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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Are You My Favorite?

As we were sitting in the living room watching The Princess and the Frog, I found myself gazing lovingly at my children.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, that doesn't happen very often.

I'm usually looking at them wondering which asylum will accept them.

I startled myself today with all the love.

Here are my thoughts:

Hmmm...I wonder if I have a favorite.

He's kinda cute the way he's looking at the TV and shoving Frooze in his mouth.

But then there's her...she's, beaming at the music in this movie.

This music is pretty good.

Oh look, there goes Matt.  He's dancing, no cute.  Yes, he's my favorite.

Hold the phone...what is she doing?  Is she conducting in rhythm to the music?  Okay, that does it...she's definitely my favorite.

Oh good, it's the wedding scene...two frogs getting married...gross.

Wait...why is he crying?  He doesn't want them to stop being frogs?  He loves them as frogs?  He doesn't want them to change?  What a sweetie...he's my fave.

Oh geez, look at Hailey, she has tears of happiness in her eyes and her little hands are clasped at her chest like she's watching her very own wedding.  That is too cute...she's my favorite.

Okay, movie's over.  What the heck are we going to do now?  Yes, let's play, we've never played, but I'm sure this will go smoothly (yeah, right!).

What's that?  Don't turn it off yet?  You want to watch until the pictures go away? you're my favorite...definitely.

What's she doing?  Bringing her snack cup into the kitchen and putting it in the sink...I love her...she wins.

Crap...he's right behind her...who can I choose now?  

Aw...look at them...on the rug, on their little tummies, faces in their hands, just waiting for me to get the game out.  They're so excited.

I love the way they're helping me punch out the cards...what good helpers.  Maybe I can't choose a favorite...maybe they're both my favorites.

Yes, I can have two favorites, right?  Yes...I win.

Dear Mi**ael's

Let me just start out this letter by explaining that I am not that all.  That being said, I typically have little reason to set foot in your store on a daily basis, but when I do go, I am usually pleased.  

You have a lot of activities that would entertain children as well as adults.  I had toddler twins (lovingly referred to as The Crazies) that are going to become more and more interested in doing crafty type things (rather than rotting their brains in front of the TV...I'm sure M**ael's hates those TV kids...they're Revenue Ruiners), so I'm sure that we will need to frequent your store more often in the future.

However, it's experiences like the one I had yesterday that make me want to put away my smocks and tempera paints forever.  I had a lovely morning planned...we would return a God-awful sweater to O*d N*vy and then browse through your store in search of birthday presents for a close friend.  The Crazies were looking forward to it because they're just getting to the age where they can spend one minute of the day thinking about someone else.

They were well-behaved in O*d N*vy and then we walked over to your store.  Upon entering, I explained that if they did not listen or misbehaved, they would have to sit in a cart.  They agreed.  I'm sure that your employees appreciate mothers who take such measures as opposed to the mothers who let their children run rampant destroying displays...I'm just saying...I'm awesome.

Anyway, we spent about 45 minutes in your store picking out different craft activities, foam board kits, C*lor W*onder fun, dot markers and books, wooden car models that our friend could paint and decorate, gift bags, stickers to decorate said bags, and each of The Crazies chose their own ribbon for their friend.  They were really excited to have taken such a role in their friend's present and so was I.  Dare say, my little Crazies are growing up???

The Crazies are getting a bit tired at this point, so we make our way to the registers (which are always a little confusing at your store...I don't get that).  We wait on line and finally make it to check out.  One of your employees turns to me and says, "Justa let you know, our systems are down and we're only accepting cash."  

To which I reply, "Really?  You can't take credit cards at all?" because at this day in age, you'd think that we'd have all the kinks worked out, but apparently not.

"No Ma'am...I'm really sorry.  Our systems are down nationwide and we can only ring up cash purchases."

"Oh...was there any way you could have announced this so that I could make other arrangements?  I just spent 45 minutes in here with two toddlers (who were very well behaved, by the way).  I just wish you would have made an announcement."

"Well, it's been spotty...all over the place."

You know what?  Don't tell me your systems are down and then try to tell me that they're "spotty."  I'm not stupid...I know that "it's been spotty" is your panic answer.  You didn't want me freaking out, so you handed me some lame excuse to cover your own a**.  

Let's just face it.  If your systems go down on a nationwide basis, your employees should be instructed to make some sort of announcement regarding the status...for your customers' sake!!!  There was no announcement and no sign posted at the entries.  With all of the colorful paper, markers, glitter pens, paints, and highlighters that you house in your facility, you'd think that someone could make a sign...a very pretty one to boot!

So, after scrounging up enough cash to pay for the "important" things, I still had to decline purchasing about half a basket of goodies (while listening to your employee tell my son to stand "over there" rather than behind her that point, I'm pretty sure he could have done a better job at spreading the news than she did...just saying).  I'm not concerned about the things...I'm more concerned that my time was wasted.  The good behavior from The Crazies...wasted.  My patience?  WASTED!!!  Oh, and I still have to go back to your store this week because no one else sells the 13-pack of brown gift bags that I love so much (thanks for cornering the market on that one).

All I'm saying is be informative.  With PA systems and the ability to make a sign (duh), everyone in that store should have known the deal and should have had the right to walk out before wasting their time/energy/patience.  If you're concerned at all about your customers' experience, then give them the chance to make an informed decision.  Don't spring it on them when they're at the check-out.

Thanks for listening...I hope I don't have the same experience tomorrow...when I return for bags, ribbons, stickers, and one very special whoopie cushion.

Rebecca and The Crazies