From mom-and-pop general stores to big-box, strip-mall chains, it is impossible to consider the American experience without thinking about the buying-and-selling retail culture: the sales and the stockrooms, the shift managers, and the clock punchers. If you've ever worked in retail--and most likely you have--you probably have a funny, frantic, moving, mortifying, outrageous, or ridiculous story to tell. The Customer Is Always Wrong is a tragicomic and all-too-revealing collection of essays by writers from all corners of the literary world--writers who have done their time behind the counter and lived to tell their tales. Jim DeRogatis, author of Let It Blurt, for example, describes hanging out with Al himself at Al Rocky's Music Store, while Colson Whitehead explains how three summers at a Long Island ice cream store gave him a lifelong aversion to all things dessert-like. This book not only shines a light on the absurdities of retail culture but finds the delight in it as well. If it weren't for the customer, after all, our economy would not function--nor would we slaves-to-the-paycheck get our turn to shop until we drop. And for every abusive customer or moronic employee, there are those people who come into our stores--and our lives--and change them forever... one price tag at a time.