Sunday, March 24, 2019

she said she said

You know what really annoys me?

Wait a second. Let me start again....

You know what really annoys me this week?

Once again, Mrs. Pincus has fallen into the good graces of the folks in the marketing department of Harrah's Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. My wife's relationship with Harrah's has been one of ups and downs. After nearly a decade of free meals, free hotel rooms, free show tickets, free cruises and a number of prize give-aways, Harrah's algorithms cut Mrs. P off without an explanation. More than a year passed and, suddenly, Mrs. P was once again receiving promotional solicitations in the mail. Sure, the free slot play amount had dipped dramatically, but the offers of small appliances, watches and gift cards were hard to pass up. Just a quick, weekly drive to Atlantic City and the stuff was just handed over. Hey — free is free.

Recently, Mrs. P received a gift card from Harrah's entitling her to $40 worth of merchandise from the "TJ Maxx/Marshall's" family of stores. So, one evening after dinner, we drove over to a Home Goods at a nearly mall. We dragged ourselves up and down the aisles. We perused the displays of useless crap that nobody needs. We saw large distressed wooden things with hanging brackets attached to the back. I surmised that these things were supposed to hung on a wall in one's home. We also saw several white porcelain animals (a pig and perhaps a cow) that I supposed were made to occupy a place of prominence, also in one's home..... possibly the same home with the wooden thing on the wall.

Mrs. Pincus reluctantly gathered up some items, but by the time we made it to the check-out counter, she said, "I could do without this stuff." She put her selections down and we left. 

We strolled down to another section of the mall and entered a Marshall's, determined this time, to use the $40 gift card. Mrs. P picked up some stuff — a set of Mickey and Minnie Mouse pot holders, a mini mandolin vegetable slicer and a small electric waffle iron. (Actually, she picked up a few of each of these items to make it to forty dollars.)

I carried some of the items and Mrs. Pincus carried some and we approached the check-out counter.

Let me interrupt this post for a moment...
When I was in high school and college, I worked many jobs in the service industry. I was a cashier in a department store and in a women's' clothing store. I worked as a soda vendor at a stadium in Philadelphia. I worked at my cousin's heath food cafeteria. As expected, I also encountered numerous folks in the service industry as well. I was taught that service workers were essentially "non-people." They served a purpose and that was to be helpful and courteous while doing their job and dealing with customers. I was told not to be pushy and not to interfere in a customer's personal business. Lately, however, there has been a growing trend and a severe and unwelcome crossing of that line. I remember the time a waitress sat down — actually grabbed a chair and sat down at our table! —  at a TGI Friday's. I was appalled! Surprisingly, it was not the last time this happened. Wait staff are not the customer's friend and they should never think they are. Cashiers don't need to comment on a customer's purchase. The sale has already been made. You don't have to continue to make the sale.
... and now, back to our story.

We plopped our selections on the counter. The cashier — a young lady with a cockeyed smile and a passing resemblance to Alanis Morissette circa 1996 — picked up each item to scan the bar code. But, prior to each scan, she made a comment. On every single item. Even multiples of the same item.

"Oh, I have these potholders. They're great. I use them all the time. I like the small size." She picked up and examined the potholders, turning them over several times.

"These waffle irons are so cool. And you're getting so many. Are there any left? I might want to get one." She picked up and examined the waffle irons, turning them over several times.

"I got one of these slicers. It's so convenient. I use it a lot." She picked up and examined the slicers, turning them over several times.

After she commented on every item, she commented on the gift card.

"Oh! A gift card! Wow! Forty dollars......" blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. She went on and on and on. Mrs. Pincus politely smiled and offered single syllables of agreement, when she could get a word in. I wandered off, trying to get out of earshot. Finally the transaction was completed and the items were finally bagged. I grabbed extensively-discussed purchases from the cashier's hands and headed for the door.

With the gift cards completely spent, guess where we never have to go again.

So.... what will annoy me next week?

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