In greek myth, Sisiphus got into deep shit for hubris, and in the underworld, he was compelled to roll a large boulder up a hill.  The problem?  He could never get to the top, as the boulder always slipped away, back to the bottom.  Thus, he has to repeat the task ad infinitum.  Metaphorically, it’s almost a cliche, now, for pointless tasks that never end.  But even if it’s a cliche, it’s an apt description for many tasks when engages in retail, especially a certain super chain based out of Arkansas.

WalMart has a term — zoning. It’s often a gerund, but it also takes verb form, with the infinitive being “To Zone.”  Basically, Zoning is the act of hitting a retail eisle, and making sure everything is in the right place with the right price tag.   Also, one has to tidy up and front the merchandise — move all items to the egde of the shelf, even if that item is understocked.  The point, really, to clean up the shelves and keep everything organized.  There’s a problem, however.  We are, after all, talking about WalMart.  As soon as you zone, there’s about 5-10 customers behind you fast at work making a mess of the shelf.     Once they’re gone, you start over, and make eveything look nice.  Only, more customers show up.   And it all starts over, again.

My point?  If one were to make Sisyphus more contemporary, fuck rolling the boulder up a hill.  He’d be in well trafficked retail establisment, trying to keep shelves tidy.

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