Holiday Shopping Guide

Well the holiday season is upon us – unless you believe TV and department stores in which case it’s been upon us since two weeks before Halloween – and we feel it’s our duty to present you with our holiday shopping guide. Oh but it’s not the kind of shopping guide that advises you on what presents to buy. No this is the kind of guide that advises you on how to not piss people off while you’re out doing your shopping.

Holiday shopping is stressful enough as it is. Finding that perfect gift, finding the willpower to actually go to the store, dealing with the crowds, etc. Shoppers don’t need any extra aggravation, they got enough going on. So here is our simple guide to making sure you provide the best experience for those around you, including both fellow shoppers, and the unfortunate souls working at the stores you’re frequenting.

Click onwards and let the education begin. Also to juxtapose all the anger, I’ve made sure all of the photos are nothing but adorable Christmas animals. ENJOY!

Please try to have some knowledge about the product you are searching for.

An all too common experience, but especially around the holidays. I’m sure anyone who has worked a retail job in the past can relate to the experience of dealing with a customer who has little to no idea what it actually is they are looking for. If you haven’t worked retail (and everyone should have to at some point in their lives, if only so they will appreciate every other job they get) then it’s a safe bet you’ve been behind this person in a line up.

Let’s role-play for a moment. You are working at say Wal-Mart. It’s December 22nd, it’s insanely busy. You’re dealing with hordes of people. Then someone comes up and throws this at you:

“My son is looking for this game….I think it’s on the Sony Box…Soldier of War? War Soldier? It’s definitely something like that. Soldier Gears? It’s a Wii game I definitely know that. Oh and if it helps he said these guys made another game before.”

Then she drops some of this:

“I also need a DVD-ray of…oh I can’t remember the title (laughs, cuz you know…that’s funny). It has that young guy in it. It’s a new movie, definitely in the last 10 years. It’s not a cartoon I know that. It stars mostly white people, but not completely. Oh if it helps the cover may have red on it.”

And finally…

“Last thing I need, it’s a CD by this new artist. I think she was on TV. One of those award or reality shows, or a talk show, something like that. She sang a lovely song. Unless she was a boy, which is possible I don’t remember. It had a guitar I know that for sure. Oh but if it helps, my favourite kind of muffin is blueberry.”

This probably isn’t even the most cryptic it can get. How would you even begin to guess what this person was looking for? I asked Curtis what he would tell the person to get if he were the employee. He responded:

-Gears of War
-Shaun of the Dead
-Taylor Swift

Pretty decent guesses huh? Well he’s wrong. This person was actually looking for:

- Batman Arkham Asylum on PS3
- UP on DVD
- Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits

Too bad, you’ve now ruined some child’s Christmas. Who could blame you though? The worst part is that no amount of questioning will ever help them remember things any better. It’s a no win situation. So please don’t be that person. Just write down the name and save a ton of people a ton of grief.

Don’t Hold People Up For Stupid Shit

It’s the holidays and lines are long. Excruciatingly long. People aren’t patient as is so please have mercy and keep that line moving. Don’t hold it up for stupid things. I can’t even begin to think of all the possibilities here so I’ll just name a few.

Here’s an all too familiar scenario. Person gets to the front of the line:

“I would like to purchase a Wii.”

“I’m sorry we’re actually all out of Wiis”

“What do you mean you’re out?!”

TIME-OUT! Let’s stop right there for a moment. I think “what do you mean?” has to rank as the worst question an employee can be asked. Why? Because there is absolutely no way to answer it without being condescending. Try it. It’s actually impossible. Usually you stare for a moment while you struggle to think of an answer and it almost always comes out like this…

“Oh….well…really?....I mean that…. we’re out of Wiis?”

I’m not really sure the answer people are looking for when they ask “what do you mean?” Usually the situation is quite clear. Unless the employee responded to your question with “Oh man those dolphins are gonna eat that bear!” then chances are everything has been spelled out pretty well for you.

Also, if a store is out of the item you’re looking for, yelling at the employees won’t make it magically appear. They’re not a genie, and that’s not even how genies work so your logic is simply flawed. It just wastes everyone’s time and makes you look like a jackass.

Oh and if you’re pulling the “what do you mean you’re out of stock?!” routine and it’s any day later than December 20th, then the employee should be legally allowed to rob you and steal your shoes.

Another thing – don’t haggle. If you want to haggle with an employee on the floor then have at it. It won’t work because it’s not a fucking flea market, but hey, have fun trying. But please god don’t haggle with them in the actual line. I don’t think anyone behind you wants to wait while you try and get 87 cents knocked off the price of a god damn candle. And the threats of “Well such and such place has it for this price” or “I will never shop here again” don’t mean a damn thing. There are 12 people in line behind you who will be back and I’m sure nobody is too upset that you won’t be gracing this store with your lovely presence ever again.

FUN FACT: While working as an employee at a small CD store we had a guy on Boxing Day try to return a CD because he found it 2 dollars cheaper somewhere else. The kicker? The CD had been purchased weeks beforehand, there was no receipt, the CD was open and there was a huge sign behind us that said No Refunds. Fucking humans…

Please Don’t Have the Display Case Opened Unless You’re Serious About It

I have Curtis to thank for this entry so I’m just going to use his exact words here.

“Don't shop with your five children in tow into the tiny electronic aisle in Walmart when they just want to look at the covers.  Sit them down at the computer at home and let them rifle through covers that way.  Know what the hell you want before you head down that aisle, and don't ask the guy to open the case just so you can look at the back of the box.

If you need to look at the back of the box you won't be buying that game.

That just pisses me off so much.  The Wal-Mart guy is standing there with the case open, and the kid is like "Can I see Game X?"  reads back of box "Ok, can I see Game Y?"  reads back of box "Ok, thanks!" and walks away to go talk to his mom.”

Curtis is right on the money with that one. You’re just getting in the way of people who actually are getting something out of that case. Stop keeping the employee away from people who legitimately need help.

Seriously, why are you in the way?

Any particular reason you and your friends are standing in a group at the top of the escalator? Just chatting it up? Got to the top and realized you didn’t know where to head next? Either way, unacceptable cuz YOU’RE IN THE WAY!!!

Standing in crowds at the top or bottom of escalators should already result in the headbutting of faces but to do so during the holidays? No…NO! And are you really giving people dirty looks for fighting through you? Seriously why isn’t your face being headbutted more?!

Ah so you and your group have moved away from the escalator and are now just standing around in the middle of the mall hallway (is that what they’re called?). I guess you thought that was better huh? Nope guess what, YOU’RE IN THE WAY!!!

Seriously guys this isn’t cool either. If you want to chat go and have a sit down and get out of people’s paths. People are in a hurry and are definitely not above shoving you out of the way, and quite frankly they absolutely should.

Ok so you’ve moved outside of the mall now. Your group has situated themselves in front of the doors that enable people to come and go from the mall. I guess you think since you’re no longer within the actual confines of the mall then this is all ok? You would be wrong because IN THE WAY!!!!!!

People should not have to open doors just enough to squeeze out because your inconsiderate ass is standing in the way. They should open them full force regardless and then giggle their ass off.

Well that’s all I have for now. Feel free to share your own tips and tricks for the holiday shoppers. In the meantime have a safe holiday and please PLEASE, don’t make shopping worse than it has to be for your fellow shoppers.