.

If I owned a department store chain…

Every time I go to a Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc. I’m driven slightly mad...

If I owned a department store chain…

 

Every time I go to a Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc. I’m driven slightly mad. Sure, part of it is because of the stores themselves or the employees who seem to be rather uninterested in working… But most of the problem is the other shoppers. I was going to put a percentage on it, but I’m not sure I can. I think is a small percentage of idiots with a largely negative impact. Well, idiot just implies that they’re stupid. I think it’s more inconsiderate than stupid. I’m talking about people who are generally unaware of the needs, thoughts, and feelings of everyone around them. The best word that I can think of (even though I generally try to avoid being vulgar in print) is @$$hole. We all know what kind of person that describes. If I owned/ran a department store, I would try to prevent the behavior that goes with this type of personality.

 

Curbing unacceptable behavior would start in the parking lot (pun intended). One of my favorite blogs calls these people “Peter Parkers.”  They’re where the problem begins.  If your jackass behavior can’t make it through the parking lot, we’ll hope you don’t even bother to come in to the store.  Whether we’re talking about people driving & parking the wrong way in one way lanes, people who park over the lines, people who don’t slow down/stop at cross-walks, or people who park in handicapped spaces or on the line-covered spaces near the handicapped spaces.  That’s just the drivers…  Don’t forget that people need to learn how to walk to their car in a parking lot too.

To curtail all of this inconsiderate conduct we’d have meter maids, crossing guards, and cameras.  I guess the meter maids wouldn’t have meters to read, they’d just be parking enforcers.  Cars parked over painted lines, at curbs, or in handicapped spaces without proper tags will be towed.  Immediately.  I’m saying we’d go after them mere seconds after it happens, perhaps as their door is being shut.  The parking enforcers wouldn’t be like the people on that TV show where they argue.  They’d just do their job.  I’d have a tow truck or two on site at all times.  I have no tolerance for people who think that rules somehow don’t apply to themselves.  (I’m talking about inconsequential rules here like how to conduct yourself in society.  I think it’s always good to question authority & what not… but that doesn’t apply here where you’re just being a self-indulgent dolt.) 

People entering & exiting the store wouldn’t have the free reign to walk out into oncoming traffic.  Somehow (here in PA at least) people have taken “pedestrians have the right of way” to the extreme, where the actual law is that they have the right of way in crosswalks.  Everywhere else, you’re fair game.  A crossing-guard would facilitate safe passage and at the same prevent a traffic jam like you get in the front of every Walmart or Giant Eagle when an endless stream of lackadaisical shoppers lumber slowly in front of you without glancing in your direction as you sit in your auto waiting for a break in the action.  If the people who like to park wherever they please or run into oncoming traffic with faith in an imaginary no-fault law somehow don’t feel welcome in my department store, then good.  We’ve successfully weeded out the first wave of assholes.  If they have learned to conduct themselves in a respectful manner while spending time in my controlled outdoor environment, then let ‘em in!

(Oh yeah, bicycles would have their own parking lot… they’d share it with buggies & horses in Amish country, and buses would roll to the edge of the parking lot, not right to the front door causing endless amounts of chaos.)

Inside the store, we’d have checkout lines like the bank, Wendy’s, or Best Buy.  People can be incredibly ignorant when it comes to getting in line.  It’s certainly not everyone, but there are a select few who ruin it for everyone else.  See any McDonalds or Sheetz without the rope at lunch time.  It’s absolute chaos.

I know they’re not department stores… but it’s easier to see the same behavior there as it’s more concentrated.  It would eliminate getting into line behind the people who want to put things back, use expired coupons, write checks, talk on their phones, shop for everything in the impulse-buy section, or search for their method of payment long after everything is rung up.

In fact, no checks.  All it does is slow things down.  It’s 2012.  It’s almost 2013.  If you have a bank account, you have a debt card or credit card, some of them are even called check cards now.  Use it.  Don’t use that antiquated paper log-book that does nothing but slow things down for everyone.

In my store, there would be no greeter that avoids eye contact completely or looks at you like you’re the grim reaper come to take them to hell.  Maybe there would be a robot there to say hello.  At least a robot could fake sincerity more efficiently.

