24 November 2006

Rules to follow when shopping for Christmas

Having worked retail for 26 years (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I've learned a few things about shopping, especially during the holiday season. I've tried to explain these rules to the fustrated mass, but they seem to think I'm insane, but it works.

1. Always shop early. For goodness sake, during the Christmas season, most malls and stores are opening early. I know, it's the weekend and you want to stay in bed, blah, blah, blah, but the early bird does get the worm. Get your fat ass out of bed and get to the mall. If you plan it correctly, you can get all your shopping done before the mall gets jumping. Plus parking is a breeze. Then you can get home and watch all those lame show PBS airs during the afternnon. Oh, that may just be my parents.

2. Never shop between the malls prime hours. One thing you have to know is that between noon and about 5, those are the busiest hour stores have. If you hate long lines to check out, wandering the parking lot looking for a spot -even if its 17 football fields away from Sears - running into people who don't care, then avoid them during these hours. Think about what I said on #1.

3. Shop early in the evening. Weekdays are slower than weekends. So, instead of going home, eating a meal and then going to the mall, go from work. From about 4 until 7 or so, the malls are slower and parking is usally easier. A meal outside the home won't kill you.

4. Never shop until the stores are closing. One thing any employee hates is people who insist on staying until the gawd awful last second. It's annoying. Really. Trust me, we hate it. And we'll make you pay for it.

5. Come prepared. I hate the Lowes commercial on, that shows this lady asking a clerk about the things she wants, describing them in so little detail. Of course the Lowes girls knows excatly what the customer wants with just these little tibits. Whoa, stop, there. That lulls the customer into thinking that they don't have to know anything, because some clerk at a store will tell them what they want. This false sense of enpowerment on the customers part is what makes retail suck so much. If you want a book, a CD, DVD, a purse, a pair of pants, a shirt or anything else, don't come to the store saying it that you want the blouse Oprah was wearing. Or the Christmas movie that starred some girl with curly hair that aired on the Disney Channel 2 years ago.

6. Pay attention to your kids. Malls are not babysitters and they hate parents who let their children run around like wild animals.

7. Don't leave a mess. Putting clothes back on the rack -not throwing it, or tossing it on the floor - is very helpful. Granted, while we are paid to do this, its certainly not enough for most of your sorry asses. And what's with people moving tables and chairs around a cafe at Borders or Barnes & Noble or over at Starbucks? I don't come to your house and re-arrange your furniture. Stop doing it at our stores. It messes up our Chi. If you feel the need to do this, fine, but when you leave put it back the way you found it. Where you all brought up in barns? If it's a resturant, that's different. They get tips to put up with that type of crap.

8. All else fails, remember #1.

See, if people followed these simple -very simple - rules, Christmas shopping can actually not be stressful. And while employees of all reatil outlets are way underpaid and over worked, we do like to be treated with digity. Respect is a two-way street, my peeps. Treat me like dirt, and honey, the earings are coming off like I'm Joan Crawford.


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