On several recent trips to Target, I have noticed something that really bugs me:
People who are eating/using merchandise that isn’t paid for yet.
I have seen kids eating candy bars, a dad eating a full-size bag of chips, and a mother opening a new package of cortisone cream and applying it to a little girl covered in bug bites all in the aisles of the store.
Whatever happened to a little delayed gratification? Seriously. If you can’t wait the fifteen minutes it takes to pay for the stuff and get out to the car, you need to take a good hard look at what else is going on in your life.
I’m really bothered by these people when I see them in stores.
First off, I don’t want their sticky, grubby fingers touching things I may want to buy. I don’t want to trip over their litter in the aisles or touch a grimy shopping cart.
Secondly, how many of them “forget” to pay for things? I saw a Target employee pick up a candy bar wrapper from off the floor and start to throw it away. A customer said, “Oh, no, I need that. I haven’t paid for that yet.”
What would have happened if the Target employee hadn’t seen the wrapper? Would that customer just walk out the door without paying for it? It’s possible.
I’m also bothered by the impulsiveness of these people. A giant bag of chips probably wasn’t on that dad’s list. And I can bet he didn’t have a coupon. It just seems wasteful. Plan a little better so that you aren’t shopping when you’re hungry. Stock up so you won’t run out of that ointment that works on bug bites.
What I’m most bothered by is the message these people are sending to their children. It’s a strong message that says, “I want what I want and I want it now and I WILL have it NOW.” It sends the message to kids that it’s okay to just take what you want and pay for it later.
To me, if you’re not allowed to take unpaid merchandise into a store bathroom with you, you shouldn’t crack open the package in the store either. You wouldn’t eat food in Macy’s, so why should you do it in a discount store?
We all pay the price for customers’ unwillingness to delay gratification – whether it’s through messier stores, sticky displays, or higher prices due to “accidental” theft.
And don’t even get me started on “sampling” produce at the grocery store…..