Is it just me (it usually is) or is it virtually impossible to walk into a store these days and just slap some cash or a credit card down for a lousy purchase and be about your business? I mean, from the minute you walk in the door: What can I help you with this morning? Do you know what you’re looking for? Can I be of assistance? Do you need a cart? Do you know about our Three-for-One sale? Are you OK? Are you doing all right?
What the hell? I’ve been in emergency rooms that weren’t this solicitous of my well-being. And then they follow you around like a child-labor lawyer at a Foxconn plant. So you start walking faster and faster to lose them, winding your way through aisles, labyrinthine-style (Serpentine! Serpentine!) — and before you know it, you’re on the street again and forgot what you came in for in the first place.
Let’s say you find what you’re looking for and make it to the cashier. Do you have our Shoppers Reward Card? Are you a member of the Bonus Club? Can I have your telephone number? Can I have your zip code? Would you like to donate a dollar to our Acme All-Purpose Children in Distress Charity? Please like us on our Facebook page. Apply for our credit card and you’ll get 2% off your purchase today.
I JUST WANT TO PAY FOR MY FRICKIN’ ALTOIDS!
And then comes the receipt, which is roughly the length of I-95 and consumes more paper than a New Delhi phone book.
Look, I know you’re just trying to make shopping in a store more personal and personable than shopping online, hoping that a smiling face and a helpful hand will beat the 20% I could have saved with the click of a button.
But you’re cheesing me off. It takes an enormous amount of motivation for me to leave the house in the first place. So please, when you see me coming, remove your personable personage from my field of vision. I can find what I’m looking for just fine. I don’t want to have all my contact information embedded in yet another database. I don’t want your solicitations clogging my mailbox, my inbox, or my shoebox.
I just want to pay for my Altoids.