I know everyone is going to be out on a crazy shopping spree this week, so I thought I’d recount my own shopping nightmare this week. It was simple enough. Instead of paying a crapload for ink cartridges that are never at the store, I thought I’d save some cash and start filling them myself. But I like to support actual stores. If I don’t, I fear that someday we won’t have physical stores and I’ll be forced to buy jeans online, and do you know how many times I’d have to ship those things back before I got a pair that fit right?
So I head down to my local electronics store with the ink cartridge type and printer models on hand.
He then read the entire box outloud with the skill of a third grader. It took him 10 minutes, and when I tried to show him exactly where it said “many canon printers!” and not my specific printer, he actually went back to the beginning and started reading over again.
While I wait for him to wander off and find someone else, I overhear some other clerk telling people the absolute wrong information about a computer in the aisle across from me. I had to grip the shelf to keep from rushing over there and smacking his nose with a newspaper and telling him “Bad Clerk! Bad!”
I don’t expect a lot from clerks, especially not enthusiasm. It’s a thankless job in a miserable box of a building. But this was the ink specialist. It said so on his badge. And I had a simple freaking question. And he refused to tell me that he didn’t know the answer. I would have been fine if he fessed up so I could freaking leave, but he kept asking stupid questions. Kinda like those tech guys who read off a set list of questions without waiting to hear the answers. Like if you’ve restarted the computer. That always pisses me off. I’m a professor in a lab with tons of software and technical equipment and am fairly savy. Of course I restarted the fricking computer. So someone asking me for the fifth time if I really know what printer I have and hoping I change my mind and list something on the box does NOT go over well.
I am not kidding. The dude suggested I look on amazon, and he wanted to use my phone because he was too ashamed to walk over to the computers and show his lack of knowledge. He really thought this was a great selling technique. Why would I bother going into the store if they were going to suggest I shop online through another retailer? This ink refill kit took up a third of the ink aisle. They had over a hundred of them and no one knew how to use it or what it was for. I knew more about it than they did. It was 50 minutes of my life I would never get back.
The only thing worse are the ladies at Sephora who want me to try on every single product in the store when I’m just trying to get the same damned mascara I’ve been using for over a year. They practically lunge at me with a football tackle after sedating me with parfume. Or what about those Fitting Room ladies at a clothing store that count all your clothes that you try on? I know they have to, but do they have to eye everyone so suspiciously? Even if I say how many I have, they count them back like it’s Sesame Street and then shove the hangers at me impatiently, making me juggle their weight on one hand. Or those lonely kiosk people at the mall who want to straighten my hair–which would be fine, but they get really pushy. Didn’t they ever learn that No means No? Now ineffectual tech clerks are on that list.
There were a lot of inane little things that made the experience all the more irritating, but I’ve tried to block them out. I do remember I had an eye twitch when I left the store. And I swear the florescent lights they use sucked the life force out of my body as I tried to get out. I was an exhausted, annoyed, twitchy mass by the time I hit the parking lot. This kind of shopping experience is why nice people have psychotic breaks.
On that note, have fun Black Friday shopping. I will stay at home and pretend my printer isn’t out of ink.