Hi there. You don’t know me yet, but you will. Mostly because I’m about to fuck up your next 6 hours, but also because I am wearing a name tag.
When you first arrived, I hope you enjoyed the labyrinthine hellscape that is the shopping mall parking lot, because I personally designed it. I paid an old man driving a Mercury to wait for you to arrive, and then to immediately swerve in and take a good parking spot from you. I also hired a variety of SmartCar drivers and motorcycles to make spaces look empty and raise your hopes until you reach them and attempt to turn in and then swear violently because they are not available spots. While you are inside the mall, the two cars next to yours will leave, and the two Honda Odyssey owners I hired will park 12 inches from each side of your car. One of them will have a bumper sticker you vehemently disagree with.
I made the weather bad, too. I made it 41 degrees and lightly raining, and after that I closed your favorite department store. Your second favorite will be closing in 6 months, and your third favorite is located as far away as possible from where you parked.
Before you even walked in, I had your friends and family do surveillance on what you generally expect to spend on some items at my store. I requested their detailed reports, and then I went around and marked up the prices on those items by 12-ish percent. I also discounted the items in colors you hate. I also made sure anything you would like to purchase 2 (but not 3) of is under a “buy 2 get 1 free” scenario so you feel like you’ve saved money but when you arrive home you realize there was no sale and you are now further encumbered by material goods.
Those same snitching friends and family also found out what temperature you keep the house at, and I set the thermostat 8 degrees colder than that. Unless you came in carrying your large coat, then I adjust it to 9 degrees warmer.
If you have children, I sewed a piece of mildly irritating fabric into one of their socks, and that’s why they are 1. crying and 2. refusing to walk. I slipped ’em 5 bucks to complain about being hungry every ten minutes. And if you have more than one child? While your back was turned, I gave all of them stickers, but with vast differences in size and quality, and they are about to turn this mall into the goddamn Octagon of Jealousy.
It’s cute that you think your stroller is going to fix this situation. I slightly adjusted the wheel so it squeaks and I restructured the store layout so you’re forced to do like a 7-point turn to look at some Fortnite bullshit.
My coworkers and I are hoarding the gift boxes for the particular item you are purchasing. There are at least 500 of them, but we will not be giving you any. Later, we will make a simulacrum of you, complete with holiday sweater, and will burn you in effigy while singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” I’ll Snapchat you the video.
While you’re visiting us, I intend to fully misunderstand every detailed instruction you give me about what you’re looking for (such as “I’m looking for a gift for my wife” and trailing off into silence, or “SLACKS?! I NEED LADIES’ SLACKS!”). I have no interest in helping any other customers, or cleaning up fitting rooms, or answering the ringing phone, or sitting down. My one true purpose today is to spend as much time with you as possible, because I can only feel joy while wasting the time of a stranger while failing to make a sale.
But wait, what’s that you say? Do you also need to make a return? *shivers* Oh, God, please say yes, and please say you don’t have a receipt. Submitting to an adult tantrum about an item that looks like it was run over by that old dude in a Mercury and then worn through the plot of The Poseidon Adventure that we simply refuse to accept back is like having 40 orgasms at once. If you do have a receipt, can you just get rid of it? It’s so much better without one. I promise to make your time at my register at least 15 minutes longer without a receipt than the 20 minutes it was already going to take just ’cause. I’ll even throw in a phone call to customer service for you – I paid them off earlier today to say the exact same thing I just told you.
At the moment you are ready to check out, my coordinated strike team will jump into line right in front of you, and all of them want to use multiple forms of payment, and all of them need gift receipts. Half of them also have coupons that won’t scan.
And speaking of coupons, while you were in the restroom and asked me to watch your kids for a minute because that is a thing I very super want to and am paid to do, I changed the expiration dates on your coupons and none of them are valid. If I could genuinely change the entire date and time of the world in order to make your coupons expired, I would, but all I can do is change the expiration dates and then refuse to accept them.
We definitely gift wrap here. I definitely know how to gift wrap. I’m just saying that I don’t know how and that we don’t have gift wrap because I get a little bit high off of your angry face.
Once your visit to my store is complete, I’ll be giving you incorrect directions to your next destination on purpose, and between “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays,” I will use the parting salutation that will anger you most. Good luck with the Odysseys.