Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Shopping Bag

Yesterday I was running some errands in the early evening and popped into TJ Maxx (weird) to partake of their new selection of Nine West jeans, which I love. While waiting to check out, I noticed there was quite a line forming, but knowing they usually move quickly I took my place in the line.

As one minute turned into three and four and five and the line wasn't moving, I found myself in the age old conflict of should I stay or should I go. Like you are pretty frustrated and think "Frig this, I don't need this stuff that bad" but then part of you is like "Well you've already been waiting for a while" and while you hem and haw you stay in the very line that is causing this sense of self conflict.

Well this particular line limbo was brought about by the first sign of the apocalypse: only one employee was on the registers. When you are 5 or 6 people deep in line, this is never a good sign. Neither is when the person being helped decides to ruin everyone's lives and apply for a store credit card. But not before asking several detailed questions about the APR, and what her limit might be, and what bonuses she might get. I agree as a somewhat financially competent person these are important questions to ask but really? Now? When you can hear the ten people behind you grumbling? This is clearly a case for the customer service desk.

In any case we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

The grumbling grew from a faint murmur of chorused sighs to a din of "This is insane" and "Why can't they get someone else to ring?". Finally, summoning my inner Suburban Line Vigilante , I spoke up. "Excuse me, can you please get someone else to ring?". The clerk looked at me for a minute, casting a withering gaze, and said she was busy with a customer and could not call someone else to ring.

I was a little incredulous. Really? You can't take 2 seconds to make one of those "Rebecca up front to ring" announcements?

And what's even more shocking is when I looked to my fellow shoppers for a little commiseration I felt a distinct shifting in the people around me to take one step away from me. Could it be? A simple voicing of a concern everyone felt had me dubbed the Line Bitch?

I turned around and the woman in front of me was giving me the dirtiest of looks, as if instead of suggesting they call someone else to ring I had suggested we fashion a shiv out of a plastic hanger and take control of the registers.

In any case my attempts to get the line moving dubbed a "Fail", and knowing I could definitely not leave now without looking like even more of a dolt. I stayed put and some ten minutes later (about TWENTY MINUTES TOTAL) I left the store with some swank new jeans, and a somewhat dented sense of justice.


Jenn said...

Oh HELL NO. Not cool. You were not the line bitch, you were the line savior. Also, I'm sad that you felt hated by your fellow line-standers. I would have been among the loud sighers and eye-rollers for sure.

At least you got some good jeans!

Caity said...

ha, I feel that is so something that would happen to me. Except I would have responded to their stepping away with a, "Seriously? Two seconds ago you were complaining about it too!" thus causing an even bigger scene!

Randall said...

Oh, the line grumbling is the worst! I don't see anything wrong with nicely suggesting that they get someone else up front to assist. I would roll my eyes at the mean person but not you!

Editorgirl said...

Sorry you had to deal with the line issue - I hate it when that happens (normally when I'm running to TJ's during lunch mind you) but thanks for letting me know about the Nine West Jeans! I discovered them last year and have been a fan ever since - they fit so well!

P&P Fit said...

I totally agree with what you did and I would have backed you up, had I been in that line. I have done this countless times, though when the clerk said "I'm with a customer" I would have said, "Well, you're about to lose 10 customers so for God's sake call someone up here, will you?"
I know it sounds harsh, but I say it with the most positive attitude and it usually works.
So far, I've not been given the 'hairy eye ball' by other line waiters but I know the day will come.
Just know that there are those of us who would have totally backed you up and probably applauded you!

Jewels said...

I have been there. You just said what everyone was thinking. Also, the manager or another coworker should have seen [or heard] the problem there and fixed the problem.

way to say what was on EVERYONE's MIND but they are too chicken sh*t to say anything.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for speaking up! I'm always such a wuss when it comes to that kinda thing.

Miss Mar said...

That sort of thing happens all the time to me! Makes me almost not even want to go shopping sometimes. Notice I said "almost" cuz well... sometimes the cute jeans are totally worth it.

Jenny said...

That's ridiculous. Some people (those stupids in line) are just too afraid of making a scene or looking less than perfectly nice.

Karen said...

A friend of mine was waiting in a long line once and got very fed up. While waiting on line, she called the store on her cell phone and asked to speak with the manager. Once she was put through to the manager, she (insert sarcastic tone here) very kindly asked if he wouldn't mind sending some additional employees to the registers. It worked!

Sarah said...

Karen THAT is awesome. Good for her!!