If I owned a department store chain…


Every time I go to a Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc. I’m driven slightly mad. Sure, part of it is because of the stores themselves or the employees who seem to be rather uninterested in working… But most of the problem is the other shoppers. I was going to put a percentage on it, but I’m not sure I can. I think is a small percentage of idiots with a largely negative impact. Well, idiot just implies that they’re stupid. I think it’s more inconsiderate than stupid. I’m talking about people who are generally unaware of the needs, thoughts, and feelings of everyone around them. The best word that I can think of (even though I generally try to avoid being vulgar in print) is asshole. We all know what kind of person that describes. If I owned/ran a department store, I would try to prevent the behavior that goes with this type of personality.

Parking Lot

Parking Lot

Curbing unacceptable behavior would start in the parking lot (pun intended). One of my favorite blogs calls these people “Peter Parkers.”  They’re where the problem begins.  If your jackass behavior can’t make it through the parking lot, we’ll hope you don’t even bother to come in to the store.  Whether we’re talking about people driving & parking the wrong way in one way lanes, people who park over the lines, people who don’t slow down/stop at cross-walks, or people who park in handicapped spaces or on the line-covered spaces near the handicapped spaces.  That’s just the drivers…  Don’t forget that people need to learn how to walk to their car in a parking lot too.

Crossing Guard

Crossing Guard

To curtail all of this inconsiderate conduct we’d have meter maids, crossing guards, and cameras.  I guess the meter maids wouldn’t have meters to read, they’d just be parking enforcers.  Cars parked over painted lines, at curbs, or in handicapped spaces without proper tags will be towed.  Immediately.  I’m saying we’d go after them mere seconds after it happens, perhaps as their door is being shut.  The parking enforcers wouldn’t be like the people on that TV show where they argue.  They’d just do their job.  I’d have a tow truck or two on site at all times.  I have no tolerance for people who think that rules somehow don’t apply to themselves.  (I’m talking about inconsequential rules here like how to conduct yourself in society.  I think it’s always good to question authority & what not… but that doesn’t apply here where you’re just being a self-indulgent dolt.) 

People entering & exiting the store wouldn’t have the free reign to walk out into oncoming traffic.  Somehow (here in PA at least) people have taken “pedestrians have the right of way” to the extreme, where the actual law is that they have the right of way in crosswalks.  Everywhere else, you’re fair game.  A crossing-guard would facilitate safe passage and at the same prevent a traffic jam like you get in the front of every Walmart or Giant Eagle when an endless stream of lackadaisical shoppers lumber slowly in front of you without glancing in your direction as you sit in your auto waiting for a break in the action.  If the people who like to park wherever they please or run into oncoming traffic with faith in an imaginary no-fault law somehow don’t feel welcome in my department store, then good.  We’ve successfully weeded out the first wave of assholes.  If they have learned to conduct themselves in a respectful manner while spending time in my controlled outdoor environment, then let ’em in!

Amish parking, Cashton, 29 June 2012

Amish parking

(Oh yeah, bicycles would have their own parking lot… they’d share it with buggies & horses in Amish country, and buses would roll to the edge of the parking lot, not right to the front door causing endless amounts of chaos.)

Inside the store, we’d have checkout lines like the bank, Wendy’s, or Best Buy.  People can be incredibly ignorant when it comes to getting in line.  It’s certainly not everyone, but there are a select few who ruin it for everyone else.  See any McDonalds or Sheetz without the rope at lunch time.  It’s absolute chaos.

Queue Area

Queue Area

I know they’re not department stores… but it’s easier to see the same behavior there as it’s more concentrated.  It would eliminate getting into line behind the people who want to put things back, use expired coupons, write checks, talk on their phones, shop for everything in the impulse-buy section, or search for their method of payment long after everything is rung up.

In fact, no checks.  All it does is slow things down.  It’s 2012.  It’s almost 2013.  If you have a bank account, you have a debt card or credit card, some of them are even called check cards now.  Use it.  Don’t use that antiquated paper log-book that does nothing but slow things down for everyone.

No Checks Accepted

In my store, there would be no greeter that avoids eye contact completely or looks at you like you’re the grim reaper come to take them to hell.  Maybe there would be a robot there to say hello.  At least a robot could fake sincerity more efficiently.

