Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Decline of Retail Shopping

I abhor shopping. I do most of my shopping online, unless I know I can find it easily and promptly at a local brick and mortar.

I had just a couple errands to run today and wouldn't you know the people I experienced in said stores were ridiculous.

I needed some personal stationary to write a quick thank you note for someone who helped me recently. You'd be surprised how much people appreciate a nice handwritten note to express how you feel about their actions. I keep them handy but I recently ran out.

I went into the local Hallmark registered franchise and found some nice, simple blue stationary that wasn't too expensive. Since there's only a couple of other people in the store, I figure I'll get out quick with very little hassle.

The women at the counter was elderly with a sour look on her face. Every time I meet a senior, I always expect them to act like my parents: friendly, cordial and occasionally hilarious.

That was just not to be.

"Oh, well. Do you have anything smaller than a $20?" She waved my bill in the air like it shared an offensive odor with a homeless man who had just been dumpster diving.

"I'm sorry, but I don't." I had just been to the ATM and this was my first stop.

She stared me down with an intimidating look, wondering whether to believe me or not. She let out a frustrated sigh and still stood there. I wanted to swipe my twenty back and flee before she called her senior minions on me.

"Well, maybe in the safe."

I thought, "Oh boy, I'm going to be here until Memorial Day."

She finally grabbed the bills that would make up my change.

"God I hate ATM's. In my day you carried proper change for people."

I'm sorry lady, but in your day currency was made from the hides of small animals. Even though she put me off, I still smiled and said, "Thank you" as cheerily as I could.

Nothing ticks off a foul person more than cheeriness. Now if her attitude had veered only slightly in the positive direction, I would have been happy to return at my next birthday card need.

Instead, I have made a mental note never to enter this location again. By the looks of things, they may not be in business much longer.

Thus my work here is done.

My shopping nightmare only continued at Trader Joe's. I love shopping there because with your healthy purchases you always get a side of strange people. And they all smell like incense for some reason.

I believe they're called "hippies."

Truth be told I hate hippies. They always talk about making change and putting on rock concerts, but then you ask them what they're protesting and they've never quite sure because they're cranked up some illicit substance.

Your experience may differ, but that's where I stand on hippies.

Anyway, I digress.

I'm finally finished searching through organic this and additive free that and I make my way to the cashier. Behind the counter are two rather plump women talking non-stop, without taking a breath, about their boyfriends.

"Oh God, my boyfriend rocked my world last night. He did this thing with his tongue that was unbelievable."

I might as well take the groceries back because I just lost my appetite for the next ten days.

"I can top that. My boyfriend cut his tongue on my nipple ring and there was blood everywhere."

My God, Gross the Sequel.

I try to give them a look like I'd just like them to shut the hell up because their stories made me vomit a little in my mouth.

Again, because of poor customer service I will never use my duckets at this establishment again.

Fortunately, we have another Trader Joe's on the north side of town.

For those of you in the retail industry, may I just say this:

Because of your rudeness, or that of your employees, you're killing all future business at your establishment. With the advent of the internet, Americans love to complain and will do it as loud as possible whenever they have the chance.

When I type in "I Hate..." into Google, here's some of the results:

I Hate Starbucks
I Hate Blockbuster
I Hate Subway
I Hate Best Buy

What I find entertaining is I agree with all of the above statements.

With so many choices for the American dollar don't you think as a business owner you'd do everything possible to gain the trust and loyalty of everyone?

Maybe that's why I don't work in retail.

I have too much common sense.

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