Unanchored Thoughts

Bits and pieces of musings about family, friends, social issues, and whatever else travels through my head without a purpose.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Date Day and Why the Unemployment Rate is Too Low (or Why I Hate JCrew and Macys)

Anyone who has spent much time with Steve and me knows that we rant about the unemployment rate being too low and the need for open border policies. This post addresses the latter...and what does any of this have to do with Date Day, you ask? Let me tell you.

Today being a federal holiday Steve was home. We took Graeme to school and made date day. It began with me going to the dentist (how romantic), Steve going for a run (more romance), and then a long lunch at Harry's Tap Room (now the date really began). Afterwards we decided to go to the mall to take care of some Christmas returns. We started at JCrew where I waited 20 minutes in line while ONE check-out person rang people up. Actually, there were two people until the "floor girl" wanted to go on break so the manager decided her time was better spent on sweater folding duty so she closed up her register with nary a nod to the long line, which is a good thing because we were all giving her dagger eyes. When I got to the front of the line I said something like, "so, they have you working by yourself on this busy day?" He responded, "well, we don't make any money in January so they only have three people working today." A reasonable economic argument for a very short-sighted or cash-strapped establishment. And a very honest answer. I didn't want to engage in a long-debate with the poor cashier. But I couldn't help myself when I said, "well, you will continue not making any money because I'm not shopping here anymore."

Then we headed to Macy's where Steve saw some shoes he wanted. I bought him shoes for Christmas, but he thought they were too trendy. He found some at Macy's that were trendy, but not too much. Well, at Macy's the shoe clerks work on commission. So Maurice was, smartly, rounding up as many customers as he could, retreating to the shoe dungeon to collect a bunch of shoes half of which were the wrong size or color because he doesn't have more than two wits in his brain to remember all of the various size and color combos. He returns 20 minutes later to deliver the wrong shoes and collect more customers while the first customers place their requests again for the shoes they asked for the first time. And this continues until some miraculously gets the shoe they want or walks off in frustration. Meanwhile, slim chick with attitude who has come over to help in the shoe department wanders around avoiding eye contact and when approached says, "I can't help you if you're already working with someone else." Well, eventually Steve gets the right size/color combo and goes to the counter to pay. Slim attitude chick says "I can't check you out because you are working with someone else." Maurice is in the bowels of the shoe dungeon and Ian is crying. After a few minutes I plead (probably not nicely), "can you please just take our money, we've been here a while and I have a fussy baby." Attitude girl turns to me and says "we work on commission." I say, "can't you use his code or something, we've been here forever." She gets mad and says, "no, it's a courtesy." This is where it gets ugly - Steve and I simultaneously and a bit too loudly say "a courtesy to who, the employee?????" Attitude girl says, "I'm calling security." "Please do, can they take our money?" I say. By now, Maurice has appeared and gladly takes our money and we march out of the shoe department. Next thing I know some squirrely 20-something is grabbing Steve's arm and pushing him through the men's tie section. "Who are you?" I ask. "I'm nobody," he responds. And I realize this is very ugly. He stops Steve and gets about an inch from his face and starts spewing words about how he's watching out for her (attitude girl, I presume) and Steve had better watch out and be careful and not to run over his toes with the stroller again and to be careful and watch out and more about the stroller...over and over because he also has two wits and nothing to lose if he's hanging around "protecting" attitude girl while she makes $5/hour selling stinky shoes. Holy f----ing shit, we're in the middle of the men's skivvy department and some squirrely thug is going to kill us. Steve, thank the lord, kept his cool (which is really unbelievable) and just stared him back 'til squirrel man finished. He (squirrel man) ended it by - I kid you not - slapping Steve across the face. I start ranting about security, but the lady in the fine acrylic sweater department just looked at me blankly so we left. So, we are never shopping at Macy's again either which is probably a realization I should have come to long ago.

What does this have to do with unemployment? My theory is that if the unemployment rate weren't so stinking low employers could be more selective about who they hire and we wouldn't have to deal with shit-for-brains workers like these. In the meantime I've added Macy's and JCrew to the list of places I won't spend money (Safeway is also on that list and I must say I've faithfully avoided the one adjacent to the Bradlee Shopping Center for about 8 months now.)

And thus ended date day. Maybe it's a good thing we don't get out very often!


Blogger Vaughn said...

Good Lord...sounds like something you would see on TV. Good thing you don't get out too often. Well J Crew and Macy's were never on any list I had so will just add Safeway in solidarity. And btw....I think open border policy is a great idea. Get some of this retail trailer trash back were they belong - my partner excluded of course.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Elaine Spallone said...

I agree this story is right off TV. Incredible. I think you should send it to the President of Macy's just to nail the point home.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Rob & Zoe' Baker said...

Wow!!! we never get that here at McLaughlins... or the Cat's Meow..... made me laugh......take Care guys!

7:28 PM  

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