Even though it doesn’t have to do with behavior exactly, the restrooms would have faucets in the sinks (with hot water) that you can fit your hands under, paper towels that are actually stocked regularly, hand dryers that actually dry your hands, and soap.  No foam soap, no hand sanitizer, no bathroom attendants to do it for you.  It might put people in a better mood if they can be comfortable.

I’m sure there are many other things I’d have to put in place, and many other bad customer behavior… but these are the ones I can think of now.

What would you do to make a trip to a department store more tolerable?  Would you enjoy it if stores weeded out the a-holes?  Are you one of the people who behaves like an a-hole by parking in the wrong spots, jumping to lines in front of people, and walking like an idiot in the parking lot?  Please, share your thoughts in the comments section below!

last minute shoppers.

last minute shoppers. (Photo credit: the idealist)

Superman.


You all know I’m a Batman fan.  You might not know that I’m not really a Superman fan.  In this instance, I am indeed a Superman fan.  I’m not sure if this is real, in fact the only part that makes me doubt it is the fact that it says it’s a true story.  I’m generally not so sappy or philosophical here, but this just hit me for some reason, & I thought I’d share.

I’m not sure why it was on Lamebook, & not sure if it’s even real.  Even if it’s not real, we can all get a little inspiration from it (I hope). Please pardon my blogging equivalent of email forwards.  I hope this isn’t like the Fred Rogers was a Navy Seal rumor.

I get a few things from it that I’ll share afterwards:

Superman - Secret Identity - Lamebook.com

Superman (lamebook.com)

Superman

Superman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, this is what I got from it:

  • Someone’s always watching you.  You’re setting an example for people around you even if you don’t know it.
  • You can get an inspirational or emotional lift from someone when you least expect it.  It can be form someone you wouldn’t expect, or even some one you’ve never met.
  • Don’t be afraid of those who are different than you.
  • While it’s great to be humble, it’s OK to be someone’s hero every once in a while.

What did you get from it?

I Miss My Corner Guitar Store « Guitar WTF


Check out this sweet post (& the rest of the blog) from Guitar WTF?: I Miss My Corner Guitar Store « Guitar WTF.

A sample:

…At first I was mad, but then I though it would be more fun to get even.  Yeah, I know, its immature.

How To Be Annoying At The Guitar Store

  • When a sales person is talking to another customer listen in.  After everything they say you say, “that’s what you think”.
  • Ask the sales person for a pick,  immediately put it in your pocket and leave the store.

Guitar WTF? | I Miss My Corner Guitar Store

How to walk to your car in a parking lot: A public service announcement


There’s a problem I’ve noticed over the years since I first got my driver’s license.  It’s ridiculous, rampant, and totally uncalled for.  It doesn’t have as much to do with driving as it does walking, but I consider it a road-related  issue.

People don’t know how to walk in parking lots.  They have this “pedestrian has the right of way” mentality that has inexplicably warped into a strange sense of entitlement and devilish pleasure in making you the motorist yield to their ambling nonchalance.

Below, I have an illustration (thanks to Google Maps) of the new Market District parking lot in Robinson.  Please take a moment to study & understand before you move on to the next paragraph.

How to walk across a parking lot.
WALK IN A STRAIGHT LINE, NOT AT AN ANGLE.

I get worked up about this quite easily (obviously I guess), and my thoughts are all over the place…  so I’ll try to make my points concise with the aid of a bulleted list.  (I have blogged about this before too, if you find that you need further reading.) I really would like to start a discussion on this in the comments if you’re so inclined.

  • When there’s a cross-walk on the ground, use it. I understand that the crosswalk isn’t a magical safe-zone, and that jaywalking laws are rarely enforced in Southwestern PA… but it’s there for a reason;  So you can move across the road in an organized and quick fashion in a designated spot.   Yes, the parking lot is a potential mine-field of car vs. person vs. shopping cart accidents, but you can help minimize the danger by using cross-walks… and drivers will know exactly where and when to have a heightened awareness.
  • Walk in a 90° angle (or close to it if at all possible) when crossing the road. This may seem stupid, but if you look at my beautiful illustration above… you can see that a person walking a green path would move across the road much more quickly than the same person walking at the same speed using a red path.  Using the green path reduces wait time (and thus aggravation) for the driver trying to get into or out of the store.
  • Walk one one side or the other of each row. The beauty of this one is that you have a choice.  You can walk on the left or the right.  JUST. DON’T. WALK. DOWN. THE. MIDDLE. These are the  most annoying people.  There’s typically room for two cars to pass each other when moving in opposite directions, and a little extra walking room in most parking lots.  When you walk right down the middle of the aisle, you make all of this room disappear.

