Monday, December 22, 2008

Hell on Earth is a shopping center in December

MrPea and I don't usually do gifts because we shop together often. Plus, he is the sort of guy who, if he wants it, he bought it already so that makes it so difficult to shop for him. This year we decided to do gifts. I am the sort of person who is usually finished Christmas shopping before December even rolls in but this year, economics forced me to wait until this week. I can't tell you where I went because MrPea likes ruining surprises for himself. I can't even tell you about the miracle wrapping techniques I had to use so that he wouldn't be able to shake, inspect, put his ear next to and figure out what. Yes, I had to sabotage for the sake of Christmas.

Oh. How the hell can anyone even think of shopping this time of year? There are some people out there who love all this. I am not one of them. I usually do not step foot in any retail store from mid November until February.

I actually stood in line behind someone who I just SAW park a $70,000.00 vehicle argue with a poor, tired looking cashier over 48cents. According to his calculation, his amount due should have been 48cents less than the cash register's figure. Honestly, I wanted to reach into my pocket and just give him the 48cents he was bitching about. I totally get it that economic times are tough-- MrPea and I have been cutting back on just about everything and I've been on pins and nails every time his company announces job cuts. OK I'm there. But this guy wasn't using a,"I'm sorry, I think there must have been a mistake," kind of tone. It was more of a,"You f-ing stupid ass people need to correct this extra 48cents otherwise I'll enjoy ruining everyone else's shopping experience...." outburst. The worst thing about it was, he was with his kid, who will likely grow up to be just as rude and entitled as his father. Happy Holidays....

The cashier kindly told him he'll have to take it up with customer service and I swear she is my new hero because there was a HUGE line at customer service. Just as someone who used to work in retail, and suffered through a Holiday season, I always cringe when I hear people say,"The customer is always right." No, my dear, the customer is not always right. Sometimes the customer is an assh@##. I didn't bother to see if he took it up with customer service but I did giggle with the cashier over it. Poor girl, I bet he wasn't even the worst of them. You know who 'they' are. You've probably been encountering 'them' just as much as I have.

What the hell happens to us at Christmas? Are we a bunch of vultures? Just a social critique but the only good thing that I hope will come out of our collective belt tightening this season is that maybe people will realize how ridiculously overboard they have been going as far as gift buying. Look, I'm no Scrooge, I LOVE buying gifts for my nephews but I still don't get why people spend thousands+ of dollars on their kids, tell them some strange man drops down the chimney to give them all these things for free and then wonder why their kids start acting all entitled and materialistic when they are too old to believe in Santa Claus. Don't jump down my throat, people with kids, I know-I know, I don't have any so I can't really say anything. But I'd rather raise my hypothetical kids to believe that 'mommy and daddy work really hard so I should be thankful for these wonderful gifts they bought me' than the above method. Mind you, this does not mean I would ruin Santa Claus for them. Of course Santa will come down our chimney, just not with 1000s of dollars worth of free stuff for being "good". I'm not delusional, I have 6 nephews ok? There's no such thing as a kid who's '$3000.00 at Toys-R-Us' good. I used to work for a Child Care Center in a neighborhood who will not be feeling the economic pain the rest of us are, and I can tell you right now, every single one of those children had some kind of behavioral problem. Because their parents were either the "I want to be my kid's best friend" types or the "buy everything the kid wants so he'll shut up" type. Or "they are being raised by their nannies and spend about 5 minutes per day with their kids so they use money to alleviate their guilt" type. And once in a while I'd run into the "I'm an unapologetic jerk and I want my kid to grow up to be just like me" type, like I did today.

Oh I'm in a bad mood today aren't I? Am I picking on kids? I can't be, I love children. I wish I had 10 of them I do. No, I'm picking on parents.

Well after all my lecturing about wasteful spending, my sister sent me this:

Posted by Picasa

And it sounded like a reasonable request.

I finished only 5 dollars over budget for MrPea and have one more gift to get at Tar-jay. Oh help me if I have to spend more than 5 minutes in another store until all this is over.....


SUEB0B said...

I like the last minute gift hustle, in limited quantities.

I have an old manager who will forever be in my heart because he would tell asshats "I'm sorry, but you're going to have to leave. It doesn't seem that we will be able to work together." He only did it three times in 2 years, but it counted for a lot with me. One of those people he also told "I'm sorry, I won't let you get away with abusing my employee." What a great guy. I'm happy just thinking of him.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have worked in retail and at some point, right after Christmas, I took a vow that I would never, ever do so again.

You are right on in everything you said about the prevailing holiday rudeness and greed, and about all the wrong reasons parents buy their kids too much stuff. And I have three children who grew up to be my best friends.

I also do everything possible to avoid stores during the season of peace and love because my fellow humans are mostly ignorant of the concept.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Happy holidays, Your Royal Highness, to you, MrPea and Peanut.

3carnations said...

It's kind of like the trampling incident at Walmart on Black Friday - Do we lose all of our manners when we shop during this joyful season?

My dad & his wife always buy our son a Hess truck, which is doubly cool because we don't have Hess stations here.

Admittedly, we get our son tons of presents for Christmas, but dollar wise, it doesn't even approach the numbers you described. Yikes.

justme said...

I's the worst. I don't enjoy it at all. If i didn't have to eat or things of that nature, i would stay at home all during the Christmas season. It would be different if there were some Christmas cheer left....but there is NOT!

I think that the absolute worst is when you are out, you get something at the store. you feel accomplished....and then you realize you have to go back.

my mr. is the SAME way. If he wants something, he just buys it. I think i have him stumped this year! ;)

super des said...

I love internet shopping. :)

And Why is it that you are smart and would be a good parent but have no kids, whereas all the jackasses DO have kids?

Whiskeymarie said...

I spent 8 years in retail in my 20's and people ARE a**holes.

I bought 90% of my gifts this year online. It was awesome.