Friday, January 2, 2015

For The Record: The Twenty Fourteen Winter Holidays Part II - The Toys Are Us Story

For the Record:
The Twenty Fourteen Winter Holidays
Part II
Shopping and The Toys R Us Story

Thanksgiving fell on the 27th this year, which is, by the way, very late.
 Weeks before Thanksgiving, Kohls was sending everyone a 30% off coupon,  Macy’s was running their  “One Day Only” sales,  and we were getting 4 or 5 catalogues a day in the mail from various other stores.  And don’t get me started on the number of e-mails I had to delete, every day.  E-mails touting this special sale, that great bargain and free shipping when you spend $75 or more.  That last part was usually in small print.    But, despite all of the overt efforts to get me shop,  I never think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. 
Last year Thanksgiving was on the 22nd.  That meant that this year, for those of us who wait until after Thanksgiving before we move onto Christmas,  we had five less days to prepare. 
Last year cyber Monday was on the 25th of November.   This year it was on December 1, for pete’s sake.  
Last year I actually did most of my shopping online.  But this year, psychologically, my brain was saying, “It’s December already.  It’s too late to buy online!” 
I remember way back when.  Ross and I would pick a day, a whole day just to shop for Christmas presents.  One day and we would get it all done.   We would start early in the morning.  After a few hours we would stop for a late breakfast.  Then out again.  We could go, go, go. 
Yes, that was way back when. 
Fast forward about a dozen years to present day.  We didn’t get out quite as early as we used to.  By the time we did get out, it was time for lunch.  Admittedly, an early lunch, but, none the less, it was past noon.  
This incident which I am about to describe is an accurate indication of my general shopping mood this year. 
First let me preface this by saying that I think of myself as a pretty mild mannered person.  I don’t like confrontations.  I generally smile at my fellow shoppers as I hold the door for them.  I say excuse me if I want to pass by someone.  You get the picture.
Oh, one more preface.  Something you should also know is that I have always hated shopping in Toys R Us.  
So, anyhow, this one particular day we were in Toys R Us.  By We, I mean Ross and I,  along with young parents, and their “Mommy, MomMEE, daddy, daDEE, I want that, I want that, why can’t I have that” overexcited, because they were in Toys R Us, children.   
 Ross and I  sort of had a list to work from.  But since we no longer have little kids around on a daily basis, we are not up to date on what a “ Funko Pop Vinyl Superhero Figure”
 is or where the Minecraft section might be.  After wandering aimlessly around for what seemed to be hours, (well okay, maybe 10 minutes), Ross flagged down a Toys R Us Red Shirt guy as he was running by.  Ross asked Red Shirt for help and told him what we were looking for.   Red Shirt waved his hand in a sweeping gesture and vaguely pointed and said “over there”.  

“Oh,” he said , as he ran off, apparently having some sort of Red Shirt emergency to tend to, “If you don’t find it “over there” check at the desk. They will be able to help you.”
Well, we went to what we thought he meant by “over there”.  Not a Funko Pop to be found.
We cruised the aisles one last time before we finally gave up to go stand in the long line at the courtesy desk.  At that point I was ready to completely give up.  
“Let’s just go,” I said. 
Ross, who is more patient than I am, was confident that the “desk” people were much more informed than the Red Shirt floor personnel.   They would be able to help us.
Well, it was finally our turn at the “desk”.  
“We are looking for “Funko Pop Vinyl Superhero Figures,” Ross said. 
The young women stared at us with a blank look on her face and shrugged.  
“Did you try over there”? She asked, as she waved her hand in a sweeping gesture and vaguely pointed. 
I stared at her.  Why was she looking at us as if we were speaking a foreign language?  Why was she not efficiently clicking on the computer, checking their data base to find Funko Pop Vinyl Superhero Figures? That’s when I lost it.  In a harsh stage whisper, through clenched teeth, I said to Ross, “LET’S GO!”
Well you have to understand, for me, that’s losing it.  That “Let’s go” meant so much more. 
It meant, I’m tired.  It meant my feet hurt.  It meant “why can’t anyone get good help anymore?”
It meant, “You better find us a Funko Pop Vinyl Superhero Figure” right now!  
Ross, oh patient Ross, handed the young woman the print out we had brought with us.  He pointed to the line that read “Funko Pop Vinyl Superhero Figures”.  “ That’s what we are looking for,” he said. 
She sighed, turned around clicked on the computer, turned back to us and said, “Sorry we don’t carry them.”
Yep, that’s what happens when Thanksgiving is very very late. 

By the way we found a varied and plentiful selection of Funko Pop Super Hero Figures at the quiet Barnes and Noble around the corner from Toys R Us.  


  1. Sad about the customer service, you would think they would have been a bit more helpful. Glad you found what you were looking for though eventually at barnes and noble.


    1. I think I would have been more tolerant under normal circumstances, but the frenzy of the holidays ran my patience into the ground.

  2. Having worked for the evil toy store for 11 years, I can tell you how awful Season is for the employees. And many of them are seasonal, so they don't know anything anyway.

    1. I did think about how it must be from the other side also and that for many of the employees it was a job for only a short time. BUT…:)

  3. I briefly worked at Target. I worked at the desk one night, and this woman came in with a shopping cart full of things that she wanted to return. She baffled me and the person who was training me. I don't know how she did it but she ended up stealing the entire cart of stuff. I only worked the desk that one time. :-\

    1. This happened 15 years ago...I think it involved coupons and exchanges. The customer was a pro thief. It's bugging me that I can't remember!

    2. Sounds like a complex scam. Must have take her awhile to figure it out and then pull it off. Customer service is a tough biz to be in.

  4. We don't shop during the holidays. We only bought gifts for our two trip to Toys R Us on a weekday. We parked right by the front door! Everyone else got gift cards. None of us need more stuff. I'm over the whole gift giving part of the holidays. It's enough to gather with family and have good food. I've turned into a grinch!

    1. I have six grandkids all under the age of 10. I am already trying to decide a better way to do Christmas next year so that it will be more enjoyable for them and for us. I like what you said about gathering together with family. That is what is should be all about.