Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day

So I've finally turned into one of those people who shop like a nut on a holiday. I've been working in the "corporate" (more like office) world for almost 6 years now, and until today, I have yet to be one of those people. I almost hate myself.

I had to run many unexpected errands today plus some planned ones. I went to Staples to buy some shipping supplies, to PetSmart to buy my babies some more food, to Aaron Brothers to buy a frame....and that's when it happened.

I met disgruntled retail clerk who had to work on Labor Day.

I remembered these holidays. I used to be that disgruntled retail clerk. I used to complain each and every time about those people. Why the heck do they have to shop in droves on these holidays? Stores are busy, malls are almost impossible to get to and forget grocery stores -- you basically need to map out your plan of action the night before in order to survive all the holiday people plus the old folks who shop during the weekdays who don't know the meaning of speed anymore. If I by chance got the holiday off, I would stay home or sneer at all of them who were out and about while I was driving to do something unrelated to shopping.

Then I got my corporate/office job, and I still stayed home during these days. It was a rare occasion when my hubby got the day off (he's still suffering through retail), so I just sat at home, doing chores or watching TV. If he did get the day off, we'd plan something to do, but it was never shopping, so we'd both sneer away as we tried to get through the holiday back-up on the roads.

I really don't know how I had so many things to do today, but I knew one of them was to go to Aaron Brothers with another 40% off online coupon (sale ends today) and buy a matching frame. I bought one on Friday with a 40% off coupon, and I was going to buy both frames at once (you could only use one coupon per item per visit -- evil Aaron Bros), but after many minutes of thinking about it, I realized I could just come back and buy the other one on Saturday or Sunday or even Monday with another coupon. Sometimes I'm very slow on these things.

So there I was, panicking a bit because I couldn't find the matching frame, and it was baffling to think that someone else would have a need to buy that same 36X24 frame. I remember there were several of these frames on Friday too. I turned into the next aisle and finally found my frame. I got into line, and when the clerk saw me, she screamed, "I NEED SOMEONE ELSE TO RING UP HERE!" My Aaron Brothers clerk buddy (he likes my Paul Frank stuff), said he would help, but the disgruntled clerk (as now she clearly was) said to get "what'shisnamethatjustcamein" to ring. She said it like he was a piece of dog poo on the bottom of her shoes that still stunk and had pine needles stuck to it.

I immediately felt sorry for What's His Name From That Just Came In. He was going to get it from disgruntled clerk.

When What's His Name came up to the front, he pleasantly asked if there was a money in the cash register.

Disgruntled clerk barked, "Of course there is! What do you think?" Oh, come on. How stupid could you possibly be. Ah, but this did not faze What's His Name. I think he was new or something. Or just really happy.

Disgruntled was almost finished with the pregnant lady in front of me, when Disgruntled asked, "Do you need help out?"

Wow, I thought. That was pretty nice of her. I probably wouldn't have thought of that. You get yourself preggers, then you deal with how you're going to cart your stuff out when you're shopping. But, I was feeling nice today, and if she had said yes, I was going to offer to help her. Why not. The birds were chirping...the sky was was a lovely Labor Day all around! But the lady said no, which saved me from looking weird, and she coerced her toddler to leave the Birthday Card racks alone and to leave.

I was next.

I put the frame down on the counter, which was really big, mind you (again, 36X24), and then I pulled out my 40% coupon. I saw the look on Disgruntle's face. Apparently I was supposed to give her the coupon first. Well, I didn't know. The stupid coupon doesn't say that, and the frame was HUGE. Gimme a break. I said with a smile on my happy Labor Day face, "Oh, sorry, was I supposed to give that to you first?"

Eeeeeek. I should have stayed quiet.

"Well, it's not as bad as some people who are buying a TON of stuff, and after I'm DONE ringing up their stuff, THEN they pull out the coupon and say, 'I have this coupon...can I use it?'. I tell them NO. NO you can't use it now!" to handle this one, I thought.

She was finished telling me that lovely story, and we were waiting for my credit card to get approved. For some reason it takes twice as long to do this at Aaron Brothers than most stores (I've bought a bazillion things there since we bought the condo).

This left her time to think, and thinking is never good when you're disgruntled.


I smiled. I understood. "You'd think, huh?" I responded. Although, I don't think she was really talking to me. I think she was just reprimanding us all.

What's His Name turned around and joyfully said, "That's what my roommates are doing today! They're going to the beach!"

I looked at him and sent him warning thoughts telepathically -- you want to live through this day, What's His Name? Then shut up. She's a loose canon.

She continued to complain about how it's busy and it shouldn't be when she suddenly switched gears.


I smiled. More out of nerves than anything else. She was now starting to ruin my Labor Day fun.

She got a tad quieter and said, "I'm tired of this place looking like a pig sty! Ever since I started working at this store, this cup has been here," and she pointed to the cup, "So I put a note on it. It says, 'If this is your cup, take it home or it's going in the garbage!!'"

I had noticed this lovely, threatening note earlier.


Woah, nelly, did I want to get out of there. She might slap a note on my forehead: "YOU SHOULDN'T BE SHOPPING ON LABOR DAY, YOU LOSER!"

Luckily, I just finished signing my credit card slip. I really wanted to say, "I hope your day gets better," but I figured if I did, she would jump over the counter and poke my eyes out or pull my hair.

When she asked me if I wanted a bag, I quickly said no so she wouldn't feel put upon anymore by me.

As I walked out, I realized what I had become. I was one of those people now. The stupid holiday people who go shopping and annoy the clerks who have to work all day.

And I still had to go to Target, Trader Joe's and Safeway.

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