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When I am old, will I be more patient with old people? - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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When I am old, will I be more patient with old people? [Jul. 6th, 2007|08:56 am]
[Current Music |Jeff Buckley, Grace]

I try. I try really hard. Granted, patience is not my virtue of choice. (Unless I can turn it into some kind of grim endurance contest, as often happens in retail mgmt: I will explain this simple task over and over and over again until they either "get it" or quit, either way I win.)

So I stand there, behind the old lady at Whole Foods, who's got her shopping cart parked right in front of the bread section. She's standing right in front of the Mestermacher bread, which is the only thing I'm actually in the store for. And she's perusing some other whole wheat loaf...taking one out, examining it, putting it back, pulling out another one, identical brand, examining that one, moving on.

I try to duck in and grab my bread, but she's carefully cordoned off the area with the cart and she's a bit wobbly and keeps reaching out to grab onto the car for balance, so strategy #1: move the damn cart out of the way is a no go.

And I remind myself to be patient. What's a couple of minutes? (Doing a mental body slam on the screaming spoiled inner brat in me that is pretty sure that I don't have a couple of minutes to spare.) Some day (sooner than it used to be) I too, will be wobbly and need more time. I already have issues reading the labels. Although my inner brat is pretty sure I won't be completely oblivious to the rest of the world's need to get sh** done. So I wait. Five loaves of bread she's now taken out (my inner retail manager cringing that five loaves of sliced bread have now been clutched in the middle, compressed and put back.) and put back. They are all identical. I realize that the pressure to be patient and polite is now being equally matched by inner brat who is desperate to scream "What the hell are you looking for? The fountain of youth has not been concealed in a loaf of whole wheat bread at Whole Foods! For heaven's sakes, your taste buds are shot anyway, just take one. Any one!"

I really do NOT want to cause a scene. Part of me is actually curious now (the inner anthropologist, hey, it's very crowded in my head)...so I finally go with "Excuse me, can I just duck in here..." grab my 6 loaves of M-bread and go. Pointedly not examining a single one. She was still standing there when I left.

For all I know, she's still standing there.

[User Picture]From: thewhitedragon
2007-07-06 01:43 pm (UTC)
Me? I'd personally have just done the "excuse me... I just need to grab a few loaves of bread" and gotten away from her. There are people, not just old people mind you, who will examine every single item until they decide they've found the perfect one - I know, I've seen it working in the grocery industry.

The ones that I used to get pissed off at were the ones who would pull every single gallon of milk out of the case and put them >all< on the floor in the quest for the gallon in the back that goes out of code a day later than the rest. Usually they end up putting them back, but I've had people begin to wander off with the milk still sitting there.

"Excuse me, I noticed that you removed our entire inventory of milk from the case. Would you mind putting them back, please?" I'd politely purr at them, the mental image of me choking the ever-living shit out of them.

"Well, that's what they've got stockboys for!" They'd reply, their eyebrows angrily coming down to a point in a vain attempt at intimidating me. "I don't like your tone... I want to speak to your manager!"

"Ma'am? I am the manager and this manager is kindly requesting that you put back all of those gallons of milk into the case or not shop this store in the future."

It always worked and the person tottered in the next week... this time, nodding at me after replacing the milk.
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[User Picture]From: pyratelady
2007-07-06 04:43 pm (UTC)
If she isn't, she's s-l-o-w-l-y counting out her change in the checkout line. Or walking s-l-o-w-l-y up an aisle while effectively blocking all traffic from passing. Or blocking some other display.

I hope that I'm not tottering and slow when I get older, but I know there's no guarantees. Well, there is one: I will use a card to pay for things instead of counting out pennies for 5 minutes.
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[User Picture]From: skivee
2007-07-06 05:18 pm (UTC)

Skivee's old person aisle blockage gambit solution

Leave her in the bread aisle for a moment and go over to the seasonal goods section. At this time of year you should be able to find a bunch of those Tiki torches for classy patio barbeee-queing.
Open one of the packages and discard the wrapping enclosure and the fuel resevouir. Leave them on the floor. (don't worry, that's what they've got stockboys for.)
Now take the bamboo pole with you back to the bread aisle.
Now then, doesn't that feel better. I think I'll go buy some bread, now.
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[User Picture]From: pyllgrum
2007-07-06 07:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Skivee's old person aisle blockage gambit solution


I just loves it when you speak German.
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From: pyrateatlarge
2007-07-06 09:42 pm (UTC)
hopefully she wasn't confusing it with Charmin™, in which case I'd refrain from eating any lady-finger sandwiches she might offer.

Mr. Whipple would have set the old broad straight. . . he knew how to run a store.

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