Archive for July 7, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving

July 7, 2008

I am not a shopper. I avoid stores; malls expecially. Maybe it’s because of a guilt complex I carry from having been involved – as a college student/summer laborer – in building one of the biggest malls in the northeast. That mall not only displaced woodlands and farm fields, but it has continued to spawn more and more peripheral stores over the years, turning into nearly half-a-square mile of consumer wasteland.

So when my wonderful daughter gave me a gift card to the Gap for Father’s Day, I realized I would have to go to the mall. I put it off for a week.

Finally, carrying my guilt (along with a heads up that Gap employees can be so obnoxious that Saturday Night Live even did a skit on them), I scanned the mall directory for the location of the Gap. Oh, there is was, right across from the mall directory.

A very nice woman waited on me, giving me as much unhurried time as I needed, as if I were the only customer in the store and there was nothing she’d rather be doing. When it came time to pay she rang up the sale and said, “Ah, you’ve got $2.55 in change, enough to buy yourself a nice cup of coffee!”

I left thinking, “Gee, that was pretty painless.”

When I got home I discovered the T-shirts were too small. I never tried them on. I didn’t take them back until about a week later when I was in the mall neighborhood. Another equally pleasant woman waited on me. I got my three replacement shirts and when she was ringing them up she noticed they’d been reduced 40%. So I got two more shirts and, ta da, another two-something in change.

I thought about walking over and checking out the pants I’d bought to see if they too had been reduced, and I could multiply them and parlay that into some more coffee money, but I’d already worn and washed my pants.