Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Can I have...?

As you know, I hate lines. Mostly because people tend to ignore line etiquette, if there is such a thing. Between talking on their cell phones, getting out of line and thinking they can step back in the same place after they’ve checked out the tchakees on some shelf, and forgetting to bathe, lines, and the people in them, kill me. Also, quite frankly, time is a precious commodity in my life. I barely have enough time to do anything, let alone just languish in a line. I wish I could watch “60 Minutes” in a half hour.

But, I had an epiphany the other day-lines aren’t always caused by the annoying people around me, but also by the employees and the stores themselves. After wondering why I needed a shave because I had been waiting so long at a local store, when it was my turn, I heard the words…those sweet words that gave me the answer to why when I came in, I had a full head of hair, only to be checking out looking more like Yul Brynner…

“Can I have your phone number for our mailing list?”
(Imagined response “IR”) No, but you can if you promise to call me and breathe heavy!
“Would you like to buy the extended warranty for only $3.99 which will replace it if anything ever happens?”
IR-No, because the item I am buying only cost $4.99!
“Would you like to save 10% on your purchase today?”
IR-No, but I just lost weight, ask me how!
“Do you need any batteries today?”
IR-No, but I will tomorrow, because the ones I’ll be using tonight will die from overuse!
“Would you like to donate a dollar to ‘Easter Seals’, ‘United Way’, UNICEF, Children’s Hospital, HFWJNA (you get extra points if you know this-email me privately and the first one to do so, get a special shout out), Dana Farber, Curt’s Pitch for ALS, Friends of Osama, Friends of the Critical Palate?
I’ll refrain from making jokes here-charities need our help, especially the last one.
“What’s your sign? Can you spare some change? Would you mind peeing in this cup? Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? Do you know the way to San Jose?”

By the time the clerk has gotten through the script, Josh has graduated Med School, and Tovah’s got 3 PhDs.

I don’t really blame the cashiers-they’re just following store policy. But, do the stores have any idea how aggravating it is to get the third degree from these clerks, trying to sell you things you don’t need and don’t want. But I think it all started with “do you want fries with that?”

When they trained you at McD’s, they told you a response for every order (this was looooooooong before the days of value meals). Someone order a drink, you asked “regular or large”. If they asked for fries, you asked “medium or large”. If they ordered McNuggets, you asked “would you like 9 or 12.” McDonald’s designed and refined the art of the upsell.

Funny, I didn’t get annoyed when we used to get upsold at McDonald’s, but maybe that’s because they never asked for a DNA swab…

You've been a great audience. Enjoy the World Series...

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