How to not be a complete dick during holiday shopping season.

I love the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years help make the dreary winter months bearable.

I love the nostalgia, the candy and baked goods that you can only get once a year, and giving/receiving presents. There isn’t much in this world better than seeing someone’s face light up when they open a well picked gift from you. And I’m not just saying that to make this sound like sappy Christmas bullshit, I actually believe that.  It’s fun to get gifts, but it’s also lots of fun to give them away.

However, the boon of this season has got to be the retail shopping scene. Now, admittedly, I haven’t really paid that much attention to it, because I’ve never worked in retail before August of this year, when I got my current job.

Now that I have worked there a while, I would like to put together a list of tips one can follow to ensure they will not be acting like a dick this, or any holiday season. And really, most of these rules could be applied to year round shopping.

If you have any suggestions you think should be added to this list, feel free to send me an email at Just make sure to put “suggestions” or something of the like in the subject line.

How to not be a complete dick during holiday shopping season:
(These are in no certain order)

+I don’t care if you run into a small family of people you know that just happen to be in the store at the same time you are; do not queue near the checkouts to have an impromptu conference with them. Other people have to come through my line, and you’re in their way.

+I can’t speak for every store, but in most of them, the cart racks are pretty damn close to the doors you use to exit the place. Don’t leave your cart at the end of the checkout line, or better yet, in the middle of my line, blocking in the person after you. It’s not that hard to push the cart a few extra feet, especially if you only have one bag’s worth of items.

+If there are any items you don’t think rang up for the right price, please tell me before your receipt is printing out. If you wait until then, you’ll have to go to customer service to get that fixed. I would love to help, but once that receipt prints out, I offically can’t do anything for you.

+If you thought an item rang up wrong and you waited until I gave you the receipt to tell me, don’t act pissy with me when I tell you to go see customer service. It makes me uncomfortable and just makes you look like an asshole.

+On that note, don’t get all defensive and rude when something rings up wrong (i.e. clearance stuff that hasn’t been put in the system yet). Cashiers have absolutely no power over this. It would make our lives a lot easier if everything just automatically rang up right, so trust me, we would do something about this if we could.

+On another related note, don’t be impatient (i.e. tapping your feet/fingers, sighing, making that clicking sound with your tongue, etc) if we need to call over a manager to override something, or to check the price of something. Again, it makes us uncomfortable and just makes you look like an impatient jackass.

+Don’t get mouthy with me when you try to use an expired coupon. ‘Well it was out by the shelf:’ (i.e. in those coupon dispensers). Tough shit. You can tell me so I can have someone take it down, but that’s it. Again, cashiers have no control over whether expired coupons get taken down. Maybe if you paid a little attention to it yourself, we wouldn’t be in this position.

+When I’m holding out my hand to take your money, don’t plop your money down on the counter, right next to my hand. I mean, honestly. My hand is out, right down on the counter. Clearly, I am waiting to take your money. My hands aren’t that dirty. Money is dirty, sure, but it’s not like you haven’t already touched some. I’m not a leper. If I was, they probably wouldn’t let me be a cashier, so I think it’s pretty safe to just hand me the money.

+I know I already kind of said this already, but when there’s a long line or when something is taking a while, don’t tap your feet/fingers, sigh, make that clicking sound with your tongue, or etc. That’s not going to make the line move faster. In fact, that’s just going to stress me out and make you look like a little spoiled 12 year old.

+Don’t bitch about how there is only one register open. Again, the cashiers have no power over this. We don’t control when people come in, or how many other people are scheduled. Just because there are other workers here doesn’t mean they can just hop on any register and help.

+Don’t get mad when we don’t have an item that is in our ad. I can’t speak for other stores, but our ad is nationally released. That doesn’t guarantee that 100 percent of our stores will have an item Most of them will, but not all. Don’t get mad at the cashier for that. We’d love to carry everything you want, but we don’t have the inventory space for that.

