With only four more days to go until Christmas, I’ve locked myself in my apartment with my sick little body and super-sized bottle of NyQuil where I can safely avoid the swarm of holiday shoppers, sight-seeing “flockers,” and general jerks during this busy shopping weekend and, hopefully, recover from this cold in peace. I put in my hour at Trader Joe’s earlier, and after frogger-ing my way around the post-work crowd and discovering some Trader Schmo had bought up all the semisweet chocolate chips, I think I need to remind myself of my rules of retail shopping, especially applicable during this time of the year.
It’s quite simple, really: have some goddamn respect. This goes for the people waiting on you and the people waiting with you.
As a former retail associate/server/basic bitch at a handful of markets, bakeries and restaurants, I’ve wasted my time trying to help too many assholes. People often say that everyone should have to work in retail in order to better understand how to treat other people. This theory is part of our whole “treat others as you’d like to be treated” mantra. I’m sorry, but I don’t think you need to work as a cashier to know that throwing a handful of empty peanut shells at an employee is a shitty thing to do. Throw your own trash away, get off your phone, and* use your words. This means if you’re unhappy with a product, confused about a sign that said 50% OFF, or just not sure what you want, maybe you should ask. Politely. Because instantly yelling at someone who has little to no control over the situation, and who probably worked on Thanksgiving and probably has to work on Christmas Eve is mean. Don’t be a bully.
Respect your fellow shoppers by not pretending that the concept of a line is totally foreign to you! If a 2 year old knows how to line up, so can you. Respect your fellow shoppers by not ramming into them to get to something or somewhere faster. Seriously, dude at Trader Joe’s, I wasn’t going to grab the last 39 cans of sardines you shoved past me for. Respect your fellow shoppers by getting out of the way if you’re contemplating how many cinnamon scented candles you’ll need for the next week. The answer is one. You only need one candle.
How about we just steal the three rules of every museum and use them everywhere we shop? That means no running, no yelling, and no touching.
If you don’t know someone, don’t touch them. Don’t push them. Don’t ask to hold their baby or touch their fur jacket, ‘cause that’s weird. Don’t yell at someone because they got the last Queen Elsa doll and don’t yell at your kid for wanting to be anywhere but shopping with you (who could blame them?). Don’t run into me and we’ll be cool.
Finally, to go above and beyond all you have to do is say thank you! But don’t fucking smile unless you really mean it, because we’ve already got enough fake commercial bullshit this time of year as it is.
*Preschool Teacher Alert
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heavy heeled when walking; heavy handed when pouring a drink