I took my Mom out for the hunt and gather, we did fairly surgical strikes at
- Canadian Tire, a chain of stores that I detest but are Iconic and the source of Canada’s unofficial currency.
- Jimmy Pattison Grocery nest chain store beside it – King George and mall sprawl.
- Safeway Grocery store.
Canadian Tire did a study some time ago and figured out that the average customer trip is $35 in sales.
So shelf stockers are told to give directions when asked questions and not help a person find a thing in the maze of aisles and seasonal displays, but if the customer persists – to stop working and head to the back room. That it is not salary cost effective to interrupt stocking to speak to a customer.
I once spent 20 mins having to ask for help at the auto counter to a guy who was standing under his own portrait in the Framed Featured Customer Service of the Month Employee.
The last time I tired to return an item – I had bought windshield wipers, paid cash, went out to the parking lot and realized it was the wrong mount and they were unwilling to accept the item back without entering my driver’s license into their database.
The clerk called a manager and the manager threatened to call the police on me for trying to return an item for $10 that had been transacted only that many minutes before.
Data mining online is one thing but in the meat world, another.
Anyway, I noticed today that they installed a permanent slaughteryard gate system, as I do remember, knocking over the plastic fence post with the ribbony connector before driving to a different Canada Tire and actually exchanging the wipers.
TODAY, my Mom asked a red shirt employee where something in the sales flyer was – and the gal answered pleasantly – able to have a direct line sight to point.
The crappy seasonal music in the echoey warehouse cavern of a building made it hard to hear her.
I repeated the information for my Mom, who is deaf on one side.
Then I smiled at the Newbie Blonde Employee, waving my hand vaugely at the ceiling and made eye contact.
“It’s loud and she’s deaf.” I probably said thank you, I wasn’t really listening, the bright lights and hard floor a feat of navigation through the sounds.
She smiled and I smiled and followed my Mom back to the aisle.
I did buy a pack of 5 lighters, something that’s become less ubiquitous, although, Bic lighters and pens remain high on the hard to retain list.
At the Pattison Nested Chain Grocery store – and apparently, he’s the one who bought the JFK Marilyn Monroe dress for $4.8 million dollars…
Mom finished the grocery list and I picked up a Tom of Maine’s toothpaste and Emergency-C vitamin bubbly powder.
There was a woman who got in line behind my Mom and I actually stared at her.
She looked back at me and I stuttered “Gorgeous” and then stammered “Your outfit is stunning.”
She smiled and appeared even more elegant, her black gown with the gold embroidery and the gold fabric hat that crown is more appropriate, however, it was fabric origami.
I am not sure if I blushed, but I think she might have, difficult to tell across skin tones.
At the Safeway, there was a young employee re-stocking a lower shelf with bottles of Beck.
She said hello to me, and I was started into smiling and helloing back.
My Mom turned and asked what I was saying, so I explained the clerk had said hello to me.
She smiled and said Hello to my Mom, adding everyone gets an Hello.
This time, I really smiled back and said “No, that diminishes mine, and besides I’d shared it.”
Utter sillyness ensued and a giggle caused one bottle of Beck to slip and break. fizzing on the floor.
“I wanted to try one!” Safeway Stocking Girl said.
“Kinda British room temperature, eh?” I said.
the chat lulled and my Mom was finished in the freezer section.
“We’re friends now.” the employee said
I raised my mouse hand and taped my index finger, saying “Like”
smiling to the front of the store, my Mom’s line choice was a cashier in training.
Young Man Employee who was proceeding with caution with a customer.
My Mom noticed the “trainee sign” and heavy sighed.
I said “Everyone is new at some point, patience.”
He glanced nervously at me.
The woman customer ahead was done and lingering overlong and the pressure of being another warehouse cavern store with loud HVAC (heating ventilation air-conditioning) and crappy music and harsh lighting was getting to me.
I fidgeted with the trainee sign, changing it’s placement.
Mom said to leave it alone and I said “I’m bored”
which was enough to encourage the woman to move and I could get out of the checkout chutes.
I paused at the male cashier though and raised my left hand back to my Mom and so she could not see my right hand pointing at her
so that he could see I was telling him something but not her
“Extreme couponer warning” I stage whispered.
He ending up having 2 more senior employees and a third who replace the pair of them.
I ended up standing shoulder to shoulder with him at the bagging area.
We shared a silent moment and smile, as the transaction ended.
2ish hours out of house.