Friday, 17 December 2010

Attention Shoppers!

I really, really hate shopping, especially -- of course -- at this time of year.

But much as I really, really hate shopping, I've figured a few things out about it.

Like, before you're allowed to leave the store with your purchases, there's a little transaction to be done. Usually involving a wallet, cash or a card. Or two cards if you're an idiot who's agreed to be commercially stalked by corporations.

So WHY THE FUCK do I always get behind the cement-head who waits until the clerk is looking at her -- and it's usually a her -- expectantly to start rummaging around in purse?

Rummage, rummage, rummage.

Oh, there's the wallet.

Now, peruse, peruse, peruse, which card will I use?

Hand over card, transaction proceeds. Until clerk asks: 'Have you agreed to be commercially stalked by corporations?'

Oh. Yes. Peruse, peruse, peruse.

Second card gets handed over.

I vibrate with impatience. And regular readers here can imagine how hard I bite down on my tongue.

Attention shoppers! Please learn this lesson: Purchasing. Requires. Cash. And. Or. Card(s).


Think you can remember that?



Pseudz said...

Just stunned or stunned and starving.

What you describe is, indeed, annoying. Even in places with multiple wickets fed by a single line of shoppers (the shopper-hopper)cashiers are heard to repeat "I can help the next person over here" way too often. You're in the 'bull-pen' - pay attention, dammit!

Perhaps there's a stupefying endorphin release which results from the act of choosing from the oceans of stuff on offer. If the mental vacation could just be delayed somehow until they're out in traffic again - - no wait - - that could be messy.

Perhaps there really are wattage-dimming subliminal messages in the canned music - but then how do the staff survive without drooling?

Shop in August, fern hill.

JJ said...

"Like, before you're allowed to leave the store with your purchases, there's a little transaction to be done. Usually involving a wallet, cash or a card."

Bwahahaa! That's what I call Gold-Plated Fern Hill Snark©®™

As a cashier who has to deal with these pinheads all day long, over & over again ("Service With A Snarl"!), I salute you!

Beijing York said...

You must read this, fern. It will sing to your heart:

A friend of mine wrote it and I laughed so hard.

fern hill said...

Oh, JJ, I couldn't do what you do for any amount of $$$$$$. My sincere condolences. ;)

BY: Thank you. Your pal and I are soul-sisters.

900ft Jesus said...

that was great! That goes through my head every day at work in the coffee shop. Standing behind - as you say, nearly always a woman - setting down her several bags, rummaging through her purse, this pocket then that one, pulling out a card, changing her mind, counting her cash, then back to the card.

Or wanting to get rid of her change and checking all the various pockets in her purse for the smallest coins even though I can see plenty of bills sticking out.

Or the drive-through at Timmy's...

double nickel said...

Or how about the people who, upon entering the department store/mall/supermarket, stop dead in their tracks about 5 paces inside to look around in wonder at all the shiny things - forcing you to either bowl them over or find a way to quickly side step around them.

chris said...


fern hill said...

double nickel: same stunt when people step off escalator and stop dead. Hardly any room to get around them. On that one, I've stopped trying. I just run into them.

Peter said...

Very good, fern hill. There are a couple a extreme variations that are guaranteed to root out any good will towards men you may be feeling:

A) The shopper for whom each use of a debit card is exactly like the first time--a befuddling mystery. If you land behind this type at a bank machine, not only are the keys entered at a snail's pace, the machine's questions are treated more for pondering than answering. "Do you need a paper recipt?" seems to pack the confusing cerebral challenge of "How could a loving God permit earthquakes?";

B) The woman (sorry, but it always is) in the grocery line who studies her receipt and complains the $1.49 can of soup was supposed to be $1.09. She pulls out a flyer that proves it, which throws the young clerk because she's of a generation that treats a discrepancy between the flyer and the scanner as akin to a violation of the law of gravity. They both study the flyer like monks poring over an ancient text, until the clerk triumphantly points out the sale ended the previous day. Another half minute is needed for the lady to decide whether she still want the soup, and only then does the purse rummaging begin;

C) the guy (yup, almost always) who cuts you off as you rush to a newly-opened cash with your one bottle of wine and wheels his cart with thirty bottles in just ahead of you, pretending he never noticed you;

D)The young clerk who scanned an item twice and then totalled. Apparently, allowing her to reverse the error would screw up the annual corporate audit, so everyone has to wait for a manager from the back office to come to the front with a super secret decoder key. Not only is the clerk completely unapologetic, she revels in the unscheduled mini-break far too defiantly.

Beijing York said...

These comments are great.

Here at the Manitoba Liquor Commission, I got into the habit of letting the person behind me swipe their Air Miles cards to collect points since I don't do that program. No problemo and the transaction is usually pretty swift.

Well, I tried to do that once while in an LCBO in Ottawa. And the clerk shouted, "You can't do that!" "Huh? I do it all the time in Manitoba." "Well it's illegal." Fearing the wrath of someone like fern waiting in the line, I dropped the illegality issue :-)

fern hill said...

Fear me! (I have a fantasy that for one day I'm about 7 feet tall and muscley-scary looking. I would spend all day in public places scowling at the cone-heads, who by merely paying the teensiest amount of attention to the rest of the world could lower the stress levels of the rest of us immensely.)

And yes, these comments are great.

And to expand the complaints -- how about the now almost constant near collisions with pedestrians texting or whatever they're doing on their cell phones? On that I've taken to calling out 'Heads up!' a few feet away. And increasing my speed. *evilsmiley*

JJ said...

Cell phones! Don't get me started!

One of my biggest pet peeves is the customer who can't pull his bloody cell phone out of his ear for long enough to complete a transaction. When it's his turn, he continues yakking on the phone while the cashier waits and stares at him expectantly and rolls her eyes at the people behind him in line. Finally he says "Oh sorry, could I have a blah blah blah" and goes back to talking on the phone. Of course, this guy never has cash and his credit card gets "DECLINED", necessitating further interruptions to his all-important call. While everyone waits. And waits.

Long ago I adopted the policy of skipping right past these thoughtless a-holes and going straight to the next customer in line. Funny how that gets their attention.

fern hill said...

Great policy, JJ. I wish more cashiers would do it.

JJ said...

And it's fun to do, too!

Whenever a blathering cell phoner arrives at the till, I get a big grin on my face and immediately turn to the next in line... "He looks a little busy, can I help you?", effectively pushing the cell phone moron aside. (The look they get on their faces is priceless!)

I can tell it is much appreciated by everyone else waiting in line. Sadly, it's not a widespread practice because most cashiers are afraid of getting fired. Not me. My attitude is more along the lines of "Go ahead, make my day".

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