As you go about your yearly struggle to gather and purchase the absolutely necessary consumer goods available to you at your internationally successful retail giant of choice, there are some things you should consider keeping an eye on:
- Your children–while you are occupied deliberating between ankle socks and tube socks for your difficult-to-please great-uncle Merle, little Jacob and little Isabella are undoubtedly being the good children you know them to be and waiting quietly by your side…but you’ve forgotten one thing: other people’s children! You know as well as I do that your children would never do anything so horrid as, say, sword-fight with toddler umbrellas or toss plush Angry Birds at a carefully stacked diaper display or pull every hat and belt off of an accessory rack or kick a beach ball into a table of folded clothing…but other people’s children will! And while your children are being the little angels they always are and attempting to clean up the mess those naughty other people’s children left behind, a worker will undoubtedly come along and assume that your children are to blame because it is a known fact that other people’s children possess a unique ability to disappear into thin air the moment and authority figure steps up to catch them in the act. To avoid this whole scenario, it’s best to keep a tight reign on your little ones during this holiday shopping season…
- Your temper–before you close your browser and rant about how horribly wrong I am for accusing you of having a temper, please understand that I know it is not your fault. I’m well aware that it is my incompetence that is causing the problem in every conceivable situation where you have a concern about something either on the phone, on the shopping site, or in the store. I am an idiot. I can never do anything right. I very well should have an instant recollection of the exact numbers of items in stock at any given time in mine and every other store, even if the store you’re asking about doesn’t even fall under the same corporate umbrella as my store. All the same, I’d be less likely to look unkempt for the next customer if I didn’t always have salt stains on my uniforms from dried tears because, as you well know, I’m weak and will cry for something so minor and insignificant as your insistence that I must have the IQ of a titmouse and only look half as attractive in blue.
- Your personal effects–granted, holiday shopping is quite stressful. I know that you absolutely must get every single person on your list at least fifty dollars worth of mass-marketed and heavily advertised merchandise. I know that if you do not do the aforementioned gifting, your family will hate you forever and you’ll have ruined the holiday season for all of your loved ones. Still, it might be a good idea to keep track of keys, purses, scarves, phones, do-rags, wallets, watches, purchased items, shoes, socks, undergarments, sweaters, art supplies…it boggles the mind the number and category of misplaced customer belongings that wind up in a drawer marked “Lost and Found”, just waiting for the rightful owner to return and claim them.
- Your sanity–again, I am not trying to insult you here. I am aware that you are perfectly capable of–and of course always manage–keeping your cool in stressful retail situations. However, other people (yes, the worthless parents of those naughty brats that got your kids in trouble in the above scenario) will go crazy this holiday season. Other people will fist-fight over sale-rack items. Other people will walk off with your shopping cart. Other people will ask you inane questions or make irrelevant observations. Avoid at all costs other people.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, mind you, but I am an exhausted person (which is, of course not your fault. You were polite to me when you shopped and are perfect in every way, random customer who somehow found my blog and connected the dots). Feel free to add things to this list in the comment area of my blog at some point.