• Erin Griffith-Angry Unicorn

Rules for Retail

My head was about to spin exorcist style right off my neck. I was contemplating just dropping the set of silverware I had been holding for twenty minutes and leave. (But, we were down to like, three salad forks and one baby spoon (because, either people are sneaking into our house and stealing our silverware or my darling offspring are throwing them in the trash).

Anyway, I had been waiting in line to check out for twenty minutes and there were people in front of me who had been waiting even longer. Why? Because despite the overwhelming crowd in Elder-Beerman that day, every single cashier was asking every single customer if they wanted to sign up for their rewards program. Then, if the customer said yes, they had to type all of their information into the tiny credit card screen.

So, Elder Beerman is like a Macy's, Dillards, or Belk; and, generally, I love the store. The big Elder-Beerman stores at the malls are great. But my smaller Elder-Beerman is mostly frequented by older folks. There are many sweatsuits with embroidered patterns and lace; as well as, lots of sweatshirts, sweaters, sweater sets, turtle necks, embroidered with season specific patterns. And granny panties and bras galore. You want sexy undies? Don't come to my Elder-Beerman.

Anyway, so I am in line behind several older men and women. And over and over again they are trying to type in their name, address, and phone number on that teeny credit card screen. This process is taking 10+ minutes per customer AND that is only if they do not decide to carry on friendly conversations with the cashier, argue with him about a coupon or discount, or try to set him up with their granddaughters. Here is a delightful example...

Cashier: Can you enter your information in for me?

Older Lady: Ok (squints and moves her glasses down her nose).

Let me see, ok, 1.......3.......6...

Oh, that reminds me of a story about grandson. When he was six, he had a toy dinosaur...

** 10 long minutes later***

Older Lady: ...and that's why he has a 6 inch scar on his left calf and can't go anywhere with metal detectors.

Cashier: Ha! Ok, we just need your address and phone number. (points graciously to the credit card screen)

Older Lady: How old are you young man?

Oh. My. Gawd. I was losing my mind. When my turn finally came to buy my silverware, I was asked politely by the cashier if I wanted to sign up for the rewards program.

"No, thank you." I said with barely concealed rage " I think I, and the rest of this line (which was ten people deep by now), have waited long enough." He stared at me wide eyed, took my silverware, and less than two minutes later I walked out the door.

This means two things. #1: my husband's late sassy grandma must have temporarily inhabited my body.

AND #2 There need to be rules for this sort of thing. For example, If you are a cashier AND you have a line ten people deep, you should not be allowed to offer "the rewards program" until the line is reasonably short. OR, people waiting in the line should legally be able to turn you in a human target with whatever they happen to be purchasing.

Better yet, how about you type in the information of the elderly customers (who most likely have poor vision and limited skills with technology). How about that?!

Rant over.


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