Yesterday I was determined to finish my Xmas shopping. They were calling for heavy snow this weekend and the joyous holiday is only six days away. After putting the little bugger to sleep, I informed my husband that I was going to the mall. I don’t think he really heard me. The hockey game had put him in a kind of stupor. Nevertheless, I went on my mission.
I was on a really tight schedule. By the time I got to the mall, I had only a half hour before closing. Chapters was open a little later. Wal-Mart was open 24 hours. So the plan was:
9-9:30 – Dollar Store, H&M, tea store
9:30-10 – Chapters/Starbucks
10-? – Wal-Mart
Like Flash Gordon, I whizzed through the mall. Having grown up in the ‘burbs my whole life, I’ve practically lived in malls. So power shopping is second nature. But I felt bad for shopping last minute. Luckily, the sales people were so preoccupied with wanting to leave that they neglected to give me the evil eye for being there right before closing. Not that I would blame them if they did. I would want to get the f–k out too.
Then I had to go to Wal-Mart. In all honesty, I’d prefer not to shop here. I just feel guilty for supporting such a huge American conglomerate. (Disclaimer: There’s nothing wrong with being American but I think I should be supporting the businesses that are closer to home). However, economic circumstances being what there are, I go where the prices are.
What is it about Wal-Mart that makes people lose their minds? It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is. There’s always yappy teenagers without a lick of sense and parents about to blow a gasket because their kids are a millisecond away from complete thermonuclear meltdown. Argh!
I quickly got my stuff and went to the checkout. But wait! Even though the store is open 24 hours, these registers are closed. Calling on my previous management experience, I thought to myself “They probably cut back on labour because of budget constraints”. No problemo. I ran over to the other side. Bedlam. It was a scary teeming mass of consumerism. Wishing I could make like Harry Potter and go “Accio iPod!”, I obediently got in line. I’m such a lemming.
Lucky me was beside an aforementioned yappy teenager. She was letting me and fifty other people around her that Wal-Mart was “f–kin’ stupid to close their registers” and that she was “going to f–kin’ lose it on somebody’s ass”. Someone has been raised well.
If you’ve worked in retail, you know that people like her come with the territory. It may not seem difficult, but retail can really bust your balls. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry but some people feel that salespeople are beneath them and have the right to treat them like second-class citizens. The holiday season is absolutely the worst time of the year if you work in a store. Been there, done that. I feel for these guys. To make it easier for them I refold what I open up. I put back items I’ve tried on. If what I want doesn’t have a sticker, I bring up an item that does. My husband hates it. Obviously, he’s never worked retail.
Oh, ‘but I get such horrible customer service’ you might say. Yes, that does happen. But, 90% of the time stores employ teenagers who are still in that egocentric stage of development and haven’t had the life experience necessary to deal with people outside their peer group. It takes practice to be patient and accommodating. I’ve actually seen an adult go off on a kid because they wouldn’t give a refund past the due date. Hello? There are store policies for a reason. I once pointed out that the return policy was printed on the receipt to a customer. You know what she said? – “Oh, no one reads that anyway”. Well, they would if they were literate.
It’s freakin’ Christmas people! Be nice to each other – especially salespeople. It’s busy. So what? Get over it. Telling someone off for no good reason this holiday will come and bite you in the ass. And if you do, I hope you like coal.