Mar 31, 2004

Number three is completely unrelated.

1. I love discount stores. Marshalls and TJMaxx are weekly stops for me. Once you've spent years sorting through the crap you kind of get an eye for what's good. For example, the $125 Le Creuset dutch oven for $60. If that's not a dreamy deal, I don't know what is. Every time I pull out the credit card at one of the two local Marshalls or the local Maxx, I use my impeccable mental math skills to add up all of my savings. If my savings outweigh what I'm spending, I can guiltlessly label myself a savvy shopper.

2. I hate rude retail salespeople. As much as I love M & M (Maxx and Marshalls), they do not seem to have a strict hiring policy. It seems to me that you can get a job at either of these two bargain meccas as long as you can keep your eyes open and stand up straight for a few minutes at a time, and even then they will make an exception if you have a stunning I-don't-give-a-shit-about-you-and-I-hope-you-die personality. Yesterday I decided to cheer myself up by taking a quick trip to Marshalls during my lunch hour to shop around for some miscellaneous kitchenwares and a bra top camisole. I found both and headed to the registers. You could have seen the sagebrush roll by, the check out lines were so desolate and empty. Happily drugged on deal-finding uppers, I peppily bounced over to the "Customer Service" counter and stood there. Two elderly ladies were standing behind the counter, each with a piece of merchandise in hand, waving their free hands at each other and shooting the shit about who didn't come to work today and who took a leisurely 19 minute break yesterday. I made a peep to get the attention of the nearest "customer service employee" who lowered her head to look at me over her glasses, took an emphasizing pause and in a way so as I could not mistake the fact that I was interrupting her important conversation, said "Yesssss?". I ask, "May I buy these items, please?" smiling pleasantly. Head still down, blank stare still in place, "Honey, no. This is RETURNS. You can't pay for that at RETURNS, you need to go to a register." Turns to her hard working fellow employee, "Shit, people think they can just pay for their stuff here, and naw, this is RETURNS [looking over her shoulder to see if I've left yet] but they can't buy things here. Shit." I am still standing there, for there is no cashier in sight and I, being a lowly customer, don't know what to do. "There's a cashier right over there [waves hand nonchalantly] but you can't pay for those here. This is RETURNS." As if I didn't hear her emphasis on the words the first two times. A young pissed off girl pops up magically from behind register 2 from eating? sleeping? pooping? who knows. She quietly rings me up without ever making eye contact while the two RETURNS desk employees gripe just loud enough for me to hear them about how I had dared to ask them to do their job. My bargain induced high was gone, and I came back to my office to immediately file a complaint with the Marshalls headquarters. I get a reply today with the usual blah blahs and I'm sorrys, explaining how Customer Service is such an important quality to them. Call me crazy but I simply do not believe it.

3. This is my new favorite quote of all time: "We're all blind to something - the mind's eye can't hold everything at once." - by Laurie King from the short story, Weaving the Dark.

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