15 August 2009

And This May Be Why I No Longer Work Retail...

Mood: Lazy (It's been a busy, busy day and now I'm just plain old lazy)

What I'm watching: Women's Nationals Gymnastics (apparently watching the cheerleading thing last night didn't properly quash my self esteem so I'm going back for more).

Scott and I had to brave Wal-Mart today since we needed Wal-Mart type stuff (body wash, toilet paper, etc.) and we also needed a good price on a new tire for Scott's car.

Normally a trip to Wal-Mart isn't a huge deal but today, well, it was it's own little slice of hell on earth. Why? Three little words. Back.To.School. The aisles were crowded with stressed and weary adults dragging around their cranky and overstimulated offspring. There was yelling and screaming (from the adults) and whining and tantrum throwing (from the children) and snide, irritated comments (from people like me).

Also? We saw a woman have a monumental melt down. She was in the front of the store, screaming at the Wal-Mart greeter that she'd lost her father. Now, we're talking about a woman who was at least 40 years old (with bad make-up making her look an incarnation of Bette Davis ala Whatever Happened to Baby Jane) and she's screaming like a banshee because she's lost her father.

After listening to her yelling at the poor Wal-Mart greeter for about five minutes (and honestly, what power does the Wal-Mart greeter really have?) I was finally able to riddle out what was going on (FYI? Screaming? So not helpful in establishing meaningful communication). Seems her father is something like 95 years old and not in good health. He was riding one of those Wal-Mart carts and had, apparently, gotten himself lost. And, it seems that this woman believed that this was somehow the problem of those who were working at Wal-Mart. She kept screaming that it was important, that they needed to do something that it was a VERY SERIOUS ISSUE.

As I was listening to her rant I began to wonder about a couple of things. First, just what did she expect the people at Wal-Mart to do? Did she expect a super secret Wal-Mart swat team to storm the store and find her father for her? Did she think they'd issue a code Adam for a 95 year old man riding a motorized cart? And, really? If her father's condition was that delicate and he was that unstable then why the heck didn't she stay with him in the first place? I mean, we're not talking about a three year old toddler who can take off like a shot the minute you turn your back. We're talking about a 95 year old man in bad health riding on a motorized cart that goes all of two miles per hour. How the heck does he get away from you in the first place??

I have to say that I stood in silent awe as I watched the employees listen to the screaming without resorting to physical violence. I was impressed as they paged the 95 year old man without ever once pointing out to the hysterically crazy woman that, really, she should have been taking better care of her father and that it wasn't their fault that he'd gotten lost. Personally? I think I would have flicked her in the head and told her that her father had probably run away to get a break from her insane self.

And this may be why I'm no longer employed in the retail sector.


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