The aura has been activated! Approach only at your own risk ...
Now you want to know what THAT's all about, right? A proper explanation would take considerable time and typing, so I'll give just a condensed version here and now.
Known fact: I HATE shopping. (We're not talking a general dislike here, this is a major HATE thing.) Little known fact: There's a good reason WHY I hate shopping. And forthwith, I shall divulge that reason, now that it's been figured out FOR me.
According to KP (aka Multi-tasker), I have an "aura" about me that attracts the most irritating, annoying and despicable kinds of things. Especially when I try to go shopping. For instance, I once went to a store that had merchandise in boxes blocking many of the aisles presumably so that the clerks could unpack it onto the shelves. To get around all that mess, I left my cart at the end of each aisle, zoomed up and down to grab what I needed, dump my armload into the parked cart and proceed to the next aisle. When I was nearly finished shopping, I saw a guy who looked for all the world like Mr. Noodle. (All that was missing was the silly bow-tie.) He was pushing a cart that sure looked like the one I had been filling, but was returning merchandise to the places it had come from. As he whizzed past, I said, "Hey! Stop! Where did you get that cart?" His answer confirmed my suspicion. I asked "Why? Why are you putting all my stuff back?" He said he thought the cart had been abandoned.
I about blew a gasket, and asked why didn't he try putting away the crap that was all over the store blocking the aisles instead of what I had just spent a half-hour gathering in spite of the stupid mess in his store?!?
Yeah ... I could go into further detail, but you get the picture. Believe it or not, the same stinking thing has happened to me in two other stores. I started thinking there was some sort of Retail Clerks Union Revenge-On-Customers Game going on. Do they win points for who can get a customer the most riled up? Is it a thing that was invented and spread via the internet as the newest form of amusement? or What?!? That was the direction my thinking was headed.
But KP tells me it's an aura. Aura? I think I'd use another word for it. Demon magnet, maybe? Well, whatever ... where did I get this aura, and more importantly, how do I get rid of it?
Today started out with the cows not all coming down out of the pasture for morning chores. Some did, some didn't. It's gotta be all or none -- can't leave half here, half there. So I had to take the dog and go chase them. Wouldn't you know, this would be the morning my GD would sleep late, so when I came in the house she wasn't up. (This is the child who usually gets up with me at 5:30 to go to the barn.) We had only minutes before we had to leave, so while she ate, I loaded the dishwasher. It wouldn't run. Of course! Forget it. I'll worry about it later. (I should have taken this as a warning sign that the aura was warming up for Shopping Day.)
My plan was to drop her off at camp and do some pre-holiday shopping. (We're having guests.) First stop: didn't have what I was after. Second stop: had it, but at a much higher price than I expected -- I'd get it elsewhere. Third stop: got it, but it took a long, lo-o-o-o-ong time to check out in a very, very hot store. I thought I was going to be sick from the heat, honestly. It was one of those places that you pay, then go to the door out back to get loaded. The heat must've cooked the cashier's brain because, even though I asked more than once ... "now that's for BOTH parts, correct? You've charged me for BOTH parts, right?" She didn't, I was told by the loading crew. So I had to go back inside and start all over again. I must've looked like I was capable of violence, because she apologized repeatedly for not having done it right the first time. Really, I was only mildly irritated, and only because it was so ridiculously hot in there. I hate being hot as much as I hate shopping. Heat is the ONLY thing that can make shopping worse. I wanted her to stop apologizing and just get on with it so I could get out of that heat.
Then I made a few more stops, calculating how much time I dared spend before I had to hit the grocery store en route to pick up the little one and head home. I figured the best course of action was to go to the store nearest camp, so I could pick up the milk and other refrigerated items without having to worry about how long it stayed in the car before we got home. Sounds like a good plan, right? Wrong!
I shopped, made my way to the checkout counter, gave the girl my store card and check. She punched all the appropriate buttons, and looked completely puzzled at the machine. Something's amiss. Of course ... because I'm worried about time, something HAS to be amiss. She called for the front end manager for an over-ride. I asked why it was needed. She didn't know. The FEM came, looked at the machine and said, "What is THAT?"
"What is WHAT?" I inquired. FEM said she had to go get the Store Manager. Cashier didn't know why. FEM was gone quite a while, came back, pushed a paper in my face and said, "We can't accept your check. You have to call this number."
My response: "Please tell me WHY you won't accept my check." (I truly was being very polite at this point.) She told me she didn't know. I asked her to get the manager for help. She said he told her to tell me to call that number. Excuse me? I then unloaded all the groceries from the bags in the cart and said, "Here are the groceries. Please return my check. I am not calling any number. I will shop elsewhere," and left.
By the time I got to the truck, I decided I needed to speak to that manager. I found him sitting on his fat behind in his office not 30 feet from the checkout counter where all this transpired. I told him I was not a happy customer. I was not exactly polite at this point. I told him the only reason I wasted more of my time to come back into the store was to ask him for the company's headquarters' or district manager's phone number. I was extremely irritated because I had passed up many other stores in favor of this one because it would be convenient. Convenient?!? I now had no time to go to another store because I had to pick the child up too soon for that. I would have to go home without my groceries. Because there was a problem with their stupid machine and he would not get off his fat rear to come out and figure out what was wrong, or to over-ride it with his magic Manger's Over-Ride Key.
He tried to appease me with the offer of a gift card. I told him that unless he could give me a gift card that would cover my purchase (because the machine would not accept my check and I did not have that much cash with me), he could find someplace else to put that gift card. It would not be likely I'd ever return to any of the stores in this chain to use any gift card.
Believe it or not, this IS the condensed version. I. Hate. Shopping.
(and stupid, lazy people)
The worst thing is, I will have to go shopping again tomorrow. Just shoot me.