(Williston, ND). Like Japanese soldiers holding out on remote islands after WWII, Sears employees in this sleepy North Dakota town were surprised to learn that their community was under a stay at home order, and has been for the past eight weeks. We visited them at the empty retail outlet and asked why they continued to go to work in spite of the order.
“We simply did not know,” said Benjamin Gold, who works in the electronics section on weekends. “Sure, I thought it was strange last month not to serve customers when we ran our annual sale on flip-phones, as we typically see one or two of the more ‘established’ members of our community visit, and no one showed up. I figured New Hope Wesleyan was hosting another bingo tournament.”
Harper Smith, of the Men’s Clothing department recalled the last time she helped a customer. “I don’t exactly remember how long ago it was. He doited around for some time, trying to find the perfect pair of practical socks. I was so happy he made the effort to write a check for the purchase, as the flatbed credit card imprinter is cumbersome and always gets jammed.”
William Grayson, Appliance Manager, added: “It is not like we have not kept busy. You have no idea how much upkeep has to be done on these ten-year old refrigerators and pilot-light ovens so we can sell them as ‘new’. Likewise, George over in Hardware has spent several days putting up new displays of blacksmith tools and hand-cranked drills.”
When asked if the employees will stay at home now that they are aware of the order, Suzie Smallmouth, apparel shift manager, said she would continue to come in. “Look, I like it here. It is quiet. I am in charge of the flannel shirts, part of the Al Borland line, and no one can fold and stack like I can. What if a customer comes in and wants to try one on, or worse yet, needs advice on which flannel pattern to pair with cuffed jeans and Skechers?”
Glenn Sturgis, store manager, added: “You know, back in the early nineteen hundreds, we sold tombstones and other grave markers. What with this China virus going around, I think we can revive our ‘Catalogue of Memorial Art in Granite and Marble’ and actually get some of our original clientele back, as they are in the high-risk category. Umm, well, the relatives of those customers, anyway.”