Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Art of Communication

I'm sitting on a big, red plastic marshmallow looking thing (Target's version of a chair) with my shopping cart next to me, waiting for my girlfriend to finish trying on some bikinis.  Moments later, a pleasant voice asks me, "Sir, is this your cart?"

"Yes, it is."  I replied.  "Is it in the way?"

"No, you're fine.  Some people just dropped their clothes in your cart." smiled the fitting room attendant as she removed some rather large clothes that were rudely tossed in with my items.

I guess some people thought that my cart, filled with a pair of jeans, some candy and other knick knacks, was the "unwanted clothes" cart.  Whatever happened to handing your unwanted clothes to an attendant or asking where to place them?

Moments later, a chubby young boy, probably in early high school, walks up to the attendant near the fitting rooms.  He asks, "Do you know if my mom is in there?" (Because every Target fitting room attendant knows who your mom is and what she looks like.)

"No," she replied.  "But you can try calling her name."

"Mom?  Mom?" called the boy, timidly.

He waited shyly for a response, but none came.

"Maybe you should try calling her name."  suggested the attendant.

(In a boxing ring announcer's voice) "PAMELA... (awkward pause)  HINSLEY..."

Still no response.

The boy called for his mom with a volume no louder than what he was using to talk to the attendant, and he never actually walked into the fitting room area, so most likely only my girlfriend, who was in the first fitting room, heard him.

"My mom thinks I have my phone, but I don't." sighed the boy.

"If you'd like, I can page your mom and ask her to meet you here."  offered the attendant.

"Sure!  That'd be great."

"Attention Target guests," announced the PA system.  "Would a Pamela Hinsley please come to the fitting rooms.  Your party is waiting."

"Your party is waiting...  That doesn't sound so bad."  said the boy.

"Yeah, we always say that." smiled the attendant.

"It's better than 'your son is lost in Target'.  That would be embarassing."  said the boy.

"Oh, we would never say that."  chuckled the attendant.

Moments later, his family arrived, welcomed by a "where were you guys?!" from the boy.  He thanked the fitting room attendant and waddled off to join his family.

"Aww..." cooed the attendant.

She and I could do nothing but share a laugh together because the boy just looked so defeated the entire time that he was standing there.

The moral of the story?  Don't get lost in Target because you'll be sold to the circus.

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