff up!

  • The trouble with the registers being in the middle of the store, is that it’s assumed that between paying and leaving you become some crazy stealer arse and so the person at the exit needs to pat you down and check all your shit and the docket. I don’t care hwere the registers are placed, but I don’t like having to prove my honesty every time I go there. Phyllis sounds like a cracker! More power to her!

  • Sally Fent

    Phyllis for PM!

  • I love Phyllis. I also hate the new layout but there’s no way I could boycott Kmart. It forms the large part of my tracky dack wardrobe and homewares collection

  • I definitely hate the new layout of Kmart. I actually shop at one that doesn’t have the cash registers in the middle. As for Phyllis, we need more like her everywhere.

  • CindyF

    Love the Phyllises of this world, but hate the new layout of the stores.

    Cannot for the life of me figure out how K-Mart management thought that alienating all their customers by inferring that all their customers are suspected shoplifters was ever going to go over well.