People like to say that the holidays bring out the best in people. Goodwill toward others! Holiday spirit! Thinking of your fellow man!
Clearly those people have never gone shopping between the months of October and January.
I’m not saying the holidays aren’t nice and that some people don’t seem to be filled with good cheer around the end of the year. But after watching the umpteenth fight break out over a parking space or the last toy/game/console, it’s hard for me to believe that people, in general, are really embodying the holiday spirit. I don’t recall any holiday songs about calling someone an asshole, fist-fighting over a toy or threatening to have an employee fired. Just sayin’. Some people might be missing the point just a little. I saw a perfect example of that this weekend.
Significant Other and I made a decision this year for various reasons not to celebrate the holidays with gift giving or receiving. And let me tell you that was an excellent decision; it has helped keep my stress level around this time considerably lower than it normally is. However, my mom seems to be having a bit of a hard time with the idea that we don’t want presents, so I’ve been trying to figure out what to get her.
My mom collects unicorns, so after a couple of my ideas fell through, SO and I went to a toy store this weekend (mistake #1, I know) to see if I could find a silly unicorn thing to get for my mom. I ended up buying her the unicorn pillow pet because it’s so ugly that I thought it was kind of hysterical. I texted my sister, who sees my mom more often than I do, to tell her what I got. I paid for the unicorn and walked out of the store and got a text from my sister saying my mom had it already (which I should have known, because my mom buys herself so much unicorn stuff and pillow pets have been around for at least a year). So since we hadn’t driven off yet, I turned around and went back into the store to return the unicorn while SO went to get the car.
There were two employees working customer service and about five people in line in front of me. One of the employees was working fairly quickly through the line, but the other employee was dealing with the Women From Hell. It was a pregnant daughter and her mother, and the daughter’s toddler, who was about 4. The toddler was completely unsupervised and was walking around pulling all sorts of toys off the shelves and leaving them scattered on the floor near the entrance, and he was punching all the cardboard display cases. The pregnant daughter was too busy arguing with the employee to pay attention—she had a baby shower and got two of the same thing (because apparently her friends are too idiotic to work a baby registry) and one came “wrapped” in a bag from this toy store, so it must have come from there, but she had no receipt or proof. So the employee was trying to explain that she couldn’t do the return because she checked the woman’s registry and that item wasn’t on it. Meanwhile, the pregnant daughter’s mother (the grandmother) was happily chatting away on her cell phone, ignoring the havoc her grandson was causing around the store.
First off, you think ONE of the TWO women would have been keeping an eye on the kid. He was old enough to walk and run and thus could easily slip out of view, and neither of them seemed to give two shits. And the daughter was pregnant with another child. Breaking news: Maybe you should learn to parent your first child properly before popping out another.
The grandmother then got off the phone and turned to the employee, threatening to have her fired and generally being a supreme jackass, seemingly out of nowhere. From the parts of the encounter I saw, the employee was not being rude or anything, but apparently she somehow offended the grandmother by following store policy and explaining it to them in thirty different ways. Breaking news: Sorry, asshole, but the store rules can’t be rewritten just for you. Get over your sense of entitlement (and teach your fucking idiot friends how to use a registry!).
At that point I was second in line as the other employee continued to work through the other customers. And suddenly the two women behind me yelled out “Oh my god, whose kid is that?! He just went out the door!” They went running after him, and the pregnant woman turned around and walked after them like she was going for a fucking Sunday stroll when her FOUR YEAR OLD son just WALKED OUT THE FRONT DOOR and INTO THE PARKING LOT. He also walked out with a toy, although obviously he was too young to understand why that was also problematic. But I mean…this girl was PREGNANT and let her current child WALK OUT INTO THE PARKING LOT. I just…I was agape. The two women who ran out brought the kid back in and the mother FINALLY took his fucking hand and walked him back to the counter (meanwhile the grandmother was talking to the manager, who had calmed her down and was once again explaining store policy). I thought that that was the end, but as soon as the mother got back to the counter, she let go of the kid’s hand and said “Stay near mommy.”
Your kid just walked out into the fucking parking lot. And before that he fucking made a disastrous mess of the store. You need to put that kid in the cart and keep him in your sight AT ALL TIMES because he is TOO YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND. You can’t talk to him like he’s old enough to know why he should stay by you.
So of course as soon as the mother let his hand go, the boy immediately ran to the nearest shelf and pulled a toy down. He brought it to his mother and got her attention, but she told him no, he’s not getting a toy. So the boy THREW THE TOY ON THE GROUND and STOMPED ON IT. The mother didn’t DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS. Meanwhile the manager explained to the grandmother that if they bring the item that is actually on the registry to return, they don’t need a receipt and just need a photo ID. PROBLEM SOLVED. Although this was ALSO WHAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS SAYING TO THEM. So you think that’d be the end, right?
The grandmother says “That’s fine. But I still want that employee’s name.” So the manager writes it down and writes down the store number for them, and the grandmother reminds everyone that she’s going to have that employee fired. Really? Really, jackass? Way to show some fucking holiday spirit.
Like I said, the employee, to me, didn’t seem to be rude or short with them, first of all. Second of all, even if she WAS, can you imagine the hell that the past two months (or more) have been for her, working in a toy store around the holidays? And then she has to deal with Women From Hell. On top of all the other crazy shoppers I’m sure she’s had to deal with. And working ridiculous holiday hours. HAVE A LITTLE FUCKING COMPASSION. Or, you know, DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE. Even putting all that aside, I certainly wouldn’t have blamed her for being rude to those assholes even outside of the craze of the holiday season. They would have deserved to be treated poorly. In fact I might have cheered her on had she chosen to curse the Women From Hell out. I really wish the manager hadn’t given the grandmother any information about the employee and had instead said “I’ll handle the employee, don’t worry” and then done nothing, since the employee didn’t do anything wrong. Because honestly, no one who’s just doing their job ever deserves to be treated like how the grandmother treated the employee. So why should the employee have to have a complaint lodged against her, even if she doesn’t lose her job over it? That doesn’t seem right. But that’s why I can’t work in retail. I would be fired every day because I would tell a customer like that to go fuck themselves.
And then to top it off, as the grandmother, daughter and child left the store, they stepped over one of the toys the boy had thrown on the ground. The woman behind me said “Excuse me, isn’t that yours?” and pointed to the toy. The mother looked down at the toy and then said “Oh, he’s not getting that today” and then WALKED OUT WITHOUT PICKING THE TOY UP. I just…it was one of the few that she had seen her son remove from the shelves, so it’s not like she didn’t KNOW HER SON PUT IT THERE. I can’t imagine what her house looks like if she never fucking cleans up after her child.
The toy was right at my feet, so I picked it up and put it back on the shelf, to save some employee a little bit of work. Then the two women behind me and I talked shit about the Women From Hell right before I got up to finally make my return.
So, while I’m no Scrooge, I certainly am not naive enough to think that the holiday season makes everyone pleasant and wonderful. I’ve seen some grade A assholes, and I’ve talked about a lot of them on the blog, but these women are at the top right now. But instead of getting a blue ribbon or gold medal, they get a punch in the face and forced sterilization so they can’t pop out more rude, inconsiderate assholes. Now that’s a present for everyone!