Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Shopping

I used to think I hated Christmas shopping. That's not the case, though. It's not the task I dislike. It's the being out among others that's the challenge.
I guess it's not just limited to shopping, either. There's a whole dynamic involved. It is only a few folks who really mess it up for everyone else and they manage to do it royally. For example, I was down by the post office, where there is only on-street parallel parking. Usually there are 8-10 parking spots. However, in this particular instance two individuals had managed to park in such a manner that theirs were the only vehicles able to fit within the space allotted.
Sometimes it is the store employees who make life difficult during the season. I was in the local branch of a certain Arkansas based superstore. The first thing I noticed is that most of the employees on the floor made every effort to avoid eye contact, appearing to be in a rush to somewhere else... well, except for the greeter and the checker.
Another thing in the same store. As I sought the item I wanted to buy, I heard a phone begin to ring, and ring... and ring. So I looked to see where it was coming from. It was in the cell-phone department, where two employees were blissfully ignoring the ringing, which continued for almost a full minute.
BTW - I never did find the item I was looking for, not could I get the attention of anyone to help me.
We used to have local businesses, who carried the merchandise I needed and who were more than willing to assist a customer. But they were unable to compete with the superstore.
I seem to have become invisible. On another occasion, I was with my wife, walking through a store, when another person... I think it was a customer... stepped in from the side, blocking my path, and began walking alongside my wife.
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is asking those who "see something, say something." But the only contact number given is 911... maybe next time.
The drivers on the road aren't much better. But at least so far they are remembering the rules of the road and staying to the right.
Oh! And hey! There's the only other place in town to buy groceries. There seems to be some kind of war going on among the beverage (beer & soft drink) distributors. It is virtually impossible to take a food basket down some of the aisles because they are blocked by floor displays and idiots confused customers who don't know whether to take items from the shelf or from the display.
I much prefer shopping to be a "hands on" experience. But I certainly understand why so many folks find it simpler to do it online.


  1. Yeah, I used to really enjoy Christmas shopping when I was younger. I truly did. It seemed that there were more smiles, both from consumers and retailers, than now. These days, it appears that most folks are too stressed out to make the effort. Sad. So, I do about 95% of my Christmas shopping on-line.

  2. I used to work in retail. It's not that hard to make eye contact and let someone know you'll help them eventually.
    The part of the job I hated most was the rude, impatient customer who totally ignored the fact that I was waiting on someone else.

    You know... I bet a whole blog could be done about... oh! yeah, this one. Now we need one about stupid employees.


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