Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Can I Please Give You My Money In Return for Your Goods?

(Ed. Note: I’m not making my point terribly well and I’m not providing any solutions, because I’m still angry about my experience today. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up post when I cool down.)

Retailers have GOT to do something about enabling customers to go in, get their shit, pay, and get out. I spent several hours today standing in lines waiting to pay someone my hard-earned money in return for stuff I needed. I know some stores have started implementing “self-checkout” areas, but these actually slow things down because no one can figure out how to use them or the software is buggy and often requires a sales person to come over and fix it.

Today was a prime example of how infuriating it is to be forced to wait to pay for goods.

I haven’t done much shopping over the past two years, but today we just had to fill some gaps: a new winter coat for me, jeans for That Guy I Married, a new George Foreman, Tupperware (we’re going to start brown-bagging lunch), etc.

The day began optimistically: I cooked breakfast! I found a great coat at JCPenny! But it went downhill fast.

Starting in JCPenny, it took around 30 minutes to get someone to accept my money so I could leave without getting arrested. I’m not trying to shoplift, I really, really want to give you ~$100 for this coat, but I HATE having to stand in line forever to do it.

Then we went to Macy’s (admittedly a horrible idea) in search of jeans. That Guy I Married likes his jeans with a little stretch to them, which are sometimes hard to find. It took us an hour to enter the store, find the men’s jeans section (on the 1 and 1/2 floor?!) and determine that we weren’t going to get jeans for under $70. Eff that. We had the misfortune on the way out to pass through the cosmetic area, where we both got dizzy, but couldn’t get out of the damned store because apparently, no one else had anywhere to be.

Next stop: Target. First of all, the Target at the Gateway Mall in the Bronx has the most confusing layout ever. And none of the employees know where anything is. Another couple of hours gone there.

Finally, we hit up the grocery store. Went in with a list, got only what we needed, and as we approach the checkout lines, 3 lanes close. Mind you, it’s like 7 p.m. and the store doesn’t even close until 10 p.m. We stand in line for about 30 minutes.

Throughout the day, jokes were made to relieve the tension: “I would really like to pay you for this stuff. But if you make me stand here any longer, I’m just going to walk out with it. Your choice.” “Why can’t I pay for food by weight? Put the cart on the scale and swipe the card. I would buy only marshmallows.”

This isn’t the only thing that makes shopping frustrating (I also hate the crowds, constant bombardment with advertising, and broken price scanners) but it is the main reason that I prefer to do as much shopping as possible online. Unfortunately, that’s not always ideal, in the case of clothing and certain other items.

Retailers, I’m begging you: Make it easier for me to give you my money. Please.