Pin It At a store today - a store I will call, oh, I don't know, Toys R Us - I had one of those moments that makes me weep for the future of America.
I know there must be no fresher hell than working retail at Christmas time in a toy store, so I am normally very sympathetic, very patient. I bring my IPOD with me so that I can just sort of bop around the store getting my stuff, zone out while I wait in line, and not let all the bustle get to me. I say please and thank you to the clerks, have my money ready and generally try not to make life any harder for them than it already is, if at all possible.
Now, you gotta understand, when I go Christmas shopping, I take cash, not credit cards, because if I take credit cards, I am much more lax about how much I can spend. "Oh, it's just $10 more than I thought, no problem." And by the time I've left I've spent $200 more than I planned. So - no credit cards for me.
Anyway, I get up to the check-out lane and realize that I'm going to be over the amount I have, so when I get up to the check-out, I hand the clerk three rolls of crepe paper and tell her, "I'm sorry, I can't buy these."
She glares at me. "You can't buy these?"
I blink. "No."
She sighs heavily. "Let me get this straight. Are you or are you not going to buy these?"
I frown. "I'm not going to buy them."
"So you are not buying these."
Is she messing with me? "Correct."
She is sneering. Clearly, she hates her job and more specifically, hates ME, with the white hot power of a thousand suns. "And yet you brought them up here, to the check-out."
I stare back at her. "Yeah. It was a mistake."
"A mistake," she repeats slowly, with scorn.
"Maybe you should be more careful next time," she said.
"And maybe I should beat you senseless with this Tinker Toy tube," I said.
OK, I didn't say that. But I wanted to.
In reality I just - clenched my teeth and asked her. "Are you going to ring that up now or what?"
And she sneered and did just that.
Now, doesn't that just warm your heart?
Happy freaking holidays you bitter, cynical little twerp.
Next year, I'm shopping online.