Wednesday, December 19, 2007

53 x365: Christmas shopper

When you work in retail, you learn to hate Christmas and everyone who celebrates it.

My first peeve was the music. 8 hours a day of Christmas music. It wouldn't be bad, I suppose, if it had been different music. However, in this case it was the same tape (I'm so old we didn't have CDs then) played over and over. By the end of it, I couldn't hear a carol or tune about bells without wanting to kick a puppy.

My second peeve was the people. For some reason, Christmas brings out the rude in people. They are impatient and vicious. They are violent and mean. They are pushy and cruel. They are hostile and horrid. You get the picture. I never could understand why the holiday meant to celebrate the birth of the little baby who would preach love and forgiveness to all the world would bring out the worst in people. Even Santa is mean at Christmas.

My worst experience in the retail field occurred at Christmas. My first real job that didn't involve me getting up at 5 am to deliver the news was at Zellers. I was 16 when I started and I worked there until I was 20. The last winter I worked there I had just come back from University in the fair Bridge City and had about 3 weeks of work before Christmas.

It was Christmas Eve. At 3:30pm. The store closed at 4. A lady was in line with her pile of gifts and tossed them haphazardly on my counter. She fumed and stewed and growled at how slow I was as I attempted to sort through the massive amounts of crap she had brought me. I rang each item in and bagged it. Then she handed me a credit card. And asked me to put $80 on the card. So I did.

Then she tried to write a cheque for the rest. Which we couldn't accept. She didn't have cash, couldn't use another card and had no money in her account to withdraw. I had to delete the transaction. She chose only $80 of her wanted purchases and I rang them through. But this time, her card was declined. After numerous calls, I found out that the transaction would not technically be deleted from her file until January. She was in trouble.

I tried to explain. She screamed. I tried to offer her other options. She hollered. She blamed me for ruining her children's Christmas and accused me of doing it all on purpose. And then, I said something I still wish I could swallow back.

"It's not my fault your credit is bad".


  1. That's the best part of the story. Hah, karma sucks doesn't it WOMAN??!!

  2. Some people are so stupid. Like at work, the woman who called in and didn't want to pay her $25000 cell phone bill because her son illegally downloaded LOTR trilogy on his cell phone. My co-workers response was pay the bill or pay the Motion Picture Association $250000 per movie plus spend 10 years in jail. He told her it wasn't his fault that she doesn't have control over her son.

  3. I totally would never have wanted to take that back. Good for you! You shouldn't have had to put up with that. People are jerks.
    Merry Christmas!


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