31 October 2006

A good post is a recycled one!

Target Dog Bites! ~ Oct 2005

With three kids in school, I like to take my youngest daughter into the Target close to my house. It's clean and having been built last year, it's modern and even the carts are still shiny with the illusory appearance that there are no germs lurking on the handles.

I especially like to go because it has a Starbucks Cafe inside..ehm, Starbucks coffee/products in a cafe managed by Target employees. But who cares? It's coffee! The Safeway down the street has a Starbucks inside. Two blocks away is an actual Starbucks Cafe. Heck, even our local coffee shop has a Starbucks inside.

"Hi, I'd like a Triple Skim, No foam, 140 Latte".

I know I'm a coffee snob. I can't help it. I love coffee. I could just feel the caffeine coursing through my veins.

My daughter, Ellie, wants a "Hot Jew", and no, not a Yiddish beefcake calendar. It's warmed milk, which she has never called milk, but continually calls it juice or 'jew' in her sweet 2 year-old voice. (and no offense intended to those fine-looking males of Jewish extraction)

So we walk around a mostly deserted Target, Ellie sipping her "Hot Jew" and me, drinking my coveted latte. The looks we get from people are classic. It ranges from smiles to what they want to say,

"How dare you MOM, giving this sweet toddler a coffee. After all, I've never had kids but want to impart my all-knowing worldly wisdom through dirty glances at you, since you're her mother."

I did not want to spend any money at Target but a new book is out, I needed T.P. and laundry soap. We get up to the counter and a cashier of questionable age rings us up. The shirt I picked out for Ellie has no tag. So he turns on his blinking light and I, being efficient, swiped my debit card through their germ dispenseroops, card machine and we wait. And wait. The line is now growing and he looks at me impatiently and says,

(oh, wait for it...)

"Do you mind running over to the girls department and getting another shirt with a tag."

I looked at him blankly and am dying to ask, "Gee, you want me to run the service desk too? And how about the state of those bathrooms?"

I reluctantly cave with a "sure", only due to being tired of waiting. I pick up my purse and scoop up Ellie. We walk over to the girls department, within sight of the registers. I locate a properly tagged shirt and together we walk back over to the counter.

I was gone a whole 30 seconds.

Wonder Cashier decided in that time to move on to the next person. I immediately was irritated by this because I am doing his job and I'm not about to wait in the long line that has sprung up. I plunk my purse down in my empty cart while the lady who was behind me is throwing things on the conveyor belt. She looks at me, annoyed by my presence as I proceeded to tell the checker I had the shirt. He then told me in his best mumble, "um, just a sec".

I love that they hired well-qualified, professional customer service.

I interrupted his ringing and asked Wonder Cashier about my card being swiped through their machine as I am not about to pay for this lady's goods. She looked over and said with emphasis, "I will be doooone in a minute".

I wanted to ignore Rude Lady and try to let it go. I stood there waiting quietly as my mind whirled with comebacks.

Target Dog nothing, how about meeting WWF Smackdown Target?

Wonder Cashier, on the other hand looked at me vacantly. How was I to know he canceled out my card and transaction? Maybe he thought I was unreasonable. Maybe he was only 14 and filling in for his mom? Maybe a new employee on his first day or perhaps just a dim bulb that would be fired before the day was out. I didn't know and honestly, didn't care.

"I canceled it. Hang on a sec....."

I was so close to opening a can of Get A Verbal Whooping Here. I waited for Her Royal Rudeness and Customer Service Cashier of the Month to get done. Not one peep, glance or comment from me, which if you knew my personality is a feat in and of itself. She didn't notice, as I did, an employee came out from hiding and took away Rude Lady's empty cart assuming we were together. Rude Lady then turned, grabbed the end of mine and started loading it.

I can't believe how ridiculous this is.

"Is this my cart?" she asked the Wonder Cashier behind the counter. It dawns on her it isn't, but never once addressing me as I retrieve my purse and coffee cup from the top seat.

By then, I'm envisioning how much fun it would be to just push her head down into the shiny red basket and run full blast through the parking lot with her legs kicking out the top. I would also hop the sidewalk and get some air off the curbs.

Come on....lean over...just a little more....just a little more.....

Employee of the Month finished ringing my things and I ended up smiling from ear to ear while keeping Ellie out of the gum that sits perfectly at her eye level.

"Your total is $33.85. Would you like to open a red card today and save 10% on your purchase?" My grin disappears. I calmly asked "Do I want to save 10% so I can give Target 25%?"

He gets my point, says a thank you and wishes me a good day.

Now, I could have done things differently and shown more grace. There are plenty of things I could have done, or not:

A) Yell and apply the Verb to his ancestry, his dog, his workplace and his backside. Demand to see the manager. Claim to soon own both their jobs.

B) Quietly take the incident as an off-day and forget it. Continue dreaming of the lift and velocity off the curb with Rude Lady in the basket. Sweet!

C) Call the Target four times a day posing as Wonder Cashier's girlfriend or mother so it gets him fired.

D) Watch Wonder Cashier's schedule and place a large sack of flaming dog poo outside the employee exit at the end of his shift.

E) Try to be gracious but put it on a public forum for all the world to see.

All I have to say is it was hard to walk past the comment box....and the employee exit, for that matter.

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