Even though it doesn’t have to do with behavior exactly, the restrooms would have faucets in the sinks (with hot water) that you can fit your hands under, paper towels that are actually stocked regularly, hand dryers that actually dry your hands, and soap.  No foam soap, no hand sanitizer, no bathroom attendants to do it for you.  It might put people in a better mood if they can be comfortable.

I’m sure there are many other things I’d have to put in place, and many other bad customer behavior… but these are the ones I can think of now.

What would you do to make a trip to a department store more tolerable?  Would you enjoy it if stores weeded out the a-holes?  Are you one of the people who behaves like an a-hole by parking in the wrong spots, jumping to lines in front of people, and walking like an idiot in the parking lot?  Please, share your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

 

Related Articles

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ed M December 07, 2012 at 12:11 PM
I think I peed a little reading this! Too funny and somewhat true!
AiXeLsyD13 December 07, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Ha ha, thanks Ed! My thoughts were a little disjointed... I hope it came together well in the end. I forgot to address people talking loudly on cell phones, public arguing, and personal space. O bet this could be a series. Have any ideas that would make shopping go easier?
Erin Faulk December 07, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Please make this a series! I agree with Ed—so funny, and so true. One of my pet peeves is unattended children playing video games on the store's example equipment ... which I guess is what it's there for, but doesn't it seem like there's always 20 kids standing there?
Ed M December 07, 2012 at 02:11 PM
What really chaps my shorts is people congregated in the middle of aisles chatting! Hey no biggie! We can try to squeeze around you! We wouldn't want to interrupt you important conversation about your foot fungus! Ideas???? Well for one thing, have more than for check out lanes open! Wal*Mart has more closed lanes than open lanes! And if you only have $100 to spend don't buy $150 worth of stuff then hold up the line while you decide what to put back! Use the calculator on your smart phone you have been talking on for the last 1/2 hour!
Drew Lehman December 07, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Erin, the video game station is just a modern version of the TV department or the record department. When we were kids our mothers shopped at Kaufmanns and we split as soon as we got in the store. The record department was like being in a library, great for browsing. I watched part of the Steelers third Super Bowl win in Kaufmanns TV department with about a dozen other kids (and dads).
Erin Faulk December 07, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Good point! I hadn't thought of that.
Tim December 10, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I'd make my store a cash only proposition. I'd then be able to lower prices by about 2.5 percent because I would have to build the VISA/MasterCard transaction fee into the price of everything. By being lazy or in a hurry...using a credit card, bank card, check card or whatever card we're simply giving money to the banks. I'd have every shopper check their cell phone upon entry (like guns at the saloon in the wild west). Nothing more disrespectful than someone shopping and yakking, worse, checking out and talking; you're at the store to shop not catch up by phone with your mother (whom you spoke with earlier in the day).
AiXeLsyD13 December 11, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Erin & Drew... I agree on your video game take. Perhaps there should be a place for it that isn't IN the aisle you're trying to navigate?
AiXeLsyD13 December 11, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Yeah, people definitely need to keep moving... Especially when it gets more crowded this time of year. I love the sideways buggy block. What is going on here? I do wonder why the checkout lanes are never fully functioning. Do they only open them all on Black Friday & only use 10% of them the rest of the year? Ridiculous. People putting stuff back and negotiating on prices drives me insane.
AiXeLsyD13 December 11, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Cash is great, but if we're talking convenience and speed... I never have cash on me. A quick swipe makes it worth it to me. In with that though... they need to stop with the loyalty cards. Just have low prices for everyone. I spend way too much time looking for one of the 30 loyalty cards on my keychain or in my wallet. I have the phone app, but I've heard a lot of the cash registers' scanners don't pick up barcodes well off of your cell phone screen. Speaking of cell phones... I agree with the talking thing. I absolutely hate when people are screaming into their phone while looking at a product, or even worse... in the check out. But, a cell-phone check? No thanks. I use my barcode scanner app to compare prices, I use my calculator to figure out sales & totals, I use my shopping list app where my wife & I can share/sync lists. I may even text her to ask if we need anything. I'd never call tough. That's obnoxious.
AiXeLsyD13 December 11, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Lots of good comments here too: http://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/if-i-owned-a-department-store-chain/
Ed M December 11, 2012 at 03:21 AM
If you are on the phone when it's your turn to check out get off or go to the end of the line. And please, keep your kids under control. They are your responsibility, not mine or the rest of the people in line.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something