Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's Word Is "Frustration"

Just because my life is glorious doesn't mean it's perfect. In fact, I like to say my life is "perfect in its imperfections." It's the failures and foibles that allow me to truly appreciate the blessings. That being said, today was relatively perfect and I will, one day, appreciate many blessings because of the glorious foibles of today.

This morning I left work with a plan. I had my grocery list and the "returns" from yesterday's Summer Clearance shopping spree, in the car and ready to go. First store -- Pop Tarts. Simple, right? After going directly to the cereal aisle, scanning end caps on the way, I was met with a plethera of the industrial size box of Pop Tarts -- not the ones on sale. OK, look for a sign. Negative. Perhaps I had my sale dates confused? Check the circular. Nope, we're good, but where are the Pop Tarts? Three trips down that aisle and one trip down each neighboring aisle... I give, I'll ask at Customer Service in the front of the store. "Oh, Hon, they're all the way in the back at the end of Aisle 10 in Frozen Foods." Two football fields away in Frozen Foods? Why didn't I think of that?

Store Number Two: The Returns. "You didn't pay for this." What do you mean I didn't pay for it? "It's not on your receipt. You never paid for this yesterday. I can't give you money back on something you never paid for in the first place." OK, well, just give me my money back for the things I did pay for, and you can have your free skort back, I only wanted to exchange it for size anyway. "Oh, well, it was our mistake, you can keep it." Can I get it in the right size? "No! I can't let you exchange items you never paid for!" ?????

The Last Stop. One sale item not found -- pajama pants. Seems a little strange to me, this is a grocery store, but they were adverstised. So, I canvas yet another grocery store, this time in search of pajama pants(?) No go. So, once again I approach the happy-looking clerk at this Service Desk. She thinks I am green and I have three heads, or at least that's how she looks at me. She pages "Mummem," or at least that's what it sounds like over the PA. "Mummem" flew past the desk on her broom, or at least that's how I remember it. "Aisle 7," she snaps when asked about my "food store PJ's". In Aisle 7 there wasn't an item of clothing to be found, barring the cheesecloth (I'm sure Madonna could fashion something fabulous). Three trips down that aisle, and off to check the adjacents... I found two men who, when asked today's sleepwear query looked at me with "that look." Not the three heads look, but "the husband look." This is the look that says, "Did you just ask me a question? Please, God, help me get this one right." As one of them scurried, presumably to find my PJ's, but probably to seek refuge from the IFS (That's Irate Female Shopper) the other stood Horseback Stance, waiting to subdue me should I lunge. A few trips down Aisle 6, and the "food store PJ's" were safely nestled in the cart between ground turkey and 1% milk! The only thing that stood between me and the front door was the register!

The self-checkout was spewing warnings and objections to the lady ahead of me. In the next line, an employee had the audacity to use her employee discount -- the register refused to accept and the light for "manager assistance" began to blink. The third and final line was spearheaded by a woman with a loaf of bread, a ninety-nine cent pack of gum, and a one hundred dollar bill. "Dan! Oh, Dan. Dan!! Can I get change for a hunnerd?" Look, if I give you change would that be OK? "Oh, no, Sweetie, we can't take change from customers like that." What if she and I exchange the hundred for change, and then she gives it to you? "Oh, here's Dan! Hi, Dan, I need change for this hunnerd. By the way, what time should I go on break? Well, you know, Margret has her break next..." Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Finally, daylight! I am met at the exit by someone professing to be a deaf-mute; he is "selling" 2 x 3 cards (They can't even spring for 3 x 5's?) to earn a living. I want to "sign" to him "Well, then get a job" to see if he really is deaf, but catch myself. More from frustration than charity, I slip him a dollar and squeeze past him.
At home, my jaw unclenches and my head stops pounding. I think of the guy "selling" the cards. Tough day at the office...irritating. The store only gives credit if you lose your receipt... annoying. The guy ahead of you at the light thinks left turn signals are forever... vexing. Can't hear, can't speak... that's frustration!
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