Archive for the SHOP TILL YOU DROP Category

A (WASTED) DAY IN THE LIFE

Posted in SHOP TILL YOU DROP on March 22, 2010 by elsdonssewer

I go shopping.

I’m not talking about spending the entire day moving from store to store and ending up with more boxes and bags and packages that I can manage, completely exhausted and unable to enjoy a single purchase. Unless, of course I bought A new pillow for my bed. I am by no means a shopaholic. I am what could be called a reluctant shopper. I neither love to shop nor hate to shop. I shop because I must. There are things that I need and shopping is the only way to get that stuff.

I know I could shop on line. I just don’t like to. I also do not give people the right to draw money out of my bank account. I don’t trust them. There are just too many horror stories about people loosing all their money that way. I’m not saying that it’s a crime every time. I’m sure that there are times when innocent, if not stupid, clerical errors have caused trouble for many an unsuspecting shopper.

But I digress. My plan was to discuss an average trip to the store. Any store. No, not really any store. I’m talking about the store (with out a name[here after to be referred to as they, them, it or what ever else I want to call them]) that many seem to go, many boycott, and all on some level hate.

There are a number of falsehoods that come not only with that store but I feel all stores. I’ll cover a couple but I just don’t want to go too deep here.

First, they care about you. You are the reason they exist. They are in business because they just adore you. Profit has no place in their equation.

If you buy into this then you might want to stop reading right now and go to their site. They will comfort you. It’s what they do best. I understand this may sound jaded and I may be way off on, this but I don’t think I know of any business that will forgo their profit structure for your happiness.

Second, they have what you want and need.

I’m trying not to swear.

They do not sell what you want or need, they sell what they want you to buy. Plain and simple. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect them to have “everything”. I would not go there expecting to buy a new car or an airplane. The truth is smaller towns have smaller stores. Big cities have bigger stores. They don’t cram every thing that the biggest stores carries into the smaller stores. That’s okay though because if modern science has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that city folk need more than their country cousins. Wow, I’m glad we got that sorted out.

Here’s the truth of the matter, I go there because I’m cheap. But almost every time I leave there I swear that that was the last time. I convince myself that it is not worth the savings.

You don’t know this about me but I eat healthy. More and more people are eating healthy and for a while they were all excited to cater to this phenom. They started loading the aisles with organic this and that. They did this, of course, not because of the dollar signs that were replacing their eyes, they just care deeply about us as people.

The first thing I saw disappear was the rice based ice cream that I so like. What was at first a section of ice cream that I would eat quickly was reduced to a row of chocolate and a row of vanilla. Now it’s just a row of vanilla. I can only believe that their crack team of nutritionists must have found something in the rest that was bad for me. That must be why it disappeared from their shelves. Soon my buckwheat pancake mix was gone. Next I could no longer buy the waffles that I like. This must be because they are deeply in love with me. The list continues, just not here. You get the idea.

That aside here’s one my personal favorites. You can walk up and down aisle after aisle looking for something. It could be something that you hope they carry or it could be something that you have purchased there many times before, it doesn’t matter. Should you break down and ask an always helpful “team member” where the product is, they are apparently trained to walk up and down the same aisles you just covered so they can then say with out fear of successful contradiction that they are either out or they do not carry it. Even the most savvy of shoppers would not be able to come to that conclusion on their own. Your choice now is to either forgo that item or settle for something (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) they want you to buy.

If you should go to the deli and there is some one being waited on before you, rest assured that as you wait eight or ten or more people will congregate there. As there is no “take a number” system there and as the deli person is no doubt trained not to ask who is next, you can be certain that the closest person across the counter from them will be waited on next. Sort of like a fun little lottery, isn’t it?

Now, after walking and waiting and searching and settling, it’s time to go pay for all the fun you’ve just had.

This following scenario assumes it is Saturday afternoon when there are four or five hundred shoppers ready to pay up and leave.

Forty registers are there waiting for you to check out. Forty registers, thirty seven unlit lights and three check out people stand poised and ready to make the final part of your shopping experience memorable. Of the forty registers there eight or ten are self check out lanes. One is open. One of the three check out “specialists” is manning a special check out lane for folks with twenty or less items so they don’t have to stand in long lines. I am certain that the reason for twenty or less items lane is, if you’re not going to fill your cart, then get the hell out. The problem with the twenty or less check out lane is that there is a large family with three or four full carts being checked out.

After lord knows how long you’ve waited in the line (many times I get outside and am surprised that it’s still light out) the check out person has scanned and bagged everything and spun the little lazy Susan so you can put your bags in your cart. The total comes up on the screen as well as being announced like the next draft choice by the register person. You’ve handed them your hard earned cash or check or swiped your card and the receipt scrolls out of the top of the machine. The register person tears it off with the same emotion of some one snapping the green off a carrot and holds it out for you to take.

When (I really want to know this) did the English language, grammar and just plain manners replace the words “Thank You” with the words “Here you go”? I don’t know. I must have missed that memo that told me not to expect a “thank you for shopping with us” and be satisfied with some variation of “here you go”. And, why oh why do they stare sappily at me waiting for me to say thank you for handing me my receipt?

Is there a lesson to be learned from all this?

No, we are not animals and this not a fable.