I've gotten better at going out in public and being nice, especially at stores. I really have. It's a bit easier doing so now that I live in a less hectic state. I don't head off shopping with complete dread of being ignored and talked to like I'm the one bothering the sales person. While other shoppers still annoy me (especially where I live, which, as I've been told, is where the "cake eaters" live) because I'm still invisible girl on many occasions and I have had to forcibly move many a shopping cart just so I can get by because the person who is manning the cart is talking on the phone or just completely ignoring those around her (yes HER, as most frequently these people are HERS).
So yesterday I had a few hours in the morning to do some shopping before I had to pick up my husband from the airport. Admittedly, I spent a good 20 minutes that morning deciding on whether I really should go out in public because I was feeling rather...well...like I could bite off someone's head for just walking by me and making air waves that were too hard for my liking. Then something happened and I was like, "Dammit, I am going out into the world regardless of what could possibly happen to me and I will buy some stuff and it will be okay!"
I went to the post office first because I had to mail off a package to my sister for one of my cute little nephews. I had to suffer through some lady with an oxygen machine crowding my space, and no matter what I did to get away from her, she kept inching forward and mechanically breathing on my back. Okay. Fine. She has some condition making it hard for her to breath, I get that, but why don't people understand the concept of personal space? Especially when I was reading texts from people and looking at Facebook? Privacy, people!
Next I went to Target and dealt with many a shopping cart in my way whose drivers completely ignored.
Then off to a store to buy something for my son's "teacher" at daycare. My previous experience at the store was a few nights ago when I was with my three-year old whom I was desperately afraid would start knocking things over. For some reason the salesperson tasked with attacking shoppers as soon as they walked in the store thought I was the perfect target even though I spent more time trying to get my son to stop using the tables as a play surface (tables laden with bottles and bottles of colorful liquid that could easily become dominoes at the touch of a small, wily, three-year-old's hands). Or maybe she thought I was about to steal something based on how I looked, which was like a homeless person with my stained sweatshirt (I didn't plan on taking off my jacket, but gosh darn it, it was hot in the mall), I really don't know.
Anyway, digression, the bane of my existence. I was only approached once during my second trip, so that was fine. (I also didn't look homeless nor did I have that three-year-old wily one with me.)
I've been wanting to pick up a few Christmasy things for the house because we don't have much outside of a tree and we skipped Thanksgiving this year due to all of us being sick, and I.am.going.to.have.a.nice.Christmas.if.it.kills.me. So I headed to Pier One.
I walked in and made the rounds, noticed some cute albeit unoriginal candy cane candles, and headed in their direction. As I was was looking at the candles, a sales lady approached me. And when I write "approached" I liken it to being bum rushed by excessive gleefulness and maybe a hope for commission (if they do, in fact, get one, and if they don't get one at that store, then this lady was just plain happy to be working in retail).
"HI! How are you doing today!!!!????" she asked me.
Me thinking, let's see, I'm seriously PMSing, just that question alone makes me cringe and walk out the door, and my husband has been gone for four full days, leaving me to be Mr. and Mrs. Mom. My house is a mess, I can't get anything done, and I work full time, except for today, and here I am, deciding to spend the little freedom I have here, at the store you work at, and you're asking me how I am? How dare you.
"I'm fine, thanks."
"Oh great! So what brings you in here today? Buying something for yourself? A gift? Looking for something in particular? Like a gift?"
Me thinking, oh crap. Mother of all sales people. Let's see how monotone works on this one.
"I'm just looking." (In monotone.)
"Oh! Just looking! Okay, well! As you can see, we have a lot of nice candles here and there and there and over there! [Author's note: This is Pier One, of course they have a lot of gosh darn candles. Gah!]
"And we have a lot of stuff on clearance! Look for the red tags that say 'clearance'!"
"So you're not here for a gift?"
"No. I'm just looking."
It was then I noticed I had some change in my jacket pocket, and, well, since she was going to hold me hostage and felt I was up for a game of 20 questions, I decided to make my hostage time well-spent. I grabbed all the money out of pocket, then pulled out my wallet and placed said money in wallet, and then put my wallet back into my purse.
Didn't faze her.
Of course it didn't.
"Oh! Great! Well, we have a lot of nice gifts here, for someone else, or even for yourself!"
"Have you been here before?"
It was then that I made the fatal mistake. I'm honest to a fault. While yes, I've been IN a Pier One before, I have not been in THAT Pier One before.
"No, this is my first time."
"OH! Really!? Okay, then let me give you the layout....."
She then droned on and on about cocktail glasses and pillows and candles and ornaments and and and....
Even though my blood was boiling because all I wanted to do was look at the stupid Christmas stuff and had been eyeballing that silly candy cane candle, I was also trying to think of something to throw her off her crazy sales person spiel as I was memorizing everything she was saying to me because I knew it would be fun to write about.
When she was finally finished, I said, "Okay."
"Okay, then, well, I guess I'll leave you to look for something to buy!"
And she walked away.
Walked away about two steps. I had already grabbed my phone to text my friend about how I wanted to blow up Pier One because of this lady.
And then she turned around and came back.
"OH! I forgot to mention! If you have a Pier One holder's card..." and it was then I think she remembered I said I had never been there before... "...oh, well let me tell you about the Pier One holders card first."
"I don't have one and I.am.not.interested," I said while looking at my phone.
"Oh. Okay. Something customer servicey.." And off she went to find her next victim.
I started texting my friend about the whole thing while hiding in the corner like a crazy person, and then I just decided I better leave before something bad happened. Like I either spend too much money on useless candy cane candles or open my PMSing mouth and say something I would later reflect on and think, Dang, crazy me is still here regardless of which state I live in!
So that, my friends, is when excess customer service can break a person. And leave them candy cane candle-less.
(I went to Costco after Pier One, and only had to move someone's shopping cart once. A success? I'm stilling wondering.)