Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Shopping - Bah Humbug!

I thought I was supposed to get smarter as I grew older, but today that proved not to be the case. Who in their right mind goes into the 2nd largest city in Wisconsin on a Sunday afternoon two weeks before Christmas to shop. That would be me. I got the paper in before going to church this morning and spotted something that someone on my list wanted. It was on sale for 50% off, Sunday and Monday only. I thought for sure if I didn’t get it today it would be sold out. I also figured we would be home from church by 9:30 am at the latest. Wrong! During the announcements I was reminded that we were having a building planning meeting between services that we both wanted to sit in on. Church ran late, the meeting lasted longer than I thought it would and we first got home around 10:45. Ok, I still had time to get into Madison, 20 minutes away, buy a couple of gifts and get home before the 3 pm Green Bay Packer game.

Dropped my wife off at home, changed into Green Bay Packer gear and was out the door by 11:30 am. I stopped for gas and was at the major department store by noon. OK, so it took 15 minutes to find a parking spot. I was still sure I’d get home for the kick off. I looked around for about ten minutes before I decided to find someone to help me locate the item I was looking for. Yes, I am delusional. An employee to help me in one of these big stores? Especially during a Christmas shopping weekend. I stayed around the cash registers until they called for a price check and then asked that person to find the item for me. They in turn called someone else to help me. When that person got to the department I was in they found similar items made by the same company, but not the one I wanted, advertised for 50% off. She told me it was probably sold out already. I didn’t buy that line for a minute. I was nice, but firm and asked for a manager. She called a manager who got to me within about 10 minutes and found the item at another location in the store. We looked at the display together and I asked for a particular size. She simply looked at me and said, “Oh, it doesn’t come in that size.” OK, so much for best laid plans.

Not enough words to connect to tell about the rest of my afternoon shopping adventure. I stopped at 10 more stores in eight locations and finally got everything that I had planned on getting. There were full parking lots, no one to help find things in stores, long lines to check out with many inexperienced check out people, rude customers and then it happened. An older couple was checking out before me and they needed a price check on a piece of jewelry because there was no tag on it. Oh great, another hold up. Why do I always choose the wrong line? The checker called someone who told them the price was $7.95. The couple immediately told the clerk that it was not the price that was on other similar items in the jewelry case and that the correct price was $59.95. The clerk had someone go back and get another box with the same cross with a diamond in it and it rang up at the correct price. It made my entire day to see someone do something so honest and right. I would hope everyone would do the same, but you and I know that is not always the case. I hope the gift of that cross is a blessing to the person that receives it and that the couple that is giving it as a gift is also blessed. Some how I think they already are. I got home in time to see most of the first quarter and only missed the first touch down, but the experience got me back into the Christmas spirit and I wouldn‘t have traded it for anything..