Santa Could Be Late… He Might Be Checking Out!

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, December 22, 2011

Want to know why the checkout lines in the stores are so much longer during the holly, jolly Christmas season?

The checkout clerks ask way too many questions, that's why!

“What's the birthday of the child you are buying for today, ma'am?”

This was exactly how I was greeted in one store in the mall on my recent “late night, get it all almost done shopping trip.”

No “Merry Christmas!” or for that matter she didn't offer holiday wishes of good cheer at all.

First off, let me explain, I'd just stood in line to pay for probably 20 minutes (and I was the next one up to the register). NOW I KNOW WHY!

So, being nice and full of good Christmas spirit, I gave the nice young lady the birth date.

“How old is she?” she then asks.

I was buying three things that, in total, cost less than 15 bucks in a store that was really messing with my attention deficit disorder…What difference did it make?!?

“I don't know. You tell me, you've got the year she was born,” I was being a little testy as I responded (can you tell) with a slight chuckle. My holiday cheer was fading fast…

Once we were finally out of that crazed store, the other half wanted to stop and check to see if his favorite hat store had any new selections.

It wasn't on my “Christmas get-it done list” but I obliged. He was, after all, carrying an armload of bags and I had a surprise spur-of-the-moment stop at the jewelry store up my sleeve.

After he made his quick selection I thought paying would be a breeze. I mean, come on, I even had cash people!

Nope… not at all. Image that. No mad dash for me.

“Ma'am, I can save you $1 on your purchase today if you text to this number (some forever-long digit number),” offered the guy behind the counter.

“What!” I exclaimed (I really wouldn't have been able to find my cell phone even if I had wanted underneath all of my bags). “You've got to be kidding? Thanks for trying to save me one dollar but I'm just trying to get my shopping done. I just really would like to get this and get out of here.”

I know I provided him a little too much information but what in the world!?!

Ladies and gentlemen of the Christmas shopping world, this is exactly why you are backed up in a line somewhere in a chaotic store. What ever happened to paying and getting the heck out?

Long gone, I'm afraid, are the days when you didn't have to leave your email address at the counter or supply your birthday, or hunt for your rewards card.

Oh, and don't get me started about if I tell them that I'm already on their email list!

“I believe that the more times I enter it, the more offers you'll receive,” responded one clerk when I explained that I already received emails from that store.

“Geez, thanks for the extra junk mail,” I thought as I exited that store.

Minutes can turn to hours when you are left responding to all of these marketing questions. I feel like I've left my “shopping footprint” all over the city that night.

I just hope Santa Claus doesn't have all of these problems when he takes care of his long list.

If so, he might be a little late this year…

Oh, but no need to worry.

He'll be on his way, with his reindeer pulling his sleigh (in high gear of course), just as soon as he gets out of that checkout line in London (probably) after he finds his rewards card. I'm sure the lead elf has it somewhere.

The man in the red suit is just trying to fulfill that last-minute Christmas wish!