Sunday, September 23, 2012

Observations While Shopping

Retailers -

When the cash register freezes during my transaction last week, it's a fluke and all I need is apology and for my credit card to be charged ONCE.
When the cash register freezes again during my transaction this week it tells me you need to update your equipment and I want more than an apology to ever shop in your store again.  I like your store, but I do not have time for it to be fixed twice and for you to refund my credit card twice.  It takes a few days for the credit to appear in my account.  You have over 10 cash registers in your store. These were just two of them.
Sorry, but we won't be back Sears.

Tell your sales associates that the proper greeting is "Hello" or "Hello, how are you today?" or even "Hello, did you find everything okay?" NOT snatching my purchases out of my hands, ringing them up and pointing at the screen for the total.  Don't allow them to say "This is NOT returnable. Do  you understand this isn't returnable? Because it's not." and not say anything else.  Also, they don't have to wish me a nice day, but a simple "Thank you" would be appropriate.  Our purchases are what keeps the doors open, right?  I am so tired of going through the entire checkout process without the employee ever uttering a word to me.

I do not speak Pashto, Farsi, Chinese, Vietnamese or Spanish.  When I ask a question in English I shouldn't need another employee to translate. I need the answer in English. I would hope that the first requirement of any applicant would be fluency in English.  Notice I said "fluency" - not "proficiency", not "a passing understanding and an ability to nod their head or shrug" - FLUENCY.  Everyone should be able to work if they want to, but they must  have the skills necessary to do the job.  When the signage, literature and receipts are all written in English your associates must be able to speak it to work there.

If I am standing there, ready to buy your goods and services I will walk out the minute your associate takes a personal phone call/text. If he/she answers the store phone and instead of putting them on hold/transferring the call proceeds to try to assist the person on the phone.  I understand they are required to answer the store phone, but  I am standing, right there, cash in hand, ready to buy.  I am a real customer.  Their friends/babysitter/Mom/boyfriend or the person who may/may not buy from you are not as valuable to your business right that moment as I am.

Mothers -
Mothering 101 - True fact - Mothers can differentiate their child's cries.  There are six types of crying: Tired, Hungry, Dirty Diaper, Pain, Fear and Brat.

For example:
Your shopping is not as important as the well being of your baby, toddler or young child.
If your child cries because he is hungry you have three options.  1. Take him home and feed him, 2. Feed him a bottle 3. Breast feed him. Make any of these happen before you try on your 8th pair of jeggings.  I can promise you he will stop crying.  I can't be so sure the jeggings are going to be so happy.

If your child cries because she is tired?  Take her home for a nap. There is no second option. Remove her from the mall and take her home.  The mall is no place for a baby to get a good nap and you can find a new hat with matching purse for Aunt Bitsy's 85th birthday another day.  But your child needs a nap. In the car or at home. Now.

And if your child is purposefully crying because he doesn't want to be in the mall, [And you all know this cry Waaaaah [pause 1,2,,3] Waaaaah  [pause 1,2,3] Waaaah [pause 1,2,3] TAKE HIM HOME.  He is not going to stop crying until he gets his way.  You have taught spoiled him and he knows that the higher the decibel level the better chance he will get what he wants..  He will pass out from the effort before he gives up getting out of the mall.  The dressing room in JCPennys is NOT the time to begin being a parent and start enforcing rules.  Saying soothingly "No, no Timmy. No, no."  doesn't cut it. Trust me.  We could hear it not working.  Just because you are behind a closed dressing room door the 7 women in line can still hear you telling him no over his screeching and I can assure you they ARE whispering about you.  I can hear them through my door.  When one of the waiting husbands whispered "screaming lil' f*cker" under his breath all the other mothers giggled.  No, none of us has been there before and no we didn't feel your pain. Do you know why?  We either shopped without our children or removed them before they got to that stage. We took them home.  Sometimes other people's quality of life does take precedence over  lil' Timmy's right to exercise his lungs and our patience. Got it?

