Saturday, December 16, 2006

Most wonderful time of the year?

I am sitting here trying to mentally prepare myself to go back out amongst the greedy hordes before my sister arrives to pick me up to go shopping again. My sister, however, is MUCH better to shop with than the friend I wrote about previously. However, we must be crazy to be going on SATURDAY.

I have only bought one gift so far, and though I don't have a lot of people to buy for anymore, it is a big deal to me to go xmas shopping because I despise long lines and how hot the stores are and the way people push and shove or just run you over with baby strollers and shopping carts. I keep saying each year that I am going to order everything online and though I do order much of it online, I always find myself having to go to the stores for a few people I buy for. And to go out into the masses of materialistic crabby shoppers, I have to psyche myself up in preparation. I truly feel sorry for the store clerks and people who work in retail at this time of year. Not the ones who sit in the offices and collect the profits, but the cashiers, customer service associates, stock clerks and janitors who must service the disrespectful, inconsiderate, greedy bitches and bastards that come out in droves at "the most wonderful time of the year."

My poor mother is nearly 70-years-old and has to work to keep her insurance going and to make some extra money for herself and my father. My mother is very sweet to people and there is no reason to treat her badly...EVER. Yet, she tells me stories about people yelling at her when their credit cards are over limit, when something they pick up off the sales rack is not really on sale because another non-caring customer didn't put the item back where they got it from, or if an item was sold out that they had come for. Those are just a few things people get pissy about with her. Yesterday she called to talk and was telling me things that were going on at work. One customer came to her check-out lane with a pair of jeans. They rang up at $17 and something, and the lady barked "Those are on sale for $12.99!" and my mother explained that it didn't have a certain sales code that it would have if they were on sale. The lady snapped back "well, they were on the sale rack with all these other jeans!" My mother explained that someone must have put them there, but they aren't on sale. The woman YANKED the jeans out of my mother's hands and said some obsenities and then went to the manager to complain! That is one reason I could no longer work in retail...I would have called the woman a fucking bitch whore.
How dare she treat my mom like that! Bitch! Makes me so mad!

Years ago, when I was a young clerk in a department store, I had this customer who has stayed in my mind since, unfortunately. I worked in the lay-away (will call) department. For those younger people who don't know what this is, in the days before instant gratification via a plastic card, if someone wanted to buy something but didn't have the money for it right away they could have the store hold it for a certain length of time while they made regular payments on the items being held. When the item/s were paid for, they could take their stuff. This department also provided gift wrapping at a small fee. During the xmas shopping season, gift wrapping was crazy. People lined up in one line to check out their lay-away items, and in another line people waited to get their gift wrapping. We were told by management to take care of the lay-away customers first and the gift wrap people had to wait for us to wrap their packages in-between lay-away customers. Well, this man came to the counter and wanted something wrapped. I told him polititely that he would have to wait a few minutes because we were told to take lay-away customers first. He yelled at me to wrap his gift NOW. I told him that I couldn't because I couldn't go against what my boss said or I would get in trouble. He said "GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE AND WRAP MY PACKAGE NOW!" I basically told him to go fuck himself (in nicer words) and he asked where the manager's office was and I willingly escorted him there. He never came back. It's nice when management backs up their employees.

So, my sister will be here soon. I am sure I will have some more to write about shopping at this "wonderful time of year."

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