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What You Don’t See. . .Until You Don’t

January 8, 2024

I work at a convenience store. It’s a great job. Mostly I’m talking to customers. Ringing up sales or cooking taquitos. When it’s slow I have other duties to get to. Sometimes I have to stock shelves. Sometimes do cleaning.

But the most common, and frequent, task is called “front facing.”

Think about the last time you went to the grocery store. Or, even to a 7-eleven. A typical walk through the store and you can see everything you want. You could buy crackers, energy drinks, chips. American stores are typically well stocked. Things are easy to find.

The reason they are so easy to find is that someone goes through the store and makes sure things are forward facing. It means you turn things so that the labels face forward. It seems pretty simplistic, doesn’t it? What’s the big deal?

You typically don’t notice that all the labels are front facing. . .until you do. If the products areĀ not front facing you would notice immediately, like a library with some of the books turned spines inward.

Front facing reminds me that we don’t often notice what’s done right. But we very quickly notice what is not exactly right.

No great philosophical point. Just something I was thinking about.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Miscellany III A Collection of Holiday Short Stories, is an anthology that includes his latest short story, “You Can Call Me Dan”

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(c) 2024 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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One Comment
  1. It isn’t something that can be unseen once you do it a while.
    I last worked in retain over 35 years ago, and I still do a bit of facing up when I shop. When I take something from a display, I usually pull the next one up. When I am putting things I looked at back on the shelf, I make sure it is facing forward.
    The exception will always be if a spot is labelled 404, those need to stay empty if the numbering doesn’t happen to skip it all together.

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