Helicopter parent:
When the cute teenage girl puts her arms around her boyfriend's waist and kisses him on the cheek it does not give you the right to turn around and say, sternly, "Enough with the PDA you two.  There are young children present."  First off - your son is 8 or 9 years old. He can certainly handle an innocent kiss between teenagers.  Secondly - you embarrassed your son.  I hope you aren't his room Mom at school too. Or did they ban you in 1st grade?  Finally - did you really think for one second I wasn't going to put my arms around my husband and give him a kiss on the cheek too?  I have no idea who crushed your spirit along the way lady, but over parenting isn't going to bring it back.  And you are darn lucky the only thing you gave me was a dirty look.  Good for you for keeping your mouth closed.  The teenagers high fived me on the way out btw. :D

Parenting fail:
When your child skips happily along with another Mom, Dad and their three daughters right out of JCPenny's, making it half way down the mall is NOT the time to notice he is gone.  It is also NOT the time to scream at the poor little guy for wandering off.  You're scaring him. He is 2, maybe 3 years old.  He cannot quite grasp the concept of strangers yet, especially when other little kids are around.  He did nothing wrong. He just thought he had made new friends and they were having fun.  Kids do that.  Instead, someone should have been yelling at you to watch your own kid and not lose track of him while in housewares.  SHOPPING IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR CHILD.  If this kid, heaven forbid, had gone missing we would have seen a tearful Mother on TV last night saying "But I only turned my back for a second and he was gone."  It was a lot longer than that before she noticed he was missing and all because she was so engrossed in shopping. Sigh. And people wonder why....

These all occurred in one day [except for my first purchase at Sears a week ago], at 3 stores.  I had $400 to spend on new clothes and shoes.  The new summer wardrobe I bought isn't going to cut it with the cold weather moving in so I really need an all new [to me] winter fall/winter wardrobe. [It's a fun problem to have. I know. :D]

I spent $105.63.  I got some great deals for Pooldad [1 polo shirt, 1 dress short sleeved shirt, 1 long sleeved dress shirt, 1 argyle sweater, 1 pair of khakis and 4 pair of shorts - $95.45. YAY!] and a black blazer, fully lined, for $10.18. It was 80% off.  It will be a great Christmas present for Squirrel. Double YAY!

I still have $294.37 without one new thing in my closet.  I wasn't even looking for bargains. I was ::gasp:: willing to pay full price just to have something to wear.  I even considered shopping online but I can't be sure of what size I am without trying on the clothes.  I suppose this means I will have to brave the stores again. Sigh.

Will someone please go shopping for me?  I promise to throw in "hazardous duty" pay if you like.  Ear plugs included. ::wink::

Have a great week Tadpoles.  We'll see you on the flipside. . . if I survive the shops. heehee


Tracy said...

I'm starting to enjoy shopping (gasp) but I'm too far away to shop for you. I got bored today and went shopping not once but twice. Granted one time was a grocery store. I did go to Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy a salad spinner and walked out with three bags of stuff. The clearance stuff was 80% off so I got candles and some decorating things.

Maybe you can online shop with someone who has free shipping if you buy a certain amount and then return it to the local store if it doesn't fit. I did that for prom dresses and ordered the same dress in three sizes.

SkippyMom said...

I don't want to tie up my credit card like that Tracy or I would. And B,B and B is addictive. Scary, but addictive. I could live in the kitchen gadget or bed linens aisles. heehee

Shelly said...

I hope you hear me "Amen-ing" you all the way from Texas. It's all I can do sometimes to keep my mouth shut when we're in the mall.

Unknown said...

I cannot agree with you more. I have had these same situations and I just wonder about how some parents "parent" their children. Also I cannot understand the silence or surliness of many store and restaurant clerks. I think these young people are a product of the poor environments in which they were raised. I'd be very upset if I saw my offspring behaving like that while working. It's sad, but I'm afraid it will get worse before it gets better.

SkippyMom said...

Sad thing is Jill - many of these instances are folks my age or older. The teenagers are well represented like you said, and I told my kids if I ever caught them acting like that to a client, guest or customer they might as well quit. That isn't professional.

I didn't post my favorite pet peeve tho' - GUM SNAPPING. ARGH! heehee Worse when it is a grandma cashier.

Unknown said...

Great post my friend! And so very true about some store clerks.
Enjoy your Day! Big hugs x

colenic said...

