Misanthropic Meanderings

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Location: California, United States

See the title? There you go.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Attention Shoppers

It's not that we don't love to see you, truly, you stepping into our shops brightens our day. But, we, as I speak in the universal "we" of service types all over, would like you to be aware of a few things before you commit holiday abuse on your wallet.

If it interests you, write it down.
While we all love a good game of "guess what I'm thinking", the store just isn't the time or place. Tha chance that I was watching or listening to the program where star/doctor/financial expert hawked their book/movie/suppository creme yesterday is slender. I don't know what "the red book" is. Nor do I know which one was "displayed on the wall a couple of years ago". If it was at a shop, call the shop and ask them what it is, don't call my shop and ask me what book that shop had displayed. I can't connect to NPR's website for a playlist. I don't know what song goes "dum dadadedada dum dum". I don't watch American Idol without my parents being held at gunpoint. In short, if you don't know a song title, a book title, an artist's name, or an actor's name, I can't help you. One day, the psychic powers we're all developing will kick in, but I hope we'll have evolved past material goods. Until then, write it down.

I don't know everything.
Strangely enough, I've never read all the books in my store. I also don't know all the music. I've never been a grade school teacher, nor do I translate multiple languages. The chance of me recommending a book for your child based on the fact that he's 8 and that's it is, is nil. Ditto to language learning systems, cross country backpacking guides, menopause health care and voodoo love spells. I do not read Philippa Gregory (see above American Idol ref) and I'd rather become illiterate than suffer through a romance novel. If you do not know what you want, what you like, what the person you're shopping for likes, we are at an impasse. I'd suggest going back home and reconnecting with yourself.

Your little angels are your problem.
I know you've gone through all the trouble of having them and all, but really, if your kids are tiny, feral pigs, do leave them at home. Only you think it's adorable when they stand on chairs and scream every fleeting thought that passes in that lovely child brain at the top of their lungs. That oh-so-dear habit of dropping trous and diapers and running a little fecal covered tush through the kids department? Only cute to you, dear parent. Does your charming little deconstructionist freely remove displayed items and store fixtures, rearranging hours worth of work into a lovely anti-destablishment performance piece? I suggest a pre-k art camp and a swift egress from the store. After you put those things back, of course.

We're still not a lending library.
I know we have a lot of books & movies & things. It makes it hard to see the difference. There is one way to tell. At libraries, you don't actually have to pay to use materials. Here, you do. Browsing is a wonderful way to pass the time. I do it myself. Using materials like you're sitting in your living room and don't expect to move for 6 to 10 hours is not browsing, it's vegetating. Here's the deal, you crack the spine on a book, the next person is less likely to buy, as it looks used. We lose revenue and eventually, our livelihood. You lose someplace to fill all those lonely spots inside of you that should involve family. We've both got something to protect here. I propose you buy a book once in a while, you respect the fact that you are not going to buy the rest of those books and magazines and leave them pristine, while I won't point out that 8 hours in a cafe chair 2 to 4 times a week says terrible things about you. Deal?

Some potty training is required.
I assume most of you understand the rules of the lavatory. One enters, one uses the seat liner, one does one's business, cleanses, flushes and washes hand. The circle of life continues, one leaves the bathroom refreshed and serenaded by Elton John. This is how it should be. And for many, it seems this social contract is one they can handle. Bravo. Those of you who cannot figure out how to flush, how to handle seat liners or what to do with toilet paper, a store is not the place for you. Some sort of remedial toilet training will have to be done. I can hear you, you know. The strange, hesitant flushing, that barely works; the confused handle jiggling while the tank is still filling; worse of all-the footsteps exiting the toilet stall and wandering back out into the store with nary a pass at a hand wash. Well, thank you for sharing! Let me help you. Remove 1 toilet seat cover per ass. Only use 1 foot of toilet paper. If you need more, flush first. Regarding flushing, hold down the handle by firmly pressing. Press. Hold. It doesn't bite. And some of you, you know who you are, eat a bloody vegetable and some bloody whole grains. You know why, your nose works too.

This concludes my helpful
little treatise for those of you about to go forth & conquer your credit rating. The service industry may not be my career, but the short time I've spent here has truly transformed my philosophy. What is that philosophy, you ask?

Nothing destroys love for humanity quite like being surrounded by humans.