Shopping Etiquette Meltdowns

I can’t believe my eyes. Did I really just see that?

Cracks me up every time while a pang of ‘enpuzzlement’ (? … lol!) coils it’s tentacles of the moment to squeeze action out of my once-rooted limbs of custodial aid …

Yup, just like that. Usually goes something like this:

I’m shopping at any given store minding my own meandering while a fellow shopper decides it’s ‘ok’ to unwrap and completely open a brand-new item right there in front of everyone in the store, oogle it with a ‘stink-eye face’ like its made of ‘Dragon-dung from Kaldoor’ and scoff loudly (PFFT!) so that every ear in the immediate proximity can hear the ‘hate-sigh’ who then must SHOVE the item back into the box only to throw it back on the shelf, if not the floor.

In my heart, I disintegrate for the poor mistreated item that was trying so hard to preen its best feathers for presentation only to get ravaged by a ‘witto-brain wif wings’ with obtuse-respect issues.

Fly on, ‘witto-brain’, fly on.

In my mind, I usually scoff loudly right back at those types of disrespectful jack-asses (unless they happen to be 6’8″ tall and in a Badger of a mood!).

I want them to know I won’t ‘follow suit’ and do not approve, but I don’t need braces or a nose-job at my age, so …

When witness to ‘hate-shop’, I try to disarm the tension. I’ll actually try to meet eyes with them, not saying a word, and smile while walking towards the damaged item, not them. Then I’ll either put it back on the shelf making sure that the ‘hate-shopper’ sees me do this. If the damaged item is too destroyed for the shelf, I take it to the service desk.

Throughout the 1980s, I grew up working retail by helping my Mother run her own vintage clothing and accessories store for well over a decade. You WOULD NOT BELIEVE the vandalism we had to endure on a daily! This was well before respect for vintage ‘repurposing’, ‘steampunk’ or any of the ‘farm-inspired-re-tique’ was ever a ‘blip’ on the Pinterest screen. I guess all the stocking, arranging, cataloging and custodial duties kick in when I see that kind of disrespect. In retail, theft and damage are an inevitable circumstance. It’s going to happen. Roll with it, try to prevent it, but do NOT let it dispel the joys of collecting!

Now I usually don’t point out the perp unless I’m asked if I witnessed the damage. I figure that’s why stores invest in security cameras and pay for security guards to be watching, so they best be doing what they are getting paid to do. Besides, I’m not ‘Robin’, ‘Batman’.

So if you witness any ‘pangs of enpuzzlement’ (lol) while hunting for your collections, consider a portable ‘echoplex’ or maybe a digital ‘loop station’ for crystal-clear playback … or maybe do like I do and ‘record to remember’ those stinky ‘hate-sighs’ in your mind so you are eternally reminded of what it is to be a true ‘snot’, and why you would never follow that kind of suit … the ‘hate-shopper’ (a.k.a. ‘box-basher’, ‘the deletist’, ‘counter crusher’, ‘mid-isle mauler’ and ‘The Poke’).


Happy hunting,
– John




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