Went to Target tonight, for no apparently good reason other than I needed to get out of the freakin’ house and I live in a consumer society. Picked up a couple of sweaters, some nuts, fabric softener, and tonic for a nice G&T.
Then I got to the checkout. All around the store there were “associates” stocking shelves, but only 5 checkouts open, each with long, long lines. I spied a line that was finishing up checking out, slid into place thinking I’d made a coup, and loaded my items onto the belt. The man in front of me was paying with multiple gift cards and credit cards. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, the cashier made the pitch about saving 10% by applying for the Target card. They got into a discussion about it — English was not this man’s first language. It went on and on. And on. He decided against it. She pressed him. He relented. She started to do a credit check and realized she didn’t know how to do it. It was at that point, 5 minutes after I put my stuff on an empty belt, that I gathered it up, put it back in the cart, and started looking around.
Every other checkout was jammed, 5 people deep on average.
I left my cart there and walked out. The checkout clerk undoubtedly got credit toward her quota of card applications, and all those associates who could have been checking customers out undoubtedly got the shelves nicely stocked. But they lost my business.
The Quiznos near me is in a small, new building at an intersection near the airport and a major freeway. I used to stop by a few times each month. Then, a new tenant moved in next to them. I have no idea what it is – it has a Chinese name and seems like it’s a place where people drop off their kids, because ever since then the small parking lot was jammed up with people sitting in their cars, waiting. Every parking spot was taken, all the time, and it was impossible to get in and out of the lot or find a place to park.
And that’s why I stopped spending money at that Quizno’s. The neighbors.
Tonight, I noticed that the Quizno’s has gone out of business.
Here endeth the lessons.