For those who don't have a personal relationship with me, you need to know a couple of things before we get to the heart of this post:
1) My thoughts are written across my face 100% of the time. I don't know how to play poker, but I'm sure I would suck at it. I've wished many times that I were a better actress, and could hide my feelings. No dice.
2) When I'm shopping, I don't want to be bothered by store personnel. That may sound harsh, but it's very rare that I need assistance AS SOON AS I STEP FOOT IN A PLACE. If I ever DO need help, I'm not shy about finding someone and asking for it, especially at hardware stores where I am completely out of my element, but a clothing or shoe store? I'm good, thanks.
Alright. A few days ago I took my oldest daughter, Amanda, shopping for school clothes. We were maybe two feet inside a shoe store when we were accosted by a sales staff person.
Now I would have been fine with a standard greeting:
Hi, hello, welcome to ...
I would have even tolerated a "Let me know if you need any help."
But after that, PLEASE, for the love, LET ME BE. I am an ADULT. I know WHY I'm here and WHAT I need. If after a few minutes you glance over and I'm laying in between two shoe racks in the fetal position, feel free to approach slowly and ask if I'm okay.
That said, I realize that this gal was probably just doing what her manager told her to do. So allow me to address the managers out there: Please let your people give a quick greeting and then just be available to help those who actually need it. And if, as a manager, you're just enforcing what those at the corporate level are requiring, then I will address them too: STOP!!! REALLY. It's not getting you additional sales. People like me walk out of your stores when the staff is so aggressive.
Okay, so this is how it went down ...
SALES CHICK: Hi guys, how are you?
ME: Good thanks.
Please go away now.
SALES CHICK: You here for some shoes today?
ME: Blank stare, then annoyed smile, because hello ... it's a SHOE store.
SALES CHICK: Awesome. What kind of shoes? Are they for school?
ME: Can't stop gritting my teeth to form a response.
SALES CHICK: Do you have a dress code?
ME: Yes, but not for shoes.
OH MY WORD. LET US SHOP IN PEACE!!
SALES CHICK: I had a dress code when I was in school.
Aaaand this would be when I walked away and left my daughter to fend for herself. I couldn't help it. It was for the safety of all involved.
Amanda found what she wanted, no thanks to the over-zealous store employee, we made our purchase and walked out.
Our next stop was Victoria's Secret, because Amanda had seen online that they sell backpacks now. What? Anyway. We get there and as we're walking in I see a sign: "7 panties for $27" Well, we were there for backpacks, so whatever.
As we cross the threshold of the store, an employee greets us ...
VS GIRL: Hi there. Welcome to Victoria's Secret.
We walk over to the backpacks, which are only a few feet from her.
VS GIRL: Just so you know, we have a special going on now: seven panties for twenty-seven dollars.
ME: Yes, I saw that on your sign.
VS GIRL: So, you're looking at backpacks?
ME: I raise my eyebrows and smile at her as if to say, "Obviously."
I know. SO BAD, but COME ON PEOPLE.
Turns out the backpacks weren't what Amanda wanted, so we left.
AMANDA: Gosh, Mom. She was just doing her job.
ME: I know, I'm sorry. I just get so tired of having to chat with all the sales staff while I'm shopping. I just want to look around and not be bothered. Why is that so wrong? Ugh.
Fast forward a couple of days and we're in a fast food drive-through. We get to the window which is being manned by a clown. Not really, but her make-up is ten times louder than anything I wore back in the eighties. Hot pink blush with matching lipstick and bright yellow and blue eye shadow with fuschia accents. I turn to my youngest, who is sitting in the front seat and say under my breath, "Did you SEE her make up??" Megan just stares at me with bug eyes.
We pull out into the parking lot and Meg says, "That wasn't very nice, Mom." And as I try to defend myself, because CLOWN MAKE UP, it hits me how very right she is, and I feel awful. So awful that I can't shake it.
I'm now officially in a funk, because I was so mean to someone else. And not just at the drive-through, but at the shoe store, and at the lingerie store, and who knows where else. But even worse than that? I acted that way in front of my girls. I wouldn't have DREAMED of behaving like that when they were younger and so impressionable. Just because they're old enough to know right from wrong, doesn't give me license to be nasty. Good grief. I'm a Christian for crying out loud.
So, I apologized to God and asked for His forgiveness. This gave me a teeny sense of relief, because I know that any time a Christian confesses their sin to Jesus, He forgives the sin and forgets it. It is no longer "out there". He doesn't remind the sinner of past failures. That's what Satan does. However, I knew I also needed to make things right with my girls, so I went to each of them and apologized, asked for forgiveness ... forgiveness like Jesus would give. I asked if they would please forgive me and try to forget my actions, rather than remind me the next time we're at a store or fast food drive-through what I did "that one time".
They graciously forgave me and agreed to forget. Whew.
And now I have to go grocery shopping.
Pray for me ...