Oh the joys of shopping....I hate it...but would be willing to go with you :) I bet we could have an awfully good time.
I still haven't walked into the first store you mentioned since our fridge fiasco...and won't because the store by us is terribly unorganized...
What person thinks it's okay to have a conversation about a teenagers behavior if it isn't their parent. People have a lot of nerve....I am glad that you showed her up..although I can picture the confrontation in my head if she had said anything to's pretty funny!
I am glad that you are feeling well enough to venture out...even if you have to put up with this silliness.. Hang in there...
Hugs and love!

CWMartin said...

C'mon, now Skippy, you aren't having enough respect for today's liberal parenting strategies. It takes a village to raise a child, and everyone in it should be subject to the little guy's tantrums, be responsible for watching him for the mother, and remember that only THAT mother's teenager is allowed to neck in public. And how politically incorrect can you be expecting english-language service in an english-language counrty? I'm sure Sears was far too busy meeting all aplicable federal guidelines for hiring non-english speaking minorities to get to that register right away. You must be understanding about these things!

ellen abbott said...

I don't go to malls. I don't really like to shop. One of the things I like about living out here in the country though is that the sales people are so nice! and polite! and helpful! and not surly! wow.

Jeannie said...

I really hate shopping. But my baby girl is great at finding bargains - and in small sizes too!

It only takes a couple of bad parents to mess up a day out in public. I won't pretend to have been a great parent - my kids have their own horror stories to tell - but I know that they are grateful that they learned how to behave out in the world. However, I think that there are a lot of people entirely ignorant of basic social skills these days so how on earth can they pass along knowledge they never learned themselves? It pisses me off that most of the reality tv shows glamourize trashy bad spoiled brat behaviour in adults - over the top drama which I see mimiced out in the world by youth. So, I think it's only going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. I can't wait for the pendulum to swing the other way again - for people to value their dignity and respect the rights of others to have a pleasant day.

life in the mom lane said...

I feel your pain- I have encountered every one of those scenarios..... sigh

Juli said...

And this is why I took my children NO WHERE until they were 3 years old. I couldn't handle them, so we didn't go.

Knitty said...

Glad to k ow I'm not the only one who avoids stores because of their cashiers' attitudes and customer service in general. I usually send a message to the store so that they know why they've lost me. I make an effort not to sound irate, just fed up and ready to spend money elsewhere.

I agree about kids too. Nothing like an exhausted toddler in Walmart (or other stores with late hours) at 10:00 being yelled at for having no patience. grrrrrrrr!

The only thing I disagree with is BB&B. If I have luck there once a year it's a big surprise.

Tony Van Helsing said...

You would like shopping with my wife, if there is a long queue at the checkout she tells a member of staff to stop stacking the shelves and open another till. Woe betide any who don't listen.

Celia said...

I absolutely do not take my son shopping with me. He doesn't behave in public to save his life, so I won't bother someone else with his drama. I wish other people recognized the fact too.

Julie said...

OMG - a parent who i have so much in common with - i hate parents who bring bratty weans to the shops. I want to KILL!!
The only person i know who would be worse than us is Lou. She loathes whinney bratty kids. She loathes those cashiers who don't give a flying hoo haa. (she used to work in a shop - got out smart!!)
THose bratty weans - she wants to take them to her work and show them kids who are SICK, UNWELL, stuck in hospital - what they would give to be able to get out in the fresh air to even just have a walk.

You go girl and i'll be at your side - even when they lock us up in a cell together!!!!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Bull's eye! You need to get up on your soap box more often, kiddo. Everything you had to say is right on target. 12:34

Snookie said...

Complaining about here on your blog doesn't do anyone any good. You should have gone to the store manager and complained.

Changes won't be made if the store managers aren't told of the probems. If I get a clerk that doesn't acknowledge me at the register or at least smile you can bet I'm looking for a store manager and if time is a issue I'm making note of the name tag, time and register number and a phone call will be made later.

I've gotten gift certificates as thank you's because I've brought problems to the forefront. There are too many stores to shop and store managers want to make sure you are having a good experience in their store. There bonus depends on it!

SkippyMom said...

Snookie you are SO right - the problem in some of these cases is that it was the manager in Sears trying to fix the cash register and in some cases the managers speak even less English than their employees so I am at a loss to complain. Believe me if I thought it would work I would say something in a minute, but around here they usually side with their employees. We have just taken to either filling out the surveys they attach to our receipts, writing an email or boycotting the store.

Now if I could figure out who to complain to in regards to the neglectful Mommas.

Thanks so much for popping in.