I’d just like to add that when the training video you have to watch to work at most of these retail stores needs to add something in. When they tell you that you’re ‘the face of the store’ and often ‘someone’s last impression’ of the store, they forget to say that we also get a lot of shit for things we can’t control. Like the expired coupons, the clearance stuff never ringing up right, the old signs that don’t get taken down, not having something released in our NATIONALLY RELEASED newspaper ads. Talk to a manager about that shit. Don’t get angry at the little peons.

The earth can be any shape you want it…

A great Thomas Dolby song. More mellow than I feel at the moment.

I’m actually quite pissed off. And maybe it’s something that should be innocuous, but I can’t ignore it.

In a lot of ways I’m lucky, mainly because my parents allow me to live here (I’d be homeless otherwise), but in some ways I feel like they take advantage of the fact that I’d have nowhere else to go.

I could spend hours complaining about the other stuff but for the sake of length I’d like to focus on one particular thing that irks me so.

On regular occasion, my mother likes to not ask me outright to do something. She likes to pull that “It would be NICE if such and such chore were done”.

I tell her she should ask me directly if she wants me to do something. Well, hell. I may as well be talking to a donkey’s ass because the answer I get is probably just as helpful.

“Well you should just KNOW” or “I shouldn’t have to ASK you”.

This pisses me off in a great many ways.

In the past, I was even more of a lazy slob than I am now, which is frightening once I think about it.

Make no mistake about it. I have a great deal of progress left to come, but I’ve also made lots of progress, and sometimes I feel that has been overlooked.

I’m not always perfect at doing what’s asked of me either, so I realize I have a great many flaws that others could complain about, but for christ’s sake mother, I am 25 years old. I would probably be more willing and happy to do something for you if you ask me.

Now, when you make snide, passive aggressive, bitchy remarks like “It would be NICE if such and such chore were done”, I am more likely to get mad than to happily help out around the house, even if it’s a chore I don’t normally mind doing.

I’ll hijack a phrase I hear my mother overuse; “It’s the principle of the thing”.

Yes, it is. I am still working very hard to get past my lazy ass, apathetic attitude of yesteryear. Thing is, even when I’ve got valid reasons for something, they’re more likely to be met with cries of ‘You’re using that as an excuse to be a lazy slob!’ than ‘I totally understand that’. But that’s a whole nother can of worms.

It’s the principle of the thing. If you simply ask me nicely, and without a bitchy undertone, I’m probably going to be more willing to help without getting right back in your face and reciprocating your bitchiness.

Do NOT tell me “Well you should just know” or “I shouldn’t HAVE to TELL you”. I’ve said this time and time and time again. My mother is bothered by lots more shit around the house than I am. If I don’t care, I don’t notice. That’s why you have to ASK ME.

And on that topic, why just me? I know my brother is at college a lot of the time, but even when he’s home, he doesn’t even so much as get asked to do one load of laundry. Yet I am still expected to to the dishes, the laundry/scrubbing the floor/cleaning the bathroom/etc when asked. But again, that’s another can of worms.

I’d like to bitch about one more thing before I end this. No matter how I do a chore, it seems I’m bitched at for it.

I get bitched at for not doing the dishes.

Then, I’ll get bitched at for doing them past a certain time of night (apparently there’s an unwritten rule that the dishes should be done by 9pm and any time after that is “too late” to be making dish noise).

Then I’ll get bitched at for forgetting to wipe out the sink/clean out the drain/wipe off the counter/put the dishes away/etc.

That’s it? I do the dishes almost ALL the time, and all you can think to mention is one minuscule thing I didn’t do?

And yet they fail to understand the reasoning behind “Why bother doing anything if I’m going to get bitched at either way?” logic.

And before you go spouting off gibberish about how I’m ungrateful and how so many others are so much worse off than me, save your breath. I know already. By complaining about something, I am not trying to insinuate that I have it the worst ever and that everyone should feel sorry for me, because I don’t and they shouldn’t. But just because someone somewhere has it worse, doesn’t mean that I can’t have problems in my own life.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have dishes to do.