Focusing mostly on the middle-of-the-lane walkers, but also on the anglers, and the “too cool for the crosswalk”-ers, I’d just like to comment on the types of people that I believe they may be.

First, there are the truly oblivious.  I believe this to be the smallest sect of the parking lot meanderites.  I think some people are just really not all that aware of their surroundings, and have no comprehension of the havoc that they wreak around themselves.  (Arguably,  stopping time in a parking lot is not exactly “wreaking havoc”, but it sure bites my ass.) These people are just like Mr. Bean, and since Mr. Bean is somewhat of a lovable character, I can forgive these people.  If you know one of them, please tell them about parking lot urgency.  If you don’t know one of them… walk more quickly, in straight angles, in designated areas, and close to the cars in parking lots.  (Because you are one of them.)

Then we have category #2.  The entitled. They’re a pedestrian.  They always have the right of way, and that’s it.  In their minds, anyway.  I’d like these people to see what Pennsylvania law has to say

Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, contains the laws which govern the operation of vehicles on Pennsylvania roads.

Chapter 35: SPECIAL VEHICLES AND PEDESTRIANS
Subchapter C: Rights and Duties of Pedestrians

Section 3541. Obedience of pedestrians to traffic-control devices and regulations
(a) Traffic control devices.—A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of a police officer or other appropriately attired person authorized to direct, control or regulate traffic.

(b) Traffic and pedestrian-control signals.—Local authorities by ordinance may require pedestrians to obey traffic and pedestrian-control signals as provided in sections 3112 (relating to traffic-control signals) and 3113 (relating to pedestrian-control signals).

Section 3542. Right-of-way of pedestrians in crosswalks.
(a) General rule.—When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

(b) Exercise of care by pedestrian.—No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard.

and…

Section 3543. Pedestrians crossing at other than crosswalks.
(a) General rule.—Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a crosswalk at an intersection or any marked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(b) At pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing.—Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(c) Between controlled intersections in urban district.—Between adjacent intersections in urban districts at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(d) Crossing intersection diagonally.—No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices or at the discretion of a police officer or other appropriately attired person authorized to direct, control or regulate traffic. When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the signal pertaining to the crossing movements.

And the best part…

Section 3552. Penalty for violation of subchapter.
Any pedestrian violating any provision of this subchapter is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $5.

Interesting, no?  I’m not sure if these apply any differently in a parking lot, as it’s probably private property… but I’d love to see an officer out there passing out $5 tickets for every butthole who steps boldly out in front of a moving car with the incorrect assumption that “pedestrians always have the right of way”.  Why not?  I mean, they’re cracking down on parking in the South Side after years of chaos.  Is this any less ridiculous?

The third and last group?  The spiteful. They know you’re anxious to get by, but they don’t care.  They derive pleasure in knowing that you’re most likely impatiently waiting to move forward at a speed that actually registers on your speedometer, but that they alone have the power to prevent that from happening.  Maybe they had a bad day and want to pass along the crappy karma.  Maybe they have a controlling spouse, boss, or family member, and this is how they lash out.  This is the group that turns to look at you, but continues to walk down the middle of a driving lane instead of moving to one side so you can get by.  This is the woman that stops mid-stride and mid-lane to dig through her purse for her car keys while you idle and boil.  This is the group of teenage boys that walks 4 wide and dresses “hard” like they from the streets thanks to mom’s credit card and Journey’s or Hot Topic.  This is the wide-angle walker who sees you approaching, but instead of walking straight across the lane quickly looks straight ahead in their “5 rows over from where they started” path.  They’re also the ones who let you follow them down the echelon of filled  of parking spaces during the holiday shopping season, and cut over to the next row or put bags in their car and proceed to walk right back where they came from without giving you the courtesy wave-off or  the universally understood over-exaggerated mouthing of “I’m not leaving” while shaking their head and pointing or waving their arms.  I suspect that they’re also the people who double-dip, don’t flush public toilets, and kick puppies.

That should just about cover it.  So please, pass this along so we can all get on the same page.

Liberate Beer Sales in PA (from Sheetz)


You may have read my previous post about beer sales at Sheetz, this is a continuation of sorts.  I received an email from them today that I felt that I should pass along.

Here it is…

Liberate Beer sales in PA

Hey Sheetz fans!

