Christmas Retail Bliss...

Thought I hit the jackpot today...

Did an online pickup, selected wrong store by accident but it's only five minutes further away, when I arrive it's a little slice of heaven in the retail hell of xmas shopping.  Literally no customers to be seen, a row of friendly uniformed cashiers in front of their empty lines smiling desperate to ring somebody up.  Twilight zone?  What's going on here.  Mental note... shop here.

Course with an online pickup I have to go to the return line.  I decide to pick up the item from the shelves to save them the trip.  When I get back.  One lady in front of me, not bad, but she has a loaded cart of stuff.  Darn.  Wait, no she's done, that's not her stuff... this will be so painless.

She's taking her receipt and leaving, I start to sidestep the cart, then I hear, "Excuse me honey,"  and a large lady with an armful of stuff brushes me aside, steps in front of me and drops the merchandise into the cart "holding" her place in line.  Uh...  alright.  Whatever, it's Dec 23rd and I didn't expect it to be this painless.  Can't be that long right.

She, exchanges one item.  Is a process.  I'm getting anxious, get a really bad feeling, even worse then the one when I saw her neck tatoo.  I look to the open line next to me with a friendly cashier smiling and bored.  Maybe she'll just buy her stuff over there now that's she's done exchanging. Especially now that two more people, the only other two people in the store have lined up behind me to exchange an item as well.  Nope, instead she buys two of her 40 items and asks "How much is that?  Okay, I'll pay for it."

Sweet, she's not getting the rest of that crap...  "Okay, ring this up," she holds up a scooter,  "How much is that?"  She must be missing the big lighted price on the register in front of her.  "17 Dolla?  Okay, I'll pay for that now."  She pays with a wad of bills and change.  Repeat this process at least five times, and the cashier has to take two phone calls during it.  Uhh... what.

Finally shes done.  I see a pair of jeans still in her cart.  She's out of bills though.  "Oops, I forgot this," she says...  Any guesses what she asks next?  "How much is that."  Takes out a debit card.  "Okay, I'll pay for it."  After a failed processing of her card, cashier says, "You entered the wrong pin number."

Lady responds, "I know I got cash on this."
"You entered the wrong pin number,"
"I KNOW there is money on this."
"Yes, but it says you entered the wrong pin number,"
"Uh-uh, there's money on this... I ain't got time for all this."
"Maybe try reentering your pin number?"  This cashier is a saint.
"I GOT money on this."

Ugh...  Finally she comprehends she just fatkeyed her pin.  Gets it right on only the second try, now time to move along.  Na, not that easy.  She does my pet peeve when ladies with huge purses don't move down the line to let the next person complete their transaction, even though the counter stretches for days and instead squats in front of the register buckling and unbuckling every pocket of the purse.

Then one final look at the last of her five receipts she hasn't squirreled away, "Uh, hell no... ( this scooter is $17 you charged me 21."
Cashier says "That's the receipt for your jeans."
"No, it's the scooter."
"See where it says blue jeans 21 dollars, that's for your 21 dollar blue jeans,"
"...  ...  Scooter.."
"And see that, it's the last four digit of your debit card, you only paid for one item with your debit card... the jeans. Everything else were cash transactions."

A long, long pause "Oh."

More buckling and unbuckling to retrieve the scooter receipt, some head shaking, somehow she's getting screwed over, she finds it, it still says $17, then a glance back at me, like I'm on her side.  I'm wondering if there is any daylight left.  I entered the store at 10 am.  She sees all her receipts are accurate (long time to do this).  More head shaking.  Some more buckling of that monster purse, some shuffling of things, still blocking the counter with her purse and cart.  Finally, she's done and about to leave.  Then, she turns and angrily says, "I'm going to need some gift receipts."

Let's just say that process is as painful as you'd imagine it to be.  I'm wondering when the dentist is going to pull up and start drilling on my teeth as that and the onset of kidney stones is the only way this is going to get worse.

Meanwhile, another cashier had come behind the counter and stood doing nothing for at least half this process, just staring at us.  I looked at her helplessly a couple of times and stonefaced she didn't flinch to help.  As soon, as it's my turn, that cashier says to the man behind me, and says she can help him.  Was she not on the clock for the last 20 minutes or something?

No matter...  I say to my girl, "I bought this online, here's the printout, I saved you a trip and pulled it from the shelf myself.  There's the confirmation number, I already paid for it and just want to pick it up."  I give her my ID and the card I used to pay for it.  Cashier looks at me like I have two heads, hits some buttons then just walks away ...without a word.  A minute later, the other lady stops what she's doing, looks at me and says, "Hold up,"  and walks away too.  I nod at the man at the other register, he's in the fourth level of hell too, I think we are commiserating, then he looks at me with disgust like this is all my fault.

10 minutes later, after the people behind me glaring through my head like I'm the worlds biggest schlub (I know, I feel your pain), all of us looking helplessly at the army of cashiers not doing anything at the rest of the store, the returns cashier shows back up with the exact same item I brought to the register.  "Oh, I tried to save you a trip." I say pointing to what I picked up.  I'm saying it loud enough so the mob behind me knows it's not my fault.

I could not have said a worse thing based on the look we gave me.  All that patience she showed for the last lady completely gone,  "Sir, WE have to pick it up," she says dismissively  "...Okay," I think.   She hands me the one she picked up.  Yep, it's identical.  Starts clicking on the register.  Opens the draw closes it.  Shakes her head clicks on the keys again.  Opens the drawer closes it again.  Keeps glaring at me.  Shakes head again, more key clicking.  I wonder if she's booking a flight or writing a blog post?  She prints out a receipt, I start to hold my hand out, the end is near, she tears it out and then throws into the trash. She walks over to the other register.  Her friend reappears with the exact same item and hands it to her.  There are three on the counter now.  "No, I got it," she says.  The second cashier looks at me like I sent her off on the goose chase shakes her head.

 The other guy who just wanted to get the TV he had already paid for security clamp taken off, looks at me as though I murdered his family.  I glance at the mob behind me, and think to myself I should have drawn up a will, I got young kids.  Can't be putting that off.

Meanwhile my lady, clicks some keys, opens the drawer of another register, looks at some receipts she pulled at absently.  Walks back to me and the now long line behind us, who I'm pretty sure are fashioning shanks out of the shopping carts, looks at me with a vacant stare, like noticing I'm still there, taps the box in my hand like I'm an idiot, "You paid for this right?"  I point to everything I handed her, she shakes her head at my state of being a moron, "What do you need, then?"

"I don't know, do I need anything?"

"You got your item... you can go."



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