Beer - Locked UpSheetz is participating in a state-wide initiative in Pennsylvania to change laws on alcohol sales in the state. These laws have been on the books since the 1930’s and we think it’s high time they be updated! Join us in this effort by signing our petition at www.freemybeer.com or looking out for people who will be positioned at some of our PA stores collecting signatures over the next few weeks.

Customer convenience and freedom to purchase beer in grocery and convenience stores is something that people enjoy in most other states across the US. In fact, in May 2009, Pennsylvania’s shoppers indicated by an overwhelming majority (70%) that they wanted to be able to make beer purchases like the rest of the country. So we are asking, why not?

We want to get as many signatures on petitions to help get legislators to hear what we’re saying and hear what their constituents want and change the law on beer sales.

Simply put, we already sell beer responsibly in 5 other states that allow us to and people can buy a six pack on their way home or while on vacation and it’s totally convenient. You should be able to have that freedom here in Pennsylvania too.

So we need your help. Go to the website and vote “YES” to beer sales or sign one of the petitions circulating at our stores. This will be a powerful way to achieve the end goal — you buying a six-pack in a convenience store!

You can help make it happen. Let’s do it!

Thank you,
The Sheetz Team

*Must be 21 or older to participate.

This email was sent to: [Me@myemailaddress]

This email was sent by: Sheetz, Inc.
5700 Sixth Ave. Altoona, PA 16602

If you no longer wish to receive emails, unsubscribe here

Copyright © 2009 Sheetz, Inc. All rights reserved.

Not that I’m an alcoholic or anything, but it’s ridiculous that we don’t operate like the surrounding states on this issue in 2009.

I signed the online petition & sent emails before, and yesterday in store I signed a paper petition.

The government shouldn’t have useless control over these types of issues.

Want Beer @ Sheetz?


I know, the following is just a form letter in the modern age… but it’s good to get acknowledged. Plus, we already know that Senator Wayne Fontata reads his mail (thanks to the idiots at Clean Water Action)!

While at the Sheetz website, I discovered a sweet little link at the bottom that enables you to fire off an email to your local politicians to let them know that you’re in support of Sheetz being allowed to sell beer in its stores. Juts click the Take Action button and it writes the letter for you, and sends it to your State Senator & State Representative. How awesome is that?

It’s 2009 and PA’s beer & liquor laws are beyond antiquated, end of story.

Forwarded Message —-
From: PA Senator Wayne Fontana Fontana
To: me@myemailaddre.ss
Sent: Fri, November 13, 2009 4:37:37 PM
Subject: Re: Freedom to Purchase Beer in Convenience Stores

Mr. Carroll ~

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding your interest in seeing beer available at more locations.

As you are probably aware, there has been great deal of discussion on this issue – both in the positive and negative. I agree with you that our laws are antiquated, but believe that we are slowly seeing change – both in new law and in legislation that is being considered. This remains one of those issues that we will need to continue to work on to address the concerns that have been raised. I have noted your support for this effort, and will certainly share it with my colleagues and take it into consideration should we have the opportunity to vote on related legislation.

Again, thank you for your communication. I look forward to further communication with you on this and other issues that are of interest and importance to you.

Senator Wayne D. Fontana
42nd Senatorial District
www.senatorfontana.com

>>> <me@myemailaddre.ss> 11/12/2009 8:31 AM >>>
Eric Carroll
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Pittsburgh, PA XXXXX-XXXX

November 12, 2009

The Honorable Wayne Fontana
Pennsylvania Senate
Senate Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3042

Dear Senator Fontana:

As a Pennsylvania voter, I want to add my name to the growing list of
those who are asking you to consider making a change to Pennsylvania’s
beer laws.

It is hard to ignore how backward our beer laws are in light of the recent
ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court against Sheetz – taking its
license, because it did not allow for on-premise consumption.

At their worst, these laws encourage drinking and driving. At the very
least, the current laws are incredibly outdated.

Let me be clear. I want to be able to purchase alcoholic beverages in
convenience and grocery stores. Please support the call for common sense
beer laws and bring the convenient purchase of beer to the Pennsylvania
consumer.

Sincerely,

Eric Carroll

This message and any attachment may contain privileged or confidential information intended solely for the use of the person to whom it is addressed. If the reader is not the intended recipient then be advised that forwarding, communicating, disseminating, copying or using this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited. If you receive this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the information without saving any copies.